Laura, 17, Ireland

IMG_4448“Mental health is a topic that’s always been close to my heart. I’ve always been amazed by its power to control our thoughts and actions. Mental health has also affected me personally in so many ways and been a huge part of my life since I was very small. It has impacted me both negatively and positively over the years.

I have only recently been diagnosed with ADHD and received appropriate treatment for it. Also, I was born with mild/moderate( not sure) Asperger’s syndrome. As a result, my childhood at times was a struggle. Both these things have affected my childhood so dramatically I feel if I had known of them sooner and got the support I wouldn’t have grown up feeling not good enough different from the other kids like a social outcast etc… Along with my 6th class teacher who constantly gave out to me for my lack of concentration and inability to focus and stay calm and sit still, if she and others knew then what I know now that my behaviour and emotions were caused by an imbalance of chemicals such as dopamine in my brain would’ve they of treated me differently ? Like a person with respect and kindness, these are the questions I often ask myself? I grew up hearing the criticism thinking it was my fault. If wasn’t my fault my brain was wired this way, it’s not your fault the way yours is wired.

I got bullied a lot in secondary and faced many problems with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, emotional problems etc… I became unmotivated I began experienced feelings of depression and overwhelming anxiety and I started to self harm. I did other things to try cope with the immense pain such as eating little or nothing for weeks on end smoking and drinking alcohol on the rare occasions I could get the alcohol that was. Self harm became a lifeline for me and I engaged in this dangerous behaviour on a daily basis. At first I thought I was a freak for doing so but soon became comfortable with this unhealthy coping technique. My self worth hit rock bottom. I attempted to end my life shortly after by taking an overdose I was hospitalised and very sick.

Without out the help and support, I received from my friends family and the amazing health professionals I don’t think I’d be here today to tell my story. And for that, I am so grateful.

You are important. Even if you don’t believe it right now. I hope you’ll believe it someday! You were happy once you’ll be happy again. You know how it feels to feel absolutely helpless and because you know how it feels you will do everything in your power to ensure nobody else feels it.

So again in regards to suicide, you downright don’t want to be the cause of other people’s pain because you had the choice to live or die. I had that choice and I chose life. You can too your life is precious live it. Even if that means all you did today was breathe take care of your body it’s the only place you have in which to live and when you do your mind will reward you for you are worth so much more than you will ever imagine
you deserve to live and YOU ARE LOVED.

Things will get better in time just give the time sometimes. Keep fighting
you are strong❤️ “

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