Fighting Stigmas, Enforcing Changes, Passing Classes
Copyright 2012 © Created by Caitlin Cunningham Disclaimer.
The hardest thing about college was discovering that I had a chemical imbalance at all! I've always been a little jumpy, react strongly to stress, and distractable. I went through a full year of college thinking I simply wasn't trying hard enough. My mom, a former RN, eventually suggested that I should go see someone. My current diagnosis is: anxiety/panic disorder, with a related depression, and a touch of OCD/ADD.
I've had three different counselors in three years. The first one I didn't get along with at all, and wound up going another year hardly having anyone. The second one wanted to diagnose me with everything under the sun, a lot of which I suspected I didn't have at all. They both were at the student health center and their first reaction was to medicate me. The third (who I see now, and is off campus), is a lot more willing to work with me without diagnosing me as everything and without immediately trying to put me on meds. She's really great and understanding. I did try medication once, but the side effects were so terrible that I couldn't stand them for more than three days.
[A tip: You've got to find a counselor who you can take seriously and trust if you want to get better. Don't let one or two bad experiences turn you off the whole thing.]
I'm very open about my “disability” because I want to show that just because one's not the “typical normal” one isn't crazy or too strange. It also lets my friends and professors know why I behave like I do sometimes. It has meant that I get a few strange looks, though.
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