From the outside, you wouldn’t guess that senior Valerie Song had struggled with mental health issues, but once you get to know her, she is open with the fact that she has dealt with both depression and anxiety.
“My second semester of junior year, I hit my lowest low,” says Song. “I didn’t really know what I could do about it, I had already had the conversation about it with my parents, they were like, ‘yeah, of course,’ but they never really got to helping the situation until a point where I decided I really needed help.”
With depression, it is often difficult to find motivation for everyday life, which is why people suffering from depression often have a sudden drop in grades or involvement in activities that they used to be interested in. For Song, she knew she didn’t want to be in that place anymore.
“I just picked myself up off the floor and was like, ‘this isn’t where I want to be in my life,’” says Song.
Song suggests explaining the situation to a teacher or someone trustworthy to get help.
“I had a teacher that I trusted a lot and was very comfortable with and so I wrote her a note talking about my situation,” says Song. “I explained to her how I was feeling and she read it and she found it urgent enough to where she gave it to the counselors at the school. If you talk to any teacher and you’re like ‘I don’t know how to initiate this conversation with my family,’ I’m pretty sure they would [help you], especially if it is a teacher you trust.”
Song knows how hard it is to go through these struggles alone, and this is what she has to say about it:
“You should never have to struggle alone no matter the situation you’re in, there’s always someone to talk to,” says Song. “Even if you just think you have [symptoms of] a mental illness, it’s the same. Most people think ‘I probably don’t have it, I haven’t been diagnosed,’ but you’re not going to get diagnosed unless you talk to somebody.”
If you would like to talk to somebody, contact Paula Lau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sydney Langley