The reason why I started seeing [a psychologist] was because in 8th grade we had to write this story, a personal story. I wrote my story in the sense that it was my actual story about how I would come home in 6th grade and look at a bottle of pills and I wanted to swallow them but I was too afraid to. Or I would come home and take a knife and hold it to my chest and want to push it in but I was too afraid because I didn’t want my dad to be coming home and seeing his dead daughter lying on the floor in a pool of blood. So I wrote a story and I think it was interesting in the sense that my mom said that it was really well written. But I would call it my cry for help because it was my first time telling anyone about this. I wasn’t telling my parents about those attempts and I didn’t feel like I didn’t have a friend that I could talk to about it so I really just felt alone in it.
My connection to mental health is that it’s just a personal struggle within my brain and myself. I can’t say that I have depression or I have anxiety because my parents never actually bothered to get me tested for anything and it’s not like I can test myself. I can’t self-diagnose myself because I think that’s… I don’t know it’s always just been something that has been really troublesome for me.
That time when I first got help, at first I was a little hesitant because I didn’t know exactly how it was going to be or what the agreement was between the psychologist and the patient in terms of privacy. I also wasn’t sure how much she’d be telling my parents but she assured me that she would only be telling them things that I told her she could tell them or things that were really concerning. It was really nice, we had a really nice relationship because she always gave me coffee or tea. It was nice because we could come to this place and settle down. As I said, it was great to be able to talk to someone in a place that felt really safe.
There’s a lot of shame [regarding mental illness], a lot of shame. I think that a lot of it has to do with our society because even the word “disorder” or “disease” makes you feel like there’s something wrong with you and you are this mutation and there’s something wrong with you. I’m not doing something right mentally, physically, emotionally and I feel like this isn’t right. Your friends, they can appear to be happy and they can appear to be happy and even in that, they’re already one upping you. On my bad days I’ve tried to seem happy when on the inside I just really don’t want to be at school that day.
I think that people are embarrassed to be vocal because it’s showing your weaknesses. I wish that it wasn’t like that but at the same time I understand why it is because you want to be strong, you don’t want to be seen as this weak individual. That has to do with Darwinism and the strongest will survive, strongest also meaning the healthiest mentally, physically, emotionally. There’s this feeling in there where they are feeling ashamed of the emotions they are feeling, unless there is some societal shift where society can change its mistakes.