Mental Health (Let’s Talk About It)

I have mental health issues.

I was born with depression and anxiety and as I grew up I developed an eating disorder. My mental health was influenced biologically and socially. It wasn’t something that was talked about during my early years. I was visiting a therapist and school councilor every day from elementary to high school. I didn’t really understand why I was feeling sad all the time or that I was having a panic attack when we couldn’t decide on a place to eat for dinner. It was if I was battling the current of my own emotions, deep depression and being on the edge. It was difficult being so young and not really understanding why I felt the way I did. I was always trying to fight the inner battle of not accepting who I was, I wanted to be happy.

After years of therapy and attempts to put me on medication as I grew up, I decided at the of 21 that I was going to take anxiety medicine. My doctor asked me if I wanted depression meds and I told her no. I wanted to teach myself how to deal with the depths of my emotions, a part of me was ashamed about asking for medicine, but I knew it was something I had to do. My anxiety was controlling me, it was a daily struggle to gain control of my stress. I decided to go on medication after a week of panic attacks during the summer of 2015. It was a hard choice but I was done being influenced by fear.

Mental illness isn’t a topic of conversation within the public eye, I think that it’s rooted to lack of knowledge. We tend to shy away from things that we don’t understand. Our mental health is what nourishes our mood, thoughts, and behavior…our wellbeing. Mentalhealth.gov talks about the influences of our mental health being biological (genes & brain chemistry) and life experiences (trauma, abuse (etc.)).

Types of Mental Health Disorders:

(There are more than 200 (classified) forms of Mental Illness)

  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral
  • Eating
  • Mood
  • Personality
  • Psychotic
  • Suicidal

1 in 4 suffer from mental illness, it’s a common “issue” that is being experienced around the world. Due to the increase of social media use, we are seeing mental health disorders on the rise, I think that eating disorders and many other issues are stemmed from peer pressure to look, live, and feel a certain way.  Mental health is being an issue because it can be developed socially because not everything is biological. The mind is very impressionable, from the bombardment of media we have become a culture obsessed with the need to be effortlessly perfect.

Life is hard, we all get caught up striving for happiness, a lifestyle that we all define it differently. I may have been born with depression and anxiety but I was taught to hate myself. I was looking around at the world and I didn’t see how I fit, I didn’t look or feel like the women in the magazine or popular girls in the locker room. I was simply judging myself based on the mirror society handed me saying, Take a look. It’s scary to know that our brains take hold of our surroundings and digest them into our personality, we become the reflection of what we choose to believe.

I never knew that my “issues” were considered a mental health disorder. I only ever heard the term disorder in films/tv, hospitals, and on the news after a mass killing.  I didn’t want to be packaged with the mass shooters or the psychos in the films. My mental health shouldn’t be termed a disorder if the news is saying that a person who shoots up a theater had a mental disorder. There isn’t a black in white in the medical field only grey, so when we group together people we are harming those who are simple caught up in trying to understand why they feel a certain way.

I may have mental health issue but I am not a statistic, I am not a disorder, I am simple a human trying to decode my emotions.

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