Growing up in my household was a bit of a struggle. Around the age of 12, I was bullied quite severely, which in turn had an impact on my mental health. I began to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. I was always a reserved, quiet person but I built up the courage to talk to my mum about how I was feeling.
Before I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and severe ADHD, I was quite oblivious to mental health issues. Since then, I have gained a much deeper insight on how society views and deals with these issues. I have also come to realise how my words effect the way people interact with me, and how they view me as a person. Words are powerful. Which is why I have said publicly, “when I keep quiet, stigma wins – and I can’t let that happen”.
It wasn’t until I was in sixth form that I opened up to my mum about my mental health. She noticed my behaviour was affecting my everyday life, including college, and we had a conversation about the appropriate steps we could take going forward to find a solution. She booked a doctor’s appointment for me and that’s when I was diagnosed with social anxiety and depression.
I was in secondary school when I developed mental health problems and started to self harm. I had experienced a lot of bullying from my peers and I felt very isolated and low, often spending lunchtimes sitting in a toilet cubicle or in the library studying alone.