Live Through This

On Falling Apart

Being diagnosed with mental illness was scary, but it was what I needed to get well.

Illustration by Sonja

The week after my 30th birthday, my best friend had me committed to a psych ward. Two days later, I had emerged with a life-changing diagnosis. The hard part hadn’t even started yet.

I deserved to be committed. I needed it. For a long time, I had been in a dark, painful mood, a mood that had steadily transitioned into my personality. When I felt anger, I felt it so intensely that it took over my whole body. I would go to the grocery store with a carefully composed list, walk through the aisles fuming, and then leave so furious that I completely forgot to buy any food. The anger—which could have been over anything from a fight with a friend to a political issue—often lasted for weeks. Also, I was tired—always, always bone-tired. I was so exhausted that it was a huge physical effort to sit at my desk and type, except for rare weeks of nonstop energy in which I came up with an idea, worked to make it happen, watched it happen, and then treated it like a toy I’d gotten bored with after several days. I could always get my paying work done, but anything outside of that was subject to my ever-fluctuating energy levels. My emotions seemed remote, flat, hard to discern, as if I were trying to see them through dirty glass. I couldn’t really feel anything, and what I could feel was bad. I pulled away from people. I was determined not to trust anyone. I was depressed, in other words, except for those strangely productive weeks and long, terrifying rushes of anger.

About a month before my birthday, this took a bizarre turn. Not only did I distrust people, I suspected many of them were only pretending to be my friends. I was convinced they were plotting against me. And I realized something: I deserved it. I was acting like a terrible monster, even if I didn’t know exactly why. I would find a friend with whom I’d had a fight, for example, and apologize for calling them a name that they had in fact called me. I was saying I’d done or said things that never happened. But I wasn’t entirely sure that I hadn’t slapped a man with whom I’d had an argument about WikiLeaks. (I hadn’t, people were there, they saw an absence of slapping.) But if I hadn’t, how could I know that any of my other memories were valid? The real and the imaginary were starting to feel the same. I was sending people rambling Gchats talking about what a bad person I was, and if the conversation topic shifted, I couldn’t keep up. I seemed to be talking mostly to myself.

When my friend came over to my house, the night before I went in, she hadn’t seen me in a month. I hadn’t bathed in weeks. I was dressed in a mismatched, nonsensical collection of clothes I’d picked up off the floor. I had lost about 20 pounds; bones were sticking out of my face and wrists. (I had stopped eating.) People told me I couldn’t make eye contact. I also couldn’t speak above a whisper or in a complete sentence. I had been up for at least 24 hours, and I couldn’t sleep. I would lie down, then start back up again to wander around the apartment. My friend stayed up all night watching this, and in the morning she took me to the psych ward of a New York hospital that accepted walk-ins. Nurses took my blood pressure and asked us both a few questions about my behavior and thoughts. A doctor took my friend into a different room and asked her to describe what she’d seen of my behavior. Once they’d talked to her, they handed her my bag and my coat, and told her to leave. They told me I would be staying.

I’m describing this because I want you to see how it sneaked up on me. Mental illness is like this. It doesn’t always show up suddenly and dramatically. I had been diagnosed in the past with depression and generalized anxiety disorder, both of which were common illnesses, and which I thought explained my problems. I would have been insulted if you’d suggested I had anything more serious. I was just joyless, I was just angry, I was just lonely. I thought maybe I had chronic fatigue or something, but I didn’t see a reason to get it checked out. By the time I was unwashed, incoherent, and skeletal, I had gotten so used to being unhappy that I almost didn’t see the difference. (Note: if you start to feel bad for long periods of time, if your thought patterns or personality start to change in odd ways, go to a doctor. It could be a bad mood. It could also be something much more dangerous.)

What the doctors at the hospital finally decided was that I had bipolar II disorder, which is a scary diagnosis. It has a high suicide rate and can be very painful and destructive to your life if you don’t get it treated. It basically means cycling between phases of overconfidence and recklessness (and/or anger), and then deep shame when you crash down into depression and see the mess you’ve made. The diagnosis made sense of most of my worst times and emotions. My boyfriend had noticed phases where I couldn’t say no to anything, and then corresponding periods of isolation and darkness, where I could barely function socially. But before I could get this alarming news, I had to deal with the other scary thing, which was being in the hospital in the first place.

Since I had not checked myself in, my stay was marked as “involuntary.” The hospital would have one doctor give a potential diagnosis, then keep me for 24 hours of observation. After that, another doctor would look at me, and if he agreed that I needed to stay, they could keep me for up to 72 hours total, and then move me to a hospital for a longer stay if they thought it was advisable. My consent was not necessary for any of this, and I literally could not have left if I had wanted to. My entire future was in the hands of these strangers.

Let me tell you: if you already think people are monitoring you, if you’re already worried that people are plotting against you, being locked up against your will by people who want to monitor your thoughts feels like literally the worst thing that can ever possibly happen. It feels like all your fears are coming true. You are away from home, there is nothing to do, and strangers are dictating your every move—when you eat, what you eat, when you sleep, when you wake up, when you take a shower.

I was scared, I was homesick, and I was very, very angry. Imagine, if you will, a feminist blogger surrounded by men who tell her they don’t think she’s competent to make her own decisions. While I was there, several patients flipped out and yelled at the doctor. This was assumed to be a sign of their illness, but actually, it’s a pretty normal reaction. I wanted to yell for most of the time I was there.

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100 Comments

  • Libby September 24th, 2012 3:27 PM

    I don’t really know what to say; what coherent sentence to pull together, wisdom to share, anecdotes to give. Just–thank you for writing this.

  • nymphaeals September 24th, 2012 3:27 PM

    This was such a wonderful read, especially for someone like me who is dealing with these same issues. Thank-you.

  • owlybird September 24th, 2012 3:27 PM

    I am so, so lucky that I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at a young age (7) and have been on medication since. I see what happens when I miss my medication (which is often- it’s a bad, bad habit.) And I can’t imagine living like that.

    I have had episodes where I had to keep myself from beating my brother’s head through a window and smashing my own head on walls.

    Luckily, most of the time when I miss my medication I remember it the next day, so it doesn’t get that out of hand. But still, some days when I’ve missed it, my boyfriend will do or say something and I’ll get very sad and angry, and it spirals out of control. I’ll tell myself lies, and believe them, to keep myself sad.

    My mother has been wonderful. Perhaps others wouldn’t think so, though, because she doesn’t put up with me. To her, and to me, bipolar disorder is not an excuse. I have to own up to my actions despite my disorder. She has explained to me several times that if I act like that as an adult that I could very probably end up in jail, or at least a psych ward.

