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The Shadow That Lingers

Over the past decade we have seen various mental health issues get de-stigmatized as we have learned more and worked together to dispel common myths about many disorders and a plethora of diagnoses. From a greater understanding of depression to expanding knowledge of how disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety affect the brain; The world in 2021 versus 2011 has a better view of what it is to be mentally ill and how that can be detrimental to mentally ill people. 

With the popularity and usage of the internet rising, many people who suffer from mental illness are able to share their experiences with their disorders. Many therapists have giant platforms on social media that allow them to address and open a wider conversation about things like mental illness, abuse, and trauma. However, one thing that I have personally not noticed over my many years on the internet is that many people do not talk about the ever-lingering presence mental health issues can and will have on your life.

The goal of many treatment options of mental health illnesses like going to therapy, getting medication, and learning general coping mechanisms are all meant to improve your quality of life. From my personal experience that with medication and having been in therapy for three years, this is true. My mental thought processes that had been severely affected by my depression and severe anxiety have all been relieved by the many sessions of therapy I have had. I have learned how to control these issues from practicing deep breathing to looking at my emotions like a river and not jumping into the river. However, despite my ability to cope well with depression and anxiety does not mean it is gone 100 percent.

Sometimes it is there like a shadow, following and watching me. While it may not be hard to get out of bed, it can be hard to practice self-care from things like washing my face to even doing the things I am passionate about like writing. Being busy with school and a new job does not help either. Changes or shifts in my life have always been harder to deal with. During my depression cycles where my depression is an even greater presence in my life, it is incredibly difficult to get through at times. 

Despite the difficulty, this does not stop me. I have goals, dreams, and things I want to do. Lately, I have been trying to give myself ‘smaller’ tasks to slowly get through this harder part of the year. An example is this blog post: I had planned on writing this, editing it, then posting. For the rest of my blog, I would really like to revisit the posts and reflect on them. I will probably add some more ‘after the fact’ stories or points to the posts expanding what they originally sought to do. 

While mental illness may never completely disappear, the fact that many people live beautiful and fulfilling lives despite their mental illness lurking proves that many people are not only persistent but endure through hardship. 

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