Taken on a misty morning run in Uni Parks

Sometimes it's really hard to admit that there's a problem or something wrong, and then even when you do, it's even harder to reach out to someone.

It took me a while and I mean a while to accept that I needed help.

I suffered from what can easily be summed up as a heartbreak halfway through Michaelmas and it took me completely by surprise. After the initial shock and then complete depression of the first three weeks or so I did start to feel a little better but I was essentially crushed and quite frankly, depressed.

My friends both here and from home were really supportive and listened to all my rants and vents and my family too were very supportive but I couldn't shift this intense weight off my chest and the all consuming black hole within.

The Christmas vac came and the relief away from Oxford was lovely but as soon as I landed back the weight reappeared and the depression cloud started to fall again.

I thought I was okay and then it suddenly struck me that I was exhausted all the time, totally unmotivated (not great for an Oxford workload) and I was avoiding interacting with my friends. I didn't want to go to dance or any talks, things I would've loved at the start of Oxford. I realised that these were symptoms of depression and I needed some proper help because it wasn't going away on its own.

I contacted the Oxford counselling service and filled in a form online about what was wrong and what I wanted out of any sessions and I'm currently waiting to hear back. It was quick and easy and if it's not an emergency they promise to contact you within 9 days.

Lot's of students struggle with depression, anxiety and a myriad of other problems. It's completely normal and okay and if you think it's becoming a problem seek proper help because there are some things you can't struggle on with on your own.

Since I properly accepted I was depressed I've really pushed myself to exercise as a natural way to release endorphins and have started running in the mornings and getting back into ballet although some days I really don't want to face the world. I've also been candid with my friends; they don't need to ask me if I'm okay all the time because essentially I'm not. As a result they're better at reading my moods and trying to help me feel better, encouraging me to go out and try new things which I really appreciate. 

Talking to friends, family, welfare reps etc is really important to alleviate the burden and make sure you don't become isolated but if further steps are needed, don't be afraid to take them because they will help you in the long term. I wish I'd sought help sooner.  


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