Why being at university and having a mental health problem is NOT something to be ashamed of

Yes, you can still get a degree with a mental health issue

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Seriously people, what’s the big deal? Even though I am now at university, where I thought people would be more educated on the subject of mental health, I still hear the words “they must be crazy”, and, “don’t go near them” being muttered across campus when someone is being open about their mental health problems. Another example would be, “OMG they are showing their scars on their arm!” Have you ever considered that they might just be hot? Or, “Why do they never speak?” Have you ever contemplated that it’s because no one will talk to them either?

Why should others look down on those who have suffered like it’s some form of weakness? Or even avoid them in case they are “crazy”. From personal experience, I have drawn nothing but strength over what I have been through in the past few years. I came back fighting, just like you would after having a physical injury. You don’t just give up; I am extremely proud to be at university, because I deserve to be here as much as anyone else.

Lets try and break the stigma for good

Did you know one in four people experience mental health issues throughout life? Some people may ask, what makes those who have experienced mental health issues so strong? Here are a few reasons:

They asked for help

Asking for help in any situation can pose a problem for many, especially if you are British, because lets face it, we don’t like admitting we are stuck. Imagine how hard it is to seek help for an issue that people can’t even see. The scariest thing is the worry that no-one will believe you, especially with the stigma of mental health still being very prominent within our socitey. We have so many resources and facilities to help those with mental health issues, very good ones at that. So don’t be scared to ask for help, because why should you suffer at the hands of other people’s scrutiny on mental health, when they haven’t taken even a single step in your shoes. There are so many people willing to help you, who understand that your state of mind is one of the single most important things to being happy and living the life you deserve.

Anything is possible



They came out the other side

It is extremely difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you feel like everything around you is collapsing. There is a constant feeling of ‘not being good enough’, or being ‘undeserving of happiness’, and after a while you start to believe it. Pulling yourself out of that is ultimately your choice, and your choice only. When you eventually reach that stage, it’s hard to just go back to life as it was before. It’s hard not to turn around, because you felt safe shutting yourself away from society, even though it did way more damage than good.  Keeping yourself on track and looking forward is so difficult, but eventually it gets easier, and it’s the best thing you will have ever done. You appreciate what you have and value life so much more than before, you realise that keeping yourself healthy is the most vital ingredient to living a joyful and fulfilling life.

They were realistic

When it comes down to it, you have to realise that sometimes, you just have to take a step back and give yourself time to heal. Even if that means taking a year out, which believe me, is so worth it. Of course it will be difficult to watch everyone move on whilst you take some time out, but in the end, you can really discover what you actually want from life. Realising what you want to achieve, and what is going to make you happy is a learning curve. You learn so much about yourself by just taking some time to focus on, you.

Degrees are achievable

There are so many reasons I can give as to why people who have suffered, and are suffering from mental health issues are so strong. There is no reason why they can’t get a degree, just like anyone else.

So next time you think about making a comment about mental health, think about what that means, is it a positive comment? Are you actually contributing to the stigma yourself? Is the person standing next to you suffering? How would you feel in their shoes? Maybe it’s time to realise they are not ‘crazy’ at all. Maybe it’s you thats crazy, for being so blind to the world around you.

Mental health is real and important. Let’s break the stigma together.