It can be hard to admit we’re suffering because of our mental health, sometimes.
It was apparent I was a shy child growing up. I kept to myself and never spoke unless prompted to. I never took the initiative in any situation, and my friends were always leading me around.
One would only know the extent of my situation if they heard about the time I kept my eyes closed at a two-hour party because I was too afraid to look at people.
I was just “shy” and that was it. I always heard, “she’ll grow out it,” or “it’s just a phase,” from other peoples’ mouths. I wanted to believe them; I didn’t want to live this way, either.
At the start of every school year, I tried to reinvent myself. There was a constant back-and-forth bickering in my mind. Maybe I could be more outgoing this year. Maybe I’ll finally be able to present something in front of the class without feeling sick to my stomach.
Isn’t it funny that throughout all the warning signs in my life, I never thought of getting help?
That was it: I didn’t want to admit I needed help, it would make me look weak. I passed off anxiety attacks as normal occurrences. I forced myself to smile when going head-on into social situations.
My mental health got out of control in my freshman year of college. I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to see a therapist. I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.
My initial thoughts were feelings of doom, but have now evolved into peace with myself and my mind. I was given ways to handle myself in situations that gave me the most stress. Step by step, it has slowly helped me in the past three years.
While I no longer see a therapist, I still take what I have learned there into my daily life.
Don’t be afraid to come to terms with the state of your mental health. It’s important to know what’s going on with yourself before tackling other obstacles. Realizing you need help is the first step.
Salt Lake Community College has the Center of Health and Counseling and many other resources for students that are seeking help.