This archived article was written by: Josie Sue Slade
The issues facing college students today are numerous and tough. The pressures of studies and other factors (work, social life and extra-curricular) can leave someone feeling as if they can’t do it. There is still a stigma attached to getting help and it leaves people who desperately need help scared to get it.
It’s time we start realizing that these issues we face (depression, anxiety and other disorders) are physical diseases that need to be treated like any other disease a person can face in their life.
Darrin Brandt, director of student services, said, “It is easy for people to accept that they have imperfect bodies, but when it comes to our brains, for some reason it doesn’t translate that because we live in this imperfect world with imperfect bodies that we also have these brains that are absolutely imperfect.”
Having a mental disease is like being sick. When you are sick your body lets you know by giving you signs. If you have a cold, a runny nose and perhaps a fever clue you into this. You know you are sick and you take medicine or get help from a doctor in order to get better.
Why do we think having a mental disorder is any different from being sick? Popular lore tells us that we feel with our heart. The truth is that our emotions and actions come from our brain. Certain areas of our brain help us to regulate mood. When we get sick with depression or other mental disorders, our brains get sick and we should seek help through medication and doctors.
Feelings of hopelessness, unease and fatigue are symptoms to tell you that you are sick. Often mental disorders can manifest in physical symptoms that appear to have no explanation. This is your body trying to tell you something and we often don’t listen. Just like any other disease, untreated mental disorders can lead to injury or death.
Get help. These disorders are nothing to be ashamed of. Our bodies are imperfect and so are our brains. USU Eastern offers an array of counseling to help out people who need it. Found on the second floor of the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center is the Resource Center. Students can talk one on one with someone and get the help they need.
Don’t be ashamed of being sick. you deserve better than that.