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“Can You Cope?”

My name is Ciarra, and I’m currently majoring in Psychology at The Ohio State University. Upon becoming a college student, I began to struggle with anxiety. I guess I’ve always had it, but it wasn’t apparent until college. Unfortunately, because I never had to deal with something like this, I didn’t know how to handle it. As a result, my coping mechanisms were not always the best.

Recently, I attended an event held by the Black Mental Health Coalition (“BMHC”) at OSU, regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At this event, I learned about many healthy coping mechanisms and how I can apply them to my everyday life. Some of the mechanisms I am beginning to use include adjusting expectations and creative work. Lately, I’ve been adjusting my expectations to have a more positive outlook going into situations as a means to combat my anxiety of having a potentially bad experience. I’ve also been taking advantage of adult coloring books to help me relax when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Both of these means of coping have helped me significantly.

Sadly, my usual means of coping consist of blaming myself for situations that are out of my control. For example, last week I had to participate in a history class debate. Usually, I’m more prepared and vocal in class. However, on this day, I was put on the spot by my assigned group to present an argument on a given topic. When it was time for me to speak, my anxiety got the best of me. I froze in front of my entire class and couldn’t articulate my point. It was extremely embarrassing, and I was beyond disappointed in myself. I blamed myself for not being prepared for the debate—but how prepared could I be when I was only given 15 minutes? In retrospect, I could’ve used the problem-solving coping mechanism I learned at the BMHC event, which would’ve helped me figure out a solution in order to successfully get through the debate. Going forward, I plan to continue using these coping methods until they become subconscious, so that it won’t affect me as much if something like this happens again.

Coping with my anxiety is definitely a process that I’m trying to work through. I’m still learning how to overcome my mental obstacles every day. If you also deal with anxiety or other mental health issues, how do you cope? Leave a comment below!

Ciarra Strange

Ciarra Strange

Ciarra Strange

I am a senior at the Ohio State University with a major in Psychology. I plan on going to graduate school for Sports and Clinical Psychology. I am 21 years old and I’m the youngest in my family, with three older brothers. I currently reside in New Albany, Ohio with my parents and my dog, Ginger. I hope to one day be a voice and a resource for people living with mental health issues.

Comments

  1. AvatarNikkia says

    I think it’s an amazing attribute to be able to identify your personal needs and help to raise awareness. If everyone were as thoughtful, self-aware, open to change and accept help from others to get there, the world could truly be a better place. You have a beautifully intangible spirit and sharing that light with others is a great way to grow within. Looking forward to reading more from you!

  2. AvatarDestinee says

    Great post Ciarra. I admire the people- like you- who are able to articulate the things they need to work in genuinely. Unfortunately, I don’t think I currently cope very well with my anxiety when it gets difficult to ignore. Thankfully though, I have a great support system and blogs like this to help me start compiling healthy coping mechanisms!

  3. AvatarJeTaun Brown says

    This is amazing. I have two teen daughters that struggle with anxiety. My brother suggested this blog and I will definitely have them check it out.

  4. AvatarJeny Rodriguez says

    To be honest when I have great levels of stress. I go into a cave where I eat meals and binge on television. Its an escape for me; An escape from myself and constant lack of self worth. I can’t seem to get things where they need to be and that makes me feel incredibly horrible. My house is an array of complete disorder. Yet it’s extremely hard for me to get motivated to fix it. I just don’t have the energy for it. My job is one of the only things that I can thrive yet, but of course it’s also an area that is sometimes cursed by the inevitable flow of depression. Taking away my focus, and sinking me lower into depression.

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