Emily s Story
Chapel Hill, NC USA
"Freshman year of college was when my anxiety and depression started. I lived with both for two years until I had a real diagnosis. The time before my diagnosis was incredibly difficult- it seemed like everyone in my life had some sort of judgement about the decisions I was making.
I passed up the chance to play Division 1 field hockey, which had been my dream my entire life. All the time I think about how different my life would be if I had been diagnosed earlier. Would I be living my dream right now? Would I still have the group of teammates who became my best friends in my life today?
Up until my diagnosis, I was living in constant regret and, halfway through sophomore year of college, I hit an all time low.
I sat in the hospital with my mom, both of us crying to each other about how scared we were because I no longer wanted to be here. That’s when my mom became my ally in helping to fight this with me, instead of feeling like I had failed her and the rest of my family.
Although things have gotten better since my diagnosis, they are by no means easier. I have severe generalized anxiety, which when it flares up, it leaves me in an incredibly depressive state. I’ve had many sleepless nights caused by fears and anxiety that I can’t control and sometimes it feels like it will never end.
But, one of the strongest things I’ve learned is how to cope. I have an incredible family behind me, amazing best friends, a very loving boyfriend, and an amazing source of help from my psychiatrist. I can never thank these people enough because I truly believe they all had a part in saving my life.
I have been scared for so long about how differently people will see me if they knew I had anxiety and depression. Will they tiptoe around me and smile just because they’re worrying about me or will they see me as the strong woman I am?
I’m sharing this because I found strength in watching other people share their experiences and I hope other people struggling in college and life, in general, will feel some sense of familiarity and relief in reading my story. You can do this."