Anxiety & depression is a silent illness that is affecting about 18% of the US population. I am among that 18%. I come from a hispanic heritage where anxiety and depression is not openly talked about. If I attempted to tell my mom I was feeing depressed, her response would be “you’re crazy”. Hearing those words made me want to bottle up my feelings and deal with this illness that I had no idea about, by myself. Now, it wasn’t that my parents weren’t supportive of me, they just weren’t educated about this type of illness and therefore, never took it very seriously.
My anxiety & depression began to take a bigger toll in my life after I had my daughter in high school. (Postpartum depression) I was just turning 17 and had to adjust to a new life with a new born. I was frequently over thinking any situation that I came across. Will I finish high school? Can I do this whole mother thing? Why am I not producing enough milk? I had to grow up so quickly and I was trying to put up a front that everything was ok because I felt like having these feelings would meant that I didn’t love my child or that I was giving up.
I decided to seek help on my own after realizing the impulsive way I had began to respond to my family, especially my daughter and developing suicidal thoughts.
As I sat in the doctor’s waiting room, I was asked to fill out a mental illness questionnaire and graded myself towards the end. I was in denial to see how high my score was since I thought my issue wasn’t that major. By the end of my visit, I had a packet with knowledgable information about my mental health illness and a RX for Sertraline.
Telling My Mom About My Mental Illness
I was taking Sertraline for a few weeks before I finally decided to tell my mom of my visit. I was scared because I was not sure what type of response I was going to get, however, I was finally at ease with myself after beginning the medication. When I told my mom, she was more disappointment with the fact that I didn’t trust her enough to tell her what my plan was from the start. She took the information I gave her and learned from it and became my biggest supporters. It is not an easy subject to talk about and the majority of people decide to go through it alone.
Since my discovery of my mental illness (6 years), I still have my share of days where I feel sad, unmotivated, and alone. I am blessed to have my husband who has accepted me for who I am and has helped me in many amazing ways to get me out of my dark days and see the sunshine again. If you or anyone you know is showing any of the following signs, reach out and give a lending hand. You never know when you could be saving a life.
Symptoms commonly seen in people with anxiety and depression:
- Suicidal thoughts
Please know that you are not alone! Reach out to a family member, trusted friend, counselor, or doctor. If suicidal thoughts are developing please reach out to some immediately or reach the suicidal hotline: 1-800-273-8255. You are important, you are valuable, and remember the sun always comes up shining bright every morning!