Mental illness: You can’t just ‘get over it’

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Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

“Oh, just calm down.”

“Get over it.”

“Maybe if you didn’t allow yourself to feel sad, you’d feel better.”

People faced with mental illnesses are told these things almost daily. But here’s the thing: would you tell someone with cancer to just “get over it?”

No, because that is considered insensitive and downright rude. So why say it to someone with depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder?

Most of the time, it’s because of a lack of understanding of what the disease is. Just like other chronic diseases, mental disorders need to be treated by a doctor, whether with medication or talk therapy.

As someone who suffers from anxiety, it’s very difficult to tell people sometimes because I am afraid to be judged. Most of my anxiety revolves around school and testing and then trickles into my life and makes me stress about other things.

I need to tell my instructors about my anxiety. However, it scares me because I don’t want my teachers to think I am less intelligent or even think I am faking to get special treatment.

But the fears I have about revealing my anxiety just scratch the surface of what someone who has a severe mental illness has to do.

One of the hardest things to do is recognize that there is a problem. If you feel like you are suffering from some type of mental illness, I implore you to visit the counseling center here at Wayne State College.

The services are free. So, why not try it out?

Going to the office might be scary at first, but every person in that office is very kind and are there to help you.Try bringing a friend with you to help with your nerves.

All you need to do is go into the office and talk to one of the women at the desk, who will help you find the best counselor for your problem. If it isn’t an emergency, you can make an appointment with a counselor. If it is an emergency, then they will get you to talk to someone as soon as possible.

Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of. Neither is having a mental illness.

When you get right down to it, a mental illness is just that, an illness. It’s not communicable, which means you can’t just get it from coming into contact with another person. So there is no reason to be scared and avoid the topic.

I have been very fortunate to have family who supports me and doesn’t just tell me it’s a phase. They don’t add to my anxiety, but instead, they help take it away. Surround yourself with people who will do the same if you are suffering from a mental disorder. That is your best bet to have a healthy life.

Living with a mental illness can be scary, but getting into counseling and taking medications, if needed, is how the disorder can become less frightening.

The most important thing I want you to do—those who have a disorder and those who don’t—is to educate yourselves. Learn about different types of disorders. I know that you may learn about some in classes like psychology, but that is just a basic overview of disorders. You need to know that there are different sub-types of disorders and that no two cases are alike. Mental health is one of the few areas of medicine that is constantly changing because each brain reacts differently.

Go learn.