NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Take Charge of Your Mental Health

Being a college student comes with stress and lots of it. Some people now how to handle their stress while others struggle with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression which can make it harder for them to cope with stress and makes something as simple as choosing a class to take or studying for a final extremely difficult. With the right medication and therapy, the struggles that come with having anxiety or depression can be relieved, although they will never disappear. Here are some steps students can take to cope with mental illness:

Breathe: The best thing to do when you are having a panic attack or are feeling stressed out is to breathe. Concentrate only on that by taking deep breaths and counting down from 10. When I have an anxiety attack, taking control of my breathing is key.

Realizing your triggers: Realizing what triggers your mental illness really helps prevent attacks or depression from happening. If you are someone for example who gets anxiety when they watch a horror film, to prevent yourself from having an anxiety attack it would make sense to realize that’s your trigger and to stop watching them. My triggers that set off my anxiety are caffeine and watching the news. I get decaf coffee each week and limit my watch of the news. Realizing these triggers has decreased my attacks.

Getting help: Coming to terms with your issues is hard, but in the long run it really helps you out. Many of us out there are born with a mental illness that run in our family– in my family over 70% have a cases of anxiety and depression. Many of us are on medicine and pills to help soothe the pain. If taking medication isn’t for you, there are many great therapists to talk to about your problems. Sometimes that all you need is someone to talk to.

According to the ADDA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) more than 40 million adults over that age of 18 suffer from an anxiety disorder, 6 million people suffer from panic disorders and 7.7 million suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Having a mental illness doesn’t define you, and you are not alone. For more info or support, contact any of the following:

Crisis Call Center
800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
http://crisiscallcenter.org/crisisservices.html

Depression and Bipolar Support
800-273-TALK (8255)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
http://www.dbsalliance.org

National Hopeline Network
800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
800-442-HOPE (4673)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
http://www.hopeline.com

Crisis Center and Hotlines Locator by State
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/getinvolved/locator

Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline
630-482-9696
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
http://www.spsamerica.org

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