Mental Health Awareness Week

Depression is no surprise to God, and it does not cancel His purpose for your life. You may be struggling, but you are not your struggle. You still are who God says you are. And this does not make you less of a person. You’re just as valuable and your story is not over.

-Brittney Moses

Hello, lovely people! 

Today I will be sharing my personal experience on a sensitive topic: mental health. May 7-13 is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness week, and I thought it would be important to share my story. 

Depression runs in my family, and I’ve been living with (diagnosed) depression for almost four years, but I had depression long before I was diagnosed. When I started taking medication in August of 2013, I started on a small does because I was still in eighth grade and too little to take a high dose. After lots of trials, two medication changes, and lots of dosage changes, I am finally feeling good and am able to enjoy all life has to offer. But healing didn’t happen overnight. 

My sophomore year in high school, I was hospitalized for severe depression at the beginning of the second semester. I spent a week in a mental hospital. The psychiatrist at the hospital didn’t listen to my parents, or me, and decided that the best medicine for me would be to join a sport. My parents challenged her, and I was put on a new medication. Even though the medication eventually helped, I still wasn’t 100%. It wasn’t until October of 2016 that I found a psychiatrist that actually knew what they were doing, and I was finally put on the right medication. 

This is just a summary of the trials I had to go through in order to find the right medicine. Last semester, I spent two weeks at home because of my depression. I had lost the will to live, and didn’t feel like trying anymore. Don’t confuse being depressed with being lazy, it’s normally on my rough days that I’m trying the hardest. 

The reason I decided to share this is because mental health needs to be talked about. There needs to be more conversations with teens about suicide, depression, anxiety, and every other mental illness that goes unspoken.

Depression in the media is stigmatized and portrayed as “not a real illness,” but bipolar disorder is just as real as a kidney stone. The popular Netflix show 13 Reasons Why shows the main character Hannah Baker reaching out for help, but the counselor she talks to brushes her off. Friends, this does not happen in the real world; people will help you if you ask. Teens, and everyone else for that matter, need to realize it is okay to talk about the problems they are facing and that it’s okay to ask for help. 

You can get better. You will get better. Please, please ask for help. 

Mental health is important to talk about because there are so many negative connotations surrounding it. The media has started to educate people on depression and other illnesses, but there are still inaccurate depictions of mental illnesses. 

Start the conversation. Below I will list some resources for y’all to use. Let’s beat the stigma around mental illnesses once and for all.

Please, share your story! Let’s get the conversation started. 

National Alliance on Mental Illness: 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264), https://www.nami.org

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: 1-240-485-1001, http://www.adaa.org

National Institute of Mental Health: 1-866-615-6464, http://www.nimh.nih.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Division of Mental Health, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth

American Psychological Association: 1-800-374-2721, http://www.apa.org

American Psychiatric Association: 1-703-907-7300, http://www.psychiatry.org

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