You are not alone

If you are struggling with your mental health and feel like you can’t speak up, you can. No matter how mild or severe you struggle with taking care of your mental health, You Are Not Alone. 

Here are anonymous stories from UNR students and alumni about their own experiences.

I started struggling with my mental health in high school. I started having panic attacks and mental breakdowns and didn’t know what they were. I googled and found out that I was struggling with anxiety and a lot of stress. After a few years of struggling with bad anxiety, my friends started noticing and telling me to get help. I didn’t listen to them (and still haven’t 😬). My anxiety makes me avoid the things (like homework) that stress me out, but the procrastination makes my anxiety worse. 

About a year ago, I started taking time for myself, working out and reading more books. I even tried meditating. I found that if I set time for myself every day it helps my anxiety. I don’t respond to texts or social media when I feel overwhelmed, and I say no to requests when I already have too many stressors.

I still struggle with anxiety, but now I have ways of coping with it.


From middle school all the way up to college, I always felt overwhelmed and stressed by school. This wasn’t just in regards to academics, but with social situations as well. I would often feel out of place or lost in school, and I wasn’t confident in how I expressed myself to people. It got better over time, but it was always somewhat present throughout my school career.

Things started getting better for me once I started practicing better organizational skills to help me with my focus and stress. I also started doing more of the things I enjoyed doing. I started putting more time and passion into my hobbies and tried to avoid the things that would overwhelm me.

This helped me so much with my confidence and mental health, and soon after, I saw improvements in the relationships in my life too.


Growing up with anxiety has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with. I can trace back my anxiety to when I was 3 years old, crazy I know. Throughout all of my childhood, elementary school years, middle school years, and high school years I struggled with anxiety. I felt broken and like something was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I just do things like normal people. I thought it was me. It wasn’t until the end of my high school years that I realized I was suffering from a mental disorder or anxiety. That there was a chemical imbalance in my mind and that my anxiety wasn’t me. I began learning more and more about my anxiety and how it was affecting me and my life. However, although I was learning more about my anxiety and how to fight it, it still wasn’t enough. I got to the point where on most nights I would be sitting in a chair, shaking and cold, crying and I didn’t know why. I started to be able to feel the neurons in my mind firing the anxious thoughts and it would work itself into a headache. I realized I needed more than just myself. I went to a psychiatrist and they prescribed me escitalopram/lexapro for it. This would correct the chemical imbalance in my brain and allow me to focus on my anxiety and create a barrier to keep me from falling down the rabbit hole. I also got into a psychologist to talk through what I was thinking and get helpful tools to fight my anxiety. These two things helped me fight my anxiety.

I am now able to recognize my thoughts and work through them without them taking over my mind. I am in control of my anxiety, not the other way around. For years I was suffering without realizing there was help out there. Now I want to help others get the help they need and I wish I could tell people that there is hope out there and that they don’t need to suffer alone. Although I still struggle with anxiety and I always will, I got help and I am no longer suffering from it. I think college is the perfect time to do this as well because it’s a time where you’re figuring yourself out beyond your family and what you’ve grown comfortable with. You begin to have more responsibilities and your future begins to get scarily close to reality and you may not feel prepared. A whole lot of people get more anxiety in college who never had it before and those who did have it, it gets worse in college. As someone who’s suffered with it my whole life, it breaks my heart seeing others suffer through it. I hope everyone can find the help that they need and find hope and happiness. I’ve been there and I know it gets better.


I am the person that spends their life taking care of people taking care of others who have depression, anxiety, etc. However, I don’t get paid for it because they are just the people in my life. I care about their physical and mental well being and I love them all to death, but it doesn’t occur to them that I might need help as well.