    Whew. That was a long comment. Didn’t mean to get so winded. Just wanted to share my story, I guess.

    • Maddy September 24th, 2012 4:42 PM

      I like that you think don’t think of it as an excuse. Thanks for sharing, good luck with everything.

  • Abby September 24th, 2012 3:45 PM

    ….Thank you. Just…. thank you. My sister attempted suicide when she was 16 and I was 13, and I still can’t even begin to imagine what she was feeling. She’s doing better now, but it was the scariest time in my life, and, I’m sure, hers. Thank you.

  • kruisin September 24th, 2012 3:47 PM

    I often at times feel that life is a battle that I might never win or conquer, which sucks, because life is supposed to be beautiful and wonderful. I often feel like I’m bringing my wonderfully optimistic boyfriend down to my level and making him sad. I blame a lot of peoples problems and sadness on myself, like because I am a part of their lives they have to deal with me and therefore shit goes wrong for them. And sometimes it gets really bad and I see no reason for living. Most of my anger stems from financial hardships and whatnot, and I get very upset that I don’t have health insurance even though I’ve worked full time at the same job for nearly two years. I blame most of my problems on myself and my employers who seem to love me, yet don’t give me health insurance. I don’t know what this rant is all about, I guess I’m just scared that I need help, but I definitely can’t afford it. And I don’t want to admit to anyone in my life that I may need help cause I don’t want to come off as weak. So instead I’m telling a bunch of strangers on the internet cause I trust Rookie, and I love ya’ll.
    And Sady, your writing is always wonderful and makes me think I should get the eff up and help myself.

    • georgie fruit September 24th, 2012 7:08 PM

      have you looked into free or sliding-scale counseling services? check out the website for Mental Health America to see if there are affordable services where you live–or just do a quick google search.

      http://www.nmha.org/go/find_therapy

      you can also apply for your state’s Medicaid program–it’s kind of a tedious process (at least in California, where I did it) but it is so worth it.

      good luck. I hope you can find something that works for you.

      • kruisin September 24th, 2012 7:56 PM

        Wow, thank you! I’m in California too, but I’m down for tediousness, or I’ll make myself be down :) Thank you a lot.

        • georgie fruit September 24th, 2012 9:47 PM

          you’re welcome! I really hope you can find someone to talk to and help you. and remember, recognizing and honoring your needs is a sign of huge courage and strength–seeing a therapist/psychiatrist/etc, is NOT a sign of weakness. you deserve a life full of happiness–now go out and live it!

  • Melbaroast September 24th, 2012 3:52 PM

    Thank you for this.

  • Elizabete September 24th, 2012 3:57 PM

    This bought me back some bittersweet memories.
    I have never had a bipolar disorder, but i have been in children psych ward twice because of anorexia, however i think it was depression + orthorexia.

    “For a while, all of them were convinced that every emotion I had, and everything I did, was somehow related to my illness.” – so true, 98% precent of nurses tried to tie everything that had anything to do with anorexia to me, whenever i moved it was because i wanted to lose weight, when i went to toilet it was to purge ( which i had never done ). Staying at the hospital broke me, i wasn’t even allowed to meet my parents until the last bit, phones were obviously banned. Also i’m still afraid to workout as much as i want to.

    Only good thing were other teenagers in ward, it seems like the most intelligent, smart and beautiful people get mental diseases. It was strange how many people i knew before, i met there and we all had at least one mutual friend.

    Ok, i’m sorry about spamming, just felt like sharing. Also – Sady, your’e the best :D !

    http://melodyfairitale.wordpress.com/

    • Lulu September 25th, 2012 8:25 AM

      What you said about the people who get mental disorders being the most smart & beautiful is so true. I know two completely genius, otherworldly girls whose lives have been completely taken over by anxiety and depression, and it’s horrible, because you want them so desperately to be able to see themselves the way you do…
      On another note, this article is actually so brilliant – Sady, you’re wonderful :)

  • heatherstarfish September 24th, 2012 3:58 PM

    First of all, I just want to say that I’m glad you’re doing better.

    Second of all;as someone who is currently going through depression and anxiety (among other things), this really means a lot. Mental illness could sometimes feel alienating, and it’s nice to realize that I’m not alone nor am I “crazy”.

    I doubt anybody reads these comments, but I just want to say THANK YOU.

    • Phoebe September 24th, 2012 4:04 PM

      We do read, and appreciate, them! Thank you for sharing, and take care of yourself.

  • starsinyourheart September 24th, 2012 4:00 PM

    I got diagnosed this January when i was 17. i can’t believe how normal i thought my horrific and dangerous life was. i’m sad that it got that way, but i’m so grateful that i’m here and happy now on the correct meds.

  • mery September 24th, 2012 4:09 PM

    I can’t think about any wise words to comment on this article, but I wanted to say: thank you from the bottom of my heart. I was diagnosed with OCD lately, which is also quite common, but dealing with it on my own for years and years was quite a struggle. That’s why I appericiate people who write about their mental illness. Once more, thank you.

  • laurelbird September 24th, 2012 4:09 PM

    This is beautiful. Thank you so much for writing this! Rookie has a way of posting articles at the exact right time that they relate to my life.
    I don’t have Bipolar Disorder so I can’t imagine what you (and so many others) went (and go) through. I do have Executive Functioning Disorder which basically just means I have trouble getting stuff done.
    And I did stay home from school today because of severe anxiety that affects me both physically and mentally. I’m seeing a doctor soon because I’m starting to scare myself.
    I worry sometimes but most of the time I’m fine and feel pretty normal. But occasionally I just can’t deal with life. I get so tired and just want to curl up and wait for my life to be over. I can’t deal with people or anything really and I get so anxious, and then in a day or two I’m fine again. It only affects me occasionally so I don’t know if it is an anxiety order or just me dealing with my life. Is this normal?
    I used to cut to deal with these emotions and this is the second time I’ve attempted quitting but the urge to do it again never leaves.
    Other than this I’m fine most of the time and have a great life. It isn’t as bad as it sounds here.
    Anyway thank you again for sharing your inspiring story (:

    • Isabelle97 September 24th, 2012 5:17 PM

      Hey just wanted to say I get extreme anxiety as well. When I was younger I would skip school because of it all the time(literally, I was in school about twice a week at the most). Anyway just wanted say “Me too!” because your comment really spoke to me and I can promise you it will get better in the long run- it did for me :)

      • laurelbird September 25th, 2012 4:37 PM

        Thank you! It’s good to know there are other people out there dealing with the same stuff. And same here, last year I was barely in school in the spring and people thought I had dropped all my classes or something! I’m happy to hear you got through it and are doing better(:

  • outro September 24th, 2012 4:12 PM

    Rookie makes such and impact, I’m so so greatful for this website. Recently I have been looking for any old articles pertaining to stuff like this. It is so comforting to read this article while currently in my life I find my own anxiety and odd disorder (which I don’t feel like naming) converging.

