“Mental health was a topic alien to me until I started having trouble with my mental health. I was in a boarding high school without close friends or proper guidance. I felt terribly lonely and missed home. I was also bullied by other students who made me do their work. I believe these were some contributing factors for my deteriorating mental health. I started losing weight and my sleeping pattern became irregular. My academic performance dropped. People around me made fun of my frail appearance instead of helping me out. I was feeling worse every day but I couldn’t tell my parents or teachers.

Hoping to get better, I visited the counsellor and shared about the situation I was in. My friends found out about my visits to the counsellor. They threatened me in order to learn what I’d shared with the counsellor. This added more to the already unbearable weight I was carrying. I soon stopped seeing the counsellor. I was fighting the battle all alone. The circumstances led me to have thoughts of suicide.

One day, I had a severe headache and was sent to the hospital. After hearing my symptoms, the doctor said my mental health needed immediate attention. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder. I started going to the counsellor regularly after my diagnosis. I now knew I was more important than what my bullies did or how society labelled me.

Counselling has brought me the comfort I was seeking for and I am proud to say that I’m getting better every day. I am only 17, and mental illness has snatched a part of my youth and my happiness. It is sad to see that this is the reality most young people today are facing even if everyone is quiet about it. The topic should not be hushed and swept under the mat. It should be openly discussed and adequate support should be given. Mental illness and trying to get better should not be scorned at, especially at home and in school.

I am currently working as a peer helper and helping those struggling with mental issues. Without a healthy mind, one cannot achieve things in life.”
#SuicidePreventionDay 🎗🎗#survivorstory

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