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.
After what felt like a lifetime of being dissatisfied with my body, eating disorders, and depression, I finally sought help during my freshman year of college.
Looking back, I realized the reason I waited so long was the negative stigma attached to mental health. Growing up in a family that simply does not believe in mental health, I always thought that feeling unhappy was just a normal part of life, and that there might be a rainbow after this storm. That rainbow did not come until spring semester of freshman year, when my antidepressants finally kicked in. I felt the most amazing sensation of euphoria as I was snowboarding down what felt like an endless mountain range among the softest snow I have ever felt.
That was the first time in years I remembered what happiness felt like… all thanks to girls I met in my freshman dorm who showed me I was not alone, and not okay. They urged that I went to counseling, something I never imagined doing, and is extremely frowned upon in my family.
Counseling was one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever gone through; opening up to a stranger about my problems that I never truly uncovered. She helped me realize why I felt the way I did, and sent me on my way to the next steps of my recovery.
I even opened up to my mother, who I had been hiding this from ever since I could remember. Though she was hesitant at first, she supported in finding help and finally beginning antidepressants. The healing processes is very long, and personal, but we all have the potential to be happy. If you feel depressed, scared, overwhelmed, or anything that is impairing your ability to be truly happy, seek help.
Here is a link to Pitt’s counseling and psychiatry services. Just calling and scheduling an is a step in the right direction.
Is mental health discussed in your family? How do you react when mental health and mental illness are brought up?