  • Lorf96 September 24th, 2012 4:22 PM

    Thanks Rookie this article was amazing

  • Narita September 24th, 2012 4:28 PM

    I loved this. I’ve been diagnosed with depression in March/April this year (I’m not even sure anymore. I now laugh about how stupid this is.) and most of my friends were really like, ‘WHAT HOW ON EARTH IS THIS HAPPENING YUR SUCH A CONFIDENT PERSON’ and told me I wasn’t allowed to be depressed, just because ‘UR MORE SUCCESFUL THAN I AM YUR FAMOUS’ and I was like, that just makes a zero percent sense, my friend. Zero percent.

    I’m glad you have such wonderful people around you: I’ve got my fellow writers of whom some are good friends too, period. Most people don’t really get it ‘CUZ IM SOO FAMUZ’ or something. I wish people were less judgemental. I guess I’ve still got a long way to go. Sometimes that makes me so hopeless knowing that there’s really something wrong in my brain that won’t just stop being wrong, and that the thing that is causing this is just really part of me and makes all the great things too, you know? My brain makes up my daydreams and my brain makes up the stuff I write, and sometimes it suddenly makes up a lot of angst and depressed feelings and ‘I want to throw myself in front of a train so it’s a good thing I live on an island’ kind of feelings and I just want to rip my head off and tell it to act normal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

    • elizab October 7th, 2012 7:07 PM

      I loved this article and I loved this comment I’m ‘crazy in a cute way.’ I’m ‘that adorable brilliant little hyper girl’
      I have both OCD and bipolar, and it always surprises me how many other people have these too, but it’s still so hard to talk about, especially depression. It’s still so hard to say anything but ‘just tired’ when someone asks me why I’m so quiet and slow-moving. I have earned a reputation as ‘that freaky-genius’ and somehow because I’m small and cute my mania is more ‘acceptable’ than my depression. “Eliza isn’t allowed to be sad!”
      I’m also a complete slob, and it’s hard to explain to people that my OCD manifests itself in things like label peeling, excessive sunscreening and tingling shoulder blades. There’s so many stereotypes and so much stigma. I’ve earned a reputation for nonconforming, but people still stereotype me as a nonconformer.
      You also sound just like my best friend. She’s depressed too but the most beautiful, magnetic, in-your-face confident person. She writes too.

  • GlitterKitty September 24th, 2012 4:30 PM

    Thank you thank you for this article. I’ve been going through a rough patch for the last little while. This is a very well timed article. I hit a point this morning where I realized that even if I didn’t directly tell someone “I think I’m too stressed out and anxious” it helps to at least tell them what was bothering me. I don’t know if I’ll feel like I want to “break the silence” tomorrow or the next day but this really helped push me in the right direction. Thank you.

  • giveemhellkid September 24th, 2012 4:36 PM

    I also have Bipolar II, and I’ve recently really started trying to get better. I was diagnosed at 14, and once I had started meds things were good. The earlier half of this year, though, it started coming back and I landed myself in a mental hospital for a week. It’s just like everything you said though, exactly. It’s hard, therapy twice a week, 1200 mg of drugs daily, diary cards monitering my emotions to be filled daily, and constantly trying to use skills so that I don’t to harmful things and such.
    Not sure where I’m going with this, but thank you. Wonderfully expressed.

  • Catherine_CC September 24th, 2012 4:47 PM

    You have no idea how relevant this is to my life right now. I’m a senior in high school and we have to do a senior project that focuses on a social justice issue; I’m doing the stigma and misinformation surrounding mental illnesses and the discrimination they face.

    I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a little over a year ago and in January of this year I was committed to the youth psychiatric ward for 8 days.

    You are right—it is terrible. I sat and smiled and did the arts and crafts and behaved like the perfect child so I could be released. So many of the people I met in there had been there before—something isn’t working.

    A lot of people aren’t getting the help they need. And I’m still on the path of recovery from self-harm and will continue on this journey of living with bipolar disorder.

    http://www.tumblr.com/dashboard

  • Runaway September 24th, 2012 5:00 PM

    Thanks a million for this, Sady!

    I’m prone to anxiety and depression. Even if they’re common, it’s difficult for me to tell other people about it, which sucks…

    When I’ve gone through rough patches (I’m getting out of one just now), I’ve often felt defective or like a failure for not being able to live up to my very own and other people’s expectations. When I’m like that I have to keep reminding myself that yeah, discipline is so important, but that too much can be damaging, too. Being a perfectionist is definitely a curse.

    My loved ones also have a tendency to exaggerate things when I’m feeling bad, though sometimes they try to play everything down. Both things drive me “crazy”.

    I love the Yellow Wallpaper reference. It’s not a pretty read, but it’s what made me go deeper into feminism years ago.

  • Marguerite September 24th, 2012 5:09 PM

    Thank you

  • Bolthead September 24th, 2012 5:17 PM

    Well said. Coming to grips with ANY diagnosis is still a terrible struggle in our society, which still associated mental illness with moral failing. Thank you for having the courage to write and post this.

    For that matter, thank you for the courage to cope with your illness each and every day. I know from my own what a challenge that is!

  • Tavi September 24th, 2012 5:21 PM

    Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it on Rookie, Sady.

  • radiofireworks September 24th, 2012 5:38 PM

    This is so wonderful, thank you for sharing it. I identified with so much of it – the terrible paranoia, the anger, the desperation, and the helplessness once the diagnosis is out there and you start to wonder if you will be forever defined by your illness. If I get sad now, my mum still freaks out and asks if I’m getting “depressed” again. It hurts every time, but I can see why she is so scared. Thankfully, I can also identify with the more positive aspects of this, because like you I made it out the other side.

  • hannahsophia September 24th, 2012 6:01 PM

    This is beautiful. After my parents got divorced, I developed anxiety and my older brother got extremely depressed. For a while it really sucked, but our dad took us to therapy and it really helped. My best friend helped me through so much too. A good support group means the world to someone who is struggling. Thank you for this article:)

  • david g September 24th, 2012 6:25 PM

    While I’ve been fortunate to not yet be in your direct situation, I’ve loved enough people who suffered from (treated and untreated) bipolar, from grandmother to girlfriend, and spent enough time visiting psych wards. I can’t begin to imagine how scary writing this piece was for you. Thank you for sharing this with the world.
    And best wishes towards getting and staying well.

