Hello, Dear Reader! This opinion writer is happy to be back with the Chronicle and use both quick wit and dry sarcasm to entertain you while discussing otherwise-boring topics like government, society, and politics. I’ll be tickled to get to those topics later, but today I’d like to talk to you about something near and dear to me: mental health.
You see, Dear Reader, I have depression. Not the sort that arises from having a bad day, or event-based depression like losing a beloved pet or dear family member, but the biochemical sort that can stay for a lifetime. I’ve had it about seven or eight years, but have only been diagnosed recently. It was terrifying for me to get evaluated because I thought mental health was supposed to be a given. I’m supposed to be able to fix myself.
We all need help sometimes, from Move-In Day to Graduation Day, and throughout the rest of our lives. That’s not shameful. What society has done, for whatever reason, has attached a special stigma to it; that those of us with a mental illness are somehow less than everyone else. I promise you that you are just as every bit as capable as everyone else; you just may need a hand up at times. I know I do, and because of that, I will be starting anti-depressants soon.
If you are feeling anxious for no reason, don’t want to get out of bed, overly stressed about things, or just don’t “feel right,” I really do recommend seeing someone at CAPS in Stewart Hall. They have some screening questions on their website if you want to try those out, too.
Our mental health touches all aspects of our lives: joy with a good book, having fun with our friends, the ability to concentrate, our productivity, our athletic performance and so much else. I am a huge reader, so when I couldn’t concentrate and didn’t feel any interest in it anymore, I knew it was time to see someone.
Some things you can do to take care of yourself mentally are pretty easy: be with your friends, get enough sleep, exercise, don’t go overboard with alcohol, and do what you love. Reach out if you need help. You are just as awesome as everyone else and just as worthy of love and feeling good. We are Huskies and this pack takes care of its own.