@resavalencia made a card about her mental health issues. In support of her and encouragement to others to open up or seek help and support, I thought I'd do the same.
The stigma attached to mental health is rough. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I encourage that so people can gain some knowledge and understanding.
Please feel free to admit your own issues in comments or a card. I found this has made me feel a lot better to do it.
There's a bit of a list here, so bear with me. I'm going to explain them so people can understand them better. And I'll explain how K-pop has helped me.
I'm 21 and none of these disorders were diagnosed until 13 or older. Even though most were present through my childhood. If you've read my story One Night, you've seen many of these issues come up at times. This is why I have that insight and can describe those feelings. Writing is an excellent outlet to let your feelings go.
I've been diagnosed with ADHD since I was 13, but wasn't medicated until 18 because I had decent grades. I lean towards the end of having trouble focusing, rather than the hyperactivity. I've also had issues with doing dangerous or irresponsible things. I usually fight the urge, but I've stolen, broken and entered, trespassed, drank when I was underage, and tried certain drugs. I also used to sell my Adderall that I had left over. I've been lucky I haven't gotten caught, but most people aren't and my luck is bound to run out someday if I continue.
I was diagnosed and treated from ages 13-16. I recently had another relapse (best way to explain it) and it was far worse. Far, far worse. I failed 3 college classes from failure to show up or do work. I gave up and couldn't bring myself to go to class. I didn't care about anything; my friends, family, my relationship meant nothing. That's when I began going to therapy again. I've voluntarily checked myself into the hospital because I was worried about harming myself. Because at the point I was at it was an absolute meltdown. If I was going to harm, it was going to be extreme. That urge had happened twice in one week and it was scaring me. It was a difficult thing to do, to admit that to my mother when I called her crying, telling her to come get me because I couldn't drive myself to the ER, but I had to. She stayed in the room with me and distracted me with conversation rather than crying. She did later, I know it, but she was strong for me.
I have had anxiety since I was in my early childhood, about 6 or 7 years old. Mostly social anxiety, but I also worried a lot about money at that age. Too much for a child, especially when we were middle class. I'd opted out of birthday parties after my fifth birthday. I've only ever had 2 actual birthday parties in my life. I'd tell my parents not to buy me things if it wasn't Christmas or my birthday. If they did, I'd end up in tears, not of joy, but because they'd "wasted" money on me. I've had my fair share of panic attacks. I tighten up and my muscles tense up so much that I end up in a ball, shaking. My social anxiety became better when I was about 16, but after I graduated it made another appearance. I'm becoming better again, but it's a huge struggle. Which is hard for me, because I love talking to people.
Definition: cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous. It's rarely talked about. I'm manipulative. Scarily manipulative. I have a very trustworthy nature so people spill their guts to me regularly. I can turn people against people they care about without much effort. I can easily convince people of lies. I've learned if you say something with the right words and enough conviction, that they'll believe you. I find myself getting people to do things, and only after do I realize I manipulated them. It's hard for me to deal with and I feel like a terrible human. I joke that with great power comes great responsibility, but it honestly does. This quiz I took is obviously not a true psychological evaluation, but it gave insight to an issue that was confirmed by my therapist.
I've dealt with both bulimia and anorexia. As a child and an adult, I was always compared to my older sister. I was the chubby one. I look in the mirror for long amounts of time and see every imperfection and dwell heavily on them. I stare at myself wondering if my mind is warping how I see myself. I hate it and it's been exceedingly difficult to overcome these. I still have times where I binge and purge. I have days where I don't eat for 16-24 hours. But for the most part I've been doing okay for the last few months. I'm in a normal weight range now for my height, 5'4". I'm 134 lbs and muscular. One way I've gotten past this was drinking smoothies. And not those powdered ones. I mean I take fresh or frozen fruit, Greek yogurt, spinach, coconut oil, aloe, and cinnamon and make smoothies. It's incredibly vitamin packed and between that and my rare consumption of meat, especially red meat, I'm healthier than I've ever been. The smoothies keep me from feeling guilty, but I still get nutrients. I very much recommend it as a way to rise above these disorders.
I breakdown in every sense of the word. I've pounded on my head with my fists leaving bruises on my head and hands. I once hit my head on a wall several times to the point that I bled. I sob uncontrollably, scream as if I'm possessed, and throw or hit things. I then find a small area like a corner or the bathroom, curl up in a ball and retreat into myself. I sob until my emotions are gone and I can't move. I can't even muster the energy to utter words. I can't. I do this until I eventually pass out.
