Let’s Talk About Mental Health - logo Let’s Talk About Mental Health - handheld logo Eye

I've been a worrisome person my whole life, but the anxiety really kicked in a couple years ago after a busy month. Over the next few months, I had my first panic attacks. When the first one happened, I almost went to the emergency room because I couldn't understand why I couldn't breathe. I asked my boyfriend to check on me throughout the night to make sure I didn't just stop breathing in my sleep. I couldn't understand what was wrong with me or why this happened all of a sudden.

I didn't want to take medication, because that felt like admitting I had a serious problem and I didn't want to be numbed or become addicted to the pills. I thought I be able to just work through it and get past it. I started going to a Christian counselor, who helped me recognize that the anxiety didn't have to define me. But a couple months later I felt depression coming on, and after a night where I doubted if I'd ever feel joy again, I decided to start medication in addition to the therapy.
I soon learned that SO many people are going through these diseases. And they are just that: a disease. It is an actual physical chemical imbalance...
When I started to open up to people about it, I soon learned that SO many people are going through these diseases. And they are just that: a disease. We don't hesitate to take medication for any other illness, but for some reason I think I should be able to overpower this disease with my mind (which makes no logical sense). It is an actual physical chemical imbalance that sometimes is just part of our makeup.

It's been over a year now and the therapy has helped IMMENSELY. As I've worked through the anxiety, other issues have come up as well that have challenged me.I have grown as a person SO much in the last two years, and this challenging time is what made me finally get back in an active relationship with God, this time learning that Christianity is about unconditional love, not about working on yourself to the point that you never do any wrong.

I hope other people can take comfort in knowing how common anxiety and depression are, and how understanding other people usually are when you open up to them about it. Sometimes these types of diseases need to be treated like any other, with medication and therapy (which is awesome and can offer a safe place to grow).