My name is Julia. I’m 20 years old and I suffer from Depression, Anxiety and PTSD. I  have been through the darkest places you could ever imagine. I always knew that there was something wrong with me from about the age of 12. I‘d hear commercial‘s for Depression and I think “That is what I feel too. I‘m not alone!”. I never felt normal. I was bullied in school. I was physically and mentally abused growing up. I wanted to run away. I wanted to die. I hated myself and was never good enough. I thought my life had no purpose. I turned into someone I didn’t want to be, jealous, insecure, controlling and angry. I had a failed relationship and was called a “psycho”. This demonstrates the ignorance the name caller had about my depression.

It’s just as serious as cancer. It is not laziness, it is an illness. Nobody seems to understand how you feel, why you feel that way and it makes you feel weird, damaged and alone. I never asked to be this way. When you are like me you feel that you’ve lost control over your emotions. You cry easily and nothing is fun anymore. You want to be alone and your self-esteem is gone. You feel like nobody will love you. It is a dark and horrendous state of mind that has both biological and environmental components. It’s hard when you have a disorder, and instead of people caring, they judge you and even worse blame you for something you cannot control.

I am proud to say that I am living with depression and this is because there is hope for me …and you or your loved ones. Treatment is helping me and this is not the end. I am a Psychology major and my life’s goal is to help others like me who have dealt with the stigma of mental illness, whether it be someone who doesn’t want to be your friend because you are different, bullying, name calling, abuse, getting dumped or neglected because nobody knows how to handle or understand the deep pain mental illness causes. Stay strong. Think of all the good it would do if everyone had knowledge about mental illness instead of ignorance and started to see us as the human beings we are. I hope my story can inspire at least one person to reach out……

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