The Westwind

Why things get better | Mental Health Month

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I remember when the depression came shortly after came anxiety. My parents had separated, and to this day, are fighting for custody. My dad tried to, and continues to, try to make my life hard. I have my ups and downs, and I continue to fight my hardest against this waging war called life.

I remember last summer, everything was going great until one day when one little thing really set me off. Many panic and mania attacks later, I was admitted into a psych hospital. Within the next week, I would be diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and would be prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. I never understood why this all was happening to me.

Months have passed since I was in the hospital, but something stuck with me. My best friend told me something that will be with me forever: ¨All the pain you are going through right now will never compare to all the happiness that is about to be in your life.¨ I continue to think about this little piece of advice everyday.

Everyone in this world is going through something, and I think that is important to remember. No one is all alone in this world. In fact, according to the Denver Post, 260,000 children and adults in Colorado need treatment for severe mental illnesses every year. I know people who spend each day of their life dreading the next. I know people who can not seem to find anything to be happy about. I know, for me, it helps to try to find simple fulfillment within each day, and little steps to try to make the next day better than the last.

People still try to tell me to just be happy. If there is a way to just be happy, please tell me so I can never have a bad day ever again. But that is just not how it works because whether you like it or not, pain is inevitable. We, as humans, are going to have bad days and we will also going to have really bad days, but you have to remember that they will not last forever.

The funny thing is that I do not remember life getting better. All I know is that today, right now, I am happy with who I am and life, in general. And a lot of people cannot relate to that, but I can promise anyone, if I am able to find happiness, so can you. It may take a little while, but eventually life will feel worth living again. The little worries that are happening right now probably will not matter a couple years from now. So put your chin up, put a smile on, remember it is okay to have bad days, and most of all, live the life you want to live.

Mental Health Month has been observed every May in the United States since 1950. Raising awareness of mental health, the intention is to¨educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illnesses and their families,¨ according to NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness. One in five Americans is affected by mental health problems. Silence is violence, you are not alone.

Help is always available, do not be afraid to ask for it:

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