111 thoughts on “Anxiety and Depression

  1. I believe that any and all worries are valid and should be taken seriously. I have severe anxiety so I tend to worry about almost everything. For example, I’m constantly worrying about schedules and time. Even if I have an hour before I need to be somewhere, I panic and think that I am going to be late. I hate when people tell me not to worry about something. It’s not going to go away just because you said “Don’t worry. It’ll be fine. You’re being silly.” Trust me, I know it’s silly. I don’t need for you to tell me that. I just need to vent I know you’re coming from a good place but it makes me feel stupid. I worry a lot about things that are out of my control. I know I’m not the only one with this issue. For this reason, I take everyone’s worries seriously. No matter what you are worried about I care. I understand what you’re feeling. Everybody’s worries are valid and they should be able to vent about them. If you don’t talk about what you’re feeling, it’s all going to build up until one day it’s too much and you end up doing something that you regret. Things get worse when you don’t vent.

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    • Hey Cheyanne! I completely understand and agree with everything you said. I stress out and get anxious about so many things and the amount of times I’ve been told “just calm down” is incredible. It’s easier said than done. I’m happy that an old pal has the same mind set!

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    • I completely agree with this. Having struggled with anxiety in the past, I know how it feels when people tell you “You’re going to be fine, stop worrying”. That is all I was told during that time and it’s frustrating. All you want is to be heard and taken serious.

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    • Great post! I always prefer to find myself slightly ahead of schedule. I believe communication is also essential to discussing any concerns. Thank you for sharing, Nicholas Raad

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    • I can totally relate with this. I have severe anxiety as well and even though one of my stressors isn’t time, there are a lot of other things, but sometimes nobody takes it seriously and that’s something that we as a society need to change because telling someone “it’s fine” is making it even more NOT fine for that person.

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    • Speaking from first hand experience, I 100% agree that things get worse from not venting. Venting in any way helps even something as simplistic as writing it down.

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      • I agree with this post that venting is one of the best ways to let go of stress. The worst thing you could let happen is all your stress build up come out at the wrong time . Also make sure you vent to people who you trust because they can give you advice or soulutions on how to work out yourproblems .

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    • I’m so glad that someone shares the same feelings that I do on this matter. I also have anxiety, and I stress over things that,to others, are seen as simple tasks. You can ask me to lock the door, and I will. But then when you ask me if I’ve done it, I’ll think about it, remember me doing so, but I couldn’t give you a straight answer, and i would not just double check, but triple check.
      People who do not experience anxiety, or know what it is like to deal with it, should not have the right to say to someone with anxiety “you’re worrying over something stupid.”
      That has got to be the most ignorant comment you could ever make.
      The situation may not seem like a big deal, but to someone who suffers from anxiety, it most definitely is.
      I wish people could see that before making comments about something they know little about.

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    • Reading your belief statement, I can relate to it in some ways. I also worry very often, and overthink things that I shouldn’t. You are very wise in saying that if you do not vent about your worries they will build up and get worse. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as I am sure there are many people who can relate to this and appreciate it.

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    • Hey Cheyanne! I completely agree with everything you say. I also suffer with extreme anxiety and understand how frustrating it is for someone to tell you to “Chill” or “Not to worry about it.” I agree that most of the time you just need to vent to someone and express your worries and concerns with someone who won’t judge you. Communication is key, literally just a five minute talk can make a difference in someones life.

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    • I agree and completely relate to everything you said. When I have anxiety about things or anxiety attacks people who don’t have it, don’t fully understand. They say “calm down, you’re gonna be okay” or “stop worrying” it’s something you can’t control. If I could stop my anxiety I would but I can’t.

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    • You are very right, Cheyanne. People think that just because they say “everything is going to be okay”, the anxiety automatically disappears, but that’s not always the case. Things are so hard to handle now a days, anxiety seems to be becoming something super popular. Sucks, but I’m here if anything and if you ever need to talk. Anxiety sucks!

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    • I believe the hospital bed to be cold. I believe that tears burn when you are utterly and completely alone. I believe that I was the most naked as I have ever been in my whole life. I believe suicide was the answer. That maybe ultimatum between happiness and insanity was death. J.D Salinger said it best in his books. “She wasn’t doing a thing I could see, except standing LEANING on the BALCONY RAILING HOLDING THE UNIVERSE TOGETHER”. That’s how I feel. When I get depressed…not sad…but like banging my head against my walls in hope of the voice to die out. I believe that sometimes the world would rather see a fake smile because depression is nothing more than a cold. Major Depressive I believe is my living hell. I died January 18th, 2017. I believe depression didn’t kill me. It was the shame that killed me.

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      • I totally agree with what you said because I have really bad anxiety and it does feel like everything is concaving in, but I know I wish I could, so I completely understand you reasoning. It’s good to know that your not alone in this struggle.

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    • I totally agree with you on everything you mentioned. Anxiety is not fun at all and it is something I wish I could control because there are a lot of things that are silly to stress over. Guess what though, we can not control it as much as we want to, we just can’t do it. I understand completely where you are coming from and it is relieving to know some other get it too.

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    • Hi Cheyanne, my sister also suffers from severe anxiety and depression. She is in her last year of nursing school and she is always stressing out from exams, schedules, and many other things that she doesn’t have control over. As her brother, it really hurts me to see her like that and I always try my best to be someone that she can confide in and get everything off of her chest. After she is done talking to me I cantle that she feels a lot better, but in the back of her mind I know that the worry is still there, but less strong. Like you said, I believe that everyone should talk to someone about how they feel because when your emotions are bottled up it can be way to much to handle at one time, which can lead into more serious problems.

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    • I identified with this post so much. I feel as though people who are depressed often get this feeling disregarded because people are quick to assume that you’re yearning for attention when in actuality you just genuinely want help. Some are just generally uncomfortable with the subject as well. Over the years, especially in high school, I have learned that people handle depression in many different ways as it can be versatile. I had a best friend who was schizophrenic and battled chronic depression for as long as I ad known her. I attempted to be a solid support system for her whenever I could. I found that it was not about having the perfect solution, but it was just simply making the person feel comfortable and giving them to platform to be honest and share themselves with you whenever they felt they needed it. Having experience depression as well, it only makes me pay more attention to when someone makes the flattering choice to speak to me about their issues because I know what its like to have people make you feel like your feelings do not matter. You never know. Simply listening can save a life.

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    • I myself, suffer from social anxiety and to see that others feel the same way I do some how comforts me. Not that it makes me feel good that others feel but. But it just makes the weight on my shoulders feel a little lighter beacuse many of those around me just play off my worries as a topical thing. I don’t truly think that they understand how much stress school can cause. And to see someone when the same mental process is again comforting.

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    • Cheyanne, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had negative people surrounding you in a time where you need positivity. I never dealt with anxiety myself but I had a long term boyfriend whom suffered severely from both and it took a tole not only on him but on everyone around him, including myself. He needed someone around him to be positive and that was me. I couldn’t agree more when you stated that, ” everybody’s worries are valid and they should be able to vent about them.” Please don’t let anyone make you believe that your issues aren’t important. It doesn’t matter the severity of them, no matter what, they are important. I hope that since the negative people who don’t care said those things to you, that you’ve changed and have either told them how to react appropriately or have just moved away from them, because nobody deserves to feel like their problems are irrelevant, nobody.

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    • I relate to this a lot, due to also having high anxiety. Where I also freak out about an upcoming event or project, and have to be told to relax about which just makes me freak out even more. Plus, I’m also strict on it comes to time.

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    • I also worry about scheduling and when things don’t go as planned, but I can find myself at times being able to accept what ends up happening, even though it may not have gone as planned or even if it did work out. While my parents and I were on our way to campus to move in, my parents decided to stop at a diner right before and I started to panic because I thought we would be late, but we were right on time! I feel like these small moments of anxiety aren’t going to go away any time soon but I just have to accept them and move on. Thank you for sharing!

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    • Hey Cheyanne! I absolutely understand and know the feeling when you’re having anxiety and someone just tells you to, “Relax” or “Just calm down.” Anxiety is something that should be taken seriously because sometimes it’s out of our own control.

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    • I agree with your final statement of not letting your emotions build up I constantly do this and eventually I’ll get mad at people that didn’t even do anything or i’ll just cry but when people ask me why i’m crying I can never give them a reason because there isn’t just one reason at that point.

