There's no way for you to cure it. There's no way for you to stop it. You didn't cause it; it just happened.
Life presents it's ups and downs on a daily basis. I have encountered them myself, practiced unhealthy coping skills, and done things I am not proud of, but I am here today, alive and well. Its the shock of a lifetime when someone you love gets diagnosed with a mental illness. I have experienced it one too many times, but I have learned from the experiences I have gone through, and have developed ways to help the people you love who are struggling.
(Info from mental health credited websites)
In four years of college, around 10% of undergraduates have reported that they have seriously considered committing suicide. But the shocking thing is, that nearly half of those who reported that anonymously, didn't tell anyone.
The suicide rate of young adults has tripled since the 1960's. Around 1,100 students a year commit suicide per year. There has to be something wrong here.
Common Warning Signs
1. Has trouble eating and or sleeping
2. Drastic changes in behavior
3. Loss of interest in common activities
4. Withdrawal from friends, family, and activities
5. Preoccupied with dying / death
It took me a while to pick up on what I believe to be the most common signs of depression and or suicidal ideation. When I experienced a close friend go through this in the beginning of my senior year of high school, I didn't pick up on the signs. I did some research, and then figured out what was going on. I did my best to get her help, and attempted to do the right thing. Now, don't get me wrong, easier said than done.
It was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced in my life, but knowing the signs and doing your best to help that person will make all the difference.
If you know someone struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, please, please, please, do what you can for them. Support them during their lows. Give them space when they need it. Love them unconditionally. It is a life saver.
Mental health is just as important as physical health; Remember that.
Now, for you. Personally.
Caring for yourself is not self-indulgent. It is known as a pure act of survival.
I have always set myself on fire to keep others warm. The issue with that, is that I leave my personal health behind. I use up all of my energy helping others, when I need to support myself also.
Here's my 10 Personal Self-Care To-Do List items:
1. Eat healthy, and well.
Eating healthy always makes a person feel better. Good food, good vibes.
2. Get up and get dressed.
Getting up and getting dressed every day gets you mentally ready for the day, even when it feels impossible.
3. Be present.
One of the hardest ones I have come across, but when you achieve it, it feels pretty damn good.
4. Spend at least 5 minutes every day doing nothing and reflecting.
5. Live slowly.
Even when life rapidly moves by, it is important to take your time and live each moment.
Getting enough sleep is a necessity. Emotions are magnified when one does not get enough rest they need to function. Life is so much better when you are rested.
7. Reach out.
If worse comes to worse, it is important to have people you can reach out to for support.
8. Get Outside
This one is particularly helpful to me. There is nothing more calming or humbling than the simplicity of nature.
9. Take a deep breath
Its ok to take a step back and breathe.
Consciousness is key.
It's okay to feel how you feel. If anything, that is what I have learned in the past 3 years. Now, the important thing is taking care of yourself and others. I hope that whoever stumbles upon this article, feels some sort of connection to it, and uses it to their advantage. If you can avoid the situation I was in, I hope this is the way you do. I wish you, the reader, the very best of luck. You're worth it, never forget that.
"Our shoes are tattered and torn, but our feet are dry. As for our places in history, we will run naked through your streets before we sit decorated in your halls."