Thursday, October 10, 2019

World Mental Health Day

I would like to start this post with "Happy World Mental Health Day!" but I know mental health is not always happy. I am happy that this day exists, though. We as a society need to be reminded of the importance of mental health. With 1 in 4 people on this earth suffering, we need to talk about it more. 

There is so much that I want to say on this topic, but I don't know where to start. I've been battling mental health issues since I was 11 years old. I was a relatively "happy" kid on the outside, but deep down I had dark thoughts. Thoughts of ending my own life. Why? I don't know. I couldn't control them. I would go from playing outside with my friends to fantasizing about drowning in the bathtub. I would experience terrible aniexty that I would just explain as "stomach aches." I grew up with loving family and friends, but even so I still felt alone. 

I didn't tell anyone about these thoughts until I was 18 years old. Seven whole years I suffered in silence. Why? Because I was ashamed. I didn't think anyone else in the whole world could feel how I was feeling. Of course, I was wrong. Depression and anxiety creep into millions of people's lives, and a lot of them hide it like I did. 

Why was I depressed? I still don't know exactly. Sometimes it's caused by life events and other times it is just the genes you are born with. 

So what did I do once I figured out it was depression? I sought help. Councelors, doctors, friends, and family.  Did it go away? Hell no. But it did get better. I realized that I was not alone in this battle. I didn't have to hide anymore. And that realization probably saved my life. 

So here I am, at age 26, still living with a mental health disorder. I take medications that lessen my symtpons, and I am not ashamed of that. There will be bad days, but I know the good ones shine brighter. I understand it is a journey. My journey. 

So why am I sharing this? In hopes that someone out there reading will share their journey as well. Mental health should never be ignored or pushed aside. If we talk about it, people will listen. 

Til next time, 

Nat 

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