I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression two years ago. Hearing this was one of the hardest things for me. I never wanted to be that girl with a mental disorder or that girl that is just asking for attention. I thought these things until I realized what I am experiencing is very real. PTSD is very real, depression is very real. These are labels for what I am experiencing but it is not a label for me. It took me a long time to accept it and I still battle with that today.

I am telling you my story in hopes that the ways I have learned to deal with my mental disorders may help someone deal with theirs. This is not something that will just go away, it's something you need to learn how to deal with. I have had my share of PTSD episodes. During my episodes, I find that my heart races and my mind races, going over and over and over self-loathing words like they're flashcards that need to be memorized for an exam. I have had the nightmares that have felt so real causing me to wake up in a scream.

I have learned that talk therapy helps a lot! Being able to talk to someone who knows nothing about your life and has no reason to judge helps. Something I have learned while I was in therapy was how to handle my episodes because they are going to happen. I learned that you have to ride it out. A trick to help it be over earlier is to distract yourself. A good distraction I like to use is first to close my eyes and breathe, then name five things that I can hear around me, then open my eyes and name five things that I can see. Last, I name five things I can smell.

By the time you're done with this, your mind should have calmed down, and if not, you repeat it. I have found exercise to be one of my holy grails. It helps keep my mind at ease. I find that when I just go for a walk for at least 30 minutes, I feel 10 times better. Yoga can also be a lifesaver. Writing can also help. It can help free your mind of what keeps getting replayed over and over again. A poem I wrote is called "Breathe," and this is how it goes.

I just sit, I just breathe.

I breathe in, I breathe out. I close my eyes. All I want to do is shout, but I just breathe. I want to tell the world of my sorrow. But I don't want to complain. Others tell me there is always a better tomorrow. But how can a person deal with this pain? This pain you now carry like a backpack, a backpack full of rocks. This backpack is now so heavy. Now it's time for therapy and those talks.