“Anxiety and depression hit me hard earlier this year due to a transitionary period I was going through with my career, relationships, and living situation. With the help of therapy, medication, and the support of my loved ones, I was able to see myself through this tough time. Since then, I continue to prioritize my mental health and I feel stronger as each day passes. My favorite saying is, “Things don’t happen to you, they happen for you.” Whenever I feel down, I remind myself that the struggles I’ve faced in the past have helped me grow and blossom into the more resilient person I am today. My struggles have built my character, and I am thankful for that. I have been seeing an individual therapist and attending a group IOP (intensive outpatient program). I will admit, things got worse before they got better, but individual therapy helped to understand my feelings. More importantly, it provided me with the coping mechanisms I use on a daily basis to better manage anxiety and depression.

A positive message I can offer for others struggling through a similar situation: When things seem to be falling apart, maybe they’re just falling into place. You’ll look back on the struggles you’re facing today and be able to make better meaning from it in the future. My advice to you is to love yourself first. Without that, you’ll never be at peace. When you love yourself, you’re teaching others how to love you too. Your life begins to fall into place, and all the missing pieces become available when you begin to live in your true purpose. Having faced mental health roadblocks since adolescence, I am very proud of myself for where I am today. It took me a while to prioritize my mental health, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve come out of this a much stronger and resilient person than I was before. Facing anxiety and depression head on is not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.”

– Tara (Irvine, CA)