Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day; a day where we bring awareness to mental health illnesses and issues throughout the world. 365 days of the year, our goal should be to raise awareness and support for mental health, because after all, mental health effects everyone.
If you have been following my blog, you know I have depression and anxiety. It is an everyday battle and I wanted to let you know my full story. My mental health story started when I was very young. Growing up, I was always anxious and could cry at the littlest thing. During college, I started experiencing panic attacks and small episodes of depression. Then, after graduation, it hit hard – full speed ahead hard.
I have only been out of school for a little more than two years. The first year was fine; I was still anxious, but not yet depressed. Then, as life got harder and more struggles happened, I started experiencing feelings I had never felt before. I was sad, I wanted to cry, I didn’t want to get out of bed, and I wasn’t happy. My family and friends began noticing a difference as I became more somber, quiet, and a homebody. My feelings kept getting worse and worse until July 2017.
It was a Monday morning. I had just woken up and didn’t want to get ready for work. Sleep didn’t come easy the night before and I was exhausted. I knew I wasn’t mentally able to go to my job and instead I cried my eyes out…the whole day. Why? I don’t know. Just thinking about getting up and going somewhere, out into public, and being a functioning human being at the time, broke me into a million different pieces. Tuesday came and I was still the same. My mom, my biggest supporter, encouraged me to go see my doctor and I’m glad she did. Asking for help was the best decision I could have made. Five minutes into my doctor’s appointment, I was sobbing my eyes out and I received the help I desperately needed. I was given treatment and medicine.
Today, about four months later, I am more at peace, can easily smile and laugh, and don’t want to cry all the time. Yes, I still have my bad days and have to make the daily decision to get up. I know depression and anxiety will always be with me and something I will carry into my future. However, I am now stronger and better able to manage my mental health.
To those battling a mental illness, I hope my story will give you courage to ask for help. To those who aren’t, I hope my story will give you courage to provide help and raise awareness about mental health. Together, we can change the stigma, start the conversation, and make mental health a part of everyday life.