Stories on Depression: My Family Didn’t Believe I Was Struggling With My Mental Health
For a long while, I’ve been having issues with mental health. I remember asking my mum one day years ago if hearing and seeing things was normal and her response still sticks with me. “You’re too young and don’t know what REAL mental health problems are.”
At the time I was incredibly depressed, anxious and scared of myself and what I might do. Whenever I tried to reach out and ask to see someone for help because I was seeing things, she always gave an excuse to dismiss what was going on, like I needed more sleep or I needed to “stay off that phone!”. I just wish she might have listened a bit more, instead of brushing me off as lying, or getting angry and impatient with me. If she had been more supportive, I would have felt more capable of handling myself during my bad episodes.
Considering that not even my own mother would believe me, I truly felt alone and thought that no one would listen to me and brush me off as liar or even a fake. It made it hard for me to reach out for help or take care of myself in the ways I needed.
Now that I’m in my later years of university and I’m in a relationship, I’ve had to be truthful to myself and acknowledge that I do have issues that need help with. It’s taken me even longer to learn how to trust people, that people will reach out to help me if I ask for the help I dearly need. That I won’t be told I’m too young or it’s because I’m tired or because I’m on my phone too much before going to sleep.
It’s taken me years to realize that I need help and that no one but me can choose whether or not what I’m dealing with is real. I don’t need someone to compare their own experiences to mine and deem my cry for help as valid or not. But if I had a parent that believed me and took me to someplace where I could’ve gotten the help I needed, I think I would’ve been able to cope better with my conditions now.
Some people fail to realize that mental health doesn’t discriminate against age and sadly for me it was the person I looked up to most that failed me.
Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year and no one should feel ashamed. By sharing our experiences, together we can end the stigma. Every Friday, we share and talk about depression among young people! Share your story with us via firstname.lastname@example.org