Sonam Tshering Zangmo

“I was only 13 when I fell into a deep hole of anxiety, from which I’m still trying to climb out. All my panic attacks, disoriented emotions, and fears stem from being bullied online by girls. I reached out to a friend who told me to block the bullies when this happened. But they added me to yet another group and continued. They’d text and call me.

At the time, I was living with my aunt, who was familiar with experiencing anxiety. The first time I had a panic attack, she was terrified seeing me go through it. I was eventually diagnosed with severe anxiety. It destroyed the social person I used to be. I lost connection with people and feared engaging in social media. My aunt taught me to go for walks and use music to lower my anxiety. The messages from bullies had stopped after I deleted my account. She suggested seeing a doctor, but I was afraid, so I refused. I went to a yoga trainer who taught me to exercise that’d help battle anxiety. I had to put my legs up on the sofa with my head on the ground. It did help a lot, but the fear never went away.

Dealing with anxiety can be tricky. It’s challenging to do everyday tasks or be at peace. Sometimes, I feel helpless and cannot get back to reality.

I was happiest when I finally transferred to another school. The people and the environment there were just what I needed. I am eternally grateful to the school counselor. She saved my life. Anytime I was in distress, her non-judgmental help got me through. I aspire to be just like her. If I hadn’t had hands lent to me at my lowest, I would’ve still been on the ground. That’s how mighty a helping hand is. When I stood up, I realized my worth and decided to work on myself.

Society teaches us to be ashamed of mental illnesses. Those around us invalidate our mental health. But this is something one should take lightly; it’s an essential part of living a healthy life. No one can comprehend the pain someone with a mental illness goes through. We must remember never to push someone into a bad state of mind.” #HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #Thimphu

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