Editorial: Discovering what really helps you
I’m going to start this off by saying that my story is not your story. Every person deals with things differently and I am in no way saying that what I am doing to help my own mental health will help yours, but it might.
Hi, my name is Jade, and I struggle with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and depression.
I have dealt with all of these disorders for as long as I can remember.
I used to be the girl who would cry in class when someone slightly raised their voice at me. I used to have panic attacks in my high school drama room’s dressing room.
It was always sort of manageable — as in I was living my life and able to walk and function as a “normal” person, I kind of just thought this was the way that I was built and that I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life.
But, in my second year at Laurier it hit a whole new level.
It got to the point where I had a panic attack for one straight week, my parents were terrified that I would do something detrimental and I was scared as thoughts I had never had before started to pop into my head.
I wanted nothing more than for the numbness and the pain to go away, but for whatever reason I couldn’t get it to.
I isolated myself, and only basically talked to my parents, roommates and a few other people if they reached out to me first.
I started to notice the little ways that people talked to me and how I would talk down to myself. Then, almost miraculously, something in my head switched.
I am now functioning better than I have in a long time. I think the reasoning is because I am so busy, I don’t even have time to think about my anxiety. I am not giving my anxieties the time of day; they now need an appointment.
I work part-time, work at The Cord and have a full course load. I am currently busy for probably 16 hours of my day.
I guess what I am trying to get across is that keeping myself busy is something that helps my mental health. Now, when I have down time, I don’t even think those anxious thoughts because I’m so tired that I just want to watch a YouTube video or an episode of Drag-Race or hang out with my friends.
My advice is essentially that finding your path to happiness does not begin by just lying in your bed. I did that, and it almost made everything worse. You need to get up and try to work to fix it, it won’t get better until you allow it to get better.
I know this advice may seem over-told by people who you think do not experience any of this, but I’m here to tell you that it can work.
Mental health concerns are something that I will be dealing with my entire life, but I now know what to do to calm down my brain. My parents know that I need to be kept busy and so do my friends.
People need to be aware of what is going to help you stay healthy, that way you can have allies in all of your pain.