Thursday 19 March 2015

Having mental health issues at uni // A ramble

*potential trigger warning*
I was just sat here contemplating my ridiculous amount of deadlines when I thought, people who suffer from mental health problems at uni don't get enough recognition for the fact they manage to get through three intense years without deciding to emigrate to the moon (which has crossed my mind occasionally I must admit). I was diagnosed with depression a few months into my second year of uni, but it had been brewing for a long time before that. I wish I could say it's getting better but honestly, 3 months down the line I feel just as bad if not worse than I did before. So there's that.

Don't get me wrong, I literally love uni. My course is wonderful - or at least half of it, but that's not particularly relevant - and Chester is a truly beautiful city. The friends I've made are so precious to me and the university is full of really lovely people. But sometimes, people at uni really do suck. The worst thing is when people ask "so why are you depressed?" as if it's something I chose and something that I have the power to change with the click of never-perfectly-manicured finger. And another one is when people go into depths about the terrible things they/their friend/their mum has been through, to then say "and they aren't depressed so you shouldn't be!" like oh okay, sorry.

Most of my friends have been supportive; although some never mention it, most of them have been great. They tell me they're always there for me, but what do you say when it's 3 in the morning and you're sat there thinking how appealing the canal looks right now? What can they do when you've rewritten an assignment six times and you still feel like a toddler could do better? For me it's got the stage where I'm so exhausted and so ridiculously sad all the time that I can see my grades slipping like a landslide and it isn't bothering me like it would have done a few years ago. All I can do is shrug my shoulders and hope that each assignment comes back with a pass rather than a fail.

I've taken to going home at weekends now to be with my family, and it makes me happy that I get to spend time with them but the constant packing/travelling is exhausting. I've considered moving home and commuting, but I do enjoy the freedom I get when I'm at uni, and knowing my friends are close by and I can see them whenever makes everything a little bit more bearable.

Having a mental illness whilst being at uni is exhausting; I don't physically look ill, so I feel bad for missing seminars when everything gets a bit too much. I don't really know what there is at uni in terms of support, but it's definitely something I'm going to look into during my third year because I know everything will be really hectic and I'll need the support more than ever.

I think it's important for people to realise that other's around them may be suffering in silence; everyone's fighting their own battles and you never truly know how other people are feeling so keep your shitty opinions to yourself and if you think someone's struggling, take the time to ask if they're okay and if they need anything. 

I don't really know where I was going with this post but I just feel so shit lately and I wanted to get my thoughts down. I might not even post it but if you're reading this then I obviously did. If you ever need an ear, my contact details are on my blog and I'll do my best to listen.

Want to see my Paperchase haul? 'course you do


  1. Aw Katy, it sounds like you're doing amazingly well at uni! Keep at it as you are truly wonderful and will definitely achieve your goals! If you ever need a chat just let me know, I may be no use but sometimes it's nice to just have a rant and get things off your chest. xxxx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

    1. thank you so much lovely that means the world xxxxx

  2. You're so brave for sharing this. I loved uni, but I had anxiety problems the whole time that meant I just didn't get the most out of it. Everyone says how amazing it is and that only made me feel worse that I didn't seem to be having the same experience. Your student services will be able to sign post some support networks for you, I managed to get counselling sessions and they really helped. If you can, be honest with close friends too, having people to talk to about it can be really useful I think, just to stop you feeling like you have to hold it all in x

  3. This is a great post & definitely something I can fully relate too.
    I was diagnosed with anxiety whilst starting my third year of uni (great timing!) but like yourself it was something that was on the cards for a long time.
    I found that when attending lectures caused too much panic at times - an email to a lecturer to explain why I hadn't attended helped a lot (Luckily I did have some truly lovely lecturers)

    We also have a meeting with our year head each semester which is where I explained everything. She suggested seeing our uni's councillor.. I'm sure your uni would have something similar. Even if you just go along so your lecturers can see that you're doing something about it (it may come in handy should you need to apply for special circumstances regarding grades etc).

    I wouldn't worry too much about your grades at the moment either - as long as you pass second year you pick it up come out with good grade over all!

