I had never experienced an episode like this one before. My episodes in my youth (6-7 years old) were known to be short, loud, and attention-grabbing. My parents would often push it off as me being an “overly sensitive child,” and so when I would cry and scream and kick at the doctor's office until I knew for certain that nobody was going to touch me, my parents saw it as me acting out or being a brat. As a 16-year-old who is finally taken seriously (more or less), I can tell you that my feelings as a younger kid were one hundred percent real. In those moments of my episodes, I felt so in danger that my stomach would drop, and my tiny knees would wobble as I sobbed and screamed as loud as I could, anything to get them away from me. They threatened to hold me down, something that gave me the most overwhelming anxiety as a child. The emotional effects of these visits would last me weeks, sometimes months. I would have nightmares and weeks of an everlasting depression, anxiety, and fear. As I got older and things didn't change, my parents decided it was time for me to get help and that it wasn't just hormones running around in my head. As I got older, I became more compulsive, looking for ways to commit self-harm without hurting myself. I would have periods of impulse, where I would cut my hair or throw and break things. Bang my head against the wall. I would sit in my room at the age of 14 and just cry about everything. The sobbing would last from 10 minutes to 2 hours. During episodes, all I dwelt in was self-pity, seeing that if nobody else would pity me, I would just do it myself, which seemed even more pathetic, making me even more depressed. These episodes started to occur frequently towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my depression, along with mania became worse over it. I became a ghost; pale, sickly, and dead on the inside.I was seeing life through fogged-up lenses, and I started to feel like I was aimlessly floating through life. I became so manic, that I was not able to tell what was actually happening and what I exaggerated in my head. My memory got so much worse, as I was not able to remember what I was talking about in the middle of my own sentence. I was forgetting events that were happening from days before and on top of that, it was angering my mother. My mother did not help matters as it seemed like she was going out of her way to convince me I was a bad person based on my mental state. Maybe I was. “I feel like you're manipulating me again,” she would say, “always using your mental health breakdowns to get what you want. Isn't it convenient that when you get what you want, you are automatically happy? It's like you can't take no for an answer.” I was completely broken, basing my happiness on materialistic things and events that created serotonin for me. I would beg and scream and cry for a chance to get out of the house, to escape myself. This went on for quite some time until I was able to get help and start the process of recovery. It has been a long and rocky road, but it has been worth it. My story is a story that is not usually shared on social media. It is one that remains hidden, unseen. The romanticization of mental health is one of the most toxic and destructive trends in today's society. Writing can bring these stories to life. People who struggle globally can share these stories, and create them in order to become widely known. Through these experiences, may the goal be that today's population can develop a better understanding of mental disorders. People are defined by their hearts, not by their disorders. I think that media and writing can allow those with disorders to have a bigger voice.
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