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.

You Matter

In third grade, I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. It made daily tasks take miraculously longer. Through my supportive parents, meditation and therapy, it now doesn’t control my life as much.

All was well until around the middle of eighth grade. To this day, I still can’t explain what I felt. Sad? Hopeless? Useless? I didn’t tell anyone what I was feeling. Somehow my parents found out and I started therapy again. This time, I went through three different therapists. Last summer I was sent home from camp, my happy place, due to mental health reasons. It was devastating, but it also changed me for the better.

I’ve given up unhealthy coping mechanisms, and I realized how much I impact the world. Life isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s worth it. It may be hard to wake up each day and face new challenges, but as a society we need to focus on the positive aspects of life. Laughing with friends, winning an award or simply just living to the next day.

Humans cannot control all their emotions, but they can control how they carry messages to others. I live for telling others they matter, and you should live for the same.

You matter.

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 – Depression and A Dark And Scary Time