Today is World Mental Health day, a subject very close to my heart. It is a day for global awareness, mental health education and a chance to #StopTheStigma
Mental Health is so so important. It has been a real taboo subject for far too long and it’s important to raise awareness and help each other get help.
The stigma around it and the fact that it leads to people not opening up and reaching out is heartbreaking.
Seeing others speak out and open up about their troubles today has inspired me to share a bit of my story. I was first diagnosed with depression when I was in secondary school. I suffered with panic attacks and anxiety which often led to me having to miss lessons, falling behind on coursework etc. People didn’t understand how someone so young who had their life ahead of them could possibly be depressed, but my depression and anxiety are real and I still struggle with them immensely.
Throughout the years I have had a massive decline in my health and at 24 I was diagnosed with multiple incurable conditions. This sent my depression and anxiety out of control. I can’t exactly describe how it feels but there are often days that I feel trapped inside my own head. There are nights I don’t sleep due to the irrational thoughts taking over my mind. I get overwhelmed with the thoughts and countless “what if” situations that go round and round in my head. I feel incredible guilt for feeling sad because there are people so much worse off than me. I then feel as though something bad is going to happen because I have had these terrible thoughts. This is a vicious circle and pretty much a daily routine.
Recently I hit rock bottom, you wouldn’t think it looking at my social media or if you see me, but it is all an act. Social media isn’t real. It is a highlight reel and what we want the World to see. We all have our demons and sometimes it is the people who seem the happiest on the outside who are actually the saddest deep down. Thankfully I reached out before it was too late, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be here right now. The overwhelming support I received from those around me showed me that life is worth living. The depression and anxiety haven’t just gone away and I still have to face demons the majority of my days. I have found coping mechanisms and most importantly I have accepted help. I am now at University studying psychology and counseling and when I graduate I am determined to help as many people as I can so that no one feels alone.
If you are struggling then please seek help. You are not a burden. The odds of you being born as you are about 1 in 400 trillion, or more so your existence is amazing!
I am happy to talk to anyone and share things that have helped me on my journey. I have far from won this war but I won’t stop fighting.