May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, but what you may not know is that approximately 1 in 5 people experience mental illness in a year. In the United States, 40 million people have been diagnosed with anxiety and 16.2 million have been diagnosed with depression, according to The Anxiety and Depression Center of America. Out of those numbers 25% are college students.
Mental health is a huge problem and I think its time we all step up and do something. We can not turn our backs and ignore the problem anymore. I think a large part of mental health stigmas come from simply the lack of understanding. So I want to talk about my own experiences with depression and anxiety, without filters; just the honest truth
I was a senior in high school when I had my first depressive episode. I barely slept at night and I barely ate. I felt worthless; felt the world was better without me and quite honestly, I wanted to die. After realizing what I was going through, I was put on medication and started going to therapy. But my journey didn’t stop there.
Before college, it was easier for me find help when I was struggling. My mother was there, she was my rock, and I could go to her for whatever I needed. But a fear I had when I came to college. What would I do when I just can’t run to my mom and have her comfort me? Yes, now in college, I have good days and I have bad days, but I am thankful that I have friends, including my mother who know and have stuck by my side and helped in the best way they can.
I haven’t told my story to many people and I won’t disclose my entire story in the post, but this is a step in breaking the stigma. I am not writing this for pity, I am writing this for myself. Mental illness is real, and I am one of the millions of people who suffer but I am a successful young woman who is learning from my struggles and I will not be defined nor limited by my depression.
You are not alone!