Anxiety, depression and the hidden truth about mental health struggles

Synithia Raymond

Having anxiety, depression or any kind of mental disorder is very scary. It’s a taboo topic that no one ever speaks about or feels comfortable mentioning.

Well you know me, your girl, I’m here to put you on program. There are all types of mental health problems and disorders and there is absolutely no reason under any circumstance that you should be embarrassed. It’s completely normal and more importantly, real.

In fact, one of the biggest reasons why people are committing suicide and not properly being diagnosed is because they are too afraid to admit something is wrong. Too afraid of fear and being judged. Most people think, “Oh, if I tell anyone about my mental state they will think I’m nuts or crazy or they may want to put me in a mental institution.” I’m not saying that institutions are a bad thing, I’m just saying some people need that break to go off and get hands-on treatment while others can manage this with treatment, medication and counseling.

Let me tell you guys a true story that happened to me just a week ago. My son and I were on our way back home to Batavia from a fun-filled weekend in our hometown about an hour away. I started feeling really weird – panicky and numb – so I reached for my anxiety pills from the glove box and took it with some really warm sweet tea I had from the beginning of the trip. (It was 100 degrees out, lol.) It did absolutely nothing because by the time my son and I reached the Batavia toll booth I felt worse. I couldn’t speak to the man. I had to park right there.

Thank you so much to the toll booth guy. I can’t even remember if I paid for my toll. (Lol) I’m grateful for him because he gave me water while I was shaking uncontrollably. My son was afraid, but super brave. (Shout outs to my baby, Javion Krupinski.) I never would have got through that without him.

So, we end up sitting there for about 20 minutes. I full out hyperventilated and I just kept breathing to try to keep myself calm for my son. Eventually, I continued to drive myself to the emergency room.

I was having a terrible panic attack. My blood pressure was well over 200. It literally took about an hour for me to calm down. They gave something to help. I ended staying in the hospital for two days trying to figure out why my pressure was so high. I had so many tests but that’s ”another story.”

Anyway, I’ve struggled with anxiety, but I ended up speaking to a neuropsychologist. He diagnosed me with depression and anxiety bipolar panic disorder.

Duh, it makes sense.

I’m adjusting to my new meds, but I’m not crazy and I feel great. So, please, if you or someone you know suffers with bipolar, panic disorder, anxiety or other mental health concern, do not be afraid to ask for help. There is such stigma when it comes to mental health and I’m here to put a face to it so I can help normalize it.

We’re all in this together. Mental health is serious, scary, and real. It’s an everyday topic.

Synithia Raymond of Batavia, a mother of three children, works in the retail industry.

Synithia Raymond

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