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    • I agree that everyones anxiety should be taken seriously since you never know how much stress someone can take. stress affects people in different ways so it’s important to not be insensitive to how others feel.

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    • I completely agree. It’s the worst when people say, ” Don’t worry,” “That’s silly'” or “You don’t need to feel that way.” However you feel is valid, regardless of whether or not other people think it’s rational. Anxiety generally isn’t rational, and it can be extremely destructive when someone tries to tell you otherwise, especially if you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack.

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    • This relates to me in so many ways. It’s almost like a small feeling of comfort hearing someone else having the same feelings and worries as yourself.

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  2. I believe that all unsettling circumstances should be taken seriously not matter how small they are and that people should be more educated in the realm of mental health as well as mental illness, even if a person is not medically diagnosed. Every single person suffers from some sort of anxiety regardless of if it is actually severe or not. I myself have anxiety, not to the point of where it effects my everyday life but sometimes I over think things and end up cancelling plans because i get too overwhelmed and think of everything the could possibly go wrong. Not to mention that most people you talk to will never be able to fully grasp how anxiety or depression and effect a person unless they are dealing with it themselves. Even worse is going to school and listening to teacher tell fellow students to just “relax” or that they are “overreacting” when in reality they are just have an anxiety or panic attack. I believe that until people are educated in these areas of health now everyone will get the correct amount of help they need and deserve. Many people get over looked and do not get diagnosed until it is too late and everything gets out of hand. Lastly, it should not be frowned upon if someone wants to vent to someone who is not a therapist, some people have more faith in their friend than they do in a licensed stranger who their insurance covers. Despite everything, people who suffer from anxiety and depression may just need that one person who is nonjudgmental and does not mind listening for a while.

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    • I could not agree more with this essay. It is hard being the only one who understands something when the people around you can’t grasp their head around your what you are going through. Anxiety is one of those unseen problems because there are no physical signs or symptoms. I believe it should not be taken lightly.

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    • I 100% agree with this post. I feel like there is a stigma on mental illness, especially with so many people self-diagnosing themselves. But in the end, I think we all know what we truly feel and we should always trust our own feelings. No matter how big or small the problem is, it should be acknowledged as a legitimate issue that deserves to be talked about.

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    • I’ve dealt with anxiety as well and this is so true, having a nonjudgmental voice to speak to is so important.

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    • I totally agree with your belief. Telling people to “relax” usually just makes people feel worse about how they are feeling, so I’m glad you noticed that.

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    • I also agree with everything you said. Panic attacks are no joke. Anxiety can cause so many health problems that people don’t even realize. Getting help through the form of therapy should also be universally accepted. Mental health is a serious subject and needs to be dealt with just as much as our physical health does.

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  3. I hear it all the time. “I can not imagine feeling so hopeless that I could convince myself death is the only way out.” Well, let me take some time to explain it to you. Depression can change shapes. Sometimes it is merely a small, dismal thought before your morning cup of coffee and other times it is like being consumed eternally by darkness itself. It is not always one thing- one person, one event, or one memory- that provokes your mind into a state of absolute desolation. It is years of social anguish, the accumulation of negative thoughts, and the slow and knowingly haphazard withdrawal from everything you loved about your life. God, I wish I could have just told my mom but I could never find the strength. I have thought about suicide many times. I often felt mentally dead, like my mind was an empty auditorium that echoed my thoughts back and forth. I do not value my depression but rather how it has shaped my outlook on the world and instigated an interminable journey back to reclaiming my own dignity. Who I am today is the essence of letting go of something pessimistic I could not control and being able to drive myself from a sullen time in my life to a promising future. I value being honest with myself and knowing the beauty of individuality. I am an important human being. That is now my reason to get out of bed in the morning.

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    • I couldn’t agree with you more about how depression changes shapes. You’re stronger than you know and I am so proud that you can see how beautiful and important you are to the people around you and I’m happy that you can get out of bed with a really good reason because YOU are important and I hope that sticks with you. Thank you for sharing you’re story.

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    • This post really hit home on some key feelings of depression, that sense of loneliness that make you feel unreachable.

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    • I really understand that bit you wrote about your mind being like an auditorium with echoing thoughts, my depression manifests itself in the same way. Excellent analogy!

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  4. When I was in the sixth grade, my first life changing event occurred, I had started to form anxiety. I had taken a nighttime cold medicine and due to the part that makes you drowsy, my heart started racing. My mother has this same reaction to those type of medications, but it really freaked me out, and made me aware of my biggest fear, dying. So I had my first panic attack, and then I became afraid of those panic attacks and couldn’t find a way to escape them. I would have them at least once or twice a week, with nothing to help me besides distraction, which is no way to live. Three years later I was still having some issues with my anxiety, until I watched ‘Doctor Who’ for the first time. One of the characters was going to be sent to the 1960’s and she would never see her family or friends again and her last words were, “We’re all stories in the end, just make it a good one”. Those words really spoke to me, and it’s now the creed I live by. I even got it tattooed on me in remembrance of my years struggling with anxiety and how I will never let it consume me again. I also the a journal from the show with it, and it symbolizes my new adventures that await me. I no longer live in fear of what could happen, I focus on the moment at hand.

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    • This is a great post, it shows how even in the hardest of times it can take something little to help someone out of a bad situation. Panic Attacks are a serious issue and it seems like only the people that have them fully understand the toll they take on someone. This makes it hard for friends and family members of someone suffering to help. I’m very glad you were able to find something that spoke to you.

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  5. Anxiety and depression are who I am. They have been with me for years now, and once controlled every single thought that was in my brain until my brain was no longer mine. I can’t tell what they made me think or what they want me to think from my actual thoughts. They have molded their way into me, like a sickness. But that’s just it, they ARE a sickness. A sickness that nobody can see, and because of that a sickness that no one takes seriously. Not teachers or even my parents when it all started. My mom wouldn’t even let me call then “mental illnesses” when we discovered what I have. It’s like I’m behind a glass wall where a storms erupting and no one can see. And that just became my life. It became me. But it’s not anymore. All the midnight panic attacks, the attacks that came multiple times a day for years. The medication I take and the therapy that I spent all of high school in. It’s just apart of what shaped me into me. I’m snarky and sarcastic and cynical at times. But I’m loyal and caring to my friends and my parents and my boyfriend. I’m strong and yet I know when to put the sword down and let people in. I’ve found pride in individuality because there’s an i in individuality and I’m using it to learn who I am. I am not just anxiety and depression. I am strong. I am brave. I am ME.

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  6. I have struggled with both anxiety and depression since I was 12 years old. I’m now 23. With Chester Bennington’s (lead singer of Linkin Park) recent suicide, I’ve felt the need to really speak up about my struggles and what it’s really like to live with depression. I saw a comment on a news story about Chester’s suicide that said “depression is a choice, not an illness” and that “he’s a coward for leaving his children without a father.” I can’t even put into words how that made me feel but I would like to explain something to people who feel this way. I’ve struggled with depression for a huge part of my life and let me tell you it’s definitely not a choice. I’m not “just sad” and no it’s not “all in my head.” I cry for hours on end without there being a reason, I have voices in my head that I can’t control, I have never ending battles with myself in my own head. I’ve both contemplated and attempted suicide numerous times. Depression isn’t something I’d wish on anyone ever. It’s the absolute worst thing to have to live with. It destroys friendship, relationships, and lives. It makes it almost impossible to live without medications that make you tired all the time and not want to go out. If you think for a second that I or anyone would choose to live like this, you really need to educate yourself. So please, unless you have actually experienced what it’s like to battle these demons and feel so useless that suicide seems like the best option, do not even think about telling anyone that it’s not a disease. Depression is a disease, suicide isn’t selfish, and you need to educate yourself before saying such things.

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    • It’s true that Depression isn’t a choice, I just wish there was more of an outreach to help people who blame themselves for all their stresses. Because it takes a serous act of kindness and patience to get someone out of depression.

