The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Counselor gives advice on anxiety

By Ashley Wood/reporter

Finals are quickly approaching, which means studying and cramming for students.

Studies show this is when anxiety and depression are at the highest level for college students.

SE counselor Carissa Bustillos-Givens organized a Mental Illness Series to help students understand the signs and symptoms. During the How to Deal with “The Blues” and “The Butterflies” April 24, she discussed the depression and anxiety side of mental illness.

“Mental illness does not mean a person isn’t strong,” she said. “It just means their brain is not working to the full capacity.”

Some of the signs of depression are sleeping too much or not at all, sadness, feelings of hopelessness and loss of enjoyment almost every day, Bustillos-Givens said.

“Traumatic experience can bring on depression at any age, but stress is a major factor,” she said.

On the other hand, anxiety is the overwhelming fear or worry, obsessive thoughts and the constant feelings of butterflies in the stomach, Bustillos-Givens said.

“The levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the system when anxiety kicks in, which is the fight-or-flight response, just doesn’t return to normal levels during a panic/anxiety attack,” she said.

Depending on the situation, some patients are prescribed medication they could be on their entire lives, but some may only be on it for a short period, Bustillos-Givens said. The treatment is completely situational to the person.

“There are definitely things you can do to help yourself,” she said. “Be experimental and try different routines to see if it lowers the anxiety or helps as a pick-you-up.”

Bustillos-Givens said people who are depressed should get out of bed, turn the lights on, move around and be active to help the blood flow. They should also listen to upbeat or happy music and limit their caffeine intake. Caffeine has quick pick-up sugars, but the crash can have long-term effects that cause depression.

Young adults can visit websites like strengthofus.org to learn and talk to other people facing the same issues as them, Bustillos-Givens said. The half-ofus.com website shows how different mental illnesses have affected celebrities in their everyday lives and also defines the various illnesses.

TCC also offers a Prevention Hotline at 1-888-971-9979 for all students, and it is free and confidential.

“Talk to someone about how you are feeling,” she said. “You’re not alone. Speak with the counselor at your campus or a friend, and just make sure someone knows what is going on.”

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