It is 2018, and there are some people still struggling with the fact that mental illness is a thing. We overlook the symptoms, the signs, and we let ourselves struggle and drown until we cannot think straight anymore. We think to ourselves, "You're just stressed" or "It's no big deal," but in reality, it is.
I went through my whole high school career without mental help and I was able to get by. I did have panic attacks and nights when I sat in my bed crying my guts out, but I made it through. Then I went off to college in Pennsylvania. I thought all my struggles and problems were back home.
They weren't. They followed me wherever I went. I made friends and lost them; my grades dropped because I was not taking care of myself.
Eventually, I went to my school's counseling center. Me. No one else pushed me to go. I had to bring myself and muster up the courage to walk through those doors. Eventually, I met with a counselor who showed me that I indeed have anxiety and depression. That I was not some terrible person out to destroy people or myself. There were things in my life that brought me to this, with a factor that it could be hereditary. Some people don't know that mental illness can be handed down in families.
That was the start of my self-help journey.
At that point, I disconnected myself from everyone I knew at PA, packed my stuff and went home. I needed to be with my family. When I disclosed my findings to my family, some were supportive while others either didn't believe me or just did not acknowledge what I said. Either way, it was a tough battle to go through.
I am now seeking professional help, and I have spoken with her for about 3 years now. I still have a long way to go, and I know there are more things for me to discover in order to help me, but this isn't why I wrote this.
I'm writing this for the person debating on walking through that counselor's door. The person who feels like their life will fall apart if they admit this to themselves. It won't. If anything, you might feel a weight lift off your shoulders because then you will know it is not your fault. None of it is.
If your primary care doctor told you that you have heart trouble and there are medication and other ways to help it, would you deny the help? Would you ignore the signs? Yeah, I didn't think so.
It is never too late to ask for help with anything.
I of all people can attest to that.