I used to think that I do not have the “capacity” to be mentally ill or have any sort of mental health issues. I thought having mental health problems only comes in form of being in a psych ward and having to take medications such as anti-depressants. College made me realize this is not at all what mental health is all about. It is a part of it, yes. But it is definitely not all of it. My first year of college was supposed to be fun, but it wasn’t. I had to deal with so many personal issues, as if being away from home didn’t help with it. On top of that, the anxiety of having to deal with midterms and finals always got to me.
In my case, I wasn’t in a psych ward but I definitely felt like I was in prison with a bunch of “productivity” and “expectations” going on in that prison. It wasn’t the thought of having to deal with midterms and finals because I think that’s normal to any college students, but it is the thought of juggling all the drama I had in my life with it. It was so overwhelming, so draining, that I saw myself walking inside my therapist’s room, rubbing my hands in circles repetitively. When he was assessing me, I thought these questions were easy. That I shouldn’t even be here because “im not crazy”. He asked me “do you ever think of killing yourself” and with no hesitation I said "no". He asked me again “why?”. With no hesitation, I bursted into tears not knowing really why. And I just said “because of my mom and dad”.
I. Was. Depressed. To a point that I was in this world because of other people, not because of myself anymore. No matter how hard you try to be okay sometimes, you can’t help but feel down when your mental health is the last thing you think about. I thought I could never be in a situation where I would be sitting in therapy, talking to some guy who is actually getting paid to listen to me. 21 years later, here I am practicing what is good for my own mental health and not afraid to seek for help. Not everyone who seeks for therapy is “crazy” and we shouldn’t normalize calling people that. I am very much relieved that I accepted the fact that I needed help at that time and that I had to put myself first. I suggest everyone else should do the same.
~ A. S.