For our first My Mental Health Story, Gabe Garon, CC ’21, speaks about his transition to Columbia from a small high school in San Diego. In his story, Gabe explains how starting college caused some of his past struggles with anxiety and body image to resurface. He describes his hesitation to meet with a therapist—specifically, the folly of “my problems aren’t big enough for therapy”—and the stigma he has felt about reaching out to Counseling and Psychological Services.
“I felt like I needed help,” Garon said. “But I wasn’t sure if my problems were big enough to merit actually getting it.”
After reaching out for help, though, Gabe learned how to regulate his mental health in a way that, in his own words, lets him stand on his own. Now a member of the dance community at Columbia, Gabe ends his story on an uplifting note about finding a network of like-minded friends. And, of course, the action of dancing helps.
“What’s helped me a lot is getting back into dance,” Garon said. “Sometimes I still find myself feeling anxious and thinking, ‘Oh, I need to go into the studio.’ I don’t necessarily know how to sign up for that here, [and] I don’t know how that works, so sometimes I just go into my room and dance and knock over a lamp. That’s been incredibly helpful.”
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