Losing Your Mind A Little?

Being in college is already hard enough, you have assignments that overlap each other that need to all get done simultaneously, some of us work on top of a full time school schedule, our sleep gets out of whack and we slowly lose our minds as the semester progresses. But imagine having mental; health issues on top of that, specifically anxiety and depression. Not only are you stressed about school, but you have to battle depression episodes and random panic attacks on top of it. These road blocks as I like to call them, really get in the way and hinder our abilities to “give it your all”.


As a college student its a given that you will indeed be stressed, but when you have severe anxiety even the littlest assignments can send you into a full on panic attack. I’m going to use myself as an example, part of my anxiety is overthinking things before they even happen, I work myself up and send myself into a mental frenzy then I usually realize it wasn’t that bad and feel silly. When school gets into the mix, I freak out about an assignment the day it is assigned and overthink when and how I’m going to get it done and give myself a mental screen shot of my work schedule to figure it out. It’s extremely unhealthy and it has made me sick a couple of times but that’s the harsh reality of anxiety, it kicks in and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I’ve spoken to co-workers about this before, some are Westfield State students as well. they’ve all mutually agreed that mental health and school are a tough mix to deal with. One co-worker in particular, Bridgett agreed with me when I said that when my depression kicks in it makes it extremely hard to do school work. she told me that she ha had days where she is not mentally able to get some of her school work done, she manages to get it done on time in the end but crams till two nights before or even the night before. i personally get these all the time, I have severe anxiety and my depression creeps it’s way in once in  blue moon. But when my depression kicks in my brain mentally clocks out and i just can’t get anything done. I also have panic disorder on top of anxiety, so that means I randomly get panic attacks. I’d literally be sitting on my bed reading a book and a panic attack will come on. Sometimes I’ll be writing a paper for class, working on my online class, or whatever else for school. I’d be perfectly fine one minute, then boom a panic attack comes and I have to stop everything till it goes away. This personally effects me school wise, because it causes me to procrastinate my work till a later time which makes me believe, if I’m struggling with anxiety/panic disorder and it’s effecting someof my school stuff, then someone else must be too.


One thing I want to make clear is, if you in any way suffer from the same things I do, just know you’re not a failure. Dealing with school and anxiety is not a fun thing at all, especially with panic disorder like I have, bu one thing I’ve had to teach myself is this does not make me a bad student, and it does not make me a failure. One thing I’ve learned is not to fight it, i will get a panic attack no matter what i do, so i need to just take a break, let it pass, and then go back to it when I’m ready. It’s easier said than done though. It is the hardest thing when you know you have a 5 page paper due in 4 days, but your brain has mentally clocked out and you’re stuck in the never ending pool of anxiety and despair up until you actually start it. People who don’t suffer from mental illness will not understand the true difficulty of having mental health issues and going to school. granted, everyone gets stressed out with school, but it is 100 times worse when you have anxiety and depression. Both of these mental illnesses take so much out f you.

One thing I do to try to prevent falling behind in class and then having my panic attacks get in the way even more, is o do my school work when I feel fine. When I get home from class and have some down time before work I just get bits and pieces done. I’ve found that since i do get random panic attacks, that if i hold my work off it just makes the whole situation worse, so I plan it around those, which sounds silly but it has been working this semester so far. I listen to music or take a 10 minute walk and come back refreshed. it is so important to find things that calm you down when things like this happen. You won’t get anything done otherwise, believe me I’ve been there.

When it comes to depression it can get a bit sticky since depression can be more intense depending. This is the mental illness that doesn’t let me get out of bed and the one that hits me the hardest and at the most inconvenient times. I try to stay positive and do what i need to get done, calm myself down with music, or even play music while doing my homework. Since I don’t know when my depression will creep up, these remedies help to keep my mind in check. I’ve had times when I procrastinated assignments and hen I had a really bad depression episode that caused me to almost fail a really important assignment. So knowing patterns of your illnesses and working around them will definitely help.

You can’t get rid of your mental illnesses, and not every day is a walk in the park. i still have my moments where i procrastinate work or my anxiety creeps up and causes me to do school work the night before, or my online class the day it’s due. It is so hard, and most people don’t realize how tough it is for college students with mental health issues, so just now that you are jot a alone, and that you are doing the best you can. Not everyone is going to be on their A game ever day, believe me because I’m not always on it either. but that’s just how our brains work. Doing well starts with how you view yourself. If you’re proud of the effort you’re making it will make a difference. Just know that nothing is wrong with you, and that you can change it, just try the best you can every day. That’s really all you can do.



