Thank You, Lilly Singh, For Reminding Us It's Important To Put Mental Health First

Thank You, Lilly Singh, For Reminding Us It's Important To Put Mental Health First

You are truly leading by example.

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YouTuber Lilly Singh, also known as iiSuperwomanii, announced she was taking a break from YouTube from November 18-December 6, 2018. This meant no twice-weekly videos and daily vlogs. Her biggest reason:

She could feel her mental health deteriorating from her busy schedule, and she wasn't happy anymore.

Lilly has always been open about her struggle with depression and anxiety, and has credited her starting a YouTube channel as a way for her to cope with her depression as a teen. She always presents a very upbeat, happy-go-lucky attitude in both her videos and vlogs. To hear Lilly sit down and talk seriously about something that was clearly so important to her was a major contrast from her usual tone.

When I watched Lilly's first video back--the first collab in her annual "12 Days of Christmas" series, featuring James Charles--the difference was insane.

Lilly looked happy, refreshed, and most importantly, relaxed.

While her break was only for a few weeks, it was clear those few weeks had done so much good. And as someone who has struggled with mental health for years, that was so inspiring.

Here's this woman with so much influence, taking time for herself and showing her millions of fans that it's not only okay to put your mental health first, but it's of the utmost importance to do so.

Each video and vlog since her break clearly shows Lilly in a much better place than she was once in. You didn't even realize just how much her mental health was weighing on her until you saw the videos of her after her break. Lilly always looks like a weight has been lifted off of her. She sprinkles so many words of wisdom around and just looks happier.

I particularly have loved her vlogs. Lilly talks about and really shows what she's been doing to keep herself in a better place. To make sure she reserves "me time" and finds things to do that are for her and not work-related.

I'm a senior in college with a lot on my plate right now. I work, I have an internship, I write for Odyssey, and I serve as president of my Odyssey team. I'm about to start a new semester. With all of that, I know I need to keep an eye on my mental health and, like Lilly, make sure I'm not getting all caught up in the work.

Lilly has reminded me that it's ok to put my mental health first.

Lilly has reminded me it's okay to take time for myself and not feel guilty about it, since that time is necessary to breathe and recharge. She reminds me to take those little steps that can make a day feel less crazy at the start, like making a lunch or picking out an outfit the night before. She reminds me to find things you love to do that aren't connected to work or, in my case, school.

So Lilly, thank you for being so open about your experiences with mental health. Thank you for showing your fans the importance of taking care of yourself. Thank you for showing us that you can take care of yourself, have a career, and be a bawse as we take on all of it. Hopefully, you've inspired others as you inspired me to remember our mental health comes first.

Keep on being an amazing human being and a genuine bawse.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Anxiety Medications Aren't As Scary As You Might Think

It took me about 2 months to even find the right medication and dosage. It's truly a process.

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Before my journey with anxiety, I was very anti-medication. I truly didn't understand the purpose or need for it. Boy, have I learned a lot since then. Upon visiting the doctor, I learned that there are two types of medication that do two different things to the neurotransmitters in your brain. These are categorized as SSRI or SNRI. According to anxiety.org, "SSRIs increase serotonin in the brain. Neural systems affected by increased serotonin regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion."

The medication that I am currently taking falls under the category of SSRI. As a result of taking this medication, "your brain is more capable of making changes that will lead to a decrease in anxiety" (anxiety.org). I don't know if that sounds nice to you, but I loved the sound of it.

On the other hand, per mayoclinic.org, SNRIs "ease depression by impacting chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to communicate between brain cells. Like most antidepressants, SNRIs work by ultimately effecting changes in brain chemistry and communication in brain nerve cell circuitry known to regulate mood, to help relieve depression."

From my understanding, the different types of medication focus on different neurotransmitters in your brain. I don't think that one of these is "bad" and one of these is "good." This is simply because anxiety and depression are very personal and impact people differently. My anxiety is not the same as my friend's anxiety. I think it's more of a spectrum.

There are a lot of misconceptions upon starting medication. I think the first is that it works instantly. I have some bad news and it's that some medications take up to a month to get into your system. I mean, you're chemically altering your brain, so it makes sense. It took me about 2 months to even find the right medication and dosage. It's truly a process.

Another misconception is that the pills are addicting- making them completely unnecessary or dangerous. That wasn't true for me. One of my dear friends told me that if you don't feel guilty for taking cold medicine when you have a cold, then you shouldn't feel guilty for taking medication that helps your anxiety. I think this really does boil down to knowing yourself and if there's a history of addiction in your family. However, as someone who's taken the heavy pain killers (via surgery) and now takes anxiety medication, I can testify to say that there's a difference.

The pain killers made me a zombie. The anxiety medication allows me to be the best version of myself. I like who I am when I'm not constantly worried about EVERYTHING. I used to not leave the house without makeup on because I constantly worried what people thought of me. I used to be terrified that my friends didn't want me around. I used to overthink every single decision that I made. Now, none of that is happening. I enjoy my friends and their company, I hardly wear makeup, and I'm getting better at making decisions.

Do I want to be able to thrive without having to correct my neurotransmitters? Sure. However, this is the way that I am, and I wouldn't have gotten better without both therapy and medication. I'm forever grateful for both.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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