Caroline s Story

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"I started seeing a psychiatrist the summer before my junior year of high school. I was diagnosed then with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. However, over the past few years, my psychiatrist and I have been able to get more specific with my exact diagnosis.

 

Back when I was first diagnosed, it was something I never wanted anyone else to know about. Having to go to a psychiatrist made me afraid that people would think I was crazy. But now I feel like it has explained a lot. Even though a diagnosis opens a whole can of worms of questions, it also answers a lot of questions that I have had my entire life about how I react the way I do.

In February of last year, I had a suicide attempt because I was tired. I was tired of trying to put on a front. I was tired of silly obligations that seemed to suck all the energy out of me. I was tired of life. I slept the majority of the day, leaving my bed only to eat some food and to go to the bathroom. I was either void of emotions or I was in tears.

So one night, a night where I was around friends and having a good time comparatively to the months leading up to this night, I decided that that night was as good as any. I didn't leave a note, I didn't tell anyone, I just started to take pills and kept taking the pills.

The aftermath of the attempt was a whirlwind. Questions began flooding in from all directions and I just wanted to retreat in again and not talk to anyone. But, I had to address what had happened. So I withdrew from school and went home. I was admitted to a partial inpatient program at a local hospital.

I am still really unsure about how my disorders developed. I bet there is a history in my family, but it's not something that we talk about, which sadly seems to be a common trend in families.

 

I, unfortunately, do not cope that well. I have a therapist at college and still talk with my psychiatrist at home, but most of the way I cope is by making sure I am taking my medicine daily. I have lightened my load and have been focused more on myself and my health the past few months. While I have been feeling better recently, it's still a daily struggle to get out of bed and to carry on with life...

I feel like there is more of a stigma around mental illnesses with older generations. For me, it is easier to explain my disorders with other people my age because they understand and are more aware of mental illnesses. With older generations, it is just not something that is talked about.

I have tried to move on from last February and it blows my mind that this was all less than a year ago. Trying to put things in more of a positive light, I have called this period of my life between October 2015 and April 2016- my quarter life crisis. It's not something I am trying to forget, but it is something that I am trying to grow from. And, for the first time in a long time, I'm actually excited for the future."

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