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      • The discussions in the anxiety and depression thread have been great, and I hope that they are helpful for many of our incoming students. For anybody looking for resources to address depression, anxiety, stress, etc., I want to point your attention to UMass-Dartmouth’s counseling center. Information on the counseling center can be found here: http://www.umassd.edu/counseling/

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    • I really understand having battles in your own head, i think people put themselves onto others too much its important to remember we all experience life differently

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  7. Anxiety is not an escape from difficult things and it’s not a way to gain attention. It’s a real problem that many people face and in more than one form. I believe that we need to take the time to understand the personal challenges one faces when encountering these difficult moments in order to more suitably help each other through them. We all know the word anxiety, it’s the major word for any form of it. I know a lot of people that suffer from anxiety, but not many of them know that I too face every day with this. Since I was young, I’ve dealt with social anxiety which makes it hard for me to communicate with others and be involved in social groups. People think that I just need to get out of my comfort zone, loosen up a bit or get a change of scenery and it’ll all go away, but they don’t understand that being in crowds of people makes me feel like an outcast and many social situations are uncomfortable. Social anxiety is not a way to get out of social situations and it’s not a way to get out of a bad conversation. People need to stop looking at it as a made up illness that’s used as an excuse, it’s a real problem that people are facing and you have to get to know someone to understand the severity of what they’re going through before you can decide if it’s tangible or not.

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    • I can definitely understand that i get very claustrophobic in large crowds and people don’t realize its something you can’t control. While i might not say anything i definitely feel it, and i think there should be less of a stigma about speaking up, which definitely comes from like you said people deciding whether your feelings are tangible

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    • Totally see where you’re coming from. Anxiety is a problem that needs to be taken more seriously and respected. It’s not something we control, rather it’s something we live with and try to face day by day, and some people don’t understand this. Thank you for sharing your story and spreading awareness.

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  8. Anxiety and Depression are the demons upon my shoulders. There is no angel but a switch that goes off in my head continuously. Every single thought I have goes into depth until my brain can no longer function as it once did. I can’t tell whether I’ve made the right decision or overthinking to the point of panic. They have managed their way into my head, like a migraine that won’t go away. A torment that nobody can see, and because of that discomfort no one takes it humorlessly. I’ve had only one person understand how I am, yet with the fear of them leaving me with intense anxiety. It’s who I am. Not anymore after meeting an important impact in my life. All the panic attacks, the attacks that came multiple times a day for years with the same thought and fears. The experience I got the chance to feel for the last 2 years I spent in high school became a part of what shaped me into me. I’m empathetic, sarcastic, and clown at times. I’m a loving and caring person who is already happy and wants to make others happy. Even though everyone has their walls I know when to break mine down and let people in. I’ve found pride in who I am growing to be due to my experiences and using it to learn more about who I am.

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  9. I have heard this a million times in my life, “You’re not depressed you’re overwhelmed. You just don’t know how to deal with life yet.” Depression is no joke. It isn’t something to laugh about, and it isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Depression and anxiety are two horrible things that completely take over the body, crippling you from the inside out. Nobody wants to be depressed, it just happens based on events, and how the brain reacts to it. I can remember having an anxiety attack so bad I had to go home for the day. I just broke down; I cracked. It’s important to look for signs because it’s serious no matter what anyone else says. It only takes one person to make a difference. It takes one person, to look you in the eyes, and listen to you. Listen to everything going on in your head. Listen to the words flashing around, the inner monologue making you just want everything to stop and come to an end. There can be one person that takes the stand and helps. That could just save a life. Life is such a precious thing, and no one should miss out on it because their brain eats them alive, and pushes them beyond the point of living. When the person says they’re okay when it’s clear they aren’t, don’t let them walk away because you don’t know if they’ll ever walk back. It sucks. To go through it, to see others go through it, to be surrounded by it. Depression and anxiety are hell to live with, but things can get better. Just don’t let someone go through it alone.

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  10. Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I only started getting help for it four years ago during my freshman year. That was probably the hardest year of my life. New medications, new therapists, even an in-patient treatment center for three weeks. I felt like my life was spiraling out of control and I was the only one that could see it happening. Some people would tell me to get over it. They would say “It’s just a bad day” or “It’s just nerves, once you relax, you’ll feel better.” But that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t just a bad day and it wasn’t just nerves, it was a legitimate chemical imbalance that was part of me and is always going to be part of me. In the midst of all the dark, despair and loneliness, people started to reach out to me. My mom and my best friend became my biggest supporters who always pushed me to do my best, yet understood that some days I just couldn’t get out of bed. People normally wouldn’t say this, but I wouldn’t take away any of my illnesses for the simple fact that they are a part of me. I’ve made friends because of this and I’ve been an advocate for people who feel the same way as me. If I wasn’t mentally ill, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’m lucky that my support system never downplayed my mental illness and I think that’s something that we, as a society, need to work on. Mental illness isn’t something that should be brushed off to the side because it makes people feel like they aren’t important and their life is less than someone who is mentally healthy. I believe people just need to become more educated about the things they say and mental health issues and if they can do that, more people would feel safe opening up and seeking treatment.

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    • so true it is a legit chemical imbalance! i always say that to people who question taking meds. If someone has diabetes everyone is okay with them taking insulin because of a chemical imbalance, there shouldn’t be a stigma tied to us correcting our imbalances!

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  11. It’s so much easier for someone else who sees you panicking to say “Don’t worry, stop stressing; quit overthinking.” If it was that easy, anxiety and depression wouldn’t be a problem in our society. I always tell those who say “just don’t be depressed” that if there was an on and off switch on depression, wouldn’t I already have switched it off? I had lost several family members in the matter of days, one of which was my mother. I was too young to understand depression. I didn’t do anything about my attacks until they were so bad I was rushed to the E.R twice this year. I wasn’t aware how anxiety could affect someone’s body. I couldn’t go to school and I barely ate. I had feelings of wanting to sleep the day away so that I would have less hours feeling depressed. It was time to do something about it, and I started writing poems and talking to a counselor. Since then, I have become to accept the fact that I have depression and anxiety. I believe it’s important to accept your feelings because they are a part of you. Depression is serious and it can make your body and mind shut down. It took me years to actually do something to help myself, but today I’m working harder than ever. These sicknesses take over your mind, but sometimes just having someone’s ear to listen to you can help. Outsiders will think that it is a choice whether or not to be sad. They don’t know how it feels, but you do. Find yourself in the deep dark waters you swim in everyday, don’t let yourself drown, your life is a treasure.

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    • I’m so glad you’ve found such a positivity behind your anxiety and depression! As long as you continue to grow beyond them, you will always stay afloat. Yes they are a part of you but never let them consume you either. Always look towards the future and all that is yet to come! (P.S if you need anyone to talk to I’m always here!)

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  12. It’s never wrong to try and seek help. That is what I believe in, because that’s exactly what I had done. I always knew that I had minor anxiety throughout my entry years of high school, specifically my freshmen and sophomore years. I could feel a shortage of breath, a racing heartbeat and my sleep was only slightly hampered, but it never quite reached the point where I was entirely overcome. Although that all began to change as my junior year was coming to a close and my senior year was soon to begin. My heartbeat became like a thunderous drum, breathing became incredibly difficult at times, and sleep was a luxury that became quite rare. It soon became apparent to my family, mostly my mother, that I couldn’t so they encouraged that I get some help, but me being me I was too stubborn to first acknowledge it and I just wanted to solve my problems on my own. Then came my first incredible panic attack. I knew that what had become of me, I couldn’t fix by myself. I took the first opportunity I could to get help and my therapist has become one of my best outlets. I’ve been taught several exercises to combat my anxiety when it appears and it hasn’t been as incredibly severe as it was. I take a deep breath every moment I can as it feels incredibly relieving to know that I can and I am able to be who I want to be.

