From a very young age, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. Almost every single day, I am constantly wondering what other people are thinking about me, or whether I'm worthy enough to even be loved by the people closest to me.

There's this feeling I have like I'm drowning and the water just keeps pushing higher and higher above my head. I can't find the courage to breathe, and I keep finding myself sinking to the bottom. I don't know if I'll ever get out of this state of mind.

I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Anxiety is the most common disorder in the United States. It affects 40 million adults every single year. It is not fun. It is not easy. It's real, and it's about time we end the stigma and talk about this common condition affecting 18% of the population.

If you're struggling with anxiety or depression, please hear me out. I know how you are feeling. I've been there. And so have countless people around you. I know how alone you may feel at times, and how different you feel you are from your friends.

I know that you are overthinking everything in your life right now. I know that you are trying to figure yourself out but have seemed to lose sight of who you truly are.

I know that you're craving attention (which is NOT a bad thing, so don't let people tell you that it is) because you want people to notice you. You want people to notice that you are struggling and recognize that you need help. And that's okay.

Because the truth is: You deserve to be noticed. You deserve to be seen. You deserve to live a life without this constant pressure to be perfect. You deserve a place on this earth.

People who don't struggle with anxiety and depression may not understand why you feel the way you do. But I promise you, there are people who know where you are coming from and want to help.

If you are in an ongoing battle with these illnesses, understand that it's okay to speak up and get help. Seeking assistance doesn't make you weak. It makes you courageous, strong, and unstoppable. You are stronger than you think. Keep fighting and know that no matter what your feelings are, they are valid. You are valid.

And if you haven't heard it yet today, you are incredibly loved.