For years now, I have struggled with anxiety and depression. I remember having social anxiety as a child and not understanding why I couldn’t socialize like other kids my age. I was too young to realize that it was anxiety. As I got older and started high school, my anxiety only worsened and I developed signs of depression. I felt like an outcast at school, but I didn’t want to admit that I had a problem.
Sophomore year of high school my father was diagnosed with Mesothelioma lung cancer. I was terrified… I felt like I had no way of coping with this and I didn’t know how to help my family. I began shutting down at home because I was so exhausted from putting on a show at school. Every day at school I had to pretend that I was fine. I joined more clubs and found ways to keep myself busy to forget about the pain. But when I returned home I was forced to recognize that my father way dying.
On January 5th 2011, my father lost his life to cancer. My family was devastated. I kept up my show at school, but my condition at home worsened. I was mad at everyone, especially God. Why did this happen to my family? How I am supposed to recover from this?
I started cutting myself to feel better. I was trying so hard at school to feel nothing, and cutting myself felt like a release. Deep down I knew I needed help, but I was embarrassed. I thought, I should be strong enough to fight this on my own. I was wrong.
I didn’t seek help until my sophomore year of college. I was dealing with a hard breakup and spiraled into a mental break down. Finally, all of the feelings I was pushing down had surfaced. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I spent weeks just crying on the floor. I lost 20 pounds in three weeks.
My mom told me I needed to get help, she was so worried. I met with a professional and was put on medication for anxiety and depression, and at school I met with a counselor for a few months. I started feeling SO MUCH better. Seeking help was the best thing I could have ever done.
Today, I still struggle with my mental health. I’ve recently had a hard time finding my passion and the right career path for me after college. This has taken a huge toll on my self confidence. Again, I am seeking the help of a counselor.
I am no longer ashamed of my mental health disorders. I can recognize when I need help. I hope that one day others can feel this way. It is so important to realize you are not alone, it is okay to seek help, you are loved, and you can feel better ❤️.
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