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What It's Like to Live With G.A.D.

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Being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (G.A.D.) was the turning point of my life. Although I have always experienced anxiety, at age 15, during one of the highest peaks of my depression, I was diagnosed and since then, nothing has been the same. But let me give you a look through the rearview mirror.

I was always a bit of a cheeky, feisty spirit during my childhood, but in the second grade, something radically changed. I lost my ability to be "mean" to everyone around me, and somehow, I became victim of bullying. It lasted for 13 years, and it only stopped when I decided to live abroad.

I was 14 when I lost my grandfather to a heart attack, and the pain and suffering of losing him made me have my first panic attack, which made my depression reach one of its highest peaks. All of this opened doors to an whole host of other problems, which included suicidal attempts, the beginning of an eating disorder and isolation, all of them I eventually beat.

G.A.D. was detected during that time, and for me, simple tasks such as going to a exam, answering a phone call from an unknown number, or even noticing that I was five minutes late for any pre-made plans, made me freak out. It's a constant fight of trying to remain calm through simple tasks and not getting too irritated with any altercation, even though it's really hard, but I can ease the pain by listening to my favorite music.

Now, I feel my G.A.D. is under control, when compared to what it used to be. I haven't taken medication for about five years now, but I still have highs and lows. My depression still haunts me every now and then and still attacks. After being on medication for three years and becoming an expert in some kinds of Benzodiazepines (or "the three ams" as I like to call it - Alprazolam, Lorazepam and Clonazepam) and Prozac, I stop taking them, and I don't regret it.

I don't want to feel part of a statistical number about teenagers who overdose on some medication or become dependent on it. I want to fight my disease and not feel like a victim or have people pity me. I am a real person with real feelings who laughs, loves, can see the good (and the bad) in people and who loves her life - or that at least tries to. The only difference is that I cry a lot and majority of time, I have no explanation for being irritated or sad or even why I have my b**chy resting face on.

But my disorder is not who I am. My disorder is something that I will eventually beat and succeed at. If you have a mental health problem, don't hide it. There are always people - good people - who will help you through it and who will not tell you that this is just a phase or is fake because you want to feel special! There is always someone who you can talk to, and if I can beat this, or at least try to, you can, too.

Let's support each other in this battle. Let's kick depression and anxiety right in the butt! Whoever and wherever you are, just remember: You are not alone in this! We are going to beat this, together.
(Cambio Col[lab] is a lab for young creators to showcase their passion and develop their voice. Like what you're seeing? Share it to support their effort!)


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