When I was in my tween years I began hearing whispers about something going on with a member of my family. I heard the term Mental Illness; up until that point I had never heard or discussed that topic with anyone, in fact, I really didn’t know what that term meant. I just knew that my family member was really suffering from what I learned later was her symptoms of depression and mania.
At the time I was not aware of psychological or emotional health in the general sense, so awareness of my own psychological and emotional health was non-existent, but it was my family member who taught me the importance of self-awareness, and that is ultimately how I was to begin my own personal journey with mental health.
As I look back with awareness I can see the signs of anxiety disorder presenting at a fairly early age; obsessively worried about what people thought about every aspect of my life, no self-confidence, etc. I was worried about big things and little things constantly. I went through some trauma in Junior high that lead me into a deep depression it was so painful I wasn’t able to verbalize my pain or talk about the trauma I experienced for years. A person I loved was finally able to convince me to go see my Doctor, I did, and that began my journey.
The reason I share my story now is that I don’t want people to suffer alone. I need people to know that there are many people out there that care, and that wants to be a support system for others who are struggling. I have found a circle of people who support me and hold me up when I can’t do it myself, and I want silent sufferers to know that they aren’t alone.
Karen is a great listener and a solid shoulder to lean on. She has a degree in History and English and a diploma in Counselling Skills. She struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression. She understands the importance of having someone to talk to about your struggles. She loves singing, researching her genealogy, cheering for her favorite hockey teams, swimming, hiking and spending time with friends.
You can follow Karen on Twitter.