So, for the past couple of years I have been suffering with my mental health. However, as strange as it may seem to a neurotypical person, I was in a great deal of denial. I have low periods which last months at a time (sometimes almost a year) where I would have very strong suicidal feelings and would self-harm but for some reason I thought this was normal, because at the end of those months of suffering I would come back out of the low period and feel better. I wasn’t happy exactly, but I wasn’t as low and as suicidal as I was before. Therefore, I thought I couldn’t have any mental health problems because it wasn’t consistent as I perceived depression to be.
Perceptions are an awful thing around mental health conditions because:
- I thought I didn’t have depression because I didn’t feel “sad” in the way I perceived depression to be, instead I hated myself and hated my life so strongly and just felt angry at the world. And that too is depression.
- I thought I didn’t have anxiety because I had no problems speaking up in class and talking to complete strangers – but going on a driving lesson would make me so anxious that I couldn’t control the car due to shaking legs. That too is anxiety.
- I thought I didn’t have an eating disorder because I didn’t fit into the category of typical bulimia or anorexia, but then, eating the same thing every day for seven years, not wanting to eat around other people, and having food rules is an eating problem.
But, perceptions were not what I came here to talk about. I want to talk about how valuable help can be. I hadn’t gotten help all those years because I thought no one would believe me. I thought I didn’t really deserve help but honestly, that is not true.
I recently went on antidepressants and life is so much better on them, my suicidal thoughts have completely vanished and I can really start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you are someone who needs support do not be afraid to reach out and I can only praise and advocate for how much antidepressants really do make a difference.
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