The reality of living with anxiety

And how to manage it at college

It was World Mental Health Day yesterday, a day designed to shine a light on mental health and make discourse around it more open.

It’s not uncommon to hide mental illness, but opening up conversations around it will ensure more people who need it are given support.

Things you learn with anxiety

Having anxiety is not something that you can turn on and off. There are different forces that causes anxiety or panic.

It doesn’t always need to be something huge and traumatic – triggers can be can be as small as not being able to finish a sheet of homework.

For me, there are days I’m sad and stressed without any explanation – I don’t know why and I don’t know how to fix it.

Being able to step back from the stress and take a day for yourself is important – quite literally, take a mental health day if you are able.

Don’t say these things to someone with anxiety

It’s obvious, but saying, “Just get over it already” or, “If you just smile you’ll feel better” aren’t things someone having a panic attack wants to hear.

There are better ways to help.

Saying, “I’m here for you” or “Tell me how you’re feeling” will be much more beneficial to someone struggling.

Having anxiety does not mean you can’t be confident

People think anxiety is always crippling, an illness that renders you incapable of functioning in society.

This is not always the case. Confidence isn’t a front to cover up anxiety, but rather finding a way to overcome it.

Is there a cure?

There isn’t a hard and fast fix. There’s medication you can take and go to therapy to help with with anxiety. Getting off social media can cause stress to lessen. Having social interactions with friends can really help – try to get out of the house.

Equally, sometimes being alone and taking time to detox and relax is the best alternative.

Seek out help

There are many ways to make it more manageable. You can take medication, go to a support group, individual therapy, or a combination of all three. Being able to talk about your problems to an unbiased third party can allow you to get the relief you need.

On the Ole Miss campus there are many numerous to get help. The counseling center, Student Disability Services (SDS), and the Psychological Services Center (PAC) are all very helpful tool. From class accommodations to therapy to mental illness testing to see why the problems you are having happen, Ole Miss has a number of places to go for support.

How to live your life without panic

There is no way to avoid anxiety but it shouldn’t stop you from living your life. There are going to be some days that will be harder than others but there are always people you can lean on and good movies to cuddle up with.

The world is full of opportunities – embrace the adventures life has in store for you.

You’re not alone and your support system is bigger than you think.

Ole Miss: University of Mississippi