  • caro nation September 24th, 2012 6:32 PM

    This might be a little too “self-diagnosis after reading The Bell Jar,” but you’re description of yourself during that holding-pattern before diagnosis seems very familiar.

    If I think I may be in need of psychiatric evaluation after reading this article and those linked from it, what do I do? Do people check themselves in? Is that customary?

    I haven’t slept at all since last wednesday.

    • Delilah September 24th, 2012 9:29 PM

      You can commit yourself voluntarily I think (sometimes psych hospitals are short on beds, so I’m not entirely sure), but I would suggest instead scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist. I don’t know how severe your problems are but institutionalization is a tough system to get caught in. You’re basically signing your life over to the doctors; you take what medication they give you, and you can’t be released without their consent. With a psychiatrist, you work together to figure out the best medication/therapy for you, and you’re not a prisoner.

      That’s not to say psychiatric hospitals are terrible; for some people they’re necessary, and if you would feel safer in one, definitely look into it. But in my experience, recognizing you need help is the big challenge, and (for me) the most critical reason for why I was in a psych hospital. I didn’t know I needed help. It seems like you’ve figured that out already. So you can explore all your options now, and choose what’s best for your health. Reach out to family or friends you can trust, and discuss it with them, too. And, if you ever feel like you’re a danger to yourself, you can always go to the emergency room, tell them your situation, and they will take care of you.

      Best of luck. <3

  • nic_w September 24th, 2012 6:42 PM

    I spent about two weeks in the hospital, and it was a good place for me, despite how it can be taken – that you ‘did time’ in a psych ward or hospital. I was removed from a situation that was triggering anxiety attacks and deepening my depression, and I only had to see the people I wanted to.

    It wasn’t even my worst breakdown. It took a long time to figure out how to manage my illness, and it’s still a struggle sometimes.

    Thank you for writing this, and being honest about how it affects you, and for how long. Things get better, but you have to watch yourself.

  • Mollylou September 24th, 2012 7:06 PM

    Very insightful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Mayabett September 24th, 2012 7:11 PM

    I’m really glad Rookie posted this.

    Just last Monday, my doctor declared my depression as in remission. As in, I’m healed.

    And today my college counselor told me she didn’t think I could get into my dream school because I don’t have perfect grades. I told her my emotional situation really prevented me from doing my best. She said, “Yeah, but for everyone with a situation there are 10 people without a situation and they have perfect grades.”
    Basically, she made me feel like my mental illnesses were my fault and my weakness.
    But they have made me stronger and this article reminds me of that.

    To anyone struggling, you CAN get better.

    • vivvast September 24th, 2012 10:44 PM

      I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety, and also had an illness that many doctors attributed to being my mentally unstable. My grades definitely suffered and I missed a semester of school. I’m really worried about not being a perfect student on college apps. I get crazy overwhelmed and break down any time I start thinking about my chances for getting into the hyper competitive schools that I’m passionate about.

      It’s good to remember that these things are not your fault, and don’t let her make you feel inadequate! It’s all about the whole package, and I’m sure you can get in somewhere that makes you really happy where you can be successful, because you are a strong person.

      Best wishes and congrats on being in remission<3 !!!!!! and thank you for reminding me that these experiences have made me stronger as well.

  • yourface September 24th, 2012 7:40 PM

    This article is really helpful actually, one of my best friends suffers from clinical depression and has been hospitalized for it many times over the past couple of years. I’ve never really been able to get inside her head and see what she has been dealing with. I just get to see her outward emotions, and this article has really helped me see into the brain of someone mentally ill. It’s really hard seeing her go through these things sometimes, but it’s really all I can do to help her…. This just really hit home, thanks for opening up like this. I know doing something like that isn’t easy! You seem like such a strong person to have to have gone through that, I pray my friend has the same strength as you!

  • darksideoftherainbow September 24th, 2012 8:05 PM

    thank you so much for this post. i really needed it exactly right now. i’m currently looking for a psychiatrist with good reviews so that i can make an appointment. it’s really important for me to read things like this that remind me that i’m not alone and that there is no shame in this.

    thank so SO much.

  • powderpinkriot September 24th, 2012 8:20 PM

    This article made me sad; but I loved it . Last year my only brother went through some really obvious personality changes. One day he came to stay with me because his roommates had called the cops on him for abnormal behavior . That night was the first time I knew some serious stuff was going down. He was hearing voices and saying people were trying to get him. I woke up to find all my knifes at each door and my brother in the corner with a big kitchen knife. I was so scared and I didn’t know what to do, do I took him to a psych ward. They kept him 48 hours then released him with a paranoid schizophrenic diagnosis . The next day he jumped off the coronado bridge and died . I still feel like I should have done something different , but I don’t know what .

  • kruisin September 24th, 2012 8:30 PM

    Sonja, we used to sell those gold poop pills by Citizen Citizen that are in your collage at my work! They sold out too, lol.

  • kolumbia September 24th, 2012 8:50 PM

    This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you.

  • sissi September 24th, 2012 9:10 PM

    Trigger Warning, maybe
    i know no one will read this, it’s so far down the comments. so i guess i can feel safe posting it. i wasn’t able to finish this article because half way through it i just busted out into to tears, this isn’t me attention seeking, i just need to get this off my chest. i have yet to seek treatment for obvious depression, self harm, anorexia, anxiety, maybe bipolar disease, OCD, and a shitload of other stuff. again, i promise I’m not trying to make myself seem cool or interesting. i just really connected with this particular article. sometimes I’m super happy and confident, working on my fashion and writing away. and sometimes i just hate myself, almost kill myself, and begin apologizing. i know that sounds stupid and average teen drama, but that’s one of the reason i haven’t told anyone. I’m scared it’s all in my head and I’m not actually crazy, I’m just pathetic. i annoy people so much and i generically am a horrible person. I’m fat and a cow. i have an eating despaired, but i’m still at a normal weight so I’m scarred if i ask for help people will say that I’m not skinny enough to worry about. and i just… my birthday is coming up, my parents just spent tons of money to let me take FIT precollage classes, i won a competition to blog for FIT, I’m designing a line for a magazine i work on, but ism still struggling daily not to kill myself. I’m such a pathetic loser. but reading most of this made me hope maybe I’m not, and maybe i can work threw this.
    sorry

    • landlockedblues September 24th, 2012 9:45 PM

      Sissi, all of your feelings are valid. I’m sorry that you are going through this. I felt the urge to comment here because I could relate so much – I have depression and anxiety issues that make normal, daily tasks very difficult to do and the main reason I haven’t asked for help is because I’m scared I’m actually overreacting, that what I have isn’t real. You are so much lovelier than you think you are and I sincerely hope you get better.

