May Warrior – Danessa

May Warrior – Danessa

Welcome to my next Warrior of the Month! This month, we discuss ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Danessa reached out to me a few months ago wanting to share her story with the world. She is extremely resilient for such a young age and I’m honored she chose me to share her journey. Read her story below:

Hi, I’m Danessa and I’m 18 years old. I struggle with Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD. I’ve struggled with them for most of my life.

When I was about a year and a half my parents noticed that I was constantly hitting my head off of walls, floors and basically whatever I could find. They thought it was just behavioral issues so they just followed discipline protocols until I hit about four years old. They noticed that it was getting worse. I not only hit my head off of things, I started to do other risky things such as lay in the middle of the street and wait for a vehicle to come.

My parents both decided to take me to see a pediatric psychiatrist where I underwent multiple test and then put on medication that didn’t seem to work. Things were getting progressively worse; I felt as if everyone was against me and wanted to hurt me. At the age of twelve I was hospitalized for attempting suicide three times. Being admitted wasn’t the best thing for me at that time. I wouldn’t eat, or sleep or even talk to the doctors. I felt like I was being isolated and that I was a bad kid who deserved anything but love. After seeing many doctors about these issues, at the age of 13, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and a severe depressive disorder and put on another set of medication that, yet again, didn’t work.

Fast forward to age 15 when I was faced with one of biggest challenges of my life. My dad passed away and my mom met another man. We moved five hours away from all of my family. My dad and I were super close so I took the loss of him very very hard.

After my dad passed away, I felt as if there was no point in trying or it’s never gonna get better so I tried to take my life again. I was hospitalized yet again for another suicide attempt. After being put on another kind of medication, I was put into therapy to learn how to cope with these high emotions. Those medication finally decided to work and I started to feel okay again. And then I entered High School. My senior year of high school was anything but good. I couldn’t focus, I was getting into fights and constantly in the principals office. I even tried to end my life by sticking a paper clip in a electrical socket in my physics class, My Guidance Counsellor suggested that I speak to the psychiatrist about further testing. I did, and a month and a half before my 18th birthday I was diagnosed with severe ADHD.

Multiple teachers, parents of friends, and even family members were telling my parents that all the signs I was showing were ADHD, but my parents decided that it wasn’t ADHD. They thought I was just attention seeking. They use to make me feel like my feelings didn’t matter and I had to grow up. The way my parents acted about my feelings and emotions made me feel like I was worthless and that I shouldn’t be here. There has been and still are nights that I lay in bed and cry to the point where my body goes numb because I feel like I should just end it and there’s really no point in being here.

Just this past February I tried to take my life again. I was basically just there; I was breathing but I didn’t feel alive. My two year old nephew looked at me and asked if I was okay, and it broke my heart to know that a two year old little boy could notice that something wasn’t quite right. He looked at my arm where the cut was, and he took that arm and kissed it and then said that aunties boo boo all better. After that experience I decided that I was time to reach out of help because there’s someone who looks up to me. So that’s what I did. I went to counselling and therapy which helped so so much I felt that there’s other way to escape theses feeling and thoughts without ending my life. I started to feel alive again. I was happy, I was socializing more, and I didn’t feel like I was isolated. I finally felt like I mattered!

After being put on yet another medication, I could focus, I wasn’t fighting as much and I didn’t get sent to the principals office as much. I was a happier person. I still struggle today but I know that there’s light at the end of the dark tunnel because I’ve been stuck in that dark tunnel for many years, I reached out for help and spoke up. And because I took that step I am now a much more fun, energetic and lovable person!! It gets better I promise.

Danessa, you’ve been through so much in such a short amount of time. Thank you very much for sharing your story with me and my readers. I wish you nothing but the best and hope you’re able to continue on the road to recovery.

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