A high school student who had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety has posted on Facebook that she doesn’t think she has ever been ill.
Tina Brown’s post, which has been shared more than 1,000 times, has received hundreds of comments on her story and sparked a national conversation about mental health and suicide.
“I think my first day at school was the first day I experienced depression, anxiety, and I think it was probably the first time I ever felt like someone wanted to kill me,” Brown, who attends the Elgin School in Illinois, wrote.
“That was my first time being scared, and the fear I felt made me feel like I was not good enough for this world.
I was afraid that this could happen to me.”
She added that she felt a connection to the story of Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender actress who became the first openly transgender person to win the 2016 Golden Globe for best actress for her portrayal of Caitlin Jenner.
“When I felt like my life was being threatened and it felt like I had to protect myself, I was like, ‘Oh, wow, I’m so not good,'” Brown said.
Brown said she has been a victim of bullying, including from other students who feel the need to bully her, and that bullying has been her life since she was a child.
She added she’s worried that the stigma surrounding mental illness is making it harder for people to seek help, especially for those who are struggling.
“There are so many people who feel like they don’t fit into the stereotypical idea of mental illness,” she said.
“We are not normal, we are not good, we’re not perfect.
We are people, too.
We’re all human, we all have flaws.”
Brown said her struggles with depression, anger, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness have been constant, even as she has made great strides in her school career.
“It’s been hard because I’ve been so positive and so focused on the school, on my grades, on the things I could do in school,” she wrote.
“And then my life is turned upside down when I’m out in public and people see me.
It’s hard for me to talk about it because it’s very hard.”
Brown hopes her story will help educate other young people about mental illness and encourage others to seek out help when they are feeling suicidal.
“Don’t hesitate to seek support,” she told ABC News.
“If you are struggling with something, call your doctor.
If you are feeling angry, or angry about something, talk to your parents.
Call your school.
Talk to your friends.
Just be strong and stay strong.”