Dealing with mental health in Aggieland by: Jasmine Jones
We ask people how they are, and the answer is often, “I’m good.” What if people told us the truth? Or better yet, how different would it be if we expressed how we actually feel?
Perhaps our lives would be completely different.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being, according to MentalHealth.gov. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices.
Mental health is important at every stage of life, and even more so in college.
College students often have many tasks to deal with simultaneously. The typical college environment includes academics, campus involvement, extracurricular, social lives, etc. Depending on the individual, this transition can be easy or difficult.
The four years in college entails many ups and downs. It’s not hard to understand how these stages in life can affect our mental health.
Jalyn Houston, senior marketing student, expressed her concerns on mental health via Twitter:
“To wake up every day and constantly fight your brain to work with (you) and not against you is a difficult task within itself, but to do this while smiling, laughing, learning, and working is an uphill battle, and I applaud anyone who does it.”
Still, many students struggle to combat their mental illnesses and some are not even aware they have one.
So the big question is: what can we do to combat mental illness?
Often, mental illnesses are stemmed
from complicated reasons, and there is no set answer, but there are ways to help someone who is feeling down.
It is important to remember that saying things like, “stay positive,” will not help someone who may be depressed. Instead, try taking measures such as checking in on friends, listening to their tone and observing patterns of them becoming distant.
More importantly, take those same steps to help yourself, because you cannot truly help anyone unless you prioritize your own well-being first.
Whenever a person is feeling down and in the dumps, some people do not know what to say or do as they are unfamiliar with certain situations. Sometimes, we ourselves face the same battles others do, and that is okay.
No one person can go through four years being super happy and balanced the entire time. Even if they seem like they are, this is usually a façade in place to mask unwanted realities.
The key to making the best of stressful situations is self-care. Self- care is a job that takes effort. Doing
hings like working out, eating healthier, spending time with friends and
family and being involved in campus organizations are a few things that can help someone boost him or her back to a healthy state.
During the seasonal shift from winter to spring, moods tend to go up, but
that doesn’t mean it will stay up. When the methods of self-care do not work, the next step is to talk to someone – a professional.
Talking to someone about your problems should not be embarrassing and does not make you weak. In fact, you are strong for choosing to seek help. People often hurt themselves the most when they hold everything in.
It’s time to take your mental health seriously.