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Overcoming Mental Illness and Bringing Awareness to the Cause

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[Music] foreign [Music] so we talked a little bit before the call that the reason you're volunteering with our cause is the reason is really personally with you and you have dealt with depression and anxiety since you were a teenager um do you want to just tell us a little bit about you know what happened and how do you feel about that sure so um you know mental illness has always been a really big part of my life it's something I've struggled with more than half of my life and um you know it's even when it's under control you know it's always there really and um I think that you know the the fight against mental illness and just bringing awareness to it is really important because you know it's it's not like a an illness that other people can see generally I mean sometimes there are symptoms but a lot of times um you know someone who is struggling is not showing those emotions outwardly you know there is something they're experiencing but you know they may um present like they're okay um and so it's really something that um is an important part of my life and something that I'm really interested in bringing more awareness to because there is still not stigma um and you know hopefully we can kind of normalize these conversations and and make people aware that they're not alone yeah and so what are the symptoms that made you realize that you needed help yeah so when I was um when I was a teenager I was just feeling you know I felt like there was something wrong or that there was something different um about me compared to my friends you know I was tired all of the time um I didn't have any motivation um even you know to go out and spend time with friends or anything like that um and I just I it felt different um than it had felt previous you know just several years before that um so when I was 14 or 15 I started feeling just um down a lot and depression is something that's hard to describe and to communicate to other people um especially you know people who don't experience that themselves but also it's it's very different from person to person so I would say just my symptoms were um just really struggling um in day-to-day life and who who decided that you needed help was it you or your family or like who's took you do like I mean what was the first thing that you did did you go to a doctor a friend a psychologist yeah so I um I started out by going to my primary care physician and um you know just saying that I was tired all the time and you know just didn't have any motivation just you know all of those things and um that was when I started antidepressants and you know over the years out of all um and I know that medication is not a cure-all but because a lot of my experience or a lot of my uh illness comes from biology the medication was really helpful for me combined with therapy and you know seeking support from my family and friends um so yeah that's it that's how it started I started um going to a primary care physician when I was younger and then eventually um started seeing a psychiatrist and um a therapist as well yeah no that's I'm so glad that you're sharing your story it'll help a lot of people you know um and then how did you like break this um you know since you said it is a stigma around telling anybody that you have a mental illness or a depression how do you break it to your husband and yeah what did you get from him so um I had um I had been living in the Midwest for about six years when um my depression got really really severe um and it got to the point where I couldn't work and I just really needed to uh kind of start from scratch come back home um live with my parents for a little while and kind of like use them as that support system you know get them to help me do laundry and cook and you know all of the things that uh 20 something should be able to do and yeah yes while I was still on medication and um it was soon after I moved back that I met my husband and so he was really uh a part of that from the the very early stages of my kind of my recovery from that really severe um stage of depression um and so he he was pretty much aware from the beginning um but it was very nerve-wracking to kind of open up about that and um to let him see that part of me um but you know I I think when you're in love with someone or even the earlier stages of that before you fall in love with someone you know you have to kind of let them see who you are and so that's what I decided that I needed to do um but I it was it's very scary because there is that stigma that exists around it yeah yeah I can totally imagine what you were going through that time right you're dealing with your own depression and your medication and you also talked about like whether played a big part of it also right when you were in the midwest whether absolutely yeah so I'm from the deep south and it typically the winters here are not really severe we may have a couple of cold and gloomy days but for the most part it's pretty mild and I had grown up with that and that was the the winter I was used to and you know I didn't always feel great like in the winter I I definitely had some seasonal affective disorder that I was dealing with but um when I moved up to the Midwest I lived in Indiana for about four years and then um Cleveland Ohio for were two years and the sun rarely ever shines and uh uh in Northern Ohio so it was very very difficult to deal with I mean it was a big shift um just you know lifestyle changes and the colder it is outside and the more difficult it is to to get around because of the snow and everything the less you want to leave your house and um the less you want to interact with other people so you know that that kind of took my depression to uh an all-time low because I wasn't seeing friends I had you know I had a great group of friends there um that you know really they treated me like family and they helped me through a lot of it but when I started withdrawing um due to the weather it was um really difficult and put me in a really uh dark place yeah no Laura thank you so much for sharing your story I think with your story we can see that you know once you realize you know you can speak up about it find the right help you have the support of the family and friends and absolutely and you know there can be a cure at the end of it thank you again thank you [Music]

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