Help for Anxiety and Depression
Having depression and/or anxiety isn’t a conscious choice. If you’ve never experienced either, it can be difficult to understand; Abraham Lincoln, said of depression, “If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole world, there would not be one cheerful face.” It’s more than feeling blue; it’s a consistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, lack of motivation and focus. An individual cannot simply “snap out of it” as some would suppose. Sometimes, it takes every effort to get out of bed in the morning to face the day.
Likewise, anxiety, which usually accompanies depression, can be debilitating. The individual may experience racing thoughts, fear of saying or doing the “wrong things” or panic attacks.
One student described anxiety as, “having multiple tabs open on my computer that I can’t shut down.” This student is not alone.
According to statistics, 1 in 5 college students has a diagnosable mental illness, 50 percent are experiencing so much anxiety, they struggle in school and only 40 percent will seek help. This can be difficult to manage when adding the stress of classes, relationships and other life events.
One major hurdle to seeking help can be stigma. In a society that values independence and self-sufficiency, individuals may receive subtle messages that it’s not ok to ask for support when you’re struggling. Stigma can also come from cultural backgrounds, family of origin and even spiritual beliefs.
While it can be difficult to ask for help, depression and anxiety are treatable and can improve considerably with counseling, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Union College Campus Health offers free counseling, referrals for outside providers when ongoing treatment is needed and contact information for faith based and community programs.
Four outside counselors are willing to see students on campus if they require consistent sessions and transportation is an issue. In addition, students also are able to schedule time for pastoral counseling and a light therapy lamp for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). www. campushealth.as.me/
Other steps towards treatment could include talking to your doctor about possible medication or beginning to utilize healthy coping skills. Coping skills could be as simple as beginning to exercise, decreased intake of caffeine or sugar and increasing water intake, healthy foods and finding support. All of the steps combined can assist depression and anxiety recovery. Remember, you’re irreplaceable!
On Campus: www.campushealth.as.me/ or call/text Lorie at 402.540.2354
On Campus join: www.activeminds.org (working to diminish stigma of asking for help and building a strong supportive community)
To find a behavioral provider in the community: www.psychologytoday.com
Free online suicide prevention information: http:// www.asklistenrefer.org/union/main
Help available through Campus Health for insurance questions or referrals
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
For more resources check out our website: clocktower.ucollege.edu
Lorie Escobar is a counselor with Union’s student health services.