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Amy shares her experience of anxiety and depression and how blogging helped. She is in her second year at university studying Law in Wales. She blogs at reliefromanxiety.blogspot.com
My mental health problem has been a large part of my life for many years. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression back in 2013, but I feel that I had been suffering with mental illness for many years before that.
At the beginning of my journey I felt isolated, and although I had my family around me who understood and supported me, I didn't know anyone who was going through the same thing as me. This is when I began writing my blog.
I started it not only to find others like myself but to help others too. If I was feeling alone, then I thought there must be hundreds of thousands of people feeling the same way as mental health problems affect 1 in 4 in any one year.
"I always tell people to never be ashamed. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it takes strength to battle your mind every day."
I found my blog a great way to share my personal experience and to help others. To this day I'm still writing tips and giving advice to others through emails, comments and the content on my blog.
Sharing my journey this way and battling with my mental health problem has taught me so many things.
"During the darkest times, I didn't think I was ever going to get better. I thought this was going to be my life for the rest of my days and I couldn't bear it."
I was at my worst at age 17. I was dealing with severe anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts which meant that I couldn't leave the house, complete driving lessons, answer the door, go to school - the list was endless. I was trapped in a prison of my own mind, and it was hell.
Over the years after this however, I had three types of therapy which I am still participating in today at age 20. I’m also taking medication - which has worked miracles for me, and is nothing to be ashamed of. I had tried everything else possible to get better, but nothing was working well enough. I took medication as a last resort and it has changed my life.
During the darkest times, I didn't think I was ever going to get better. I thought this was going to be my life for the rest of my days and I couldn't bear it. But today I am at university in Wales, I’m the president of my university’s mental health society, I’m driving by myself, living independently and volunteering, amongst other things.
If you were to tell me a few years ago that I was going to doing all this in 2016, I wouldn't have believed you. But, I ask you to believe me now when I say that it will get better. If you hang on in there, your recovery may just be around the corner.
"Sharing my journey this way and battling with my mental health problem has taught me so many things."
I always tell people to never be ashamed. Mental health is just as important as physical health and it takes strength to battle your mind every day. The stigma is harmful, but you're better than that. You know what it's really like. Together, we can bust the myths around having a mental health problem.
I still experience anxiety and depression, but at a lesser level to what I did a few years ago and there are still things I struggle to do and perhaps cannot do at this current time.
Recovery has its bumps in the road and it's not always easy - but you've got this!
Read about depression
When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information - about a condition, treatment options, or practical issues - is vital. Choose one of the options below to find out more.
Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.