      PS: if you ever want to talk more or are in need of some comfort, please don’t hesitate to talk to me via tumblr! My URL is landlockedblues.tumblr.com :)

    • northernground September 24th, 2012 9:50 PM

      I hope it’s cool with me responding, but I really need to let you know that even though I’ve never met you, I think you’re great for even posting this, because you have the guts to write about it (and that’s awesome). Don’t wait until you’re skinny enough to get help (trust me, even if you’re 40 pounds lighter, you never get there), and don’t try to push it to the back of your mind or think that it’s nothing, because it’s really important. There are a lot of amazing therapists/counsellors/psychiatrists out there and it doesn’t matter if you go through 5 of them until you find one that clicks with you. I wish I knew the right thing to say, but I don’t and I’m rambling, but please keep working through it! You’ve done something really great by even considering to ask for help. You’re not a loser at all.

    • Tavi September 24th, 2012 9:51 PM

      You are NOT a pathetic loser, and everything you’re feeling is completely valid, not stupid teenage attention-seeking drama. I’m glad you got this off your chest — and you are always, always welcome here — but if you feel like you’ve been keeping a lot inside, talking to someone like a friend, family member, or therapist might help more than it seems right now. Personally, I am close to many people for whom seeing a therapist was more helpful than opening up to someone they already knew well, and many of them found that to be a comfortable first step towards more serious help, too. It felt that way for me too, and I was mortified to talk to my parents about finding one, but they accepted that I had my reasons and didn’t pry beyond trusting that I knew what I was feeling. I don’t mean to compare our situations at all, but I don’t want to offer advice beyond my own experience, either. Whether you think you want to talk to someone soon or not, just know that you are so much greater than you feel right now, and you can always express how you feel here without fear of being judged.
      Hugs hugs hugs.
      <3

    • Narita September 25th, 2012 12:03 AM

      My love, it’s not average teen drama. Please seek help, we want you to be safe. Winning a blogging thingy doesn’t ensure happiness. Neither do precollege classes. You don’t have to be bone-skinny to have an eating disorder because there can still be something wrong with your eating habits. Like I told you before, please, contact a doctor. We don’t want you to be doing this to yourself and not get the help you need.

  • izi rae September 24th, 2012 9:42 PM

    Just got diagnosed with ocd and social anxiety. this is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you <3

  • northernground September 24th, 2012 9:57 PM

    “I’m describing this because I want you to see how it sneaked up on me. Mental illness is like this. It doesn’t always show up suddenly and dramatically.”
    AJFALFHEJKSHFSA EXACTLY. THANK YOU.
    Sometimes I hate my illness, but right now I’m at a point where I love who I’ve become by fighting through it and I love all the people I’ve met while going through recovery. However, I guess I always need to keep my guard up, because Ed likes to sneak in without me knowing.
    It’s so awesome to see everyone talk about mental illness here. Sady, thank you so much for posting this

  • Jenny September 24th, 2012 10:00 PM

    Thank you so much for writing this, Sady. It scared me and made me scared for you and everyone who is dealing with mental health issues, but it also made me remember how beautiful and wonderful it is to heal.

  • HypnoPants September 24th, 2012 10:33 PM

    I know what this is like – at least sort of. I have Inattentive ADHD, depression, and anxiety. I had a horrible year during sixth grade. I missed half the year, I was frozen in the car and couldn’t get out of it to go to school. I was depressed, too. Like nothing good would ever happen again. I couldn’t remember happy times… the seemed so far away. I cried all day, felt like everybody hated me. It was horrible. When I did go to school, I couldn’t pay attention. I was SICK. Luckily my mother, who also has mental stuffs, realized this and took me to see my brother’s psychiatrist (he’s younger than me and got diagnosed when he was 7-ish.) and I started on a general mood-stabilizer, Lamictal. And I felt so much better. I took a couple of other medicines and found a good combination and felt good, for once in my life. But the medicines I was taking made me not hungry at all. I was 4’10″ ish and weighed in at 69-70 pounds. But I changed medicines and I started eating more. Summer break came and school was over. But same thing happened when 7th grade came around. In December I switched schools. Now I am happy as can be, though I have my occasional down days. FOr some odd reason, my dad says (my parents split) “I don’t know why Mom drills it into your head that you have to take your medicines!”
    “Erm, Dad, what did you say? It’s kind of neccessary. I feel horrible if I don’t. Haven’t you ever seen me without them?” I ask. But yeah, that’s my success story. I am so glad that I had my sickness(es) recognized and stuff.
    xoxo
    HypnoPants

    • HypnoPants September 24th, 2012 10:35 PM

      Also, I forgot to say don’t be afraid to tell someone, anyone that you might think will understand, what you feel. Talk to a therapist, a psychiatrist. Don’t be afraid, it will help you in the end.

  • takebackyourpower September 24th, 2012 10:59 PM

    This really reminded me of struggles with drug addiction/alcoholism. People blame you, society labels you, you try to change your life by sleeping,eating, avoiding situations, writing, etc. Our health is SO important!

  • Adyam September 25th, 2012 12:06 AM

    I really relate to this article. I have been to a psych hospital more than 6 times and I have to say that it gets worse before it gets better. I was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder which in turn led to social anxiety and depression. Honestly,I feel like I can live freely, but the pain never completely goes away. Just stay strong and you will persevere! :)

  • Jes September 25th, 2012 12:23 AM

    OH MY GOD YES you just referenced The Yellow Wallpaper. We read it for English at my school, and at first I thought it was just a story about an annoying, gossipy type. But pretty soon I was laughing maniacally at the story. And if you knew me, you’d know I am most happy when laughing maniacally.

  • hkma September 25th, 2012 12:23 AM

    I wanted to say to anyone that if they have been or are caught in a massively stressful situation such as: abuse, rape, etc. First, let someone know and pursue any legal options. Secondly, make sure you seek psychiatric attention as well. Certain disorders form after Trauma, such as PTSD or BPD, both of which I was diagnosed with after I was abused. If you’re ever in any traumatizing situation make sure you take care of yourself immediately because the severity of certain disorders is often proportional to how long they’ve gone untreated.

  • stardustcoyote September 25th, 2012 12:53 AM

    Thank you very very much for writing this. I really appreciated this article. Things always get better when you learn to love yourself again.

