It’s finally November, and this month will mark that officially ten years have passed since I was diagnosed with moderate depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I have gone through so many things in the past ten years, and I am proud to say that I have accomplished things that I hadn’t even though about when I was eleven years old. Of course, there have been many challenges along the way, but I keep making progress.
Everyday is a different experience for me and every year has brought new challenges with it.
I went from middle school to high school to college trying to find out what medications worked for me, only to advocate for myself and decide to go medication free. At the end of this month, it will be six months that I have been off antidepressants. I have been struggling with my anxiety lately because it is now midterms season and I hope that I can find a solution that works for me without going back on medications.
I hid my diagnoses for a while and though I started to tell people within the first year, it really wasn’t until I took AP Psychology my senior year of high school that I started to feel that I was more than my diagnoses. College also proved to be a place where I can advocate mental health awareness and share my experiences with others freely without fear of them judging me. After all, mental health affects 1 in every 5 people and many young adults are diagnosed during college.
I am thriving in college after a particularly stressful transition. My first quarter I had felt overwhelmed with my classes, commuting to school, and feeling alone on campus for much of the day. I made my first friend, a fellow freshman, in my Exercise Walking class that first quarter. By my second quarter, I realized that my major was not the one for me and started working to change it, which is how I met yet another amazing friend who I have shared several classes with over the years. In the past year alone, I have joined a great group on my campus where we talk about topics such as mindfulness, self-care, and balancing academics with other parts of our lives, all things that I am still trying to work on. I have met several amazing people who I can relate to and I feel comfortable sharing my story with that are always willing to listen.
I have learned to find my voice and share my experiences with others. I am thankful to everyone who has been there and helped me, especially those who have made big impacts in my life by supporting me throughout these past ten years. Because of you, I become more confident in myself and my abilities. I have been working hard to do my best despite my diagnoses for the past ten years and you have helped make me stronger.