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We all have mental health and physical health. They are separate, but not as separate as we tend to think: most mental illnesses have physical symptoms. Take anxiety for instance, we tend to associate anxiety with panic attacks, insomnia, maybe having trouble concentrating. But headaches, teeth-grinding, overthinking, irritability, dry mouth are also symptoms! 

It can be difficult to associate symptoms like these to a root cause, or even take them seriously as part of a bigger picture and not as one-off moods. Anxiety can affect anyone at any point for any length of time. It is very common in students as we have to balance our studies with part-time work, worry about assignments and finances, job applications, housing as well as our social lives, or volunteering. But just because it’s common and even normal doesn’t mean it’s not important or not a real illness – colds and flus are common, and we take those seriously! 

Treat anxiety like a cold

If you had a cold or a flu, you would stay in bed, take some painkillers, and maybe phone a doctor. If you have anxiety, you can try to lower your caffeine intake and do some relaxation exercises, but it’s also important to talk to a specialist if you need to! You have a range of options – the Advice Hub, the Wellbeing Services, and even your local GP or a mental health charity. Don’t dismiss symptoms or delay seeking help because “it will all get better after this assignment”. 

Here some useful links if you are worried about your wellbeing: 

Edinburgh Nightline (available 8pm-midnight) 



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