When I was younger, I was always very emotional. I thought the intense sadness and anger emotions constantly flooding my brain were normal, as well as the obsession over self harm. It never occurred to me that there was something actually wrong with me, something that could be *fixed*.
At the time, I was involved with a youth group who would bring speakers in to talk about various “teen” topics. I pretty much ignored the “don’t drink” and “don’t have sex before marriage” talks, but when a young man came in to discuss his experiences with his depression, I listened intently, tears flowing down my face. As soon I heard someone say out loud exactly what I was dealing with, I knew immediately that there was something wrong with me, and that I needed help.
At the end of his talk, I thanked him and told him that his talk probably saved my life, and I truly meant it.
The next day at school, I asked the school councilor to tell my parents I needed depression treatment. Thus started the long road of treatment.
To this day, I take pills to help manage my depression issues. They are not “happy pills”, they treat the problems with my brain chemistry and allow me to function like a normal person. If I ever hear anyone talk negative of those with mental health issues, or those that require medication, stigma be damned, I set them straight!
I’m not bold enough to share my story in front of a bunch of teenagers that I don’t know, but I hope that telling my story to people here and there may make a change in someone else’s life.