Written by Shannon,
Kaitlynn’s symptoms of depression and anxiety began in third grade, but a lack of understanding about her feelings and finances kept her from pursuing treatment until college. In college, she had a few false starts when seeking treatment. A few years later, when a new career opportunity presented itself, Kaitlynn knew it was time to get serious about her mental health. This is her story.
27 years old • Marketing Specialist • Denver, CO • Brightside member
I first began to experience the symptoms of depression and anxiety and depression in third grade. I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal to feel that way until college, but finances kept me from pursuing medication. I had a brief period of antidepressants when I was in college, but that only lasted about three months. When I moved out to Colorado, I got back on antidepressants but changed jobs, then lost the insurance covering those antidepressants.
“I first began to experience the symptoms of depression and anxiety in third grade.”
Suddenly, I had a very exciting career opportunity, and I wanted to be in a good place to see it through. My job requires creativity, but the “tortured artist” thing doesn’t really work when you have deadlines to meet and promises to keep. I knew from past experiences that my anxiety and depression have the nasty ability to swallow me up and make it feel like I’m stuck in a grey fog.
Brightside has helped me see massive changes in myself
With treatment, I have been able to get back to doing the things I love, and exercise is the big one. We all know that regular exercise improves your mood. With my Brightside doctor’s help, I could get to a place emotionally where I could motivate myself to join a fitness program. The treatment has also positively impacted my mood, and I started to see improvements in about six weeks. I’ve been pairing Brightside with a wonderful therapist and seeing massive changes with my overall quality of life. It has made managing my depression and anxiety far more doable than before. I used to feel like I couldn’t count on myself to follow through, but now I can—and have!
“I’ve been pairing Brightside with a wonderful therapist and seeing massive changes with my overall quality of life.”
Brightside appealed to be because of its convenience and low cost. I love that with Brightside, I don’t need to think about it. The medication is on auto-ship, and check-ins with my doc happen after work when there is no stress and no hurry to get it over with. I love that I get reminders to do check-ins and that those check-ins only take a couple of minutes! It’s so crazy to me that I can have a 15-minute conversation with the kindest doctor ever from my apartment’s comfort—it’s nothing short of amazing. Plus, I didn’t need insurance to get care through Brightside. Honestly, the total cost is less than a gym membership, and I love that. The entire experience of Brightside is so low-key.
My Brightside doctor makes me feel comfortable
This is my third experience with seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. The first experience was at a free clinic (because I was a broke college student), which was efficient and non-threatening but way out of the way. Hence, it was challenging to keep up with appointments. The second experience was great because I could communicate with my doctor via email. However, filling my prescription was kind of a pain because I had to remember to get it shipped or go pick it up. That’s kind of hard when you’re working on balancing the chemicals in your brain!
“My Brightside doctor is so kind and patient, and I feel comfortable enough to ask any questions I may have.”
My doctor is so kind and patient, and I feel comfortable enough to ask any questions I may have. This is terrific because it’s helped me learn the difference between depression symptoms and other bodily struggles. The biggest thing that he’s helped me feel comfortable with is taking medication. My doc is fantastic at describing different ways medication affects the body, so I know what to expect and what to bring up if there’s an issue. Truth be told, this is the first time I’ve seen a male doctor for depression. I had this awful preconception that he would be less understanding than a female doctor. Not true. I couldn’t be happier with him!
Learning to accept help has been key to my recovery
The biggest challenge in my recovery was a willingness to accept that my brain really benefits from this help. I wanted to appear strong and invincible, but now I know that it’s okay that I’m not. I have no problem taking aspirin for a headache. I certainly wouldn’t fault someone for taking any other medication, so learning that it’s okay to accept help in the form of a kind doctor and regular prescription was challenging but definitely worth it.
“I have chosen to share my story because I know other people out there who, like me, are smart and successful but feel like they need some support—and I want to tell them it’s okay to ask for help.”
Right now, I feel like I’m in a really good place. I have chosen to share my story because I know other people out there who, like me, are smart and successful but feel like they need some support—and I want to tell them it’s okay to ask for help. I consider myself a pretty strong and resilient person, and I also take antidepressants. That doesn’t make me any less strong, it’s just a part of being a healthy me.
Personal essay by Kaitlynn W.
Thank you, Kaitlynn, for sharing your journey with us. For more member stories, check out Marnie’s story, Annie’s story, and Joe’s story. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, you are not alone. Talking about these illnesses is the first step towards destigmatizing the topic of mental health. Get connected with one of our doctors today to figure out if Brightside is right for you.