Kate s Story
Washington D.C., USA
"Hi, hey, hello there, it’s me- Kate. A few things about me: I’m a girl with brown hair, grey-colored eyes, a plump physique, and 'stellar' style. But, what you can’t see is my raging anxiety.
Some days it consumes me; others not so much. I was diagnosed with anxiety over a year ago, but have likely had it all my life. I remember my first full-fledged panic attack. I was sitting in my brother’s bed, by myself, when I began to shake uncontrollably, crying, relentlessly trying to scream for help. And, I hid it for a while, but I won’t anymore- because the stigma around mental illness is what kept me from initially getting help. It makes me laugh because I don’t think anyone would know I suffer from anxiety, unless I told them.
I have a 'picture perfect' family life. And, I lead an extremely blessed life, constantly traveling, playing sports, and attending private school. Some would say I was a 'shining star' in high school. I was on the Executive Board, Homecoming Court, Swim Team Captain, and voted Class Clown. But, I was constantly living in fear of my next panic attack.
The hard thing about a mental illness is when someone tells you that you don’t need therapy anymore. It can make you believe you’ve been cured. And, then it can come back, like that monster under your bed when you were a kid.
It’s hard to accept the fact that it doesn’t simply go away like the flu. It’s something you live with, something you live in. But, I refuse to let anxiety dictate my life. I will no longer hide in shame. Although anxiety is part of my daily life, it does not define me.
I am a student studying to advocate for others and a Division III club college athlete on the Ultimate Frisbee team (there were no cuts).
As I grow older, I am better able to recognize that everyone deserves a chance to live comfortably, that is why I’m so incredibly grateful to my family, friends, and doctors that have helped me with a disorder that overwhelms so many. I may just be another voice, but I hope that this voice can make a difference. Much love."