The Nitty Gritty About Student Life and Mental Health: A Series Made By Students.

Hello, darlings! I am back once again, and I have an exciting new series too this time around!

So, as part of this ever growing blog of mine, I thought I’d add a new series in the mix… Alongside some of my lovely University friends who like myself study at Worcester University and are on the committe for The Student Minds Worcester Society, this series will talk in depth about students’ mental health. Being  a student in any capacity is challenging, and it is about time there were more open blogs on the web about how the mental health of students is a growing concern, and give tips and advice on how to manage it as a student!

This particular post is for all you Freshers out there- It is an exciting and nerve wracking time for any student, but how do you go about settling in when you have a mental health issue? Well, here is our advice!

Katie’s Advice:

On your first day, whether that is in welcome week or your first week of lectures, is to talk to your head of your subject or your personal academic tutor, establishing a relationship of trust and confidence. If you are having a bad mental health day or are struggling, you can go and see them! 

I did this on my first day of welcome week, allowing me to go and see my PAT and head of my subject when I need some advice or just a chat. They are always supportive and helpful, I’ve found that they are more helpful than doctors sometimes as they can see when I’m struggling because they see me more.

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Furthermore, make sure you take a day off a week from your studies and work in general as it allows you to relax your mind off your degree and anything else going on in life. I learnt this the hard way last year- I over worked myself, taking a large hit on my mental health. At one point, my PAT told me to take my day of lectures as a day off instead of working! It made such a difference to me because I could switch off and enjoy my day off instead of working solidly all the time- I’m studying a complex degree, so I found this very helpful.

If you feel happy about it, refer yourself to the mental health team at University. I did this on my second week of lectures on the advice of my lecturer. It helped me to seek support outside of my degree and see a trained professional. It helped me at the beginning of the year, but I found myself speaking to my lecturer more, but everyone is different. Just do what suits you and your situation. All that I have said in this blog is my personal experience, yours may be completely different and that’s okay. 🙂

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Alia’s Advice:
The first piece of advice I can give you is that it’ll be hard but it’s worth it in the end. Studying is a brick wall that you are trying to tear down for three years. Studying whilst having mental health issues is like tearing down the brick wall with one hand, you may be handicapped and it might take you a little longer than most and its harder.
However, once that wall is down, you’ve worked so much harder than anyone else, you feel accomplished within yourself that you did this! It may have been harder and you may have more bruises than most but you’ve done it just like everyone else!
The second piece of advice I can give you is to remember to take a break. In my first year in university, my Head of Department told me to go home and take a week off five times throughout the year. This helped me, more than it hindered my progress. I tend to not realise when I’m working myself too hard and it was nice to have someone to tell you.
However, this may not be able to happen in every university or ever course, so it’s important to know your limits yourself and know when to have a day or even a week off if you need it, because YOU come first.
Throw yourself into anything and everything you want. My experience at university so far had been characterised with societies, sports and extracurricular activities. It’s hard to force yourself to go talk to them, or go to a training session where you don’t know anyone or even go to an event. However, if I didn’t force myself to do these things, my university experience wouldn’t be nearly as good as it now. I wouldn’t have such amazing friends in different areas of the university, I wouldn’t have my CV filled to the brim and I certainly wouldn’t have been as happy!

 Rhi’s Advice (Me!)

I struggled immensely in settling into University at first..Homesickness alongside already having anxiety and depression diagnosis’ is not the greatest combination for a new student. My first piece of advice is to keep your family and friends up to speed about your mental health, as well as all the great stuff you are up to! Of course, it can be difficult to speak up, but when your mental health is concerned, you need to make sure that you have a strong support network around you. It will make things so much easier. Like Alia and Katie have said also, keep in contact with the University- They will support you!david-tennant-overy-excited-gif-on-doctor-who
Secondly, develop both time management and self care skills. Having these in place is a must as a student, especially as someone who struggles with their mental health- Balancing your academic and social life will enable you more easily to recognise when you are struggling and act accordingly before it esculates. Yes, you are at University to get a degree, but University life is made up of many different aspects and these skills will stay with you for life.
And finally, do not isolate yourself from enjoying yourself whilst you are a student and also be sure to fully research the support available from both your University and in the local community. Yes, some information about mental health support available to you can require a bit of research, but it is so worth while! One of the best decisions I have ever made was to fully research the mental health support available to me within the first few weeks of Uni and getting it sorted before life started to intensify. Granted, I had been living with mental health issues for a few years so had an idea where to go and what mental health issues I had, but regardless of where in your mental health journey you are, research and support is key!

