I wanted to say “Thank-You” to The CSA Mental Health Initiative, and those on the CSA Mental Health Street Team. Your work has been a tremendous blessing to the school as a whole. It’s never been easy to talk about mental health issues due to the stigmas and associated labels that are given to those who live with these issues on a daily basis, but the work that has been done recently has made it significantly easier to open a dialogue.
I have been inspired to share some information about myself in order to help you, the reader, understand that you are not suffering alone. I have Social Anxiety Disorder, I am not proud of it, nor am I ashamed of it. I was officially diagnosed with it about a year and a half ago and I have been getting help for about a year now. I have had a tremendous amount of support from my family, friends and my dog. Some days have been harder than others, but one thing that remains a constant is the fact that reaching out to others has been one of the biggest assets in my battle. I have made some huge progress in the past year fighting Social Anxiety and while it has not always been smooth sailing, I can undoubtedly state that I am in a much better position than I was before.
One strategy I highly recommend is to find new ways to challenge yourself on a regular basis. Stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way to grow. Challenging yourself to do things that you find uncomfortable has two benefits, first it helps you expand your comfort zone and make it bigger, second, once you do it, you feel better about yourself afterwards.
Another key strategy is to focus on your accomplishments ahead of your deficiencies. Many mental health issues can be combatted by creating a positive environment for yourself. Creating a positive environment also includes hanging around positive people; I have found that the attitudes of those around you can often rub off on you as well. Cutting out the negativity in your life and replacing it with positivity can be a very valuable asset to improving mental health.
There is hope and although it may seem difficult on certain days, know that you’re not alone. There are many great people out there who want to help you; including many who are here at Concordia. If you wish to contact me, you can do so via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are stronger than you think you are, trust me.