Kaedan O.

By February 4, 2019Story

Today, I finished the first complete draft of my Master’s thesis, and what I hope will become my first published article as a scientist.

Today, I had an anxiety attack, ending up on the floor of a university bathroom hyperventilating and sobbing.

These two events were unrelated, but together paint a painfully accurate picture of a 22-year-old with obsessive-compulsive disorder and type I bipolar disorder. I have come so much further in my life than I thought would be possible; I’ve been depressed since the age of 12, suicidal and self-harming since 13, and entirely defeated by my early college years. Yet, somehow, I’m both alive and exactly where I need to be today.

I could tell you about believing in yourself, perseverance, or self-care. But I’m not here today because of those things no their own. I’m here because of TREATMENT. Treatment by medical professionals. Treatment through words, and through medications.

I’ll never be cured of my mental illnesses, and I have learned to accept that at any day, I could find myself feeling hopeless or reliving past failures and end up lying on a bathroom floor just waiting for it to pass. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still do amazing things with my life in-between these dark moments; I proved that today. And none of it would be possible without treatment.

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