Terms and Conditions
Hi there. I’m sorry you’re dealing with all of that. :( College is hard enough without any health conditions. But the good news is that you are not alone!
A lot of colleges are expanding their resources for students since they’re learning more and more about the needs of their students. Mine has a counseling center and Office of Specialized Services, which was for students with any sort of health conditions or disabilities. These places will be your best friends because they will have plenty of resources and people to help you.
Going to the health center/health services on campus isn’t like going to the nurse in school; you’re talking to someone who can do more and perhaps offer diagnoses and such. (It depends on the education level of the staff). Fill them in on everything that you can and they’ll work with you.
Many times, all of these services will be free (or at least a small fee may be posted to your total tuition bill). Ask them if you require any sort of financial assistance. Plus, they’ll be plenty willing to work with any other healthcare providers so you’ll be taken care of.
Because of COVID, many colleges have turned to online classes; this also means that many of them have moved their counseling services online. If getting to school is not feasible right now, see if your campus offers teletherapy. If not, it might be good to seek out other forms of teletherapy. Start with Captain Awkward’s blog or this site: https://www.goodtherapy.org/find-counselors.html
You probably have an academic advisor at the very least, so keep them in the loop, too. They can point you to more resources and people to help. This is the time to assemble Team You! This team can provide any and all documentation you may need for any accommodations or to help you deal with particularly tough professors.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your professors because they often want their students to succeed. The beauty of being an adult means that the other adults in your life will treat you like one and will listen to you and work with you. Go into these conversations with a collaborative attitude and the other people will appreciate it; they will be happy to know that you recognize they’re on your side.
The relationship between physical health and mental health is real; just trying to manage chronic illnesses takes a toll physically and mentally. I have friends who have chronic illnesses and health issues and they tend to have to deal with mental health issues on top of them. I imagine just trying to keep on top of your health leaves you exhausted. :( This article from the UK's Mental Health Foundation explains the link between physical and mental health: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/physical-health-and-mental-health
Colleges want their students to do well and to feel comfortable and safe on campus. If chronic health conditions are making it harder for you to succeed, there are plenty of people more than willing to help you. Remember that college is not a race and it is not like high school, where everyone goes at the same pace and graduates at the same time. People go part-time, full-time, take breaks, go back after several years, etc. all the time. You’re an adult, so you get your education at your own pace.