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Mental Health Stories

Young people anonymously share their journey's through mental health challenges.To anonymously share your own journey, send us an email with your testimony.

Trigger Warning: these testimonials discuss sensitive topics such as eating disorders, addiction, abuse, suicide and self-harm. 

Paper Plane
Mental Health Stories: Press

“I was 15 when I had my first thoughts of suicide. As a child I learnt that my feelings, as a man, were irrelevant. I internalized this belief, and it prevented me from asking for help. As a result, I never learnt how to process or deal with my emotions in a healthy way. I come from a family of successful individuals, from physical appearance to academic success. I can’t remember a time where I didn’t feel pressure to meet the standards that the rest of my family met. When I found alcohol and drugs, my world completely changed and all of those internal and external pressures simply vanished. Taking substances allowed me to run from how I really felt because all I had to do was suppress them by getting high. I was convinced that I had discovered Eden. After some time, the drugs and alcohol stopped having the “eden effect”. My suicidal thoughts returned, my depression deepened and I started self-harming in an effort to keep running. I grew paranoid and anxious. A few days after my sixteenth birthday, I drank too much and attempted suicide. When I woke up the next day, I tried again the week later, only to survive for the second time. I continued to push away all of my friends who were terrified of what was happening to me. Whatever I could do to keep drinking and using drugs, I did. I stole from my family, friends, even teachers at my school. I had no intention of living a happy life. My sole purpose was no longer living, it was obtaining drugs and alcohol. When I couldn’t get my hands on alcohol, I went so far as to drink hand sanitizer as a replacement. This cycle continued for months. I was kicked out of school, my friends stopped talking to me, I lost my sense of self. My sadness deepened, and my anger at the world only fuelled my path of destruction. My anger was a way of masking how sad I really felt. I was painfully lonely, overwhelmed with feelings of shame and the belief that I was absolutely worthless and unlovable. After all of the damage I caused, I was sent to a treatment center, five days after my seventeenth birthday. Things changed dramatically during the ten weeks I spent in treatment. I went through a lot of pain, but I emerged a better person for it. My journey of recovery is tough, but I’ve gained new friends and repaired the damage I dealt to my loved ones. I’m still repairing some of the damage, but it's such a change from my old life. I’m so grateful for everything I have gained and learnt, and I am always looking forward to the future, because each day brings something new to be happy about.”


Mental Health Stories: Quote

“By the time I hit 13 years old, I was too deep in my depression to make sense of what to do. I didn’t know how to talk about it, and I didn’t think I could trust anyone with the secrets I had been holding onto for years. I hid behind fake smiles and humor. I had tried everything, from self-harm to bulimia, just to get through uncomfortable emotions and traumas. When I found alcohol and drugs, I thought I’d found the answers to my problems. At first, being high made me feel like the best version of myself; It gave me the confidence I had spent my whole life chasing, and it relieved me of feelings of inadequacy, depression and shame. There’s no denying that I had fun times. But inevitably the drugs stopped working for me like before, and all those feelings were still here when I sobered up.

By sixteen, I felt like I had nothing to live for. The only thing that kept me going through the day was using. My friend’s were worried and didn’t like who I turned into when I was high. I felt like nobody understood me, and I still believed I had it under control. I told myself I could stop when I wanted to. I had zero interest in everything that had once brought me joy. I quit my sports team, lost my friends, stopped trying in school and began isolating myself from the world. In a moment of desperation, I spoke to a teacher at school about what was going on. Whilst the people around me tried to help me get better, I didn’t know how to help myself.

Right before my seventeenth birthday, a suicide attempt landed me in a treatment centre. The moment that changed everything for me was hearing people tell their own stories; stories that I could relate to. There’s no sugarcoating how challenging my recovery has been since, but today my life is filled with quality and reciprocal friendships, a genuine desire and ambition to learn and peace.”


Mental Health Stories: Quote
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