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  13. “Have you ever had those days where you felt worthless?
    Have you ever had a chance just to end it all?
    Have you ever asked yourself what’s your purpose?
    When I found mine, I chose not to fall”

    -DWills

    My name is Darius Williams and I believe in “Learning Pain”. Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “What in the world is learning pain?” First, let me clear up the confusion and inform you that learning pain is EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE. Learning pain is the physical and emotional growth in a person’s life, in which damaging experiences lead to beneficial life lessons. An easier way to explain this is that the agony you go through can lead to a bigger understanding in life, possibly leading you to your desires and true happiness.
    Here’s three words for you: pain changes people. It takes many months, maybe even years to let pain leave your body and allow the harsh memories fade from your conscience. Pain leads to depression. Pain leads to anxiety. Pain leads to insecurity. Pain leads to emotional instability. Well, pain leads to whatever you want it to lead to. However, not a lot of people truly understand that pain can be considered something favorable to the body and the actions on an individual, essentially progressing you to become a better person.
    First, pain helps you become wiser in society. As we continue to live, we all go through tough times. This creates visual memories of a bad experience. However, As time goes by, this causes you to become less reactive towards certain situations, leading you to better decisions. Second, pain helps you re-evaluate yourself, driving you down a different path to find a more meaningful purpose in your life. Third, it makes you more appreciative and helps you cherish the relationships you have with people;These relationships help you recognize the importance of true love because believe it or not, people can be gone any second. Finally,”your scars make you beautiful”. As a young individual, one thing that I’ve learned is that we ALL have a story. Whatever you’ve gone through in this world, instead of regretting the choices you’ve made, EMBRACE the choices you’ve made because it helped you create your story. this leads to the power of self- acceptance. You must first love and accept yourself as who you are before others can truly accept you .With that, I leave you this:

    Pain is neither good, nor bad. But, pain is simply just a part of life and the outcomes are you what you choose them to be.

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    • This post was very well written. I enjoyed how personable it was. I congratulate you on all that you have mastered, especially fully understanding the concept of how everyone has a story. I too have struggled, and I really respect how well you can comprehend and deal with pain. Thanks for writing this!

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  14. Anxiety is more than a feeling, It is a way of life. The butterflies in your stomach when you are afraid of something eventually flutter away, while anxiety stays. Anxiety is when you wake up and fear you made a mistake every morning. You become paranoid, you assume people are always talking behind your back or judging you around every corner. When you go home, you fear for how you are seen there. Some people try to control everything to lessen the feeling of potential failure, but even then they doubt themselves. Anxiety consumes every moment of everyday, keeping track of everything you do, and every lie you tell. Anxiety can also manifest specifically in lying, it builds a separate persona and an intricate web of lies. With each lie the person is split further and further from their perceived selves. Feeling more and more distant from the people they see everyday and getting more and more paranoid. Anxiety can be broken however, with trust. It can be hard but once trust is established it can push back that feeling of judgment.

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  15. I believe that anxiety does not define you. I have lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I was a really shy kid who always had a difficult time dealing with social interactions. As I grew up, my shyness quickly turned into something much more serious that would change my life forever. When I was in eighth grade, I started having severe panic attacks for reasons that I was unaware of. I then had numerous doctor appointments in Boston throughout the entirety of that year to determine if it was something more than just anxiety. I missed many days from school that year as it got to the point where it would completely take over my body both physically and mentally. Once that treacherous year was through, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder ultimately landing me on a prescription antidepressant. For years to come, I saw many different therapists all of whom were trying to help me through the hardest time of my life thus far. I ultimately felt like my life would never be the same again. While, in part, my life changed, I quickly learned that maybe that was not such a bad thing. As high school progressed, and my life went on, I came to the realization that it was perfectly fine to hurt and to feel worthless at times as long as I was driven to succeed and become a better person than I ever was before. While to a lesser extent, I still do struggle with anxiety, and occasional depression, every day of my life. As I close out this painful yet important chapter of my life and start a new one, I can finally, truly believe that my anxiety is not who I am and that it does not define me. This is just me.

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  16. In the mornings it is hard to get out of bed. The sheets pull me under with a weight heavier than lead and are always reluctant to relinquish their hold, tight as a vice. In the light of the sun shining through my window, my eyes open and the pounding headache begins anew. A grasp on my chest makes me wheeze, the bed hugs me close, and I am suffocating. This is the start to my day as I force myself to my feet, my mind picking its way through a foggy routine (steady and ever so consistent, a comfort) more muscle memory than conscious thought. However, no matter the scrubbing of raw, pink skin, and the sick feeling of an empty stomach, I know that today will not be like the last. Or that it will not be the last. Whatever lies ahead is brilliant and new and eases my racing mind like a soothing balm on my skin. My headache will clear, my spine will stop wanting to claw its way out of my body. As I stand at the mirror, I will myself to forget the scenes I have played over and over in a repeated mantra of panic and take a deep breath. “I am the only one who is concerned.” I say, “I am the only one who has witnessed my mistakes as they are.” And I close my eyes tight–forget. Because sometimes, forgetting is the best solution in a world of painful remembrance.

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  17. I get up in the morning like nobody else. I jump. Every day, that’s how I start my day. I jump out of bed, and I’m on my way. I am both a night owl and a morning person, I mean that is if you ignore the first five minutes following my morning leap. Wherever I go, whoever I see, I smile and wave. My girl calls it brave, but it’s probably just a lack of anything going on upstairs. I don’t think to hard about life, I did way too much of that alone on the playground. Under the slide because nobody wanted to play tag. I’ve got charisma, I think so. Old teachers loved me, and friends parents think of me as a young gentleman. Minus the ones who looked at my odd hair style choices of years past. I’m wild and outgoing, I command attention in the room. But there’s something not quite right. Senior year came and went, and now I’m all alone again. Just this time there’s no slide I can hide behind. Countless times have I stood patiently and smiled as people fumble through their purses and pockets and wallets looking for their CVS Card or spare change- Did I mention I work at CVS?- I’ve fallen into a routine where nothing matters. I’ve left all my friends behind. In this world of social media you’d think that distance would have no effect on maintaining friendships. But it would if you’re broken. I want to spend my time with people… but I don’t. I want to live, but I don’t. Here I stay shuffling back and forth between work and home. The ever present smile hanging from my face. Oh that tricky tricky smile, that facade made the biggest liar out of me.

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    • I agree that life can be really dull and at times, be a cluster of roads without streetlights. However, I feel that you are more than that. You are going to college, which is a major stepping stone for a person to take on their own future and the career he/she always dream up.

      Also, you have all those people behind you: your family, your schoolmates, your girl, and even your CVS co-workers. They were there in your times of struggles with your anxiety/depression and I believe that they put the best of their efforts to try to make that tricky smile into a genuine smile; to let you know that you exist within their hearts.

      Your past, your experience, can turn a new leaf for the future. I know you can change. Thank you for posting your story.

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  18. Each morning as I rolled over to shut off my multiple alarms, I dreaded the day ahead of me. As I forced myself out bed, I asked myself what bad things would happen that day, what drama would spread around me, and if people would like me. Ever since I can remember, I have been routinely plagued by my ever-persisting anxiety. As I go throughout my day, chewing on my nails every time someone looks at me strangely or doesn’t respond to my text, I am reminded of my mental state and question what I can do to change the way I am. Up until recently, I let myself be consumed by my social anxiety, too afraid to put myself out there and make new friends. During this summer, I was reminded of my worth, and the fact that, in the words of Michael Scott, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I was so tired of letting my anxiety get the best of me, and I finally allowed myself to step outside of my comfort zone. Since then, I’ve made life-lasting friendships and opened myself up to so many countless opportunities. I’ve been quite an introvert for most of my life, and realizing what I’ve missed out on has made me so excited for my newly lighted future. Although my anxiety held me back for so long, I believe good things have come out of it, such as my newfound love for myself and those around me, to my undying motivation. Often times, I fall back into my gloomy mental state, but my hope for change keeps me going and pulls me out once again. If it weren’t for the amazing people that have supported and surrounded me for so long, I may have never been able to overcome my anxiety and come out of my shell. Even though my anxiety will always be around, hidden in the back of my mind, I know now that it doesn’t control or define me, and I am a better person because of it and the experiences it brought me.

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  19. I believe that anxiety makes oneself a more caring person. I have lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember and I truly think I am a more caring person because of this. I worry about the littlest things. For example, if either of my parents go somewhere for an extended amount of time and if they’re not back at the exact time that they said they would be then I would start getting a little on edge and all of sudden thoughts would race through my head about the most ridiculous, but realistic things that could have happened to them. It can be frightening because even though they are just these absurd thoughts they almost seem too real. Secondly, if I am ever taking care of one of my younger cousins, I sometimes get anxious about if they get out of my sight for a second or two, or if they do something that could potentially lead to them getting hurt. Some people might call it being overprotective, but I truly believe that having anxiety makes one a more caring individual and that having anxiety isn’t all bad because I think I have become a more careful person. I would even worry about my dog in some cases and things that could happen to her if I ever went out somewhere with my family and we left her alone in the house. I am also learning to better control my anxious behavior by drowning out bad thoughts and worries with memories from childhood or memories from times with my friends or family. I also enjoy listening to music to take me away from all worries in my life and I believe that it helps.

