Hello! My name is Emily, and I was fifteen; almost two years ago, when I was hospitalized for my depression and anxiety. I was there for a month, and it was probably the experience in my life that had the most significant impact on me. When my mom and dad were growing up, many people didn't talk about mental illnesses, so they didn't know how to speak to me about it at first. It felt like they doubted my ability to understand my own body when I tried to talk to them about it. My family has a history of mental illnesses and disorders. These disorders range from depression to anxiety to bipolar disorder. I had no idea until I was hospitalized, but my parents were struggling with depression too. When I was hospitalized, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I'll explain it more in an upcoming Discover Weekly.
I originally had a hard time thinking of a name, but then I remembered a word that we had learned in ninth grade, it was Greek, and it means "a healthy state of mind, which is characterized by self-control, moderation, and a deep awareness of one's true self, and resulting in true happiness."
At this time, I had a hard time knowing what my purpose was. When the Parkland shooting happened, and students of all backgrounds stood up around the nation, I started organizing the school's walkout. The walkout was incredible. Over half our school walked out, although it was cold and most people couldn't see or hear anything. Over one thousand students were outside, and it was amazing to feel like such a huge part of something. I felt brave. I felt strong. And I felt that I finally had a place. Since then, I've been involved in activism in as many different topics as possible, while mainly focusing on gun violence and mental health, but I still keep myself educated on other current issues. I went to the Youth Activism camp at ACLU and with the group, lobbied for keeping families together. While we were there, we were also reminded to listen to others and understand that there are always other perspectives on current issues. Also, I was in an intensive DBT therapy program for about 40 weeks. DBT has truly helped me become a braver and kinder person. I'm so grateful that I found the program and that my parents are supportive. I know that not everyone's parents are supportive and I did experience it when I was younger, but I can't imagine what other people are going through when they have to tell someone in your life who is unsupportive, how you are feeling or what you need. I hope that you know that you are brave, and in a way, you can find some of the information you need for recovery and strengthening your mental health.
I've learned to talk about my mental health because I think now it's become second nature to me, and people will say "I could never be as brave as you." But you don't have to tell the world your story to be brave. By being alive and accomplishing even what you consider small tasks are both acts of bravery. When we get up in the morning, we don't know what is going to happen, and that can be scary. What is important to remember is that you are still living. You are still breathing. And although it may be so hard to reach out for help, I hope that this website can help you understand what is going on in your brain more clearly. I sometimes feel helpless because I don't know why I say certain things or I have anxieties, and I hope that through researching it and putting information together for you all to access will be a start in pushing the Mental Health Revolution forward.