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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Students must put mental health first

During the past few weeks, many of my friends have taken time to face their mental health issues.

Some of them have done so by changing their daily routines and making healthier choices, while others have reached out to mental health ?professionals for help.

Although it is unfortunate that so many people have difficulties with their mental health, it is encouraging to hear that more people have found the strength to reach out for help from both friends and mental health ?professionals.

There are many possible causes for mental health problems such as depression.

From what I have experienced in my own life and observed in my peers’ lives, stress seems to be a trigger. When helping my friends with these issues, the majority have mentioned they are extremely stressed about upcoming ?exams and papers.

This past week seemed to be the time when many IU students were hit with most of their first exams for the semester. It is during these times, when we are forced to juggle many assignments at once, that we need to be highly self-aware of our psychological well-being.

I noticed another pattern among my friends encountering mental health issues: they spent a lot of time inside. Indiana residents can go weeks without seeing the sun during the winter. If there is a sunny day, it’s more than likely to be too cold to spend a lot of time outdoors.

As students, we spend the majority of our time inside studying before exams and papers are due. This can make us more susceptible to mood disorders, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which can lead to symptoms of depression.

In times like these, when I am preparing for multiple exams and papers while it is dreary and cold outside, I have found myself feeling depressed. To help this, I took a good first step and told my friends. They were able to give me advice that had helped them in similar ?situations.

It was also incredibly encouraging to see some of my other friends dealing with mental health issues reach out for help. One friend recently made the decision to visit a psychologist to help her deal with her traumatic past experiences. When she reached out for help, she was given a proper diagnosis and treatment. After receiving this help, she was able to focus on her school work again.

Another person I know was experiencing thoughts of suicide. She also took a good first step and told a friend. Her friend helped her find a psychologist. Just weeks later, she was also able to focus on her school, work and friends while she continued therapy.

Whether students are feeling a little down or battling severe depression, it is important to take the first step and simply tell someone.

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