Guest post by Ellie Smith
In the realm of things I know a lot about, Mormonism is one, feminism is one, and anxiety and depression is another.
Because of this unwanted influx of knowledge of the world of depression, anxiety, and because of a number of comments in the YMF facebook group, I’ve talked with Hannah and am introducing a new feature: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My thought is that there are a number of women who are a little overwhelmed with what they think is some form of anxiety or depression and they are not sure where to turn or are looking for advice more useful than “pray.” I think having a sounding board in the community could be useful.
A little about me and my history with mental illness: When I was an early teen, anxiety and depression hit me hard and hit me fast. Within months I was spiraling into a dark circle, anxious about friends, food, and germs, and depressed in a way that I moved into the basement and didn’t want to talk to anyone. A small part of me recognized this wasn’t entirely right, but most of my brain thought it was normal behavior. I was hospitalized and started (begrudgingly at first) seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist. Medication lifted me to a point where I could do some therapy for a whole world that was suddenly scary, frightening, and thoroughly overwhelming.
Before I got sick, I was a cheerful, happy, Mormon girl. For a while I was in a very dark place, but now, I am a fully functioning twenty something.
So: I am not a psychologist, but I know a lot about this stuff, and I get that it’s hard and scary and overwhelming and your world can suddenly feel different and frightening. I’m going by the pseudonym Ellie Smith, since I’m not quite ready for the whole world to know who I am, but if you have specific questions about anxiety or depression, for yourself or a friend, or you need a friendly voice or someone to give you encouragement, email email@example.com. I’m here to help.
(Online resources for depression: http://1.usa.gov/HSRRc1 and for anxiety: http://1.usa.gov/1fE9Dv6 if that is an easier starting point.)