“I’m currently attending university in Perth, Western Australia for my Bachelor’s in Psychology. Like many I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders after symptoms worsened when I was an adolescent, around 15 or 16. Up until then I had a pretty normal childhood; played sport, was doing well at school, hung out with friends, my parents were supportive and loving, nothing out of the ordinary.
After diagnoses I was agnostic about my situation, I didn’t really believe in it because I was young and naive and it was unlike something I’d ever experienced. I thought I was just like everyone else who got a bit down from time to time and it would eventually get better. But this time it didn’t get better.
School became hell, a toxic environment where everyone is out to get everyone else because it makes them feel better about themselves. And what was once considered funny banter between friends was soon to be perceived by me as a personal attack. I felt alone amongst all my friends, they’d ask me how I was and I’d say “I’m fine” when really I was the opposite of fine. I needed help.
As someone who likes to ask question and figure stuff out I wanted to learn more about why I was feeling these intense feelings, or in some cases not feeling anything at all. Depression for me was a cycle, sometimes lasting a day, sometimes a month. Firstly I’d feel intense sadness, like all the worlds’ negative energy is being channelled through my body and mind. Then feeling guilty for existing, like I don’t deserve to continue in this life. Then frustration and anger because I didn’t know why I was feeling like this and I was looking for answers. Finally exhaustion and emptiness swallowed every last bit of my energy until I was just an empty body drifting through life on autopilot, which is the scariest state to be in in the world.
Rock bottom for me came after a period of four consecutive days without sleep, which I now regard to be the most important thing in the world. In this state I had no impulse control, no meaning, no intentions to purposefully continue living. I felt as if my life was not my own, that I wasn’t capable of giving or receiving love and I was a strange passenger, alone in my own body. While in the midst of contemplating suicide (and not far from completing it) I felt as though I’d been engulfed in 1000 years of wisdom in a matter of seconds.
Things around me started to make more sense, I realised that this is the worst suffering I could experience, wanting to take my own life. And in that moment I didn’t, I didn’t have control over myself and it hadn’t happened. Things could literally only get better from here. I took this as an omen that there must be more to it all, there must be something I was missing. For the first time in a long time I felt like something positive had happened, I’d been reborn.
I realised that there are other people who experience similar situations, and that they could be just as uninformed about what they’re going through as I was. So I decided I was going to make it my purpose to help as many people as I could suffering similar to how I did get through their tough time.
I aim to do this directly through combining my Psychology degree with my lived experience to provide an eclectic view on mental health in which I believe I have a beneficial position. I also am indirectly trying to help people through my personal blog and instagram project, sharing what I’ve learned and mistakes I made that may benefit people who feel alone or struggling to cope.
I am happy to say I am currently managing my situation extremely well, with depressed episodes or anxiety attacks occurring only once or twice a month. I have achieved great mastery over my ego and flow of uncontrollable thought through meditation. I advise many of you who are struggling to firstly inform yourself on what it is, and give it a go. I can only speak for myself, but meditation keeps me sane, and keeps me in check.
I write extensively about support structures, advice and methods in trying to manage your mental health on my blog, and provide daily wisdom on instagram for anyone who needs a daily reminder that your life has value, you’re not alone and you are worthy of recovery.”
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