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June 26, 2019

5/17/2019 10:57:00 AM
Doing the best I can...
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, there 46.6 million adults in the U.S. that face a mental illness in a given year.
If I'm being perfectly honest, I am one of those 46.6 million people.
Reporting for the Dodgeville Chronicle, I have covered topics that directly correlate with mental health, and I got to thinking, what kind of person would I be if I reported on them and not fully admitted that it is something that I struggle with?
I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at 13 years, mild depression at 12, and generalized anxiety disorder at 26 (two years ago). Yes, there is alot going on in my mind, and at times it is crippling. Samples of thoughts have included (what is going on for this week, what if I mess something up on that story, how am I going to get to this event when I'm covering another at the same time, what about my family-all racing at once.) And the most prominent thought: Am I enough? I know deep down I am, but there are times where I have questioned so, unfortunately it's part of the territory. All I know is this: while I have the three disorders above, I know that there are many others out there that go through similar struggles like myself. I have been able to get through each day. I am able to stay organized, and record all of my interviews so I can go back and review the story. It's what has helped me try to combat the excessive worrying.
We have to get rid of the stigma that is out there. Asking for help when times are tough is not a weakness, don't let anyone tell you different. If it weren't for my family, my friends, my coworkers, my teachers, my counselors and countless others who have supported me and continue to do so, I would be lost. It has not been easy getting there, but I am a lot stronger despite my struggles. I truly believe that, and I believe that we can help end the stigma. It's ok to not be ok, but believe me I am ok.





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