• Nathan Croston

What would you tell your younger self?

In this day and age, unfortunately, it is common that we or someone we know has suffered from some form of mental illness. Whether it be an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or one of the other 450 types. (You can view some of them here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mental_disorders) But my question is if you did suffer from any one of those while an adolescent, what would you tell your younger self about them? What advice would you have given yourself? 

When I was around 12 years old my evil relationship with depression, anxiety, and self-harm began. Without going into too much detail, I did have a very hard childhood. Not a stable support system and I went through a lot I shouldn’t have at that age. The surrounding world didn’t know all that was going on; I hid it very well. And truth be told, I had NO idea how to deal with it. So I was scared to seek help. Quite frankly, I didn’t know there was help. I was embarrassed. I didn’t feel like anyone would understand what I was going through, or why, possibly even think I was a freak or weird due to self-harm, cutting. So what did I do? Absolutely nothing. And the result? Well, you probably guessed right. It got worse. Because I didn’t know how to deal with my depression or other mental illnesses I had, my depression had seized me and taken me over. I lost all the light I used to see; I just didn’t have any “HAPPINESS.”

Keeping it all bottled up and not speaking about it, will tear apart and eat you right up. Between the ages of 12-15 years of age, I attempted suicide three times. I continually self-harmed, but the one thing I still didn’t do was address the issue. The Illness. I played it off over and over. Lied and said I was fine when I needed to seek help. If I could go back, I would grab my own face and say, “it is ok to be sad. It is ok to hurt. You are not alone, and you DO NOT have to go through this alone.” And I would make myself inform the support system I did have about the issues I was dealing with. So I could get help. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. What is sad, is people are ashamed. They keep it all hidden, bottled up. And it gets worse, sometimes, with a loss of life as the outcome.

People turn to unhealthy coping skills, alcohol, drugs, etc., to mask the illness and to hide from the illness. We have so many resources nowadays to help, but a lot of us are unaware of them. Calling 211 is a great way to find resources in Idaho.  If you suffer from mental illness, reach out. If you feel like your child/children are suffering, ask and support them. Reach out for help for them. 

"To not have your suffering recognized is an almost unbearable form of violence." 

Suicide Prevention Resources:

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, EastIdahoNews.com encourages you to call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at (208) 398-HELP [4357] or (800) 273-TALK [8255].

Local Resources

Behavioral Health Center at EIRMC: (208) 227-2100

Behavioral Health Crisis Center: (208) 522-0727

Online resources:

Idaho Suicide Prevention Program

SPAN Idaho (Suicide Prevention Action Network)

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

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