To the Student Who Insists You’re Not ‘That Stressed’


It’s currently the week before finals. I have two papers to write and three finals to prepare for over the next five days. But this shouldn’t be a problem, right? I should be used to it by now. Besides, hundreds of thousands of college kids around the world are probably facing the same things I am.

Right?

In the past year, I had progressively experienced worse and worse symptoms of anxiety both from sleep anxiety and personal stresses. I have become somewhat of an insomniac on many nights. I didn’t think much of it during the first six months or so, and I didn’t think I would possibly need any medical attention. But that was almost a year ago.

wrist with hospital band Last night, I recklessly self-diagnosed myself as having a stroke. I asked my roommates to rush me to the emergency room. Some of my symptoms included extreme rapid heartbeat, chest pain, nausea and dizziness, difficulty breathing, the constant feeling of needing to faint, numbness in my left arm and uncontrollable crying (and when I say crying, I mean crying). For me, this was all extremely out of the ordinary – these aren’t things that normally happen to me, ever, and for an episode as such to occur forced me to critically reevaluate how serious this matter has become.

In general, I’ve always held the philosophy that out of the 7 billion+ people in this world, I could not be having it nearly as bad as even half of them. Because of this, I’d conditioned myself to believe I do not ever get stressed and had always subsequently dismissed any signs of stress.

Sitting here now after recovering from what turned out to be an anxiety attack, I realize I can’t neglect those feelings anymore. Thus, I am writing this article — not only to update those who care about me but also for the purpose of sharing the following message:

If you’re feeling stressed, don’t be afraid to admit it. Seek your friends and family members when you need to. You might feel at times that you may be burdening them with your own worries when they already have their own, but if they are truly your support system, they will care about what you have to say and will be more than happy to be there for you. You are equally as important as anyone else who walks this planet, and as such, you should take good care of yourself — and that includes your mental wellness. Otherwise, how will you be able to take care of those you care about?

Editor’s note: Not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way. This story is based on an individual’s experience. 

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s a question you wish someone asked you about your mental illness? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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