As most of you know our aim is to raise awareness of the lack of continuity of care for students who live in 2 different locations throughout the year due to university. We’re all about celebrating each other’s successes, not reinforcing their self doubt.
Today the quote we posted was this:
“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”
– Henry Ward Beecher
It got me thinking. For many people getting out of bed or stepping outside of their door is something they don’t even have to think about. Yet, for many, including those dealing with mental illness, this can be the most difficult, and fear fueled task that they can think of.
This leaves many bed bound or housebound, until they get the sufficient support and treatment they may need.
However, many believe that once they have achieved this goal once, it’s no longer a problem. That is very rarely the case. The affect mental illness has on someone can vary day to day. Little sleep, or lack of food can make someone more emotionally vulnerable and therefore they may feel more intensely affected by their illness on certain days.
We would no doubt celebrate the successful of the first step outside, or out of bed, but when does that become less of an achievement? No doubt over time, many people do find these tasks become easier. However, many don’t. No matter how many times they achieve this goal, it fills them with the same level of dread and fear as it did the first. The only difference is, they are adapting to life with these emotions.
Each time should be just as celebrated. 1 in 4 of UK citizens suffer with mental health issues. That means 1 in 4 of our university students may deal with the same. For someone who deals with chronic anxiety or has dealt with agoraphobia, university can seem almost impossible.
For many, it is a step too far due to the lack of support they’d have whilst they were away and the long waiting lists for continuity of treatment they’d have to face when they moved areas. However, there are those who do manage their condition just well enough to head to university.
So if you see one of your fellow students who simply cannot face leaving their room one day, anxiety is preventing them from leaving bed, or their OCD rituals have made them late for lectures, instead of mocking them and increasing their self doubt, be understanding. Yes, they may have been up and out on time the day before, but that doesn’t mean the emotions weren’t there. Don’t kick them when their down if they cannot face the fight some days. The hardest battle we ever face is with ourselves. No doubt they’d be beating themselves up enough for not being able to do something without the help of anyone else.
I guess what I’m saying is. Be understanding of each other. Praise each other’s success and support each other in the moments they feel weak for you never know how far they’ve come on their journey. Never compare achievements. You are individual with individual needs, fighting your individual battle.
Press Officer/Social Media Manager
We will soon have pages you can refer to for information on mental illnesses that may be mentioned in our blogs or online.