Continuing our guest blog from last week, Adam writes about his personal journey to receiving help. MWM.
A Treatise on Human Thought (or thoughts on thinking about it like my twitter handle 🙂.
A friend told me to see a therapist. I mulled the idea over until finally I mustered the courage and went to my dad and said “I think I need to see someone.”
He looked at me lovingly and said “of course, Adam, we love you, we will absolutely get you a therapist, you’re probably going through a phase, but we can certainly get you some help.”
What did I hear though? “you are probably going through a phase” so I kept to it and I abused substances as a way to cope with my pain, lack of feeling, and lack of purpose. Finally, I had a true-rock bottom moment and my parents intervened and I got help.
I looked back on the mental health system and thought, why
Years later, my father and I reconciled this disconnected moment when I came to him in a time of need and I felt he was asking me to toughen up. He explained that the trepidation I sensed was ultimately from his very real fear that he was not providing enough to me as a father. To him, me getting professional help meant he did something wrong or wasn’t a good enough father for me.
That was of course never the case, he gave me everything I could have wanted and more. I was never thinking about him or my mother and their inadequacies as parents, I was wholly consumed with my own negativity, self-hatred, and helplessness.
It was neither of our faults which can be hard for a parent to hear and probably accept”
However, both of our insecurities prevented us from connecting in a constructive way to get me the support I needed at a vulnerable time. It was neither of our faults which can be hard for a parent to hear and probably accept…it’s not your fault. I wish I could communicate that point more strongly…
After I got help, I started to tell my story. That story was one of struggle, dissatisfaction, confusion, isolation, emotional trepidation, fear, and uncertainty. And often times, I couldn’t even get more than two or three sentences in that direction before the other person blurted out how they felt the same!
I realized something was going on here. Something was happening with young people that were causing them to feel these emotions with few constructive ways to address this issue.
So I set out to change that. I developed Marbles, an iOS and android mobile phone app that allows people free 24/7 anonymous mental and emotional health support to be a tool for people to montior their mental and emotional health and reach out for support any time they may need it, 100% troll and stigma free.
I’m lucky though. I got help.
However, not every undergraduate student is so lucky. In the United States, there are 1,100 collegiate suicides every year. Half of that group never tell anyone.
I was part of that half.
I struggled reaching out for help because I didn’t know where to go and I didn’t know what was “normal” or real distress that I needed help with vs. what I should just “deal with.”
Rates of mental health diagnoses are rising year over year. College students’ who’ve seriously considered attempting suicide rose to a staggering 33.2 percent, up from 23.8 percent just 5 years ago.
The tendancy to use suicide as an alternative for our mental health struggles
That’s why we created Marbles.
About the Author:
Adam is an advocate for youth mental health support and understanding. His passion about mental health awareness led him to develop Marbles Inc., an Android/iPhone app that offers 24/7 peer-to-peer mental health support.