Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash “Yes” “No” “Maybe” Three words that I am proud to have in the English dictionary. Three words that I am happy that I have the ability to use, being aware that there are many who are unable to use those words for a variety of reasons. When spending time with a mixed cultural couple, I was able to learn that the French do not have a good word for ‘may...
I find it funny that we must justify our reasons for going to counseling. ‘Anxiety won’t kill you.’ However, when someone goes to a doctor, we don’t question it. Of course, you would go to the doctor in order to heal. Why deal with that pain if you don’t have to? No one should have to justify why mental pain can be just as painful as physical pain, but here we are. On top of that, many fail to realize that the symptom resulting from that mental pain or mental health issue is physical pain.
Many modern college students can share my experience of being a young adult with 80-year old back pain. My bones ache and creak as I walk. I cherish sleep, counting the hours before my next nap because I never feel well-rested. My head is constantly throbbing. And what contributes to this pain? STRESS, stress caused by my anxiety and my depression. STRESS, caused by the pressure coming from my university and the real world, as I manage my entrance into adulthood.
Doctors have proven that mental health issues can cause headaches, teeth pain, heart palpitations, upset stomach, fatigue, neck and back pain, restless legs, etc. Yet, it is social media that claims this new generation is ‘weak’. We aren’t weak. We are suffering and that is not something we should sugar-coat to appease the masses. To all of my older folks, are you really trying to debate with this scientifically proven fact? We should be wary of the things that cause stress, learn to take care of ourselves, and practice self-love. As adults, we cannot always escape the things that give us headaches (because that would require us to jump in a spaceship and leave planet Earth), but we can take necessary steps to manage our stress.
To the people looking to manage their stress (especially stress caused by any form of mental illness), I recommend finding healthy food that tastes good (I found a single tasty recipe for Asparagus if you’re interested in eating vegetables that don’t taste like rabbit food), finding hobbies that help expand our minds (I recommend listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat), and finding great friends who are willing to support your mental health journey. Next time you converse with someone who tries to undermine the way you are feeling, either educate them with points from this article or tell them to mind their damn business. And if they refuse to do both of those things, do yourself a favor and distance yourself from that person. I promise, it’ll be like lifting a weight off your shoulders and that headache (and any other physical symptoms you may be feeling) will immediately cease.