Christina's Story

I'm a 23 year old Accounting Grad student. I struggle with anxiety and depression. I will say, it is very difficult for me to admit this to someone. It makes me feel like I cannot handle it on my own, and I have always been a strong and independent person. I know that mental illnesses look different on every person, so here's what mine looks like.

My anxiety affects me every day. It's a constant sense that something will go wrong. It's a fear that every time my Mom calls me, it's to give me bad news or fearing the worst every time my fiancé leaves the house. I will have anxiety attacks where I see everything going wrong. When those happen, it is difficult to think and breathe. It feels like something is squeezing my chest. These attacks are brought on by thinking about everything on my plate or by social situations. Large crowds and networking events are the hardest. I’m an introvert, but this takes it to a different level. It makes making friends difficult. 

My depression is like having a small voice in the back of my mind that constantly invalidates me. Even as I’m writing this email, it is telling me that I shouldn’t be writing this because what I have isn’t big enough to be a mental illness. It makes me question my friendships and relationships. It tells me that I’ve already failed all of the goals I have set for myself, so why bother. It tells me that everyone thinks terrible things about me or no one thinks about me because I’m not worth thinking about it. This voice has been especially active recently, telling me I’m a burden on my family and friends when I ask them for help with the wedding, or that I’m not worthy to be celebrated. 

Sometimes the voice is quiet and lets me relax a little bit. I know that logically, this voice doesn’t exist and the things it tells me aren’t true, but in the moment, it’s so hard to not believe the things it tells me. I have never said any of this to anyone. I think it’s because I feel that, like everything else, I need to handle it on my own. It sounds silly, now that I say it, but I know that everyone has their own struggles, and I don’t want to burden them with it. I think even writing all this down and telling someone about this, someone who understands, has helped me to actually see what I’m going through. I don’t know where to start to get help, or if I even want to admit that I need help.