I was 21 years old, standing in my parent’s kitchen, cutting up vegetables and balling my eyes out uncontrollably. My dad, so concerned, asked me what was wrong and that was when I responded, “I don’t know”. At that moment it felt like my years of not knowing or understanding why I was feeling this way were coming to a head.

Later that week I made an appointment with my doctor. She could not believe I had been feeling this way for almost 10 years but had never consulted a medical professional about it. In her experience most people come and see her after 2 weeks. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She prescribed me an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication. For years I was extremely embarrassed and ashamed. I wasn’t like other people. I couldn’t just be happy. I needed a pill.

That’s when I decided to take my mental health into my own hands. I was tired of feeling negatively about something I had no control over. No, I did not stop taking the medication but instead, I decided to learn WHY I was like this. Why my brain functions this way, that I am dealing with a disease and most importantly that having to take a pill every day to help my brain chemistry function properly doesn’t make me less of a person.

We live in a world where mental health is becoming more and more of an importance unfortunately, there is still a huge stigma when it comes to those who suffer from these issues. People are often told to just “be happy” or “it could be worse” not understanding that the person really has no control over the emotions they are feeling.

Today I’m asking my followers to help end the stigma on mental health and take part in the #OkayMovement. Mental illnesses can take many forms and not only as individuals but as a community, we should start treating mental illness like we do physical illness. Join me in starting the conversation together and don’t be afraid to #TalkToday .

Please know that you are not alone in your fight

Author: Jessica
Instagram: @jseidl13