Talking about Mental Health: Ashlyn’s story
Ashlyn Anderson shares her mental health journey. After battling depression, she finds purpose by surrounding herself with positive people and activity.
A student story
In hallways where there’s always chatter, sometimes students who say the least need to talk the most.
“It’s hard to talk about because I feel like people think you are asking for attention,” says Ashlyn Anderson.
Ashlyn started battling depression as a junior high student.
“If everyone took the moment they are feeling their saddest in their life and amplified it by 10, that’s what depression is like,” says Ashlyn. “It lasts for so long that you feel like you are at the bottom of a hole and you can’t get out.”
Ashlyn says social media only made her battle worse.
“You get anxiety because you feel like you can’t trust anybody and what starts off as one thing quickly ripple effects into 10 or 12,” syas Ashlyn.
Ashlyn says at her lowest point, she took a walk and contemplated ending her life.
“There was a bunch of ice fishers and it was late at night,” remembers Ashlyn. “Everyone was packing up. I was standing there for an hour it seemed and I was so set on jumping and ending it all.”
But a text from a friend gave her hope.
“She said I love you no matter what,” says Ashlyn. She walked to her friend’s house and got help. “The nice thing is when you are at your lowest point, there’s nowhere to go but up.”
Surrounding herself with positivity
Ashlyn has since learned several coping skills that keep her thinking positively. She surrounds herself with friends, like Brandy Martin. Ashlyn and Brandy were friends in middle school and experienced separate, but similar journeys. Now, they’ve reconnected and spend time practicing roller skating. They have aspirations to be on a Roller Derby team.
“Exercising is one of my coping skills,” says Brandy, who also counts having friends like Ashlyn as a reason to stay positive. “Having somebody so reliable and positive and we want the best for one another. I know she wants the best for me and pushes me to be the best person I can be.”
Together, the friends inspire and encourage one another. They fall quite a bit, but they are always ready to pick one another back up.
NAMI Minnesota provides free classes and information for crisis responders, medical and mental health professionals and the general community. If you are concerned about someone or are having thoughts of suicide yourself, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or **CRISIS, or text MN to 741741.
Learn more about Mental Health and the issues surrounding it in a CCX News Special Report, “The Silent Struggle: Talking about Mental Health.”