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  20. I wish people take mental health conditions as serious as they should be. For people who do not experience mental illnesses, wrapping your head around something that physically isn’t there can be difficult. On the other hand, a broken arm is in plain sight and it’s easy to assess: the process to fix it is consistent and simple. Anxiety is often viewed as something that you can “just get over it” or “think positive”. After hearing this so many times, I started to think, well, it must be true. Something is wrong with me. Why can’t I be like everyone else? But after trying and trying to remain positive and not to worry about the tiniest mistakes, I started to realize my feelings are valid.
    For almost 8 years, I’ve struggled with anxiety, not knowing it was a real health condition so of course, I kept it to myself. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was weird or that I was different. Growing up with insecurity issues, I tried my best to “blend in” and “act normal”. I completely disregarded all my feelings and hid them. Whenever the teacher started calling students who didn’t have their hand raised, not remembering whether I turned the stove off after leaving the house, and being on my way already late and anxious about the awkward confrontation. Endless nights of tossing and turning, worrying if people are talking about me behind their back, overthinking, commitment issues, and even thinking about having to respond to certain texts. Nothing will ever compare to all those times my heart started to pound, all those hot flashes, my blurring vision, and I even began stuttering and couldn’t walk straight.This is what anxiety is. It’s not something you “forget about”, it is a lifestyle. Nothing and no one will ever take that away from me. No one can invalidate the sickness I felt because of my anxiety and how dare someone say it isn’t real.

    I believe any and every feeling that we have is valid. However, you are more than just your disorder or anxiety. We are not defined by them. We are so much more than that.

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  21. I’m a video gamer and a lazy individual at heart which give off the impression of I don’t care about my livelihood or what will happen to myself in the future when I live life day to day without any changes at all. At the time, I found more strength in depending on myself instead of needing to look for some form of social acceptance and thus, it made me appear like I wanted to live the life of a shut-in. My friends and my family have voiced numerous concerns with how my life will go out of school and what will happen to me personally if I continue down this route I chose though I always swore to them that I was alright and hid it within myself. I didn’t want to burden them with my indecisiveness. With a passive and lazy demeanor, I hesitated into jumping into college as my own doubts plagued me if I would excel when my high school grades were miserable at best. I felt as though I was setting myself up for failure. Battling with self-doubt and after a long and much overdue argument with myself, I made up my mind and decided to go into the ‘working world’ for six years in an up and down roller coaster of achievements and disappointments that helped me to finally come to a decision. In that time, I came across many unusual experiences and some hard life truths until I came to the realization that without an education, I wouldn’t be able to support myself in the future. With even more anxiety in my mind, I decided to go against my heart and give myself the chance to surround myself with people and ideas that will help me to create a new ‘me’ that I never thought was possible. Though I still feel that anxiety gnawing at the back of my mind, I wanted to focus on being confident in myself. I want to believe that it’s never too late to improve who you are. To change what you don’t like about yourself and bring forth something new and exciting that you can speak with a wide smile on your face to your friends and family. To look back upon your life and look at everything you have achieved. Don’t let your anxiety stop you from doing things that you love and what you enjoy. Be brave and confident in the strength of that person staring you back in the mirror in the morning. They know you quite well and want you to succeed as well.

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  22. Depression is not something that should be overlooked or just forgotten. So many people suffer from it without any care from others. I have been in the large group where we try and keep it hidden from the world out of embarrassment or loneliness. I never truly told anyone about the pain I went through because I didn’t want the sympathy from my family or friends. So many people across the world have problems with telling others about their issues because no one wants to be that kid in high school that is depressed. Or even one of the thousands of people who when they tell people it just gets overlooked. Another problem that we face are the people out there that just say they are depression when they are just sad. It gives people who truly are facing something quite difficult a hard disadvantage. So many people in this world think that it is a choice to be depressed. Like there is a switch in all our heads that we flick to make it so we are depressed or not. It is so much more than that, depression runs deep through many around the world. It is not something that we choose to be, it is something that we become. No one really wants to talk about it but it is probably the most overlooked thing in America. If I walked up to my parents a couple of months ago and said, “Look at these scars. Bet you can’t guess what they are from.”. If I ever told them the truth, they wouldn’t believe me from the fake smile I used to put on my face every day of my life. So many people could agree with this, we need to be more aware, we need to care more. None of this is a choice, it is a terrible way to live, but it is one that many people have to suffer through.

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    • I related so hard to your statement about how people view depression as a light switch because sooo many people have said it to me. Thank you for sharing and I wish you the best with whatever you face

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    • I have to agree that the outlook misunderstood and often compared to sadness. When in realty people with depression can’t control it unlike sadness, and need help to overcome it.

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  23. Anxiety and Depression are illnesses that need to be taken more seriously. Nowadays they’re just seen as regular everyday feelings & thoughts and that is debilitating to our children and young adults as a whole. If we continue to dismiss it and not address it head on, serious damage can be done. As someone suffering from both I can definitely look back and see a time period where if my parents took action, I most likely would not be suffering with both today.

    However, most people seem to think that these words have negative connotation and only bad things will result if you label yourself with them. What we need to do is stop giving these words a bad name, and tell others that it is okay to have these and seek help. I would have loved to have these words of encouragement when I was younger.

    Focusing on myself, I hope that going to college will help me out with my own anxiety and depression. I’m going to have a roommate I have not met before, which I hope will force me to talk to others and come out of my shell. I came from a graduating class of twelve people. We all became friends throughout the past four years, however I am going to a college where only one other person I know is joining me. This might make my anxiety and depression worse, but as long as I try and get help, I know it will get better.

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    • I relate to you so much! As a very shy person, I hope college will force me to become more outgoing. I hope to not let my anxiety get the best of me. Good luck!

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  24. Anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses have been in my life ever since I was born. I’ve suffered from severe anxiety for as long as I can remember. I won’t go into details but I grew up in a very toxic house and had an extremely unfit father which definitely contributed to my severe anxiety. I think my anxiety has definitely improved since I was younger however. I used to not be able to get out of bed because of how terrified I was of the world and other people. I do still wake up every morning with the terrible feelings of anxiety but I motivate myself through. My friends notice how terrible how my anxiety is and ask why I don’t go to a therapist for it. The truth is, I hate talking about my mental illness. I hate it because my anxiety causes me to believe that people are going to think I’m lying about my disorder and I just saying it for attention. I don’t want people to think I’m crazy or that there’s something wrong with me. I don’t like talking to strangers which is what a therapist would be to me. But I keep all my anxious feelings on the inside until I eventually bring myself to a mental breakdown. I also hate talking about it because many people don’t understand the true meaning of anxiety. Anxiety is not getting nervous before a big test. Anxiety is belittling. Anxiety is that painful feeling in your stomach when you first wake up in the morning. I feel as though I will be more comfortable about my mental illness once society has a better understanding on anxiety and other mental illnesses.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing, and I totally agree with the fact that society doesn’t have the best understanding on anxiety and mental illnesses. It makes it hard to share and I thank you a lot for letting me read your battle with anxiety. Hope all is well

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  25. Anxiety was something I always cursed. Anxiety first became real to me in fifth grade. I was that kind of little girl that loved leftovers for breakfast. My mom’s meat pie was my favorite, and it was the first thing I reached for that morning. Unfortunately for me, not twenty minutes after I had eaten it, it reemerged in the toilet. I had no idea I was sick that morning, and after that, I refused to eat breakfast in fear I would vomit every morning. It was such a bad anxiety I would feel sick even thinking of breakfast. After that, it morphed into a different anxiety: an “I think everyone hates me and wants to hurt me”, kind of anxiety. That anxiety surprisingly, over the years made me observant. It made me cautious, double and triple check everything. It has helped me survive. It made me check every outcome, and prep for each one. I wish I didn’t have it, but now, I believe I wouldn’t be the same person and gotten as far as I did without anxiety.