We hope you have enjoyed this first post in this new series- I’m excited to see where this goes!

The Society’s Social Media Platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/worcesterstudentminds/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StudentMindWorc

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studmindsworc/

Much love,

Rhi. X

 

 

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Guest Post: The ins and outs of living with both depression and an anxiety condition.

Well hello everyone!

The latest guest post is from the lovely Anne, speaking out about her experiences of battling both depression and anxiety alongside each other. Enjoy! X

Hi guys! I’m Anne. today I am going to be discussing what it’s like to live with depression and anxiety. If you like posts about travel and mental health you can find me at
http://www.foreverthewanderer.ie/wp. A huge thank you to Rhianna for the opportunity to guest poston her wonderful blog. So here is my post!

Let’s Talk About Depression:

Depression is not just a word for feeling sad a lot. Depression is an illness. Yes you may not beable to see this illness like you can see other “ more important “ illnesses as you would believe.
DEPRESSION IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS OTHER ILLNESSES.

Close to 800,000 people die from suicide each year!
800,000 people who felt they had no other choice than to end their lives. Depression is
living in a body that wants to live but a mind that wants to die.

Depression to me is feeling numb, not caring about the world around me and not really caring about my own health. Depression is not being able to concentrate when you have a lot of work to do. No motivation to be productive.

Feeling alone in a crowded room. It’s not just mental pain and anguish, you also get the
headaches, back and neck pains. All the physical aches and pains that come for the ride to.
Depression is waking up in the morning to stay in bed all day, not eating or overeating, not brushing your hair and isolating oneself. All the negative thoughts running through your mind. The demons becoming stronger and stronger, dragging you into the dark tunnel of suicidal thoughts, possible self harm and many other terrible things.

And What About Anxiety?
Anxiety is when you have someone sitting on your chest, preventing you from breathing properly and thinking clearly/ logically. You are unable to explain how you feel when you try to talk to someone else because honestly, you have no fucking idea what is going on in your own head.

Having anxiety is almost like having a voice following you around whispering dark thoughts of self doubt, relationship doubt, friendship doubt. It knows all your insecurities and pins them against you.
Things that don’t usually bother you get stuck in your head and continuously repeat over and over, making you feel stupid. It isolates you from everyone else because you are the only who can hear this voice.

Anxiety is overthinking every possible situation you have been in, thinking about everything you could have done and said differently. These thoughts keep you up at night. You’re unable to be in public or in social situations for long periods of time because your anxiety gets the better of you. You feel alone, that you are being judged and so many other things. It’s not fun.
I didn’t realise that I stayed at home and avoided going out with people or groups due to my anxiety. I just thought I was awkward and unsociable until I was diagnosed.

The Isolation of having both anxiety and depression:

Living with both depression and anxiety is absolute hell. It’s like being scared and tired all at the same time. You are constantly in fear but at the same time you don’t care. You feel useless and numb all at once. You are a bundling mess of mixed emotions. Not caring, yet overthinking.
Mental illness is not a joke. People suffer with it every single day. Yes they may be smiling, laughing, being outside with friends and looking happy- That doesn’t tell you what is behind the seemingly pretty smile.

PLEASE be considerate towards other people. You have no idea what someone could be going through behind closed doors.

Again a huge thank you to Rhianna for allowing me to guest post on her blog! If you’d like to follow me, here are my social links:

https://www.facebook.com/loveroftravel12/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foreverthewanderer/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/foreverwander12/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/foreverthewanderer/pins/