Going to school while coping with mental illness

Death, stress, heartbreak, and major life changes can causes mental illnesses that affect people who are living their lives. But most of the time these people just go to school and deal with regular tasks. Depression affects thousands of people, proving that people are not alone with how they are feeling.

Anxiety is an affliction that causes many people to seem paranoid and antsy, but in reality they are just worried about something. It is normal to feel worried about something, however, when it begins to affect one’s lifestyle, that is when something needs to be done.

Julie Saegonda, a Skyline student, is all too familiar with feeling manic and anxious. As a single mother who also works and attends classes at Skyline, she is an expert with what it is like to have a lot on her plate. Saegonda explains that besides the mania of her normal life, it is the daily tasks that she doesn’t have time for that make her feel anxious and overworked.

“Those days that I feel the weight on my shoulders, it feels as if I am surrounded by four walls, with no hope or light in sight,” Saegonda said.

She says that her anxiety began affecting her schoolwork when obstacles stopped her from progressing in classes, which caused her motivation to drop. She began to doubt herself. Saegonda also says that people need to use the resources that are available on campus, go online, or even just talk to a fellow peer or friend.

Cindy Navarro, another Skyline student, has her own way of coping with depression. After losing her mother and both of her siblings in the same year, she felt as if she could no longer go on with her life. She turned to alcohol and sex as distractions. Her attendance at school and her grades began to be affected negatively. Navarro said that she could not have seen a better way to blind herself then to do what she did. As she bottled up her emotions, she began to feel alone in this world.

“Why is this place just so screwed up,” Navarro would ask herself.

Navarro would have have turned to self-harm if her new kittens Paul and Boots had never came into her life. These kittens lifted her spirits and began to change her outlook on life. Her grades at school improved when she had the kittens because they would sit with her as she did her homework. Navarro describes how she would laugh when they would lay down on the keyboard.

Melissa Matthews, the Disability Resource Center (DRC) Coordinator has the compassion to work with students who need aid with school and that need to talk with someone. She also recommends that students who need further psychological help should seek out the campus’s psychological services in Building 2.

Matthews explains how anxiety is obviously a well-known illness that affects students everywhere, but she encourages them to seek support services. She explains how the DRC works with the school and the students to find ways to accommodate for their needs. The staff at the DRC have all gone through psychological training which helps ensure that students do not leave without assuring the faculty that they are in a better mood after receiving help. Matthews explains that the DRC has so many notes by students who have had a positive experience there, which is evident by the 550 students who returned to the DRC for the help it provides.

Students who need someone to talk to are highly encouraged to seek help around campus, especially if they are suffering from mental illness regardless of its severity. You are not alone, people around you will have experience with what you are feeling and may be able to help.