    Good luck


  4. This is such a brave post, Katy. I had friends at university who struggled with mental health problems (ranging from anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc.), so I understand to some extent how difficult it is to juggle your health alongside an experience as stressful as being a student. I hope you're able to lean on your supportive friends for help and find a support network at your university who can ease the pressure - and forget about the inconsiderate people who just don't understand mental health at all (I can't stand people who seem to think people should "justify" having mental health problems - you wouldn't ask someone with a physical illness to do that!).


  5. I'm sorry that you're depressed but kudos to you for writing about it. A lot of people don't like talking about, for obvious reasons, but I think it might potentially help other people to know that there are others suffering. I've never been depressed so I don't fully understand but I have other friends who suffer and they find being at uni a constant struggle, but one of them doesn't want to talk to anyone as he doesn't want anything written down about him. Strange person!

    I don't know how Chester uni works but at my uni we had a student counselling team and we could either go to them directly or talk to our personal tutor first and then be directed. I know there's only a few weeks left of the year but it might be good to see if you could find out before the summer as they might be able to help you over the exam period, with not feeling as stressed and like what you are doing is bad :)

    I hope that the depression starts to alleviate soon and that you are able to get the support that you need!

    Lauren :) x

  6. I'm so, so, so sorry to have to read this lovely as you truly are a wonderful person who I wish only happiness for. You are so brave for sharing this though and I hope some people can find comfort from knowing they aren't alone. It sounds like you're doing AMAZING so far, and I hope you continue! Wishing you so much luck and love,
    Jemma xx

  7. I love this post Katy, you're helping to spread the word about some really important issues - mainly the stigma around depression, which still unfortunately exists. Your uni will definitely have a team that can help with mental health - they will probably either be called student support or the pastoral team. They will direct you to the help you need or just listen to your worries if that is all you need. I contacted mine over the summer as I was suffering with depression and they were amazing - giving me all the time off and help that I needed at the time. Plus don't feel guilty about taking days off for your mental health, it's just as legitimate as a physical illness.

    Depression is such a horrible illness and I'm so sorry that you have had to experience it, but you truly are a lovely girl and I loved meeting you at the NW Bloggers Meet Up! Honestly if you ever need a third party to chat to you can always email/tweet me :) But just know that it does get better with a bit of hard work and effort! I believe in you lovely, you should too :)

    Keep smiling,

    Hannah xx

  8. I'm depressed and in high school and basically feel the same way as you, and I also wrote a post about it. I love writing and it helps me so much. Hope you find something you can rely on too that you can do whenever you're feeling bad. Good luck :) xx

  9. such a great post honey! I just think that you are such an amazing young lady who i have a huge amount of respect for! I hope things get better for you honey and i understand everything you are saying! I just wish people would understand depression more! I might just contact you soon if that's ok and please remember that i am always here for you if ever you need to talk about anything! You take care lovely xx

  10. I agree with you, it is really exhausting. I officially got diagnosed in my second year too, but I had it for a while before then. It actually got so bad that I've had to take some time off University, and although I'm gutted I've had to pause my learning, it's done me the world of good.

    Keep your friends close, and I'm always here if you ever need a chat!

    Frankie x

  11. Awh Katy, I'm so sorry I had to read this post. I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) in 2012 and although I haven't been to uni so can't even imagine what the pressure must be like whilst trying to cope with and manage your anxiety aswell, I know how it feels and it truly sucks. You seem to be doing brilliantly and have a lot of support and your blog is brilliant too.

    Always here if you need to rant, sending you lots of positive wishes <3

    Jenny xo

  12. This sounds exactly like my second year in uni. I almost dropped out it got so bad. I ended up doing my third year part time for different health reasons. I'm nearly finishing my final year and I cannot wait for it to be over but I am glad I stuck it out. Second year was definitely the hardest for me and my friends.

    Our uni has a councillor that you can arrange to meet and groups to give you ways of coping with anxiety. I also met with my tutor to explain to him and he was really good and helped with
    sorting out my ever growing work load and special circumstances etc.

    You're amazing for being at uni.

    Beth x
    Mermaid in Disguise

  13. So proud of you for writing this. You know exactly how I feel about Mental Health.

    Going to give you the worlds biggest hug on Sunday <3

    Love you prin xxx