I’m a little worried about myself. Lately, I feel overwhelmed a lot of the time. I’m a college student, so I figure it’s normal that I sometimes feel really stressed out. But this is more than just stress — sometimes I feel this sense of despair that, I think, goes way beyond what I should expect just because I have a lot of homework or something. Sometimes I feel really empty and like I have no energy. Other times, I feel like I’m running out of time. I get all stressed out (probably partly because I didn’t do the things I was supposed to back when I was feeling empty and lazy!).
It’s driving me nuts. Experts, how can I get control of my feelings? How can I get my energy back and start doing the good work in school that I should be doing?
Your problem sounds like a serious one, and it may not be one that you can deal with on your own. And even if you could, why would you? You wouldn’t avoid the doctor if you injured yourself or became ill. You are having issues with your mental health and sense of well-being, and, therefore, you should head to a mental health expert for care.
That shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s understandable if that’s tough for you to hear: we Americans have far too many hang-ups about simply getting proper mental healthcare. Studies show that relatively few of us take proactive steps like getting a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
But you should fight through that stigma and seek the help that you need. There is clear evidence that shows that caring for your mental health will help you live a healthier and more fulfilling life. In short, therapy works!
And improving your mental health will have a ripple effect that will improve lots of other things about your life, too. When you’re struggling with issues like depression and anxiety, your schoolwork suffers, as you’re discovering. Other things suffer, too: your relationships, your physical health, and more. When you’re caring for your mental health, on the other hand, these things improve. A rosier mental health picture will quite literally mean that your physical health will be better off, too. You’ll have more energy, will get better sleep, will enjoy more fulfilling relationships, and will do better in school, studies suggest—all just because you took the time to care for your mental health.
Finding a therapist near you isn’t tough to do. Just search for “therapists near me” and/or use online tools and read reviews to find someone you can trust. Work with your medical insurance company to find coverage that’s as affordable as possible, and sit down for an initial appointment with your therapist to get a sense of how things will proceed.
You have lots of choices when it comes to mental healthcare. You can choose a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, among other options. Some mental healthcare experts, such as psychiatrists, will be able to prescribe you medications. Others will focus on talk therapy and other forms of non-prescription intervention. You can even get therapy online these days.
Whatever option you choose, the important thing is that you take a proactive role in caring for your own mental health. The symptoms you describe could be signs of depression and anxiety, and those are serious conditions that merit attentive care. There’s no miracle cure for most mental health issues, but there are steps that you can take in order to dramatically improve. Don’t go any longer without getting the help that you need for your mental health.
“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.” –Joubert Botha