Samantha (Brea, OC)

I went on a downward spiral at the age of 16 where I ended up losing all of my closest high school friends. This heavily impacted me as I found myself completely alone, which ultimately led to my depression and increased social anxiety.

Mental health topics are difficult to discuss with my parents because they were raised in traditional Latino households where mental health doesn’t exist and is frowned upon. My two older sisters are the ones I can open up more about my mental health and what my recent struggles are. They understand since they also struggle and are exposed to different mental health conditions and the importance of emotional wellbeing.

I am a Senior in high school now and I will be graduating this June. I plan on continuing my education at a community college this Fall. The advice I would give to my younger self is that there are going to be a lot of people you lose in your life but that will show you who your true friends are. Some people are only meant to be in your life temporarily and that is okay. Don’t let that discourage you. Don’t let people’s words easily affect you and you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about your feelings and what you’re going through.