A Broken Brain Is Worth Mending

KIMBERLY JAHNS | OPINION EDITOR

We all have that one week where it feels like we have five papers, two exams and three presentations due at the same time, all for the same class. We are constantly on the verge of sleep deprivation and nervousness as we wait for the grades to come in and for our grades to either explode into oblivion or go up one percentage point.  Now imagine feeling that way for weeks and months at a time.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, anxiety is defined as “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (sweating, tension and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.” Unless you are able to pick up on someone’s increase in sweating, there are not many ways another person could identify your personal anxieties.

We can become great actors when trying to cover certain cracks in our lives. People have different reasons to cover the cracks; not wanting to be a burden, not wanting to show others you may have a “major flaw” in your personality or simply not wanting to be seen any differently than before. But if a friend caught a cold, would you blame them for getting sick or see them any differently? Similarly, your friends and family should not blame you for any anxious tendencies you may have.

Another mental illness that becomes a parasite on our brains is depression. The definition of depression is a “psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness and sometimes suicidal tendencies” (Merriam Webster Dictionary).

According to Healthline, around 44 percent of college students in America have symptoms of depression. Therefore, out of a class of 30 students, around 13 students will at least have symptoms of depression. These students will not be wheezing or coughing or using crutches to get around—there are no obvious signs. Many of us are fighting a battle others cannot see.

If someone broke a bone, they would probably go to the doctor so they don’t have to move around in agonizing pain. Likewise, if you are feeling hopeless/sad/depressed/anxiety-ridden, you should probably seek help, too. Luckily, on campus we have Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) to help you. Covered by the student health fee, these services are free to students. If you want to schedule an appointment, the office is located on the lower level of main hall, or you can email counseling@snc.edu.

We all need help; sometimes our minds get foggy and we can’t see outside the box we have constructed around us. I have dealt with the feeling of drowning where my grades were heading downhill fast, my personal life was in shambles and it seemed like no one cared about me. I would talk to my mother about my difficulties, and she was the first person to push me towards talking to a professional. It was difficult for me to open up, and I was not healed in a day or a week or even a month, but I slowly was able to come back to a healthier mental state.

Remember to take care of yourself. If you broke your bone, you would seek professional help, so why should your mind be treated any differently?

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“Helpful Advice” | Robot Hugs

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