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Mental Health and Me

Photo taken from Where I Stand Blog

It’s no secret that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. As I’ve gotten older (a whole 22 years old), I’ve begun to have struggles with becoming an adult and taking care of myself and prioritising myself. These struggles are still present today, but the difference now is that I acknowlege them.

Over the past two years or so, my life began to significantly change. For the better, mostly. But, I failed to acknowlege these changes in everyday life and accept them. Again, I didn’t know I was surpressing these emotions.

I was in my second year of college and for the first time, since I was around 18 years old, I felt like I was transitioning into the next phase of my life. I developed closer friendships, undeveloped others and even developed a romantic relationship. As this was all happening, my family was also moving on with their lives. Again, all for the better. This was all happening while I was in college, studying away and begining to toy with ideas of what I wanted to do afterwards. I knew that by the next year (my final year) I should probably have an idea of what the next step was going to be. This was terrifying.

At this time in my life, I didn’t have a job. At this time in my life, I didn’t know how to drive. I was beginning to freak out a little. Then my family moved to another town. This didn’t affect me at first, I brushed it all off by thinking “well, I’ll be at college five days a week anyway. So it won’t really affect me”. Then the summer came. The summer that at the end of, I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. I was beginning to panic once again and, instead of trying to actively fix the problems, I began to once again surpress the anxiety I was feeling.

My situation at the start of last summer was: I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a car, I couldn’t drive, all my close friends lived far away and the Masters applications I submitted were rejected. All this, and I didn’t do a thing about it, and I didn’t know why.

It wasn’t until I got into the Masters course I am currently on, and a Skype call with two close friends that I realised “oh, I think I was depressed”. I was never medically diagnosed, but depression seemed to make sense with the ways I was feeling. Those feelings were: anxiety, paranoia, no motivation and laziness. At the time, I just thought that I was being me and needed to adjust a little (because I’m a lazy person anyway). But, when I finally had the epiphany and the word “depression” came into my head, it all made sense to me.

Anxiety was a big  factor in finally realising what was going on in my head. I determined this by simply realising that I was anxious about nothing.

If you’re reading this and you relate to the feelings I have felt previously, there are two ways of going about it: firstly, if you’re like me, simply acnowleging the problem may be good enough. If you’re feeling down, talk to someone (friend, family, etc.). This has helped me. If that isn’t helpful for whatever reason, visit Mental Health Ireland’s website.

In parting, there are two things left to acknowlege to each gender. To all the women out there, remember: you are all beautiful. To all the men out there, remember: you are the man. You’ll be okay.

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