The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.
This is my first blog post as a blogging ambassador, and I’m so excited to start blogging! I came across the study in the Pitt+Me Registry, and I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it. I am passionate about mental health in young adults, as it is something I have struggled with since I was a teenager. In this post, I wanted to write a little about my background and where I am now in my mental health journey.
I was diagnosed with depression when I was in high school, around age 15. I started seeing a therapist regularly and taking medication (Lexapro, then Wellbutrin). For the most part, my depression did not greatly affect my life until I was a senior in high school. A few months before I was set to graduate, I was feeling so poorly that I couldn’t get out of bed and I stopped going to school. I had a wonderful guidance counselor who made sure I still graduated on time and started college in the fall. In hindsight, I don’t know if going to college right after high school was the best choice, but off I went.
In college, my mental health was very up and down. Adjusting to living 5 hours away from my family was difficult for me, and I chose without consultation to stop my medication and therapy when I started college. Again, in hindsight, this wasn’t the best choice. I ultimately made the decision to transfer to a college that was closer to home, and I started medication and therapy again. Since then, I’ve worked many different jobs, gone to college part time and full time, taken some time off from college… you name it, I’ve probably been there. There were times when I wasn’t sure I would ever graduate, but I am proud to say that I will finally be graduating from college in December.
At this point in my mental health journey, I feel like I have gained a lot of perspective and wisdom about therapy, medication, and coping mechanisms, but I still have a lot to learn. When I have good days, I am always worried when the next bad day will come. I also still struggle with feelings of low self-esteem and hopelessness. However, I have made a lot of improvements in the past two years, and I am working on my mental health every day.
In my future blog posts, I would like to write about dealing with depression in high school and college, mental health in the LGBTQIA+ community, and my experiences with different therapists and types of treatment. I’m so glad that I found this blogging opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started!
What has your child’s mental health journey been like? If they have been diagnosed with depression, how old were they? If they are in college, has their mental health been different compared to when they were in high school?