I’m fighting for those before me.
From the outside looking in, Natalie had an idyllic childhood. She had an active and busy social life filled with soccer, dance recitals and girl scout meetings. She had a diverse group of friends and a family that loved and supported her. Although she could have been described as shy or introverted, her friends probably thought of her as a “normal”, carefree child. But even at that young age she was experiencing sensory issues, generalized anxiety and OCD.
Her parents helped her in every way they knew and brought her to specialists to help give her the skills she needed to thrive. She persevered, still occasionally scared to face the simplest situations. But by middle school, her anxiety was beginning to play a bigger part in her daily life.
During the fall of eighth grade, when she was 13 years old, she was diagnosed with depression. In the months following, anxiety and depression started to take over her life, making attending school nearly impossible at times. Through the help of family, friends, and her therapist along with medical support, she is thriving as a current high school student. Anxiety and depression are still present in her life, but she hopes to use her story to bring awareness to mental health issues and encourage others to seek help.