Borderline Personality Disorder
This is the hardest one to admit. This wasn't diagnosed until this year. It has a stigma similar to that of bipolar. Such a stigma that my psychiatrist treats me for it, but wouldn't ever put it in my medical record because it could affect me in the future with jobs and such. It's intense mood swings throughout the day. I'll go from ecstatic to depressed to angry quickly and without warning or much provocation. I'll get irritated to the point that my foot is tapping, I'm biting my lip, and can't make eye contact with people. My chest burns and my stomach ends up in knots. Generally it's because they're talking, and it can be about anything. They can mention the weather and I'll want to yell to shut up, so I have to just calmly ask them to stop talking. I have to assure them it's my fault and not theirs, but it's only excused so many times before people think I'm a huge asshole. When I found out, it was a mixture of emotions. I was relieved that I had an answer, an explanation as to why I'm the way I am. I was relieved because with a clear diagnosis, treatment was more concrete. Well, as concrete as treatment for mental health can be. I was also depressed for obvious reasons. When you find out you have something that people think makes you unpredictable, it brings you really far down. I just thought, "Why not? Everything else is fucked in your head, so why not one more thing?" I was mostly angry and frustrated. Why did this have to be me? Why can't I be normal? Why is it always me? In my life I've never personally met someone with as many compounded issues as myself. My physical health isn't much better than my mental health.
So I can't understand what I did to deserve a life where I have to struggle and muddle just to get by. What did I do in a past life for God to decide that this is my fate? It's bullshit and I will complain. 90% of the time I don't admit to struggling or admit that it pains me to know my mind can't fucking function properly without meds, but this is one of the few times I will. Because I know others have these issues and I'd be willing to bet that many of then have felt this too. It's not fair and it never will be. I know I should "count my blessings" because there are people far worse off than me, and I do for the most part; but when you're losing friends, family, and basically your mind, it's hard to count those god damn blessings.
This is intense pain and flare ups caused by altered neurons in the brain making me feel pain. This is caused by my anxiety altering my neurons and setting them on high. I usually end up not wanting to move and just sitting in pain that can bring me to tears. But I have to be in motion to keep it from getting worse.
I go to therapy and it has helped me a lot. It's helped me understand what's wrong with me and that alone has comforted me. In addition to medication it works wonders. I take medication for all of these. While it is extremely frustrating experimenting with different meds in hopes to find the perfect balance and redoing the same shit annually, it is absolutely worth it. I feel amazing and "normal". I function without issues. I'm happy and rarely cry. It's hard to step up and tell your doctor, but it's worth it. It's even harder to tell your friends and family, but usually they understand. And if they don't, well, try to educate them or ask a doctor or therapist to discuss it with your family. You don't have to work through things alone. If you feel weak or pathetic, you're not! I've felt this way because I feel like I should be able to power through things. But I've realized, there's no amount of willpower that could overcome these. None. I needed help. I needed support. I needed medication. I got it and I'm living normally. I'm making it and overcoming it. If you don't have support in real life from family or friends, I and many other Vinglers are here for you. They've been here for me, I'll be there for you. I'll help you up when you fall.
Smiles. So many smiles from K-pop.
Bang Yongguk (B.A.P) was the first idol I ever heard talk about depression, loneliness, death, grieving, and addiction. I related to him on many levels. It helped me a lot.
Namjoon (BTS) was the next idol I heard mention depression and loneliness.
Yoongi (BTS) has made tweets about his difficulties.
Jimin (BTS) came out about his eating disorder.
All these people and more have given me something to relate to.
Idols are people, and they're people we can relate to on a human level. Always remember that.
Along with this, it got me active. It made me dance and sing. I performed in a choir concert this last year and did a solo. I sang the song You've Fallen For Me by Yung Jonghwa of CN Blue. That was huge for me because as I said, my social anxiety is worse than before when I'd perform dance in recitals. But I loved it and felt accomplished and actually got more cheers and whistles than any other song that was performed at that concert.
I love K-pop. It helped me through a lot. I know it's helped others too.
Genetics play a huge role in this and I wanted to mention that.
My mother and sister have ADHD, depression, and anxiety. My father has borderline and occasional issues with depression and anxiety. My sister and father were alcoholics. My nephews and niece all have anxiety. One has had depression since he was 7. Anxiety showed up in my niece at the age of 3.
Sometimes it's truly unavoidable and it's not your fault.
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