Lauren, a former Xavier and UC student, shares her story for our #speakyourmind series for #mentalhealthawarenessmonth.
I experienced multiple traumatic events in my life as a child that led me to be diagnosed with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder. I have spent 11 years learning how to manage and maintain my mental health, while enduring the excessive anxiety, panic attacks, and depressive symptoms.
Starting at age 12 until around 17, I would endure at least one panic attack a day, and began self-harming at the age of 15. It got so bad that I contemplated and had a plan to die by suicide at the age of 16, and I knew at that point that I needed help.
I started realizing how important mental health was after experiencing my own illnesses, and felt called to devote my education to learning more about it and will be graduating with my Masters in Social Work in May from the University of Cincinnati. I want to help break the stigma of mental health through my work as a mental health therapist. I love sharing my story and where it led me in life, and I want to continue educating others about how to recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health and there is help out there for EVERYONE!