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Jay’s Story

“Thinking about it that way, you’re not weak because you couldn’t stop it, but strong for being able to put up with all of it for that long.”

Share your stigma experience.

I just recently had a mental breakdown. They’re not as uncommon as I wish they were. I’ve been having them since I was twelve and at around age of 14 I was diagnosed with not only depression but anxiety and ADD. Because of work or school I just never have time to take a break and instead I just bottle up my emotions, stress until it just blows up and I break down. It leaves me sobbing and shaking, just a big mess on the ground for a long while.

The thing that triggers all of it is usually fairly small; having a bad day, not enough sleep, remembering an awful memory.
I remember how it felt, not being able to breathe, right to the point of wheezing, eyes burning from all the tears, heart racing. My throat burns and my chest hurts badly, head’s light, I can’t think and it feels like there’s something in my chest and throat suffocating me. I can’t take it sometimes I’ll claw at my throat because I can’t breathe.

It’s like how you would imagine a heart attack feels but different and being filled with heartache at the same time. At the end of all of it I go back to how things are, as if nothing occurred. Of course I know it will most likely happen again but all I can do is try to ignore the feeling before I can’t anymore.

How did you overcome this experience?

I’m still trying to overcome them. It’s been rough but they do last shorter than they did when I was younger. I will keep trying to get through them as quickly as possible.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

The thing you should remember is that it’s not just one thing but many that causes it to happen. Thinking about it that way, you’re not weak because you couldn’t stop it, but strong for being able to put up with all of it for that long.

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