Fighting Stigmas, Enforcing Changes, Passing Classes

Copyright 2012 © Created by Caitlin Cunningham Disclaimer.


College Life

The hardest thing for me in university has been figuring out how to keep up with the workload. I am extremely sensitive to stress and my brain shuts down when I am stressed. I get stressed earlier than many other people, and it takes much more 'down time' for me to recover to a point where I am able to work again. I constantly struggle with thoughts telling me that I am just being lazy and that I'm a useless person because I'm unable to keep up with even a significantly reduced course load.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

- Moose

- Rainbows

- Chocolate

How do I deal?

I go to counselling at the student health centre, and my therapist has been wonderful. She has known me for several years now and we have a really good relationship. Unfortunately, there are so many students wanting counselling that I can only have a session once a month. I really need a minimum of 2-3 sessions per month in order for me to stay stable. It's incredibly frustrating and hard and upsetting that the thing that helps me most is the thing that is least available to me. I do take medication; however, this is not necessarily useful as it can have side effects that impact your cognitive abilities, which makes school even harder than it already it.


I sometimes disclose to people I feel will be understanding; however, I do worry that people will think I am "faking it" because I'm not visibly disabled. I do tell profs when I feel that they will be understanding because it is really helpful for them to have that knowledge so when you're not doing well and need accommodations for assignments, they are more likely to believe you and want to do what they can to help. I have found a paradox in that student groups who claim to be "anti-oppression" have been very ableist and have refused to try to understand discrimination toward those labelled with mental health issues.