1. So you've felt bad for a while-First of all, remember it's not your fault. Nothing you have done led to this maladaptive thinking or these physical feelings. Maybe you had a tough few months because you were starting a new school, or you lost some friends/family members, or maybe you're adjusting to a new job. Either way, the fact that you've realized you aren't quite yourself lately is amazing, and you should be commended! After all, it took me years to figure out that my obsessions and compulsions were different and that it wasn't considered 'normal' for people to do what I did.
2. So you admit to yourself you've been feeling off...now what? First off, I would suggest confiding in someone you trust that you haven't been feeling well lately. Face it- not man is an island. And this is definitely the case in your journey to get help and feel better. You cannot do it alone. Plus, since more people are now aware of mental health disorders, you may find friends/family who are in similar circumstances that can become a support network. Either way, confide in someone, so they can aid you in the next few steps to recovery.
3. Seek out help- now this one is probably one of the scariest/most difficult steps for people. Most often it's met with apprehension and the sudden denial that they need help. Face it- you admitted to yourself you are feeling off- do you want to feel better? Don't tell me no, because I know no one likes living in the shitty circumstances of a mental illness that's taken over. You need to learn to admit your illness isn't part of who you are- it is external, but needs to be dealt with accordingly and managed throughout your life. And no, you weren't born knowing how to manage it. So go seek out a professional! :) Personally, I would recommend a psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioural therapy or positive/motivational psychology, just based on my recovery process. Social workers can be good too, but personally I did not have a good experience with them.
4. Stick to it- if you go to at least 5 sessions with a mental health professional and you don't like their style, it's not you! It takes a while to find someone you trust and can gel with, so keep looking and don't get discouraged! Remember the person(s) you confided in before when you realized you weren't feeling well? Lean on them while you search for the right professional to help you out.
5. So you found someone- YAY! Half your battle is done. Believe me, I went to a lot of psychologist, psychiatrists, and social workers before finding a good match. But I knew I was sick, and with the encouragement of my friends and family, stuck to it and found Dr. Cooper and Dr Tulvig, to whom I owe my sanity. (Disclaimer: jk, just because you have a mental illness doesn't mean you are insane)
6. Don't give up- It took me 18 years before I finally started to make progress in getting rid of my OCD and anxiety/depression. It was a loooooong road. And yeah, there were easily hundreds of times that I just wanted to stay in bed asleep and not deal with it. But I pushed forward with the lovely support network I acquired at my time at McMaster, and kept making slow steps. You'll notice it'll seem like two steps forward then one backwards. And it sucks, but you know what? You are still moving ahead. And you'll look back on the months or years of work and realize how much happier and healthier you've become. And I can tell you from personal experience, that makes it more than worth it. :)
If you need help finding financing for seeking out professional help, or finding resources/qualified professionals feel free to message me. I know tons about which clinics/doctors in Toronto and Hamilton are helpful, as well as the resources you guys have in college and university