My Mental Health Story - The Life You Love

My Mental Health Story

Just a quick warning: Although my story does not have any specific trigger warnings that I can think of, it may bring up memories or feelings that are difficult to deal with.  If that happens, please stop reading and take care of yourself.  If you feel like you need professional help, please seek it.  I cannot and will not offer you professional services.


I'm sharing my story for several reasons.
  1. The stigma surrounding mental health disorders has to go.  It prevents people from getting help and it makes others feel ashamed for their experiences.
  2. The more that we talk about real mental health experiences, the more we can learn about how to help ourselves and others.
  3. Even though no two stories are the same, I hope that people who have stories that are similar to mine will feel inspired to seek help in their own ways and even reach out for support.
  4. For this blog to focus on mental health and holistic wellness, you have to understand where I'm coming from.
Before you read my experience, though, I want you to remember that it is just that... it's only one person's experience.  This post is not meant to be medical advice and should not be taken as such.


I had underlying depression for years as a child. Or Bipolar II. We, meaning my psychiatrist and I, actually still aren't sure because we apparently can't just go ask past me what the hell was going on. Looking back, it's very very likely that I also had ADHD, which I still have today. And I also have anxiety. I didn't seek help for these issues until I was a sophomore in college. After a couple weeks of barely eating, sleeping 15+ hours a day, not showing up to work on time, skipping all of my classes, and alternating between debilitating panic attacks and complete numbness, I finally scheduled a mental health appointment.

I met with a provider that I had no information about and she turned out to be medication management provider. Devastated doesn't even begin to describe how upset I was that she prescribed me an antidepressant. I called my mom in tears. I felt like a failure. I felt like I couldn't take care of myself. I felt like I was broken. I felt like an outcast. I asked her to not tell my three younger sisters because I always want them to be able to look up to me and aspire to be like me or even better. I want to be their role model. She told me that she was absolutely going to tell them. She told me that she needed them to know that if they're struggling, that there is help and there are solutions. She needed them to know that it's okay to ask for help and it's okay to find solutions to your problems. She needed them to know that no matter what, they're not alone.

I never knew that mental illness could make you feel so empowered and inspiring.

Over the years, I've seen a couple different medical providers and a couple different therapists. My original antidepressant dose has been increased. I'm on a mood stabilizing medication that also helps with sleep. And I'm also taking a stimulant to help me concentrate, which has seriously helped control my depression and anxiety by keeping me in the present moment. I finally started seeing a therapist in addition to my psychiatrist and that helped me take even more control of my mental health and my daily life. I'm not saying that any of these changes were what I wanted at the time. I often resisted the diagnoses that I was given and reluctantly took my prescriptions, but only because I've always had the mindset that medical providers went to medical school, I did not.

I was always afraid that taking medicine would change me. It did. I finally feel like I am myself. I finally feel like I have the necessary foundation to really thrive in life. It took me nearly 23 years, but everyone's journey is different.

I'm telling you all of this to let you know that if you're suffering with your own diagnoses or you have your own troubling symptoms, you can seek help and you are not alone. It took me several years and a couple medication changes to figure out what worked best for me. I only added therapy into my mental health care over the past year and I've learned invaluable skills. You have to find what works for you and you have to find providers that you vibe with. What works for you may be medication, therapy, both, or neither. What works for you may be lifestyle changes. You can't find out what will work for you until you find out what's going on and what your options are to change what you're experiencing.

I'm also telling you all of this because I want you to know that my idea of holistic does not mean that I only take herbal medications or find alternative medications. I don't only eat vegan organic food. I freaking love pizza and I take my medications at night. Holistic simply means that all aspects of your life are balanced and in unity. Just like all of your organs and bones and vessels have to be in sync for you to feel healthy, all aspects of your personal being must complement and support each other for you to feel as if you're thriving.



For people who are interested about diagnoses, symptoms, and medications, I've listed them below.  Please don't use these for self-diagnosis.  This is just my personal experience and people with the same symptoms may have another diagnosis, while someone with the same diagnosis may have completely different symptoms.  I just wanted to share for the sake of transparency and because if anyone else is like me, they're nosy AF.  Plus, if you've had any of these experiences and want to talk to someone else who has, you can feel free to email me at thelifeyouloveblog@gmail.com.

DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
I've included these two together because mine were very intertwined and have been treated with the same medication.
My symptoms: fatigue, isolation, sleeping more than necessary, irregular eating, loss of interest in activities or hobbies, frequent crying, panic attacks, irritability, mood swings, and hopelessness.
Medication: I take sertraline, which is often sold under the brand name of Zoloft.

HYPOMANIA/BIPOLAR II
Symptoms: decreased sleep accompanied by increased energy, racing thoughts, having many goals even though I was unproductive, talking quicker than usual, and increased fidgeting and restlessness.
Medication: Quetiapine, often called Seroquel.

ADHD
Symptoms: lack of attention to detail, difficulty organizing steps of projects, avoiding difficult tasks, fidgeting, forgetting obligations, making careless mistakes, inattention, distractibility, talking over people, difficulty focusing on what others are saying, talking too much in social settings, and talking over people or finishing their sentences.
Medication: Adderall XR.

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