Emily Favorito is taking over our Gram today to share her mental health story and how far she’s come! Emily is currently a 2nd-year student at the University of Cincinnati, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communications. She is currently working at 281-CARE crisis hotline for the Talbert and this summer she will be interning at 1N5 as our Content Development Intern! She is also a member of TriDelta at UC and is there Social Media Chairman. After graduation, she wants to attend grad school with the goal of having her own private practice for children and adolescents. Head on over to check it out but here’s a sneak peek below!
From a very young age, probably beginning around age 10, I struggled with my body image. I was overweight and was dealing with feelings of insecurity. On top of my own discouragement, I was body shamed by family members and peers at school. Fast forward about 6 years to my sophomore year of high school, I lost an incredible amount of weight (about 50 pounds). My self-image improved and suddenly people were noticing me in a different light; not because I was fat but because I wasn’t anymore.
Despite losing the weight and feeling good that people were recognizing my “achievement,” I was truly suffering inside. I had developed an eating disorder and began spiraling into an obsession with my weight. It took a toll on me mentally and triggered anxiety. I became so anxious about my appearance and my weight; thoughts always swarmed my head wondering if I looked “skinny enough.”
When I entered college, I reached a breaking point. Things spiraled out of control for me mentally, emotionally, physically; in every way. I was depressed, lost in my life, and contemplating suicide. I had brief periods of suicidal thoughts throughout my life, but nothing like this moment. I asked a friend to take me to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital out of desperation; I wanted someone to help me because I could no longer help myself. Following this, I visited a psychiatrist who made it clear to me that I suffered from major depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, and body dysmorphia. I was prescribed medication and began going to therapy once a week.
Today, a year and a half later, I am the happiest I have ever been. I continue to go to therapy once a week and take my medicine as prescribed. My mental health journey has not been an easy one, but it is part of who I am. I am not ashamed to have a mental illness; I am stronger because of it. It has instilled a passion in me to help others the way I was helped which is why I am on my journey to becoming a psychologist.