Self-Help 101


Mental health is a struggle, and lets be honest, it’s easy to hide in your bed for the day and just be a hermit. Some days you won’t want to interact with anyone, and you know what? That’s ok. But unfortunately, for some people it becomes a serious problem that leads to worse outcomes. We all know the harm that mental health can do to our minds and our well-being when we don’t do anything about it. But what if I told you that you can? That you can train your brain into thinking that you’re alright? I know, this sounds taboo and you’re probably thinking, “what is this crazy lady talking about?” But I am going somewhere with this. There’s a technique that therapists tell their mental health patients to do, and that is called self care. Self care is exactly how it sounds, you’re taking care of yourself and your well-being.

I have done my own research on the topic of mental health throughout the years, considering that I have two mental illnesses, and came across many aricles about self care, and one of them was an article written by Nami, a non-profit mental health organization. They have a program in Agawam, MA, and they have many fundraisers in the area and different events to raise money. The money goes towards raising awareness for mental health, and their programs offer help and guidance tot heir members. This article gives you some self care techniques, but I’m also going to share my own as well.

Self care is so important for your well-being as a mental health sufferer, your brain goes on overdrive most days, and then slows down into depression the next. It is crucial for you to be able to control that, and there is a way. It’s not easy by any means, and not every day is going to be rainbows and butterflies, but it’s a start. The first self care technique I’m going to share comes from the Nami article, and this technique is called Radical Acceptance. Radical acceptance is “completely and totally accepting something from the depths of your soul, with your heart and your mind.” Basically, you can’t change a situation with the snap of a finger, and you especially can’t get rid of your mental health issues no matter how many medications you take. But you can accept it for what it is, so instead of trying to get rid of your mental illness, embrace it. All of that energy spent on getting rid of it could be spent accepting yourself for who you are. That is the first step. I have started doing this myself and it has helped in ways that I can’t even begin to explain. Accepting who you are, and accepting your condition is so important. Nothing is wrong with you, so trying to get rid of it is pointless. Just embrace it and others will notice it too.

My friend has anxiety just like me, and she’s actually the one who told me about this technique that actually helps. It’s so simple and anyone can do it, it’s deep breathing. It sounds silly, but the next time you feel extremely anxious, or feel like you’re about to get a panic attach just breathe. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 30 seconds, and breathe out for 7 seconds. The Nami article also brings this up and calls this he “5 3 7” breathing. This technique has stopped many panic attacks from coming on, especially when i’m a work. It’s so simple and is actually very effective. We all forget to take a breather, but it literally helps with anxiety. The next technique also comes from the Nami article, and one that I actually use myself on a day to day basis, or at least I try to This technique is called Opposite-to-emotion thinking. Everyone has heard that if you smile no matter how you feel it will change your mood drastically, and most people don’t believe that it is true. But this technique means just that, to act the opposite of how you feel, the article brings up the example of feeling upset and wanting to isolate, and the opposite to that would be to surround yourself with people. I myself have felt the urge to isolate myself but decided to hang out with friends instead an it is usually the best thing I choose. When your upset the last thing you want to do is make it worse by isolating yourself, or crawling in your bed. Smiling when you’re sad, and going out and doing something when you don’t feel like it drastically changes your mood. I do it all the time, when I’m sad I just act happy and my brain adapts to that emotion if I do it enough, try it sometime it really works.

Another big technique is emotion awareness, being aware of how you’re feeling is very important. The longer you live in denial, the harder it will be to take care of it. Basically, letting yourself be anxious for a few minute, or letting yourself let out a bit of anger is alright. Just calm down afterwards, meditate, take a breather and move on. You can’t get rid of mental illness, but to take control of it, and not denying your emotions is a start. Sometimes I let my anxiety out, sometimes I have to let a panic attack take it’s course and then I listen to music or read a book and I calm down, or when my depression kicks in I just let out a cry for a few minutes then I calm down with some music again. Music and reading are the two big calmer’s for me when either of my metal illnesses kick in. Nothing is wrong with letting out emotions, but finding something you love to occupy your time on your bad days is so important.

