A Bearkat’s Experience: Admitting yourself to counseling

It was the week before Spring Break, and I had just experienced my second mental breakdown in a month.

It was also just five days before my parents were coming into town for a week, which meant there was going to be more than enough time to talk about how school was going and my plans for after college. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to recover from the situation, and I undeniably had no idea how I was supposed to portray having myself together.

Prior to the mental breakdowns, I was experiencing concerning behaviors. My mind always seemed foggy. I couldn’t get myself to do anything anymore and the slightest situations were angering and irritating me. Baffled by the disorganization in my mind, I felt helpless. I researched a ton of ways to calm anxiety, paranoia, depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Nothing worked.

Most of my life, when something bad happened, I abandoned my feelings. I would tell myself to tough it out and convince myself to find a solution by “logically” analyzing the situation. It took time to realize that I never let myself understand my feelings, instead I would impulsively and unknowingly banish them. A thought that didn’t seem like it would catch up to me, finally did.

It was a Sunday morning when I woke up in the most infuriating mood. My body felt weird, my mind was cloudy and I didn’t feel like myself. Unaware of how to interpret my emotions, I was positive that it was making me uncomfortable. I couldn’t seem to shake these feelings, and the aggression only intensified. I felt so anxious; I wanted to punch walls, scream and break things.

What seemed like it lasted a lifetime came in waves that altogether lasted four long hours.

When I managed to snap out of it, it was time to admit to myself that I needed answers and guidance. This time it didn’t mean logging onto the Internet to find a new natural remedy I hadn’t tried, but it meant walking into a facility and making an appointment to talk to a professional. My fears were making me hesitant and standoff-ish. I quickly found myself denying my reality again, but I knew what I had to do.

I checked myself in at the counseling center and filled out a long self-evaluation survey. They admitted me almost immediately. The process was overwhelming, but I was starting to feel a bit of relief. At the end of my evaluation session, the therapist told me that I was to meet with her every two weeks. I wasn’t sure how to feel, but I was open to the idea. Thinking it was all over and I didn’t need to go back for another two weeks, I got a call from the center the next morning. The counselor I had met with the day before was calling to tell me that she had reevaluated me and was handing me over to someone else. She recommended seeing them once a week and attending a group session.

At that point, I was afraid I had neglected myself way too long. I was getting hit with the truth, and finally understanding the bigger picture. Mental health is alive and well.

Since then, I have been voluntarily attending my two weekly sessions. Though counseling does not cure, it has taught me many mindful tips. Being aware of mental health issues is very important. Education on topics like this is encouraged. We should never be ashamed of who we are, what we are feeling or what we have been through. Never be afraid to ask for help.

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