Chicken noodle soup for the mind

Elizabeth Floyd, Staff Writer

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Mental health is a term that is thrown around college campuses across America. Mental health is so much more than posters we all see around campus. It is an invisible struggle that affects so many people in their day-to-day lives. The fact is, it is a hard subject to truly wrap your head around, despite it being an internal problem. The same life situations never affect different people the same way. One experience may be something that tips the scales for one person but is barely a drop in the bucket for another.

In a lot of ways, mental health is like cancer, a broken bone or a bad cold that no one can truly understand. Just like cancer or a broken bone, you can’t always see the issue or understand the pain, but you can see the symptoms from time to time. Mental health, like any other disease, is something science can quantify and define, but that does not make it easier to see on the surface.

The validity of mental issues has gotten better over the years as more information has come to light. The advancements in science don’t change the fact that mental illness is a battle that is different for everyone.

It is a battle that can be won with the right help and support. Mental health, no matter the form it takes, is something that has to be kept in check constantly. The battle for some is long, ebbing and flowing over the years like the ocean. Other peoples’ battles are more intense spikes and valleys that come out of the blue. Like a person who suffers from other illnesses such as allergies, they have to keep an epinephrine pen in case they run into an allergen unexpectedly. In the same manner, there are ways to take care of yourself if you suffer from a mental illness. There is always hope when it comes to issues of the mind.

If you contract the flu, you take medicine to aid the healing process but without the rest of the medicine that no doctor could write a prescription for like rest and good company the medicine would have no effect.

Asking for help is like putting gas in a car, there is no shame in asking for what you need to keep going. In the same way that medicines and good habits can help mental illness, having a good group of people to love can help through tough times. In the times that are tough it is priceless to have someone to lean on and open up to about how it feels. The feeling of loneliness is one of the hardest things to face and the truth is that most of us are not alone in the struggles we face. Regardless of what you’re going through, remember to utilize your support system and the counseling services available to you at FMU.

Often, we have so much in common with our friends but go on thinking we are alone in the struggle because we don’t reach out. Good friends and a community that you can lean on is like the chicken noodle soup that makes the flu medicine work so much better. The friends we surround ourselves with in college and life are the spoon full of sugar that helps life go well.