Marnie struggled with depression for years, but it wasn’t until recently that her anxiety symptoms started to pop up in unpleasant ways. When her life began to spin out of control, she knew it was time to seek depression and anxiety treatment. At first, she was reluctant to start treatment, but things have started to look up. Here is her story.
26 years old • Data Analyst • NYC • Brightside member
My depression symptoms began six years ago when I was in college. During that time, I felt like nothing made me happy. My anxiety symptoms began more recently—around ten months ago—which was a very strange experience for me. My anxiety felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I would start to sweat, and, for a split second, I would get this feeling like everything was slipping out of control. Then, as quickly as it started, everything would go back to normal. I always thought that I could manage my symptoms on my own. However, when things began to spin out of control, I knew it was time to seek help.
“My depression symptoms began six years ago when I was in college. During that time, I felt like nothing made me happy.”
Seeking depression & anxiety treatment
My mom had always encouraged me to see a therapist, but I was against it. I didn’t (and still don’t) like going to see someone in person and opening up to them about my life. Additionally, it is hard for me to make time for something I don’t particularly want to do. Signing up for Brightside is my first time seeking treatment for my depression and anxiety. I always thought people would think I was crazy if I went to see a therapist. In retrospect, I can’t believe I ever thought that. I wish I would have started sooner.
I like that with Brightside, I am allowed to speak to someone whenever I want—and as much as I want—with no pressure. It’s all up to me. If I need to chat, I’ll log in more often. When I’m feeling better, I don’t log in and chat as often. I like that it’s so flexible because it’s compatible with my busy schedule.
“I like that with Brightside, I am allowed to speak to someone whenever I want—and as much as I want—with no pressure.”
My doctor and I have only met once, and she was delightful. My therapist is the sweetest person. She helps me stay grounded and always makes me feel like my emotions are valid. She doesn’t make me feel ashamed of my feelings, and she is so understanding in every situation. My therapist just helps me feel at ease. I don’t feel like she’s judging me, and she is always willing to help. She has provided me with many resources to leverage for some of the different topics covered in our chats. I could not have been paired up with a better therapist for me, and I am grateful for that.
Before Brightside, nothing worked for me
I tried to see a therapist once many years ago, and it was a horrible experience. I did not want to go in the first place, and I was not in the right state of mind to speak about things or receive information. He made me so upset because I felt like he was talking down to me. With Brightside, I have not had that experience. I have felt comfortable and safe talking to my therapist about anything and everything.
Before Brightside, I was miserable. