This week for #WarriorWednesday, Mauri Hogan, a 24-year-old psychology doctoral student at Adler University in Chicago, shared her mental health journey. See what she has to say below, and be sure to listen to this week’s podcast on Saturday to hear more about her story and her experiences!
As a clinical psychology doctoral student with a history of anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and depression, mental health has become such an integral part of my livelihood and passion that I honestly cannot fathom where I would be without it. My journey with my own mental health started when I was in high school when I hit a breaking point that ended in hospitalization. It’s amazing how much light can come out of dark moments in our life because during that time was when my curiosity and interest in psychology started. Those few weeks in treatment sparked so much interest in mental health and how people function that I had decided right then and there that it was what I was meant to do with my life. College really became the time where I fostered so much growth by diving into the field of psychology. From a personal perspective, college also came with having to learn about the ebbs and flows of my own experiences with depression, trauma, and anxiety.
Now as a graduate student in the field, a large part of my life as a person living with metal illness is learning to balance all of the aspects of my life with the recognition that mental health is always changing. Since coming into grad school, I’ve been diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which didn’t present themselves until I had a major life transition and became the person I am now. A large part of this onset has been due to the taxing aspects of being in a rigorous doctoral program. Not only am I a student, but grad school has also given me the opportunity to start working as a clinician in a variety of settings. Despite how I got into psychology, my interests have since taken a turn into the forensic side, which I’ve found has been a beautiful blend of my passions, curiosities, and excitement. Currently, I’m working within the correctional system doing diagnosis and treatment with justice-involved youth in Chicago. Though I never thought I would want to work with youth, it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. However, there can be a fine balance of being a student, clinician, and person with my own mental health challenges. Something I’m continuing to learn is the importance of managing my own mental health in order to be able to hold space for my clients and others. I think this balance is pivotal for anyone, clinician or not, as we need to learn to support and nourish ourselves before we can support and nourish others.
As I reflect on how far I’ve come from when I was sixteen and just figuring out who I am, it feels like such a gift to have been able to learn about psychology while also learning about myself, and how much the two interact with one another. I look forward to continuing to talk about my story in hopes that mental health will be more widely talked about and reduce the stigma, even within the psychology field and between clinicians. Mental health is never linear and will be something that I will continue to nurture for myself and for my clients as I go into my career. To hear more of my story and experiences, tune in to this week’s podcast dropping Saturday afternoon!