Everyone has a mental health story. Whether it's a story that's shared publicly or privately, it's something that has the ability to make a big impact in someone's life. For many, these mental health stories are ongoing, ever-changing in how they play a part in an individual's life.
Odyssey believes in the community that can be formed when these stories are shared. As October 10 was World Mental Health Day, many of our creators took the opportunity to speak out about their personal struggles with mental illnesses.
As an adult who'd seen others diagnosed with ADHD, this creator shares how a later diagnosis caused her to wonder what could have been done if things were recognized earlier. ADHD is largely undiagnosed in females, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to realize. Once a diagnosis is received, you can take one step at a time to gain positive, helpful coping mechanisms, no matter what stage of life you're in.
College students, amidst studying for midterms, are having to adapt to 2020's "new normal," which largely consists of not doing things they'd normally do — mainly anything related to social life. This creator shares how that isn't just boring, but it's actually been detrimental to her mental wellness. The prolonged isolation has made an impact on how she now interacts with others — she knows this isn't a problem she's facing alone, but that doesn't make the loneliness go away.
Everyone's stream of consciousness has the ability to wreak havoc on their life. This creator shares how her thoughts and insecurities have overwhelmed her, causing her restlessness and harmful self-consciousness.
After growing tired of others telling her how she should feel, this creator took her sexual assault story and told it to the world, in hopes of others recognizing that they are not defined by what happened to them. She bravely shares her experience and the healing that had to take place afterward.
Mental illnesses are not impossible to overcome and this creator makes that very clear as she recounts her journey with OCD. From a beginning full of panic attacks and fear to a hopeful ending of strength and resilience, progress was clearly made. The OCD is not gone, but this creator will be the first to tell you that it didn't win.
This creator shares how certain circumstances (such as a deployed husband) can set off certain mental health triggers. She honestly recalls how her depression has shifted based on location, scenario, and phase of life — really, anything can be a help or hindrance to mental illnesses.
Growth and progress is something to be celebrated, and that's exactly what this creator is doing! It's true that a lot can happen in a year. With some simple adjustments, healthy habits, and strong support system, your mental health does not have to stay where it is forever. It's hard work, but moves can be made.
The stigma behind going to therapy is slowly, but surely, shrinking, especially as more people who have benefited from it speak out about their experience. This creator discusses how therapy has made a positive impact on her life, from the moment she started going at 14 years old.
This creator's message rings simple and true: "On this World Mental Health Day, I hope you know that mental illness is messy, it's not clear cut, planned out, or a revised thing. It affects you differently every time it makes its return. It hits you at the most random times. And it's a constant, life-long journey."
No matter where you are in your mental health journey, there are people who understand what you're going through. While your story is uniquely yours, there is no shortage of people who have felt the weight of mental health in their own lives.
If you have a mental health story you'd like to share, please email Odyssey's Health and Wellness Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.