Community Content: How CAPS Saved Me
I was in a very dark place. I had extremely high levels of anxiety, faced depression, and was losing weight from a lack of eating. I spent most days sitting in my room feeling sorry about myself and not knowing what to do. I’ve never had that group of friends to go out with or rely on to talk to. My heart raced when I walked into a new building or turned a corner for unknown reasons. I’d dealt with an extremely messy roommate situation my previous year that left me in a place darker than anyone could imagine.
I was extremely self conscious. I over criticized myself and made ant hills into mountains.
Even talking to people was a daily struggle and I avoided it at all costs. I had no motivation to pursue anything and I made life a thousand times harder than it should be.
I hit rock bottom in October. I went past the bedrock layer in November and forced myself to call CAPS. I whispered to the person on the phone cause I didn’t want my roommates to hear me talking about it. After a screening session over the phone, I was connected with someone in CAPS during the middle of the semester and got an appointment time that worked for me.
The sessions I spent with that counselor were life changing. She helped me dig deep into my anxiety and other related issues and focus on what I needed to adjust in my life.
For the spring semester, I was able to continue my counseling and spent the entire semester worthing through anxiety, depression, and other related issues. The counselor referred me to one of the UHS doctors and helped me start medication that has greatly improved my daily life. They were also able to run various tests to make sure my weight loss was not anything other than the battles I’d already begun to fight.
Even more importantly, CAPS was able to provide group therapy with other students fighting the same battle that focused on meditation and stress. While there were only four sessions, the tools I took out of that group have helped me when I felt as if I were on the verge of an anxiety attack.
Is my situation perfect now? It is by far not, but it is ten-folds better than it was when I was sitting in my dark room not knowing what to do. I’ve developed better communication skills, an ability to push past my fears, and the ability to change my life for the better.
Will everyone’s experiences with CAPS be the same? No, nothing in life ever works that way. With all the negative attention being placed on CAPS, it’s important to know they do wonderful things in there and I owe so much to the staff on the fifth floor.
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Here’s all the media and miscellaneous information you need to know ahead of Penn State’s clash with Illinois in Champaign.
Let’s make this game a little bit more interesting with the official Penn State-Illinois drinking game!
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