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  26. Sophomore year of high school was not a very good point in my life. I was miserable and overwhelmed by the work I was expected to do. I didn’t want to do much of anything, and couldn’t see a positive side to much. My grades were falling, and I just couldn’t get myself to actually do anything about them. My advisor had me speak to the guidance counselor, and he had suggested that I see some sort of doctor about my mental state. I remember being upset and wondering if there might be something wrong with me and my mind. A bit later on in the school year I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I was given antidepressants, but it took a while for me to really start feeling better. I just barely passed my sophomore year, and junior year wasn’t much better. Senior year was actually a lot easier for me, and I actually do feel a lot more positive now than I did when I was first diagnosed. I’m glad that I was able to get on medication and see a therapist. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma against mental illness, so not everyone can get the help they need. I feel people should be more accepting of others’ conditions and be willing to help and support them through tough times in their lives. If I hadn’t have gotten the support I needed, I probably would be just as miserable now as I was sophomore year.

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  27. This I Believe

    I believe that personal strength can outweigh mental illness. When I was entering my freshman year of high school I began battling anxiety and depression. My anxiety would make me like I was suffocating and it would make me get physically sick. After two weeks I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression disorders that were the result of an unstable childhood and being bullied in middle school. I would self-harm by cutting my wrists and thighs on and off for about 3 years; starting in middle school and ending my junior year. After being put on medication I was able to attend school again. At first, I would sit in the guidance office and do any busy work the counselors could get from the teachers of my classes. I was then placed in the alternative classroom. When I was placed in the alternative classroom, it had only been in use since the end of the previous school year. The main goal for the class was to help juniors and seniors who goofed off and needed help to graduate with enough credits and pass. There was also one student who had been homeschooled for two years and was re-entering public school. I was the only freshman in the class, but the boys who I had class with were all very outgoing. They helped me come out of my shell so much and become so much more comfortable at school, but I still dealt with anxiety and depression. In my junior year of high school, I was in an unstable relationship and then was the victim of sexual assault. One Saturday night, while fighting with my boyfriend at the time, I took over 60 pills of various types. I didn’t pay attention to what they were because I assumed the quantity was enough. I was throwing up until I fell asleep. I slept for 21 hours. A majority of the pills I took were for allergy symptoms which can make you drowsy so my heart rate could’ve dropped in my sleep. The following Monday I told my mom what happened. I ended up being hospitalized for over a month. This ordeal caused a lot of havoc in the relationship I had and we eventually ended it. Since my release I’ve refocused myself and now when I’m upset about something I don’t feel any temptation to harm myself. I think that my persistence has gotten me to the point I’m at today. I haven’t been depressed in months. I ended up taking a course over the summer and declaring a major. I originally had no idea what I wanted to major in, but I’ve really struck an interest with Crime & Justice Studies I’m looking forward to the future ahead of me and I know that my life is worth more than anything anyone has bad to say about me.

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  28. I believe we are not educated enough on uncomfortable topics. My younger brother attempted suicide three times since this past October as well as being in mental facilities for his safety. Nobody should feel like they are a burden to their family or that they are a coward for wanting their anxiety and depression to no longer exist. Suicide is an uncomfortable and difficult topic to talk about. We don’t really talk about it until something happens to someone. I believe we should all be educated and have a greater understanding of how we can help. We don’t talk until it is too late. Recently a new show has been added to Netflix, for those of you who don’t, know it is called 13 Reasons Why. It’s about a girl who creates tapes of reasons why she took her life. Schools have become enraged by the shows portrayal of the lack of help the young girl received from the school guidance counselor. Parents even received letters from our superintendent of schools explaining how inaccurate this show is. I personally agree with the way 13 Reasons Why portrayed how involved the school was. As I said before, we aren’t educated enough about difficult topics like suicide. We don’t do anything until something happens and it is too late or someone is successful in their attempt. We need to do more as a society and become educated on uncomfortable topics and how we can help friends and loved ones through difficult times.

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  29. Although I was never medically diagnosed, depression is a term I self identify with and have for quite some time. Most people say “Oh your just sad, tomorrow you’ll feel better!”. But that feel better never came, and when it did, it wasn’t nearly as fulfilling as I wanted it to be. Academically I have always excelled in school, but when it comes to a social life, I was always the one outcast. I have always been extremely kind and friendly, even to those who do not deserve it, yet every time I tried to make a friend it just didn’t end well. In high school I gradually lost my middle school friends, until it got to the point where I felt I didn’t have a shoulder to cry on. I would tell my remaining friends how I always felt this lingering sadness and they would show disbelief since I am such a bubbly and kind person who helps anyone who needs it. Since this part of my life I have seen a social worker and it has done wonders to help with self doubt, self confidence, and overall having a more positive out look than I did previously. I truly wish I could give everyone suffering from depression or anxiety the tools to beat their inner demons, and I believe if someone wants help they should be able to have access to anything that could help them climb out of the dark. Depression and anxiety affect such a large population of the world and it grows every day, and I do not share my story looking for pity, rather instead I share to instill hope and perseverance into others. Seek out the help you feel you deserve, and always try to see the light at the end of the dark parts of life. I truly believe that anxiety and depression are the demons hidden in broad daylight, and we together can seek an end to their rule.

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  30. Mental illness has never really been a part of my life, I personally do not suffer from any depression or anxiety. At least not to the point where it would negatively affect my life on a regular basis. I never really thought of it that much until I became very close to someone who does suffer from depression and I saw how debilitating it can really be. They explained to me what depression actually is, how it isn’t just “feeling sad” all of the time and how hopeless it can make life seem. I believe that information about depression, and other mental illnesses as well, should be more widely known. Hopefully that would help rid of some of the misconceptions that many people have. Someone with depression can’t just “cheer up” or “stop being sad” and have everything be alright. Depression is a very serious problem for someone to have and should be treated as such. I believe noone should be afraid to talk to someone they trust about the problems they have or how they truly feel. Life is very a precious thing and I wish that everyone knew that no matter how hopeless things can seem sometimes, how pointless everything can appear to be, things can always get better. I’ve been told I am overly optimistic, how hope is a stupid thing because it leads to inevitable sadness or disappointment. I think living with at least a little bit of hope is a good thing though, it makes the future something to look forward to.

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  31. The common misconception about depression is that it’s a choice. Common ideologies surrounding the subject would usually goes as follows; “If someone wanted to get better, they would.” “You can be normal, you’re just not trying hard enough.” “There’s so much to live for. Wanting to kill yourself is r——-” many statements with empty substance. Depression isn’t about getting better to where you don’t want to end it, or having so much to live for. It’s when you feel like there is no longer anything to live for so the only option is to end it. Understanding depression in itself at surface level is the first step toward understanding depression at its depth. With the proper support and methods from the person that’s depressed, you can create a happy space for them and start to work on why life seems to be so hard that it isn’t worth the fight anymore. My comprehension of depression comes from a deeper place, but starting somewhere gets you somewhere else. My ideas on it have drastically changed throughout the years and I use to be one of those people who thought it was a phase and just in your head until it hit closer to home. I want to provide a listening ear to all who will let me, a hand to hold when it’s cold and a shoulder to lean on when it becomes too heavy just sitting up on your own. This is what makes a human being human. Feeling compassion.

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    • Lj, I appreciate you sharing and couldn’t agree with what you said more. Many people do think depression is a choice which is not only frustrating but also upsetting. I hope that I may also be someone to help build you up if you have any troubles this year whether it be big or small. I’m relieved to have someone that understands.

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      • Everything you said was extremely insightful. I definitely agree that people have the misconception that depression is a choice. It is not a choice at all. I find that it’s harder for people to fully understand if they haven’t experienced it or have been close to someone who has depression.

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  32. I was young when my depression first hit me. I brushed it off as a change in my body or adjusting to new things in my life. Things constantly got worse and things became less interesting. I started to struggle and could barely focus on little and I started to sleep more often. I found myself hurting myself more and more and barely had strength to keep myself awake. I believe this made me stronger as the man I am today. Every thing I did was a major challenge and life became unbearable but through it all I made it past it. I pushed myself harder than I ever could possibly imagine. Even though it was one of the worst parts of my life I believe it helped me develop into a mature and more wise person. It gave me the ability to understand other people’s problems and help deal with them. It also gave me the ability to reflect on myself as a person. It’s a hard topic to discuss because it’s such a personal subject. But so many people have so many similar issues I believe if we could talk more openly about it problems could decrease and people could feel safer. I really believe we need to more open about mental issues shunning it and treat people like “Crazies” is only making things worse. Suicide rates are still high and things may have changed from the beginning of mental treatment but things don’t seem to be getting better. I believe when we embrace our difference we can be stronger as people.

