After one terrible month in the last part of my first year and a really bad stint at home (I will describe these when I can, I am too unstable to be able to explain at the current time in case I slip backwards, sorry!) I was made to get help.
I was extremely worried to do this but I visited a surprisingly lovely doctor. It went something like this:
Me: Silent and crying.
My Nan (who came in for support): Explained the whole situation, I needed help, I was completely a different person, etc, etc.
The Doctor (Slightly nerdy, which put me at ease): About 1/5 of students develop depression or anxiety or similar mental health issues and most of the time university is not what it is made up to be. Everyone tells you university is amazing and so much fun, which it may be for some, but most of the time it is not what it is described as. There are usually two types of people at university, the ones who party a lot and the ones who get on with work. It is the latter that feel the full effects mostly, however both groups can be affected.
The doctor explained his own situation too. He himself actually got so down at his first university that he quit. He said the buildings and environment of a university does not help either. For example, as his and my universities are on campus and big concrete buildings you can subconsciously feel trapped, like in a prison, or you are always being watched from the hundreds of CCTV cameras. You may not even notice these feelings or relate how low you are to the place around you.
He was extremely helpful and it was strangely comforting to know he had been through the same as I was going through there and then. He told me that next year may feel different as I was in a house and to not give up on myself, to stay true to what I want not the demon (he actually said Voldemort) that is inside me; depression. As I am 20 he said it may upset my core to take any medication because I am too young but if I got worse or anything further happened he said he would recommend it. Instead, he gave me a number to call in which I could get free help and therapy sessions.
I was so anxious that I would be judged or laughed at if I went to a doctor but it turned out to be really helpful. He even ran over my appointment slot because he wanted to just keep on talking and discussing the best thing for me. If you are not sure whether to go to a doctor I would say definitely go, even if it at least stops you fretting and wondering whether you should or shouldn’t. I was surprised how many patients before me had spoken to the doctor about the same issue and it made me feel not so alone.