Self care has many different shapes and sizes for all of us. Each and every person has different coping mechanisms when having mental health issues, including spa-like relaxation activities. 

“I might say shower and meditate. I literally sit and meditate while the water falls on me. I find that very relaxing.” Brandon Siciarz a philosophy major at PCC said. “I do not see a therapist. I do believe that meditation provides values that could also be found in therapy. However true therapy probably has additional values.”

According to Mental Health America (MHA) 19.86% of adults are experiencing a mental illness. Equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans. 56% of adults with a mental illness receive no treatment. Over 27 million individuals experiencing a mental illness are going untreated.

“I was diagnosed with anxiety when I was 8. I was never told if it’s gone or still there but I think for the most extent it’s gone or incredibly manageable,” Tessa Speck says.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorder is highly treatable, but only around 37 percent of those affected actually receive treatment. 

“For self care I like coloring and drawing or having a warm bath. Painting is more of a way to get it down on paper and into the so it’s not just inside, however other times I just use a coloring book and that’s more of a distraction,” Speck said. 

Another factor in relation to mental health is Bipolar and depression, something that student Jo Ann Kirk deals with frequently. 

“Bipolar involves depression and mania. Some people just have depression but for a bipolar diagnosis you have to have mixed episodes of depression and mania,” Kirk said while discussing her depression and bipolar diagnosis. 

Despite her diagnosis, Kirk has several different methods to help keep her calm and relax herself.

“I journal a lot and try to practice self care by using essential oils on my body and taking long hot showers with candlelight and calming lavender body wash. I don’t necessarily think the hot showers are making up for the emotional warmth in my case. I use heat as a relaxer because I get over stressed and it helps to calm me down at least for a while” Kirk said when discussing her coping mechanisms.

Kirk takes 3 types of medication in the morning and 2 at night. All to help with her depression, mood stability, sleep, and anxiety. According to Mental Health America major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability for Americans aged 15 to 44. Some of the symptoms include depressed mood, diminished interest or pleasure, change in weight, appetite and sleep patterns, fatigue, and a feeling of worthlessness.

“I talk to my therapist about everything past trauma a lot and current moods and triggers and addictions. Also daily issues at home with my mom and son and future situations like when my mom can’t remember anymore. I’ve had this therapist for 6 years now and I love her because she has bipolar disorder too and I trust her fully.” Kirk said when referring to her therapist.

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