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    • I agree with you. A lot of things that can trigger people’s silence on depression is the reaction towards it. Whether if it is the person that is depressed or that is learning of someone’s depression, I think at times people can be closed minded on this topic because they may not know how to address it. I believe that if people start to notice changes in their friends or family member’s behavior and mood; they should start checking in on them and express that their care for them. Though not all people may not feel safe or comfortable to say something, then we should find someone who would listen or continue to remind them you care for them. At least, it helps that person know that there are people out there who care. If we are building a safe ground for those to speak up, then we are doing less harm to those numbers.

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  33. Anxious is a feeling almost everyone can describe. Whether you’re anxious to go speak in front of a crowd of people, or you’re presenting a project you worked hard on, most people have had the “butterflies in your stomach” feeling. And I’m sure many people have had off days, where nothing seems to go right, and you don’t feel all that cheery. But for some people this is practically an everyday thing. Anxiety affects about 18% of the population, depression, 6.7%. And this isn’t counting the tons of cases that go undiagnosed. Anxiety and depression tend to pair together, meaning if you have a form of anxiety, you might also have some form of depression. And anxiety and depression together are absolutely horrendous to deal with. Depression can cause you to want to stay in bed, whereas anxiety can cause you to need every single thing to be absolutely perfect. I grew up having these two mental illnesses, and although I struggled, and sometimes I didn’t believe I could finish some of the things I did finish, I accomplished all that I wanted to in high school. Which is why I believe that even if you struggle with mental illnesses, like anxiety and depression, you can still accomplish what you want, and you can still follow your dreams. As one of my favorite artist who inspires me every day, Tyler Joseph, once said, “Anyone from anywhere can do anything.”

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  34. As a child, I remember not being into the things that my friends or my peers were into. I had more than one game console, a room filled with toy, two brothers to share with. However, these were not the things that kept me occupied throughout my childhood. I dealt with thoughts that were uncommon for a child to have. I thought about things like my family’s financial situation, my parents being apart, and the pressure of doing well like my relatives before me. Anxiety consumed most of the time that I could have spent expressing myself. Not soon after, depression followed or at least the first time I was made aware of its presence.

    I remember attending birthday parties where I was not content with the things around me. Cake, piñatas, and gifts did not bring me anywhere euphoric. I cried in the corner, and when I was approached by an adult, I could not begin to explain myself. When I arrived home, I would get scolded for my behavior as if I had any control. It was a misunderstanding that I could not describe.

    Anyway, I noticed what was going on, and tried to find outlets that could help me figure myself out. I generally attached myself to any subculture that I found interesting. It is the reason why I am more accepting of different perspectives. I was willing to try anything. My interests go from playing fighting games, hip-hop, rock, skating, and writing.

    I found my interests by trying to better myself even though I may live with depression for the rest of my life. Being able to express myself is a better way to deal with a mental illness then just keeping it bottled up.

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  35. Having struggled all my life with anxiety and depression I find it very important that everyone takes it seriously. Anxiety and depression isn’t just “I’m scared to try this new thing” or “Today I feel sad”, its a chemical imbalance in your brain that causes you to be ill just like a cold would. During my sophomore year of high school I was hospitalized for two months with what they thought was lyme disease. My symptoms included loss of appetite, mental fogginess, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and so forth. After trips to several different hospitals, losing twenty pounds, and numerous blood tests later I was told nothing was wrong with me, until one day I visited my therapist again and she told me this was the symptoms of severe anxiety and depression. In a way I almost didn’t want to start taking medicine daily because I wanted to be able to be a “normal person” and not have to rely on a drug. However, I had not been in school and was slipping into a dark path so I knew I had to at least give it a shot. After taking a few weeks to set in I finally began to feel like myself again but life definitely isn’t that easy so it doesn’t just end there. Anxiety and depression aren’t just something you get over like a cold or chicken pox, it will be with you for the rest of your life. If more people were aware of that and it was a topic not shamed but talked about, many people would be more open to getting the help they need.

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  36. Anxiety is a feeling that everyone can describe and has experienced to some degree. Although I do not suffer from depression or anxiety, I have found myself surrounded with people who do. These people greatly changed how I view these illnesses through experiences that I had with them. Before meeting them, I was never all that sure what these conditions really were and nobody exactly went out of their way to explain it either. Back then I, like many people, assumed depression was just a sadness that you felt for a long time and would eventually get over and that anxiety was just the panic feeling that we all sometimes get. I now believe that I learned the severity of these things too late as I noticed these illnesses became more apparent as we approached our teenage years. Due to my naivete, I experienced one friend get sent to the hospital after I failed to realize how she was really feeling and she almost lost her life because of it. Another friend was always too scared to be in public places and even avoided coming to school on a few occasions because of her condition. Looking back at these times, I realize that there were so many openings for me to go and help them but I didn’t believe that it was necessary when in reality it’s what they may have been looking for. I now know that depression and anxiety are not as simple as “get over it” and even though more people are starting to grasp that idea, they probably don’t understand the extent of how hard things are for them.

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    • It’s amazing to see people understanding the true weight of these illnesses. Many people just can’t understand that anxiety and depression aren’t just things you can tell yourself not to feel or just talk yourself down from.

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  37. I believe that anxiety and depression aren’t small things that people can just ignore or brush off their shoulders and move on. When I was about 14, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder; I had always thought maybe there was something wrong with me for feeling the things I felt, being told just to ignore it by people I tried to talk to. I know now that you cannot ignore anxiety or depression, because at random times they will hit you like a truck, and ruin your entire day (even if you were having one of the best days of your life). Anxiety and depression need to be more widely talked about in schools, so kids will be more likely to ask for help or help each other. I believe that anxiety and depression are serious issues and should be taken as such. I’m still dealing with my depression, although it has gotten much better, and my anxiety that has gotten better as well. These two things may never fully go away, but we can all help each other to overcome some of our struggles and learn from each other.

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    • Having people you can rely on and talk to while you are dealing with these issues is essential. That’s how I’ve been able to cope. Also having healthy coping skills is a must have. I’m glad I finally got help instead of keeping it all to my self, letting it brew and boil over. These topics need to be discussed more. With more education on this topic, more lives can be saved.

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  38. A year ago I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. Since I can remember I have never been 100% happy. I thought it was normal. I’d consistently have days where I’m depressed for no reason. My life has been really good and I’ve been extremely lucky, so I shouldn’t have a reason to be sad all the
    time. But I couldn’t help it. Around March last year was when it really sparked. Things weren’t exactly good between me and my family, for reasons I would rather keep private. They made me feel like there was something desperately wrong with me. Like I wasn’t normal. They made me feel like I failed them and ruined their hopes and future dreams for me. I told them that I thought I was depressed, but that only aggravated the situation. They just told me to “suck it up” and to “be a man”. It wasn’t that easy. It was next to impossible. I’d just dwell on my feelings and hold things in. At this point I felt unwanted and I did things that were harmful to myself. After I realized what I was doing wasn’t going to help me, I decided to reach out for help via my school’s guidance counselors. They then refereed me to see someone about my issues. It was then I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. I told my family about this and they though it was all their fault. For saying the things they did. But they were just ignorant. That was the old way of doing things, by “being tough and manly”. I needed help, I couldn’t do it on my own and they realized that. Anyways I thought I was alone during this whole thing. But it turns out I wasn’t. A lot of my friends were also struggling with depression, and I was able to talk to them about it. I didn’t feel like a freak anymore, I wasn’t alone. I learned by talking to people about my feelings instead of holding them in really helped me. Having people willing to listen was very important. I’m in a slightly better spot now but I still have days where I can hit rock bottom. I also listen to my friends and I help them when they need someone to talk to. If you think you might have depression, talk to someone about it. Do NOT hold it in. Talk to a family member, trusted friend, a doctor. Remember you are never alone.

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    • I definitely agree that talking with people is very helpful as well as important. Even if someone can’t fix the situation or make you feel better, it helps to feel less alone. Sometimes that’s all someone needs.