  • pohtaytoe September 25th, 2012 12:59 AM

    Thank you soooo much Sady!

  • anisarose September 25th, 2012 1:11 AM

    Such a powerful essay! I am always amazing by the strength shown when people reveal details of their own lives that are deeply personal and emotional. Also, the points about our society now being able to recognize mental illness as illness and not as “crazy” really reminds me of Bertha in Jane Erye and her emotional struggle— thank goodness that society has changed!

    http://anisarosenails.tumblr.com/

  • lamodernbeaute September 25th, 2012 1:21 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this. In the middle of college I had a nervous breakdown and couldn’t function. I constantly cried, couldn’t eat, hardly left my bed, was always tired, and felt there was no point in living. My best friend finally took me to get help and I was diagnosed with severe depression. I started medication and had counselling. I had issues taking medication because my mother had mental health issues and I always saw it as a weakness. It took me a while, but I learnt to manage my moods. I finished college and got a good grade despite doubting myself. Not long after graduating a great opportunity came my way and I felt strong enough to take that opportunity on my own. I moved to Asia from the UK and have since got myself a good job, found great friends and have become very independent. I no longer take medication, but I monitor my moods so it never happens again. I wanted to share my story because as hard as things get and even when you feel you’ve hit rock bottom… things do get better. The most important thing to do is identifying that you need help.

  • Bambi0 September 25th, 2012 5:58 AM

    I can’t explain how you’ve touched my heart. For years I felt something is wrong. For a whole year my boyfriend held with his both hands the last pieces of my emotional wrecks, I asked my mom to take me to a specialist because I knew I needed some help, even if the smallest one, I NEED it. She always turned me down, said I’m a whiner.
    I think I’m going to make an appointment for next week.

  • sarahelizabeth September 25th, 2012 7:41 AM

    This is amazing, very informative

  • fourf89 September 25th, 2012 9:23 AM

    This was something I am really glad I read today.

  • Sorcha M September 25th, 2012 10:25 AM

    Thank you for this. So much. I’m a little worried though, because according to my psychologists (I don’t receive psychiatric care), I don’t have any diagnosed psychiatric issues, but my family and friends have seen me hallucinate and change from violently furious, attacking my family, to almost ecstatic happiness and every time they call my therapists, I’ve managed to return to a state of outward normality and I don’t feel I’m getting the help I need. Which scares me. And I didn’t know where else to ask what to do. You don’t have to answer, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

    • raftingstarlit September 25th, 2012 3:05 PM

      How old are you? You might just go through more intense teenage moodswings. If you’ve talked through your actions with your psychologist, and/or you have made some tests, you shouldn’t be worried. Sometimes talking to friends/family, writing out your thoughts and being creative can be enough. Many teens go through intense feelings, anxiety, depression etc… some are able to cope with it, and some are not.

      • Sorcha M September 25th, 2012 5:07 PM

        I’m 15 and I kind of got referred to my therapist without any proper mental assessment. Hormones and such are obviously a big contributing factor but I’m nervous about talking properly to my therapist. I made another appointment after reading this, though, so hopefully I can sort out something.

  • EmilyBurke September 25th, 2012 1:46 PM

    This is so heartbreakingly raw and honest. Well done for posting this, I hope this helps others reading this…

    http://dottedblazer.blogspot.co.uk/

  • raquellabella September 25th, 2012 1:49 PM

    As a longtime sufferer from anxiety and depression, I thank you for this article. It is a comfort and a relief.

    http://www.soulcandymag.wordpress.com

  • MissyM September 25th, 2012 2:25 PM

    I’ve recently had my diagnosis changed from depression and anxiety to bipolar II also. Everything in this post is spot-on. Thank you so much for writing this.

  • r0semoon September 25th, 2012 6:42 PM

    I really like this article. I think something that also needs to be addressed especially in younger girls is faking mental illnesses. I find it to be a serious thing.

    • Blythe January 21st, 2013 7:50 PM

      Why would someone possibly want to fake a mental illness?

  • vaunting September 25th, 2012 9:11 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this. I know things happen like this everyday, however it’s rare I hear it from such an intimate and relateable perspective.

    About 6 months ago, I was diagnosed with steroid induced psychosis from my lupus medication. It completely transformed fundamental aspects of my personality and behavior. I believed I was going insane and would never return reality. Upon realizing my condition and demanding to be admitted, I experienced a fear I can only imagine those about to die in some horrific way might feel. Even with doctors and nurses and my mother telling me over and over I’d get better, I just didn’t believe them. It was like being in a movie told from the main character’s perspective about some impending doom no one but them will believe. It took me weeks for me to believe I was getting better and my brain was calming down. I’m still on anti-psychotics and was recently diagnosed with post-psychosis depression & PTSD, but my life is finally returning to a rhythm. However, my experience with mental illness has undoubtedly changed me in ways I’ve yet to fully understand.

    Reading this was really comforting. It’s nice to know there are other sane people out there who also have brains that sometimes perform in insane ways. I hope ya continue to get better n be healthy!

  • stellarbell September 25th, 2012 11:08 PM

    This is really some beautiful writing.
    I have Asperger’s syndrome and I just found out about it. A guy who didn’t know about my diagnosis called me ‘crazy’ when I wasn’t around and when I found out I yelled at him and, I now think, probably proved his point…

  • asleeptillnoon September 26th, 2012 1:30 AM

    First, thank you so much for writing this and sharing it.

    Second, I cried the entire time I read through the comments.

    And third, I’m pretty sure I have social anxiety disorder. I think I’ve had it in some form or another since I was a child, and I am now 25. I had been able to go about my life as usual up until college. I’m not sure what happened, maybe it was the stress of starting over and having to interact with lots of strangers and just all the extra stress that comes with college. But it really affected my grades and I would skip so many classes because of the anxiety I felt. Fortunately, I made it through and graduated.

    But it’s been two years without a job or any idea what I want to do with my life and I just feel stuck. The problem with social anxiety is that social situations are a big no-no. So grad school interviews and job interviews are complete fails. And since I have no income, I have no way of paying for insurance or therapy.

    I feel so stuck and so alone. I know I need help and I want help but in order to get any, I have to confront my biggest fears/anxiety triggers. I really have no idea how to get out of this horrible cycle.

  • LeavesThatAreGreen September 26th, 2012 5:00 PM

    Thank you. Thank you.

  • adnamabackwards September 27th, 2012 12:16 AM

    I can’t express how much I love your honesty. I’ve gone through slightly similar stuff, and I could never admit the truth as well as you did here. So thank you for that, for telling the truth.

