On January 20, 2019, I lost my Uncle Marc to suicide. Just 27 days before that, I had attempted suicide for the first time. Uncle Marc was the one who provided me the love, support, and safety I needed at that time to continue on. He was also the first person to share a normal conversation on mental health with me. He told me about mental health conditions, therapy, medication, and even supplements that could help me to feel better and move forward. After losing him by suicide when I felt he had saved my life just 27 days earlier, my world fell apart.
Today, I am a three-time suicide attempt survivor. I was misdiagnosed and mistreated for depression, a mental health condition that I did not have. A psychiatrist in the psych ward where I was hospitalized following my last attempt had prescribed me with an antidepressant, which sent me into a manic episode. At the time, I did not know why that happened, what questions to ask, or what to do next. It took me over 2 years of Neurofeedback Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Psychiatrists before getting a proper diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and a prescription for the proper medication.
I felt angry for myself, but most importantly, on behalf of every individual who was misdiagnosed, mistreated, or gaslighted for their symptoms. Among the lack of awareness, the underfunded mental health facilities, the misdiagnoses, the stigma creating a world where millions are suffering in silence, and the high financial strain for quality treatment, I felt betrayed by the mental health community, medical community, and our society and I felt outraged for every single person whose life was lost to suicide.
Thus, I started Inspiring My Generation to transform the current system, which is working against those living with mental illness. The stigma and the financial barriers are preventing too many people from receiving life-saving treatment. But furthermore, our priority needs to shift from solely awareness to prevention and early detection of mental health symptoms. It is my mission, and I hope yours too, to be a voice for those who lost theirs to suicide, those on the edge barely holding on, and those unable to advocate for themselves.
We need to take control of the narrative and change the way we as a society, our government, and our medical community approach mental health.
Please join me in Inspiring My Generation’s mission, so that together we can help the next generation grow up in a world where emotions are normal, mental health is talked about and approached in the same manner as physical health, our education system and work force work in union with those living with mental health conditions instead of against them, and where quality treatment is available to all.
Together, let us turn our pain to purpose.
With love and gratitude,