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I'm doing a new series of blog posts to help bring awareness for a variety of mental health challenges. Each week I'll be sharing an interview with an individual who is a mental health warrior and is sharing their journey with the hope that this awareness may help someone else.
This week I connected with Brooke Brida about her experience with Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and Borderline Personality Disorder. You can follow Brooke on Instagram
Name: Brooke, She/Her
Brooke is a 19 year old college student who has been dealing with mental health challenges since she was 13 years old.
Brooke was initially diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and more recently diagnosed with ADHD and borderline personality disorder.
How her mental health affects her daily life: My mental health challenges every part of my life. It affects my college experience because it has become difficult to accomplish everything I’d like to as a student athlete when I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning or to feel motivated about anything in my life. At this point in my life where I am in my first long-term relationship, my mental health has become a struggle now more than ever. Navigating a relationship with borderline personality disorder has been extremely hard. I find it hard to cope with things that other people may brush over easily, and it causes my relationship to be tense and up and down than a “normal” relationship should be.
What she finds positive about her mental health challenges: Despite all of the challenges that I face on a day-to-day basis, I do try to find the positives in all of it. I find that I am forced to be extremely self-aware, which has helped me progress as a person. Because I have to talk about my feelings so often with my therapists and psychiatrists, I am put face to face with my struggles and I have to look deep inward and truly analyze myself.
How she sees mental health stigmatized: A lot of mental health is stigmatized on the internet, but I see it a lot with anxiety. People who are undiagnosed and not experiencing the real disorder often will say things to me like “just calm down” or “it’s not that big of a deal.” I am often looked at as overdramatic or too emotional, when really it is something I cannot control. Some people don’t understand how debilitating anxiety can be, to the point where I can’t leave my house and even my mind feels like a prison.
How Brooke does self-care: For self-care, I have really gotten into yoga and spirituality throughout the past year. Being able to feel centered and present in the moment is something that feels very calming for me and can help when I am experiencing an episode.
The message Brooke has for those who have just been diagnosed with BPD: To someone who has just been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder like I have, remember that this does NOT define you! It is easy to let that term eat you up inside and feel like you are confined to your illness, but that is not true. We just have to work a little harder to be able to regulate our emotions, but we are still just as worthy of love and care. Hang in there!
Thank you Brooke for sharing your journey with mental health!
Want to share your story? Want to share your mental health warrior story - submit your story here