The silhouette of a head pointing left is made up of black and blue hands. Above the head reads "spotlight on," and in the head reads "teen mental health."
Shining the Light: Spotlight on Teen Mental Health logo

One of three essays from local teens dealing with mental health challenges.


That morning, I woke up with the worst headache I’d ever felt. I couldn’t contact my friends, let alone look at my phone, without the brightness triggering my pain. This was the first time that I missed a vast amount of school. I was out for two weeks and began to feel lonely and down.

I started to see numerous doctors in the area, including an ENT, endocrinologist, infectious disease doctor and a neurologist. At one of my appointments, they gave me steroids to help with my pain, but instead, I began to hallucinate. My neck was tight in one place, and I was unable to sleep for a week straight. I was paranoid, and didn’t want to leave my parents’ side. They realized something wasn’t right with the medicine and took me off of it immediately.

I left each appointment feeling the same exact way … hopeless.

I continued to miss school. Eventually, I stopped contacting my friends and, after being absent for such lengthy periods of time, I began to question myself. When I was at school I practically lived in my counselor’s office. I was feeling so sad that it became difficult for me to get myself out of bed in the morning. I wasn’t showering and took little interest in things that had been important to me previously.

For the first time in my life, something had changed. I had become depressed. 

This anonymous essay is being shared with the JN by Friendship Circle.

Want to know how teens dealing with mental health challenges really feel? Read essays from teens in the community.

Here’s My Story – You Matter and A Dark And Scary Time