I am a Psych major in college but the truth is, I am no expert when it comes to mental health.
Sure, I’ve studied courses about mental health during college, whipped my way through reading the DSM-IV-TR (I know there’s DSM-V now) and aced my grades about it. But to be honest, I feel that studying mental health is way beyond it. It’s about connecting and understanding mental health, especially to those who are going through challenges on it.
I feel that most people, if not all, have gone through a significant low in their lives that cause instability in their mental health. It can be a loss of a loved one, a very traumatic experience, or a single snap from their lives that makes everything shattered. I for one am guilty of judging people. There were times when a friend of mine feels low or feels utterly sad, I’d brush it off and tell them, “You need to snap back and just get through with it.” I learned that it’s totally wrong to discredit someone of what they’re going through. I learned that you can never invalid someone’s emotions and feelings. Every emotion that we’re going through is real, even if it feels bad or good.
The lowest point in my life happened 3 years ago. I was working in a company for 6 years and then out of nowhere I became demotivated at work. Before it happened, everyone at work knew me as someone who’s eager, cheerful, and motivated. Until suddenly, I felt negative about a lot of things. There were times that I’d take things differently towards people at work: I was angry and defensive. I was working beyond 8 hours and will go home feeling empty for no particular reason. The most significant low that I remember was when I was talking to my boyfriend over the phone, crying and telling him I want to end my life because I was so tired with everything. The moment those thoughts came out of my mouth, I knew that I was carrying a heavy weight of negativity.
How did I get through with it? Again, I am no expert when it comes to mental health. I can only share my experience and how I passed through my lowest point.
First off, it’s okay to admit that there’s something inside you that holds you back. It’s okay to admit to yourself that you’re feeling negative things and all the more it’s okay to share with someone the heavy burden you’re carrying. I myself had was too embarrassed to admit that I’m feeling different inside. I fear that people will judge me or will discredit my feelings. Sure, some people will do that. But I can assure you that your family and friends will unconditionally listen to you and understand you no matter what.
Next, it’s okay to seek help. Aside from family and friends, there’s a vast network of mental health professionals who can help and support you. Remember, you don’t need to be burdened alone. Allow other people to help you carry your burden.
Lastly, it’s absolutely okay to love and and take care of yourself. If there’s something that helped me get through my lowest point is that it is only I and I alone can change the narrative of my story. I recently read somewhere that we’re all fighters in life and I absolutely agree with it. There will be good and bad days but despite of it all we need to take a look after ourselves. Loving and taking care of ourselves is not being selfish, it’s about valuing our life so that we can keep going.
There’s a lot of resources where you can get help and support. Here are some of the helpful links that I found in the internet:
- Wikipedia – List of suicide crisis lines – includes all international hotlines
- Together We Are Strong – list of international help and support on mental health
- PsyCom – emergency mental health resources
- Hopeline (for Philippines) – national hotline for mental health assistance
Our lives are an absolute gift in the world. Let’s love and take care of ourselves. 💝