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  39. A specific time in 6th grade, a friend of mine was experienced a very tragic event, when his parents hd decided to get a divorce. This affected him dramatically, and as one of his friends, i tried my hardest to keep his mind off of it because, I believe that anxiety and depression should be eliminated from people’s way of life. As time went on through the help of his friends and family, he was able to not fall into a state of depression. People should not have to let such feelings control them, because there are so many things in life to experience. It is not fair that people are affected by these feelings. Disorders such as anxiety and depression will only hinder your progression in life, such feelings should be turned into either motivation or something positive, because everyone should surround themselves with positive ideas. I know this is easier said than done, but our battles aren’t what define us, it’s how we face them is what defines us as a human. I’ve personally never experienced depression, but have had friends go through it, and it is a terrible feeling knowing a friend is going through a tough time whatever the reason may be behind their depression. I also believe that if you surround yourself with positive ideas, that they can help friends that may be going through a tough time. Having anxiety is a tough burden to carry, so i believe that it’s ok to talk to a friend to help you through something like anxiety, and as a friend they should be offering help to other friends that are diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression.

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  40. In 2014, 11.1% of our nation’s youth suffered from depression. Depression, the biggest and most widely known type of mental illness is something that can be often be cast aside as secondary compared to the items that society labels as “more important”. For me, I feel that it is of the utmost importance that more people open their minds to mental illness and how prevalent and real it is. Many people fail to understand that it isn’t just that the person with depression is just sad, but inside his mind, his cells and his brain is wired quite differently from a person without depression. Therefore while it is in some ways up to the person who is currently depressed to get out of the state of mind that he is in, it is important that as an outsider we look to create a cultivating, positive environment to keep people safe. As for my own personal experience, for reasons that I’m not yet comfortable talking about, for the second half of junior year, and the first half of my senior year of high school, I suffered from severe depression. It can be hard when every day seems like it lasts a week, (in a bad way), or that every person you talk to seems not to really care much about what you are saying. In my own personal experience, I waited a very long time before seeking help, and instead resorted to doing hard substances. I can’t make it more clear when I say that seeking help is so important. Doing drugs on the side to get temporary highs doesn’t get you anywhere. If the happiness inside is superficial and doesn’t truly come from within, then it means nothing. IT was all thanks to a close clall with death, a few key friends, and some seriously amazing support that I got at school, that was able to help me get on the road to recovery. Now four months clean and working to get better everyday, I can’t stress enough how important it is to get help as someone with a mental illness, and to create a environment where people feel safe and comfortable if you’re someone on the outside.

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  41. The social norm for how we view anxiety and depression is nowhere near what it should be. I believe that mental illness should not be viewed as an illness but rather a spectrum that every person falls under. There is not a human on this earth that has not experienced anxiety. However when people come to a point in which they need professional help for their mental state it’s labeled as an illness. This word illness has a negative connotation to it as it’s used when discussing afflictions of the body that have clear and defined medical solutions or treatments. A person’s mental state can be studied and understood using many different systems, however there is never an end all be all answer to improve it. Personally when I heard the term mental illness or disorder this made me think that there would be a black and white answer as to whether someone had it. In reality no one’s mind works perfectly and there is no complete normal mental state to be achieved. I came to a point in my life in which I was never happy and constantly repeated the worst in my head over and over.I didn’t seek help because I told myself that I was not bad enough to be considered diseased. Negative mental health should not be looked at as a typical disease with a black and white diagnoses. Instead we should be aware of our destructive behavior and seek help regardless of whether you believe your thoughts are negative enough to be considered a disease. It’s never wrong to seek help when the alternative is suffering because of the social implications of the words mental disorder.

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  42. The only way I know to start this short essay off is by telling you that receiving this assignment at the beginning of the summer was actually one of the best things that happened to me during these vacations. You might be thinking, “Then why did she send in the essay only a day before classes started?” Bear with me and I will try to start from the beginning and explain this as clearly and shortly as I can. Two years ago, I moved to Patagonia, Chile as a Rotary International Youth Exchange student. If you’re not familiar with this program, its objective is to send as many kids as possible out to live in foreign countries in order to promote peace in the world by breaking down stereotypes and forming friendships between different countries. I expected that upon returning to the USA from the exchange program, I would be a new, mature, and confident person. Well, I should have adhered to the wise advice, “Go into this having no expectations”, that was given to me during the months leading up to my departure, because that year was the hardest year of my life. It left my soul crushed and me in a deep depression that I am still greatly struggling with now. My year in Chile really opened my mind, heart, and soul to the suffering, evil, and pain that exists in this world. It drained me from the ability to feel love and stole the fire from my heart that once fueled my passion to make this world a better place. Furthermore, my year abroad left me unable to connect with others, love other, and to make friends. Maybe you can see where I’m getting at now. Up until I was assigned this essay from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, I was empty. I lived my life like a robot, unconscious of myself and the world around me. This essay assignment me gave the chance to reflect this summer and to think about who I am, and for that I am very grateful. You see, before I left for Chile I was a passionate, self-driven young adult who had more love to give than anyone I have met in a long time. I was eager to make a difference, to change the world. Most importantly, I loved myself. Reflecting now, I realize that the girl that I once was, filled with love, passions and beliefs, is far from the person that I have let myself become. I was able to understand that I have a new chance now as a freshman at UMASS Dartmouth to grow into the passionate woman that I now dream of becoming. Although change does not happen overnight, I believe that throughout this year I will at least be able to spark that fire again and that it will continue to grow brighter and bigger throughout the years to come. Now that I am conscious of myself and the person that I have become, I am able to start healing from my past experiences and become the person that I wish to be. I have realized that without love, I will never be able to change the world like I once dreamed of doing. It is up to me to learn to love myself again and to show my love for others.

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  43. Whether through yourself or someone else, I think everyone has heavy run-ins with anxiety and depression throughout their lives.
    I don’t think I’ve ever been seriously, medically depressed but I am definitely one of the many people who lives with at least mild anxiety. Through having something like this yourself it can teach you a lot about what it means to truly connect with another person, or just allow you to connect with someone where either or both of you have trouble forming connections. But I think the relationships you form with mentally troubled people are some of the most important whether it’s a family member, peer, friend or lover. Both of my best friends since I began Middle School had depression and it definitely contributed to shaping their lives and my connection to them. While one has gotten better over the past few years the other still suffers with depression, anxiety and a plethora of other issues unfortunately. Despite this, we can call each other best friends and are always there for each other precisely because we understand each other. I’m happy to have friends I can relate to and talk to about such personal, mind-wrenching things with even if being a close friend to them has meant all sorts of worry. This worry and other things I’ve felt for them have only further shown my care for them though, and I think everyone would agree with how worry and going the extra mile for someone only deepens your care for and connection to them.

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  44. Having anxiety and depression is a constant battle where often times it feels more like your losing then winning. People who don’t experience these two things seem to have difficulty understanding it. Most times they can’t tell that a person has anxiety because the person presents as “normal”. Having anxiety feels like you have a million thoughts racing through your head and you can never shut it off. However, you put a smile on your face and go on about your day even as your lungs feel like their constricting and the chaotic mess in your brain is making you dizzy. Depression is this dark shadow that lingers behind you. When it finally creeps up on you it feels like you’re slipping deep into a hole that you’ll never get out of. When anxiety or depression consumes someone, they can’t just put a smile on, or go for run, or think better thoughts and it will fix everything. It doesn’t work like that. Throughout my life I’ve meet many other people who have anxiety and depression. Through these life experiences, I’ve come to believe that it doesn’t make you weak or less then. I believe that it makes you stronger, brave and more compassionate. I believe that it makes you more resilient. And yes, in the middle of an anxiety attack or a deep depression it doesn’t feel like that. Sometimes you have to take it day by day; hour by hour even. And I believe that is entirely okay.

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  45. When I was in 8th grade, I experienced the beginning of my emotions and hormones barraging my body and mind that resulted in a Molotov cocktail known as anxiety and depression. At first, life felt like it was hopeless; it felt like I had no real meaning, just aimlessly moving along life until the next day, and then the next day, and then the next day. Life had become a miasma of boredom and sadness, never truly feeling right for me. It had eventually come down to a point to where I was attending therapy sessions to help me balance my stormy horizon of life. Then this newly cheerful future arrived, and with the help and encouragement of my friends, im beginning to overcome the depression that racked me. I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could have purpose and joy in my life again. To this day I still suffer fits of both anxiety and depression, but I also refuse to let them take control of my life like they did back then. I am stronger than my emotions and I am stronger than depression. I believe that the past is the past, and sometimes you have to let go to get to the future.

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