My name is Hannah. When you look at me on the surface you see a typical teenage girl, but what lies beneath the mask I wear is something that causes people to either try to help or run for the hills. And what exactly lies beneath it? A story.
When I was 6 I was diagnosed with depression. It was shocking to both me and my parents. Originally, they thought it was linked to my parents divorce but it was later that we found out it was a chemical imbalance. Ever since that diagnosis I’ve been fighting it.
Fast forward to when I was eleven. I was on medication, but it wasn’t doing anything. I was getting worse. The depression had escalated into major depression. I didn’t care about anything. I just felt numb. That’s when I started to self-harm.
That was four years ago.
Fast forward again to roughly a month ago. I’m completely a mess and still on the same medication. I’m cutting several times a day and no one noticed. At this point I have made 7 suicide attempts. I’m living a good, blessed life, but I just can’t enjoy it. Essentially I have a mental breakdown and feel as if I can’t go on. At this point I’ve given up and told my mother to take me to the hospital. Once I’ve been admitted I go through several interviews with doctors, social workers, and a psychiatrist. I’m told that I’m being admitted to a facility for teens called Aurora Behavioral Health, or in other words, a mental hospital. I’m transported there by ambulance and admitted.
I stay there for five days and go through intensive inpatient therapy. While there I meet other people like me and I don’t feel so alone. I feel like I finally belong somewhere. I start to feel hope. Then one of the facility’s doctors tells me I’ve been diagnosed with major depression, bipolar disorder and an anxiety disorder. He also says I will most likely have depression for the rest of my life. As I’m coping with all of this, I realize that I’m not alone in this fight and that I am a capable, somewhat lovable human being.
Today marks a month and a half since the last time I cut myself. I’m on the road to stabilization, and though it be a bumpy one, I will not give up hope. I will not let my illnesses decide who I am, and I will be myself. I am stronger now than ever before.