Isabella (Fullerton, CA)

“Throughout my life, I have struggled with anxiety and depression but it was not until I was 15 that I could label the feelings I had. I think that these struggles have always been a part of me. I can now reflect back on quirks of my personality from my childhood and recognize that they were products of undiagnosed and untreated mental health challenges. At the time, I thought that everyone dealt with things the way that I did: in silence. This has created further struggles for me as I continue to hold the feeling that I cannot ask for help from others, and must strive for perfection on my own. 

Therapy is now a major part of my life, and has been for almost two years. I first began seeing a therapist in 2016 after the death of someone close to me in my family, which brought a lot of my anxiety and depression symptoms to the surface. The therapist I had at the time did not work well with me, and due to insurance constraints, I was not able to find a therapist who was better suited for my needs until 2020.

I am proud of myself for what I have been able to work through and overcome in therapy since then. However, I also feel that my accomplishments are bittersweet, as I recognize that the work I am doing now in therapy would have helped my younger self even more than it does now. My own experiences seeking therapy and the stories I carry with me of others with similar struggles has ultimately driven me to work in public health, and to hopefully help others remove barriers to access health care and mental health services.”