My little sister has anxiety breakdowns and panic attacks at the slightest amount of stress. All of my roommates/best friends have to take prescriptions for bipolar and other things I don’t ask about. Honestly, I couldn’t even count the number of pills in my bathroom that didn’t belong to me. My parents would need me to encourage them to go to work nearly every morning, to take care of them when they were depressed. I always had to take care of everyone else while struggling with similar problems myself, however, I am missing the money, courage, and paperwork such as a birth certificate and real ID that is needed to see a doctor to get diagnosed with anything. The one time I tried to confide in someone, she slapped me in the face and pretty much told me to stop wanting to be a special snowflake.

For around 8 years I struggled with depression and tried to kill myself, only dragging myself into life once again because I knew that if I died, then I would make everyone else’s life hard if they had to pay for my funeral and burial. Guilt kept me alive every time I wanted to break. The only reason that I am better now is that I moved out by myself hundreds of miles away from the people I know. To avoid feeling guilty for leaving I chose to invest and raise a therapy dog. Without my little therapy dog, I honestly think I would have ended myself a long time ago. She cares about my well-being and forces me to step back before I spiral too far. Now I bring her to campus on the weekends as a stress relief dog that welcomes any student to pet, play, and love on her.


As a student growing up, I felt that I did a great job at reducing my stress and anxiety. I felt that most of my subjects naturally came easy to me, and I never really pushed my limits. This made my time at school relaxing for the most part. Everything changed when I finally entered college.

I finally decided to truly challenge myself, and at first I was accepting every obstacle thrown at me with a large volume of passion and willpower. As time passed, I noticed it starting to take a toll on me. I was constantly getting berated with assignments and exams that required me to push past my normal limits. As I received my scores back, I noticed a declining trend: A B- here, C there, D+, so on and so forth. This trend continued until I reached the point where I was consistently getting failing grades on assignments. It really started to take a toll on my confidence as a student as well as a sociable person. I found myself stuck in my room depressed most days of the week and refused to do anything about it. Semesters started to follow a sad trend: Start off with a small ounce of care, do enough to barely scrape by, fail midterms, peak my stress levels before finals, and ultimately end up depressed by the end of the semester. This continued on for a while until I was fortunate enough to meet a fantastic group of people. 

They were classmates of mine who shared the same sort of anxiety and struggles as me. We all started to make a group effort to slowly but surely better ourselves and vowed to have eachothers backs. We started going outside for hikes and other fun physical activities whenever the weather was nice. Even if it wasn’t, we would make it a point to be proactive. Because of this, everything started to get back on track for me. My grades started going up, my depression went away, and my lonely weekly routine was gone for the most part. I realized that I tried to rely on myself too much and rejected the idea that it is okay to get help from others. If there is one thing I can recommend to anyone entering college or is having a tough time currently in it, I would say to just try your best to go out and make some friends who appreciate you for who you truly are. Those friends are the ones who will make the biggest impact on your life.


From as far back as my memory goes, I’ve had to deal with difficulties and struggles regarding mental health. However, the way I was raised led me to internalize my struggles and essentially push my emotional state to the background without processing how I feel.  This led to a negative feedback cycle, as without processing what I was experiencing, I was unable to put into words (verbal or written) to express my struggles and receive help.

I’ve never been the most open or communicative person when it comes to talking about myself, even with close friends and family. I’ve been able to be there for others when they need an open ear or a friend to help, but despite having friends offer I was never able to relax my walls enough to do the same. Subconsciously (at least until recently), I’ve realized that I was holding myself to a different set of standards than I was everyone else around me. It took my mental health completely crashing and burning (think along the lines of grippy sock vacations) for me to carve a path through the thick walls I’ve been building my whole life. Even now, despite having mental health diagnoses, I still struggle to fully embrace my behavior and my own limitations.

Since then, however, I’ve been able to open up at least partially to some mental health professionals and also to a few of my close friends about what I’ve gone through and am currently dealing with, which has improved my current mental state as well as helped me process. So even though I still feel like I’m drowning most days, my situation has improved and is on an upward trend since I’ve become able to accept a flotation device from the people and resources in my life.