Think your problems aren’t big enough? Impossible. Everyone has something to work through, because ‘the daily grind’ of university, work, and home life isn’t as carbon copy as it sounds.
I’ve never been much of a talker. According to astrology, which is of course 100% reliable, I am an emotionally closed off, independent soul who enjoys being in the company of none other than my boring old self. Over my extensive, almost 20 years of existence, I have made a habit of bottling up a range of emotions in hopes that they would never resurface.
Spoiler alert: Oh boy, do they resurface. You end up completely imploding, magnifying each negative emotion to become something beyond anything remotely manageable. The take-away: any issue is an issue worth talking about.
Whether people bottle up emotions due to feeling alone or in my case, because I unintentionally follow the phrase, “Ignorance is bliss,” it is nonetheless the opposite of a legitimate solution. The real solution? See. A. Professional. Unbeknownst to so many including myself, counsellors and psychologists are providing accessible services all around us, at all times.
Sure, speaking to friends and family is far more beneficial than speaking to no one at all, but someone who shares zero connection to your personal life is how you’ll, maybe subconsciously, feel more at ease to speak your genuine mind. Not only that, but a third party perspective will remove the likelihood of any potential bias and assess the situation with more of an open mind.
Here at Monash, there are a wide variety of on campus services. But, what do measly university students have to complain about? Their lives are as simple as they’ll ever be! WRONG. According to beyondblue, over 75% of mental health problems occur before the age of 25, where depression and anxiety are the most common illnesses.
On top of that, young people are less likely than any other age group to seek professional help. That is a whole lot of potential damage that lands onto the shoulders of one age group – an age group that is, more often than not, labeled as carefree and untroubled.
In reality, it is common for university students to find this in between time in their lives to be pivotal, thus inviting an abundance of unwarranted stress and pressure. These feelings should not be endured, or suffered alone. Monash counselling services are available 24/7 and just a call away on 1300 788 336.
To any concerned friends worried out of their minds, feel free to call this number at any time or encourage your friend to make an appointment online. It may also be beneficial to know that Medicare provides those eligible to 20 free counselling sessions in a year.
Think your problems aren’t big enough? Impossible. Everyone has something to work through, because ‘the daily grind’ of university, work, and home life isn’t as carbon copy as it sounds. It is different for everyone and can accumulate mass quantities of stress. There is no such thing as normalcy, and internalizing aspects of your life that you personally find troubling just because you think they’re ‘normal’ and controllable, can become harmful.
It’s been said before, but it needs to be said again and again until action takes place – mental health needs to be discussed. Yes, as aforementioned, we should all take the time to speak to a professional about the state of our mental health and our lives in general. But just as importantly, mental illness needs to be discussed sans the stigma. The current stigma that mental illness needs to remain behind closed doors is completely uninformed and unrealistic.
Mental illness follows you around all day, just as a broken leg would. Caring for and loving ourselves means nurturing our bodies and our minds to be in their healthiest conditions. A broken leg is immediately plastered in attempt to nurse it back to health, but because of this stigma that society has fuelled, a broken mind is far too often disregarded.
One in five Australians experience mental illness in a year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and we have still managed to keep its prevalence on the down low. How can we overlook a statistic as significant as that?
Let’s ditch the shame and start talking about it.
For more information or to make an free appointment with a Monash University Counsellor, click here.
Words by Annabelle Lee
Art by Hayden Bond
IG – @haydenbond_design