“I’ve always been a very perfectionistic person. I really like to do things to the best of my ability, which has its perks but also has some downfalls. Going into my junior year, it was difficult for me to see anything about myself other than I’m an anxious, depressed person — instead of ‘I’m Sloane, I’m a great student, I have lots of friends and I also struggle with this.’ Now, I’m able to see past it and see the other aspects of myself. 

I think the biggest thing that helped me was talking about it, because I was so ashamed to say, ‘I have anxiety’ or ‘I have depression.’ But now that the conversation is open and I’m able to admit it, it doesn’t hold the power on me anymore. I realize there are other people that go through the same thing, it’s not just me. It helped me not to feel isolated and alone. No matter what you go through, it’s very beneficial to talk to a professional. It’s not your fault, which is something that I think lots of people need to hear. 

It took a really long time for me to realize that your mental health does not define you. You are not your mental health, you are not your mental illness. You are who you are despite the darkness that you go through.”