Mental Health

My connection to Mental Health

At 13 years old I was at a friend’s house when it burned down. We all made it out but not unscathed. Their family changed forever that day, losing everything including beloved pets. I developed severe anxiety in which my body reacted with black outs and panic attacks. I tried to manage it as best as I could from then on but it was difficult. All information about anxiety was generic and it certainly couldn’t affect adolescents (insert sarcasm). It wasn’t widely understood or accepted. Eventually, I developed depression but didn’t know it at the time. It was left untreated for quite a while. In hindsight, I was lucky to push forward with life because so few are able to manage without proper diagnosis. It wasn’t sheer miracle that I wasn’t swallowed whole by darkness…I found ways to cope (that’s a story for another time). I was officially diagnosed with depression at 24. However, for two years I was medicated but not very knowledgeable on what it meant or how to cope. Finally, I found the best doctor and the courage to be brutally honest with myself. What was going on with me went much deeper than mere depression. At 26 years old, with the help of a doctor who was willing to listen, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II. I started gaining control of my life. It’s been a long journey and it continues to change daily. I am no longer clueless about what is happening to me. Though, sometimes I get triggered or meds work a little less than before and I fail to remain mindful of what’s happening. I always pick myself and seek the correct treatment. I’ll explain more on that in the future but I just want you to know that a life with mental health disorders is always ebbing and flowing. And that’s ok. We learn to become fluid with our diagnosis. It’s a daily struggle and it’s likely to ALWAYS be. Unfortunately, it’s not a curable disorder but it is manageable. That may seem to be a daunting reality…NONCURABLE…good news is, it’s no longer a fight we have to fight alone! More information comes out about mental health disorders every day and stigma is being squashed with campaigns across the world.

 

Does mental affect you personally? Do you know anyone who is or may be affected by it? How can we help? Leave a comment below and tell me your story.

*Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

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