  • Gracelily98 September 27th, 2012 6:13 AM

    Thank you for sharing this. So often mental illness is treated with shame. I spent years suffering with OCD and Depression until I found the help and medication that I needed. Thanks for sharing.

  • zoey. September 27th, 2012 8:47 PM

    Thank you for posting this. I work at a CLIP facility (children’s long-term inpatient) with teenagers with behavioral and emotional issues. I can only have my own perspective on what it could be like living on the unit and I think it is enriching to hear a perspective from the other side.

    My little brother was diagnosed as bipolar two years ago and it was scary to witness it and hear about it while I lived on the other side of the country. When I came home from Christmas, he was a totally different person.

    I’m glad that you were able to get the support and help in order to make a change.

  • Itsjustme September 28th, 2012 2:23 AM

    Thank you so much for posting this. After I had my second baby, I realized I was depressed. I got help after I started making plans to make my death look accidental.

    Things were much better until I lost my job. I thought I was strong, but I had never dealt with the real issues, the real problems. When I no longer had a job and i had the weight of my family’s safety and security on my shoulders, I couldn’t pretend any more. I couldn’t fight it. I succumbed to that weight of illness and let it take over.

    There were so many moments when I would cry, scream, and be angry. I kept those moments for when I was alone. I believed friends had turned on me. I was heartbroken. I believed I was a drain on my family.

    I had many strong urges to drive my car off a cliff. I have to drive by one every day. I don’t even know why that appeals to me. A slow death to me is the worst – the thing I fear the most. It would reason that I would rather die quickly or in my sleep – somehow that I wouldn’t see it coming, couldn’t feel the terror of knowing my life was ending.

    Because no matter how sad I get, I want to live. I just want to live a life without the terror I feel every day. The extreme worries and anxiety. I can’t let it go. People don’t understand – just relax, they say. The anxiety is killing me. It isn’t simply relaxing. It is wearing me away and keeping me from doing what I want. When it’s bad, I cut. When it’s mild, I take things for my nerves like Nyquil.

    Somehow, I still believe life is beautiful. Just not mine. I’ve never said these things aloud.

    • nox September 29th, 2012 7:01 AM

      I’m glad you didn’t drive your car off a cliff. Because you’re right, life is beautiful and I try to remind myself that when I have similar urges. You’ve got to live in hope, that things will get better because without it, life can seem pointless.

      I really hope the terror passes for you.

      • Itsjustme September 30th, 2012 2:11 AM

        Thanks! After I wrote this I realized that I said all the scary things out loud. So now I can tell them to my doctor and maybe someone will finally understand me when I say I suffer from anxiety. I mean, I really, really suffer.

        I was blessed with the two most wonderful kids in the world (no, seriously), and they keep me off that cliff. Still, there have been many moments where that thought was really hard to push away.

        Tell you what – I’ll keep myself off the cliff if you promise to do the same. Check in here if you ever feel the need and I’ll do the same.

        • nox September 30th, 2012 5:55 AM

          I think it’s really important to have something to live for, and having two kids is a wonderful one. For me, it’s my best friend who has literally been there for me throughout all the crap I’ve put her through. I tried to push her away when I believed I didn’t deserve friendship, but she stayed and I owe her. I feel so lucky to have her.

          It’s really refreshing to hear everyone elses stories and I’m so grateful that everyone has shared them. Because I have never felt so alone in my entire life, but everyone here seems to understand.

          And – Deal!

  • kiakaha September 28th, 2012 2:33 AM

    Thanks for that, great read, probably not Rookies target audience – 29 year old male in New Zealand. Got linked through here from the Browser, but lots of resonance for me. Kia Kaha! (it means “be strong!” in Maori). This deserves a wider audience.

  • Aussiechic September 28th, 2012 11:32 AM

    This is very inspiring and made me think of my own life and what I should do.

    I’ve been going through a lot of stuff the last 2 years. My good friend is telling me therapy would help me. But, I’m scared. Last year I went to a psychologist and a psychiatrist and they told me they couldn’t diagnose me with anything coz I was too young (I’m 19) but to come back in future if I needed help. I’m scared they aren’t gonna be able to help me, that if they do people won’t treat me the same and that if they can’t I’ll get even worse, with everything.
    What would you advise Sady? I don’t want to get a fucked up future coz I didn’t do the right thing when I was young.
    Thank you

    • elizab October 7th, 2012 7:19 PM

      My first visit to a psychiatrist three weeks ago, the day after my fifteenth birthday. I’d self-diagnosed about a year before that. I thought I was being dramatic, that I could handle it myself, but eventually both my best friend and my parents decided (simultaneously) that I shoud see a doctor. It terrified me, but I think it was a good decision. They can’t say exactly what form of bipolar I have, but they are helping me. I’m super-inexperienced, but I would say to go find someone who takes you seriously. If you find someone who doesn’t, go somewhere else.

      Oh, does anyone have any tips for recognizing delusions? Is it even possible?

  • jesk September 28th, 2012 1:43 PM

    this is why i love rookie. i was diagnosed with bipolar II this past year, and i relate to so much of this. thank you so much for writing & sharing it, sady…& thank you for creating this awesomely sweet safe haven for all of us, tavi! <3

  • nox September 29th, 2012 6:31 AM

    Thanks for this post. I hate how mental illness is stigmatised through the media and just generally in daily life. Like you said, I hate when people call mentally ill people ‘crazy’ – it’s a completely ignorant way of labelling someone and dismisses the fact it’s actually an illness.

    My dad is schizophrenic and in many ways my family is ashamed of his illness and when we were younger we had to keep this “big secret” from everyone. I didn’t really understand it at the time, and we never talked about it as a family. I just witnessed his ‘episodes’ and blamed him for being a bad father (which I know is wrong now). But it was hard being on the recieving end of his illness, and it really affected me because I felt both confused and suppressed. Anyway, I wish mental illness wasn’t such a taboo subject because it makes it hard for people affected by it to talk about it, and fully understand it.

    Plus, now i’m going through my own problems (poss depression/anxiety) but feel more ready to face it. This has helped. I’ve had enough of self harm and quite literally falling apart all the time.

  • jayscott September 29th, 2012 5:47 PM

    Great read. I would rather not have to deal with depression, but there are some silver linings. Having to face internal highs and lows can prepare one to face external ones as well. Learning to survive the feeling that one’s world is crashing in around them can make one invaluable when the world occasionally does crash in.

    When stable, people with bipolar or depression are often better able to avoid optimistic or pessimistic biases.