before I got into reading self help articles and books, I came up with my own self care techniques that have helped me tremendously. One of them is just writing in a journal, letting out everything I’m feeling and not limiting myself to what i say ha worked wonders over the years. I also go for walks with some music to clear my head. Another thing I do, if I have a day off fro school and work I will take a day to myself and relax, watch Netflix all day, or read a book and lay in my bed and just let myself sulk for one day. I call that my mental health day, it’s just a day I take to myself to just relax. It’s actually very helpful for me and helps me to refresh and go back to work after a day off, or go back to school the next day if it was a weekend. My mental health days help me to recharge, and it’s super important.

Finding something you love, and coming up with your own ways to get by with mental health is crucial for your well-being. You don’t have to follow all of the techniques I’ve said, but if you find your one techniques that help you, that is ok. As a mental health sufferer it is super important to have self care techniques in line, as someone who uses most of these techniques I will tell you that they really do work. Don’t be ashamed of who you are, don’t hold in your feelings, but don’t let them take over your life either, that’s when these techniques come in handy. You are your own worst critic, so take care of yourself, accept yourself, and love yourself even your flaws and you will notice a difference in your life. But remember it all starts with you.

It’s A Mental Health Thing

Hello, my name is Cecelia Manning. Welcome to my blog. Mental health has become the topic of interest the past few years. What used to be “taboo” and something that was never talked about, is now shining it’s light. More and more people are opening up, sharing their stories, and just giving mental health the recognition that it truly needs. people all over the world are showing support for mental health sufferers, making it a bit easier to open up. Times are changing, and people are starting to open their eyes to the world of mental illness.

I want to focus the attention on mental health as a whole. I want to spread awareness for how truly gut-wrenching it can be, but in a way that is tasteful and eye opening. I want to empower fellow mental health sufferers, I want to inspire people, I want to show that being a little crazy in the head is ok. I want people to read my posts and embrace their mental illnesses. I want people to know that carrying these weights should not be a burden, and that since this will never leave your body completely, how to just breath, how to be proud of who you are because everyone deserves happiness.

This publication will not be a woe is me page, I will not post ‘depressing” stuff, even though the topic itself is a tough pill to swallow. I don’t wan to be like every other mental health blog that posts statistics and blah blah blah. I want it to be different from the rest, and it will be different.

the simple fact that I suffer from severe anxiety and depression and am so passionate about awareness of how serious both can be, and based on my experiences with these mental illnesses is makes this topic so important to me. I don’t want to get too personal here, but I kind of have to right now. I’ve gone through some traumatic experiences with my mental health issues, some including self-harm and suicidal thoughts, and one minor (but still serious) attempt at it. I get random panic attacks, sometimes not triggered by anything. I constantly have heart palpitations because of my anxiety. My depression has it’s ways of creeping up. My experiences with my mental health issues is the main reason why I chose this topic. It is so important to be aware of this, and to educate people on this issue. I do a lot of self care to maintain these mental health issues, and I feel obligated to share these with everyone. Life is not easy for me by any means dealing with anxiety and depression, but if I can change someone else’s life through my posts then I know I’m doing something right. I’m so passionate about this topic and changing the world through my blog, and to help people understand mental health more. I want to help others that suffer too and let them know they aren’t alone and shouldn’t be ashamed.

What inspires me the most about my topic is that so many people suffer from mental illness, and I know that I will reach someone through my posts. This community already has so much support which is astonishing, and the possibility of me being part of that is what inspires me.

The types of readers I would like to connect with are other people that have mental health issues, people who would like to know more about this topic, and anyone who feels compelled to follow my journey with this topic. I would also like to draw anyone in that wants to be part of the discussion, which is so important. Just being involved and open to the discussion.

I hope when people read my posts that they get a sense of discovery, in themselves and in possibly a new topic. I hope after they read them they feel the passion in my writing, and feel better about themselves as well if they suffer the same issues I’m covering.

over the course of my blog, I wish to inspire everyone that reads my publication. As I stated before, I am very passionate about this topic and have a lot to share. This topic is so important, and everyone should be informed about it, because mental health can be debilitating and dangerous in some cases. So I hope throughout the course of by blog posts that I inspire people and help chance their lives in the process. I’m up for the challenge.