The following post was submitted by a friend, Yahshanna “Shannie” Scott. I have known her for almost 10 years now and she experience working with mental illness in various settings but also has a personal story to share as well. Check out the first of her two part Open Letter. Hello All,
I have struggled with writing this for some time. When Rwenshaun released his blog and discussed with everyone the internal battle that he had been facing, I could do nothing but be proud of him. His expression of his struggle was a double edge sword for me though. Although I was proud I was also forced to come to terms with my own demons that I have been able to hide so well for so long. He gave me the courage and platform to share. I will forever be grateful for this
College was not an easy phase of my life. As an 18 year old, I was juggling attempting to live my life but I was burdened by the life that I left behind. I had always been able to take care of not only myself but my family as well. I don’t know any other way. Unfortunately, I shouldn’t have had to.
By the time my spring semester came around I was working full time, a full time student and still getting bad news from home. It was overwhelming. By sophomore year started I felt that I was losing control of so much in my life. My grades were slipping, social relationships were fizzling and I was becoming a recluse. There were nights that I would find myself crying in conversations with God and feeling like I didn’t matter. All of this was done in the dark. While on the yard I seemed to have it all together. I was social and found myself in a maternal/big sister role to so many of the freshmen on campus without trying. I love my babies. I was dealing with an internal battle because at the drop of a hat I was able to take care of them and be their rock but I felt like I was in a bottomless abyss when it came to what I was dealing with.
After so many months of feeling hopeless and helpless I took it upon myself to use the resources available to me and went to see a counselor in the mental health department of student health.
As I sat across from this blonde hair woman who couldn’t have been but 5 or 6 years older than me to try to figure out what was going on with me. Our session lasted about 55 minutes and by the end I almost became angry. I didn’t feel as though she really heard what I was saying or understood where I was coming from. I felt more lost than when I arrived. I was told that I should make an appointment with a psychiatrist became I may be dealing with a form of depression.
‘How dare she?’
I’m not depressed I said over and over. I’m just a bit off balance but I am too strong to be depressed.
That last statement kept me from truly understanding depression and how it affected me.
I met with the psychiatrist and without more than one meeting his response was he wanted me to be placed on antidepressants. I was into psychology then and knew that the side effects of some of the anti-depressants could be worse that the actual symptoms. I was at a cross road. I took the prescription but I never filled it. I felt if my problem was genuinely my mood it could be altered with the right mind frame and I didn’t need medication.
- Yahshanna Scott
Similar to Shannie’s story, many people have felt the same way but fail to take the step to utilize their resources to become health like she has in the past. Feel free to comment with your questions and/or comments.