The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com


MENTAL HEALTH & UNIVERSITY


My current to-do list includes a 2000 word essay for my MA application, a 3000 word draft for my dissertation, almost 1000 pages worth of reading for my weekly seminars, and planning for the three 4000 word essays due at the end of the semester. Maintaining a healthy diet, an exercise regime, a social life, an online presence and a clean bill of mental health alongside all of that? Not going to happen. Is it any wonder, then, that one in four students are suffering from mental health problems at any time? And how do you treat a mental health problem when you can’t escape the thing that’s causing it?

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com

A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE


 
 
 
We’ve all heard that well-intentioned bit of advice: ‘If something is making you unhappy, make a change.’ But what if you can’t? I’ve been very honest about the fact that university has been the most difficult period of my life, yet I’m still here, stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know I’m not the only student who has hated their course and underachieved as a consequence, but felt reluctant to leave for a whole host of logical reasons. Struggling with mental health problems at university is a complicated thing, and it makes treating them difficult.
 
 
 
 

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com
The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com
 


TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE


I’ll be honest with you: I’m struggling. Last weekend, I took another trip to Brighton, and it filled my head and my heart with so many hopes and dreams all over again. I know what I want from life, but I feel so far from achieving it. I’ve found myself within reach of my dream MA course, centred around the cultural and creative industries that I so long to be a part of. Suddenly, the undergraduate degree that’s caused me nothing but pain and suffering for the last three years matters. I’m finding myself wondering whether I’ve done enough, and cursing that I couldn’t overcome my mental health problems to achieve what I’m capable of.
 
 
The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com


UNDER PRESSURE


 
 
 
Is the rest of my life going to be judged on a short and difficult period in my youth? Does the classification I receive at the end of this really represent what I’ve been through to achieve it? Is my worth determined by a number? They’re big questions, and they don’t help to lessen the piling amount of pressure I’m feeling in the lead up to finals. Of course, worrying about what happens after the exams are over is a whole other kettle of fish, especially if things don’t go the way I’ve planned. So how is any student supposed to counter this kind of anxiety caused by the unknown?
 
 
 

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com
 
The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com 
The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com
The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com
 


KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON


During my time at university, I’ve had both cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling, and there’s no doubt they’ve helped. Some of my problems have been almost completely treated, and I’ve learnt to cope better with the ones that are sticking around. However, they haven’t gone away, and I doubt they will until I’ve put this course behind me. For anybody who’s stuck in a situation that’s causing mental health problems, whether it’s a degree, a job or even a relationship, treating those mental health problems is going to be extremely difficult as long as they remain within that situation. With the stigma surrounding mental health problems still going strong, it often feels like your only option in a situation like that is to stick it out and hope for the best, for fear of being misunderstood or not taken seriously if you explain your circumstances. For example, the negative connotations that the term ‘university drop out’ still carries might explain why student suicide rates are the highest they’ve been in ten years.
 
 
The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com
The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com
 


THE HOME STRETCH


I’m coming up to the end of my undergraduate degree, so I think it’s finally safe to say I made it out the other side. However, things could have been very different, and that’s why I wanted to write this post today. In my experience, there’s little you can actually do to alleviate your mental health problems at university without leaving or taking a break. Even then, it’s likely that returning to university will cause a relapse, even if it’s less severe than the first onset. Resources for support at university aren’t infinite, and even the kindest therapists and counsellors can only do so much to help. For me, and many other students like me, it’s a case of holding out until it’s over, and that’s no way to live.
 
 

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com

WHAT I’M WEARING


 
 
I recently bought this beautiful ruffled blouse from Missguided, and when I tried it on in my spring haul, I initially felt unsure. Is it too daring? Will I get enough wear out of it? Does it make my shoulders look bulky? However, I’ve since fallen head over heels for the bold shoulders and light pinstripe on this button up shirt. Paired with my beloved Chanel-esque toe cap heels, a comfortable pair of boyfriend jeans and a simple clutch, it makes for a go-to outfit without too much fuss and bother. I’ve thrown a light duster jacket over the top for a relaxed spring look and opted for minimal jewellery to let the ruffles do the talking. A red lip is all this outfit needs to make a colour statement, and I’m spring ready.
 
 


SHOP THE POST


The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com


 
I didn’t have any particular reason to share this post, and I got quite upset at the prospect of doing so. I try to make the content I publish on my blog as informative and interesting as possible, so this doesn’t really fit with the usual style of my posts. However, I feel that it’s something I needed to get off my chest, as I’m in a peculiar place at the moment. I’m struggling to get one blog post out a week, never mind videos for my beloved YouTube channel, so I suppose you can take this partly as an explanation. However, over everything else, I think that I want to raise awareness for something that’s becoming a more common university experience. Mental health problems at university are on the rise, and it’s something we all need to start thinking about a little more.
 


Do you have any experience of coping with mental health problems while at university?

The Difficulty With Treating Mental Health Problems At University | www.marthajaneedwards.com
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