Anxiety and depression are partners in crime. They are the relentless duo that I have experienced. Many teenagers experience anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are like a never-ending roller coaster. They pull my mind in many different directions. Thoughts speed through my mind endlessly. My heart races. My stomach twists, turns, and tumbles. My body goes completely numb. These are a few examples of the effects of anxiety and depression.
To be completely honest, 2018 was a rough year! I was in the middle of freshman year. I was completely stressed out about my grades and everything else that the not-so-glorious years of high school bring! I could feel myself falling down that dark hole of anxiety and depression early on in 2018. Being a child of divorced parents, it is never easy. At the time, I was living an hour away from my mom, which made life as a teenage girl more difficult. I got involved with the wrong group of people and the wrong guy, which led to bigger problems. Alcohol and nicotine were constantly haunting me when I was hanging out with this group of people.
I tried my best to remain grounded and remember that this was not who I was or wanted to be, but horrific rumors began to spread about me at school. Being a girl at an all-girls high school, rumors spread quicker than the flu! Going to school every day and having to face the gossip was like walking the red carpet wearing every single mistake I made. I lost most of my friends over inappropriate and intimate rumors that were VERY false! Slut shaming began—even from someone who I thought was a close friend of mine.
The feeling of having no friends is such an empty, heart-wrenching feeling. I began to let go of myself. I started to not care at all. I felt used and manipulated. I felt like I had no one. I was in this very dark place. A place that was filled with tears and pain… and a LOT of Lana Del Rey! I wanted to disappear, forever.
I kept everything bottled up. Eventually, I couldn’t keep it in anymore.
One Sunday, I stayed up all night, dreading the school week ahead. The thought of having to face all of the rumors and hate was too much to bear. I felt trapped in my mind. The pain I was feeling nauseated me. The pain was so bad, I even got sick. I completely broke down that Monday morning.
My parents got me the help I needed. The best piece of advice I could give to someone struggling with anxiety and depression is to speak up and get help! Talk to a parent, teacher, or school counselor.
Slowly, I started to feel like myself again. I attended a party for Miss Louisiana Teen USA and Miss Louisiana USA 2018. The queens and everyone else there sparked a light in the dark tunnel I was in. A former Miss Louisiana USA queen, Bethany Trahan, inspired me by helping me understand that my anxiety and depression weren’t something I should be ashamed of. She helped me tremendously with accepting my mental illness instead of avoiding my emotions. gave me comfort.
After all of these experiences, I made it a goal of mine to spread as much mental health awareness as possible. I am grateful that I can use social media to help me achieve this goal.
I frequently share pieces of my story on Instagram to let my audience know that they are not alone. I love receiving messages from girls who I have inspired through my Instagram posts. It makes my passion for spreading positivity and mental health awareness spark even brighter! You can follow my journey on Instagram @paige_stabile.
My advice for someone struggling with anxiety & depression :
· Find a hobby that you enjoy! It will help you take your mind off the negativity.
· Engage in physical activity! Exercising always boosts my mood. If you aren’t into getting sweaty, meditating is AMAZING! You can find guided meditations for free on YouTube.
· Make a music playlist of all your favorite feel-good bops!
· Start a journal. You can find different journaling ideas on Pinterest, or you can simply freestyle!
· Follow positive social media accounts and remove the ones that have a negative impact on you! Instagram has a mute button feature—you can mute a profile & it will block their posts from popping up on your feed. You don’t have to unfollow the account & the person isn’t notified that you muted them.
· Practice gratitude. Think about 3 things you are thankful for before you go to sleep.
· Laugh a little bit! I find that watching entertaining YouTubers helps get me out of a depressed mood. My personal favorites for when I need a laugh are the Dolan Twins, Emma Chamberlain, Antonio Garza, and James Charles!
· Talk to a counselor! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
· Volunteer! It’s a great way to boost your mood by giving back. I enjoy donating books to my local Ronald McDonald House for Charities.
Written by, FIT contributor Paige Stabile