For me, therapy has been a life saver.
College has perhaps been the most anxiety-inducing experience of my life. Having been diagnosed at a young age with generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder, I went through adolescence and high school having debilitating anxiety attacks and periods of never getting out of bed. I thought college and getting away from home would help get rid of those, but I was wrong. College only made them worse.
With any health issue, mental or otherwise, it’s never good to let them fester and go unattended. Yes, there are medications one can use to combat these issues, and those can be very helpful. I will swear by medication until the day I die, but I will also swear by therapy.
I’ve had a total of two therapists since I was ten years old. It’s emotionally draining. I won’t lie that there were times I made things up to not go, but that doesn’t change that it was helpful. After my sessions, I would feel like a huge weight had been lifted from my chest. Being able to talk through my anxieties and what was causing me the most distress has allowed me to pinpoint the causes for my issues and find better ways to fix them. I was able to learn coping strategies.
When I feel anxious or overwhelmed, I will try to count my breaths or remind myself that I cannot control everything in my life. Those are the best methods for me. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America gives suggestions on how to calm yourself down with strategies like taking breaks when you feel overwhelmed or trying to remain optimistic. All of these coping methods are recommended by psychologists and other mental health professionals as ways to decrease anxiety.
Therapy has helped me get to places I would never get to if it weren’t for talking with my doctor. People always need to take the facts into consideration when it comes to their mental health, though. What is helpful to me may not be helpful to you.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are different kinds of therapy that can be useful in treating anxiety disorders, but in reality, it really just depends on the individual. What is universally agreed on by experts, though, is that psychotherapy helps with symptoms like panic attacks or depressive episodes.
As a student, I have been extremely grateful to speak with someone who can help me with ways to stay calmer and manage my anxiety. Based on my experiences, I would say all students should take advantage of the services offered at Cowell if they feel that they need them. By going through therapy, I’ve been able to do better in school and maintain my personal relationships better than ever.