The Mental Health Spotlight: Jessie’s Story

By Jessie Brar

Growing up I knew that my mind worked differently than other kids. My mom was constantly working, trying to make ends meet so she could provide for her 3 children. My father was an alcoholic and his parents, who lived with us at the time, were both verbally and physically abusive. I knew that I had a lot more stress in my life than the average 8 year old, but I had no clue what this would mean for me down the road. I had grown up in an environment where loud yelling and fighting were a constant. I lived in a state of fear and anxiety.

Once my parents separated that feeling of anxiety stuck. I was on edge, had frequent mood swings and had an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. I never told my mom because she already had so much on her plate and I didn’t want to burden her further. I hid it from my friends because I was afraid that they would think I was weak or think I was doing this for attention.

In university things got a lot worse before they got better. However, I saw people talk about their mental health more openly and this encouraged me to go seek out help for myself. I didn’t get it right on the first time and it took more than a few doctors, psychologists, and therapists, but I found a mix of treatments that worked for me and have been doing better ever since.

I’ve been working in whatever way I can to help raise awareness about mental health in the hopes to erase the stigma so others won’t feel ashamed about getting help as I did in the past. I’ve been sharing my story through partnering with @storiesnotselfies @riseoverrunorg and doing mental health talks at post secondary and high schools with @jackdotorg. I now run my own page called @TheMHSpotlight which focuses on raising awareness around mental health in South Asian communities.

Mental Health is something we all have, so let’s take care of it 💚

Reproduced with permission, originally published here

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