    Churchill and Lincoln saved their nations when the world actually did crash in around them, they had both faced that scenario in their own emotions many, many times before. People managing mental illness successfully can grow strong, tolerant and nuanced over time.

    That is my hope and I wanted to share something back.

  • wb September 29th, 2012 5:51 PM

    For over a year now, I am thinking I should see a doctor for symptoms similar to thé ones you have explained. But i have not for thé lack of that insurance, dollars and support system. Have not been able to do anything productive. Suicide attempt failed. Dunno what to do????

  • CapNH September 30th, 2012 3:45 AM

    Add in full blown delusions and you get a whole new situation. I can tell you firsthand that Bipolar I is absolutely terrifying/horrifying. The only thing that got me through- and I did get through- was telling myself to “try my hardest every day, every single day”- sometimes that meant getting myself out the door or eating food or drinking water. It took me years but with medicine and psychotherapy from a skilled, nonjudgmental, understanding psychiatrist I actually made it. I went from getting terrified by billboards, signs, etc. to 99.9% symptom free for years now! I’ve since graduated college and I’m now almost done with law school! Even if you weren’t originally religious (I wasn’t)- you will find that praying makes a huge difference and will help tremendously! Don’t give up hope on yourself or loved ones no matter what- you can make it!

  • KingDOMO October 1st, 2012 8:41 PM

    it’s great to know that i’m not alone going through something like this. thank you for sharing your story.

  • Jonnydark October 2nd, 2012 7:34 PM

    Thank you for writing this. I don’t stumble upon many honest accounts of Bi Polar online. I hope you stay well.

    I have had bi polar 2 since high school. For 10 years i’ve been through hell and back several times. My support network is amazing though… parents, siblings, psychiatrists, counsellors… all of them have done amazing work to get me to a spot where i can function quite normally in society. My medications work great and i have developed a habit of taking the meds each day every day.

    I am an illustrator and i love drawing robots, space ships, architecture etc. I go to school for that. I am incredibly creative and i love doing art in all forms. I was asked the question once “If there was a button that got rid of your bi polar for good… Would you press it?”

    And i wouldn’t. As much as it messes up my life i don’t know what is illness and what is truly me. Maybe now my real self has been formed from going through these trials? There is such a thing as post traumatic growth and i think I’m experiencing that.

    I hope everyone here in the 90+ comments gets well.

    -Jonathan

  • bridgetarlene October 4th, 2012 1:07 AM

    Thank you so much for writing this. I wanted to share this website from a mom and daughter who wrote about the daughter’s experiences dealing with this: http://www.lineacinda.com/

    and a link to their book: http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Chaos-Daughters-Journey-Struggle/dp/0312581823/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328384629&sr=1-1

    I’m not affiliated with them or anything so I hope it’s okay I shared the websites. I just think it is a really good resource for friends and family to understand a loved one who has been diagnosed bipolar and an excellent “you are not alone and you are not crazy” resource for people living with this diagnosis. the style is very approachable – not clinical, which helped.

  • Jeffie October 7th, 2012 11:12 PM

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I wanted to say “thank you” for posting this. I had a pretty serious vehicle wreck almost two years ago, and I’m dealing with a lot of emotional “stuff” as a result (at that point I had recently been diagnosed with AD(H)D and dysthymia, so the wreck is the source of my major emotional problems, but my already-existing issues haven’t helped). If nothing else, it has been encouraging reading about someone who has been a lot further down that “dark well” than I have and still managed to claw out of it.

  • margaretmaude November 6th, 2012 10:43 PM

    This made me cry. I’m not bipolar. But my little sister is. She’s 11, been bipolar since she was a baby, in a way. Reading this was like watching her cycling manic and depressive… from the inside. I’m the person there reminding her to take care of herself and i try to help. but it was hard reading this… I hope I’m always there for her. Thanks for writing this <3

  • Emychan November 19th, 2012 2:58 AM

    I personalty do not have Bipolar disorder, but I would like to say thank you for the creation of this article. Many are experiencing the same as you and by writing this you are showing them that they are not alone. That though it is a difficult road, it is a road that can be faced. That it may seem like it is impossible to overcome, with dedication and a good support behind you, it can be done.

    Your words have inspired many to continue to move forward and create a world for themselves. To not let anything stand in their way and just keep moving like the little train that kept saying “I think I can”. I feel that people even without Bipolar disorder should and can be able to appreciate this because of that message.

    Words are very powerful, and you have used yours in a way that inspired many, and for that many have appreciation for them, and have let them take root in their hearts to help them develop into a better person.

  • selena December 17th, 2012 11:47 AM

    I love this story, but I really love the comments. I know that I struggle with depression and anxiety (this is a self diagnosis, but I KNOW beyond a doubt, this is depression). It’s been horrible, but the really hard part is not having anyone to tell. I absolutely can’t talk to my parents. Our relationship isn’t ready for that. And I don’t tell my friends because I don’t want to make them feel burdened or stress them out. But I am hanging on for that moment when I can move out and get some help. I know that God has a wayyy better plan than just me, wanting to die (not trying to offend anyone, but God and Jesus have helped me!).

    Reading these comments have made me feel so much better. Like it’s ok to feel this way and that it does get so much more amazing on the other side of depression/anxiety. Thanks for the story, and thanks for the comments.

  • elsolnaciente December 19th, 2012 1:57 AM

    “I know very well that I have no reason to feel aggrieved – I am fully aware of how lucky I am, but knowing it and still being down makes me hate myself all the more.”

    this quote always gets to me. reason being, im aware of my actions my thoughts my reasons for being a certain way or for thinkinng or feeling a certain way. and i use to be one of those who thought why would you get diagnosed, why get medicine to make you feel happy? and those were very ignorant thought,s and im still sort of ignorant. but i realized i told myself that because i was trying to make myself feel better. i was tring to make it seem like you know, i cant be depressed or be anxious, but i was and i am. and im sure other things, if i got “diagnosed.” it’s one of those things where i felt and feel like, my problems, feelings, thoughts aren’t justifiable and aren’t real..as if my problems arent real problems. like my reasons arent reasons to feel certain ways and that my feelings are just mood swings and normal. ive probably, now that i think about ive been like this for five years, im nineteen. and after reading this i feel like i could and should go get some help where i can. i will stop now, before i start writing my life story heh, i just want to thank you, with typos and all, because you made me realize that it’s okay and i shouldnt feel like my thoughts and feelings arent valid. i hope to believe otherwise one day.

    ive always been the friend that helps and listens to everyone else, and ive realized i need to help myself out too.

    thank you, truly.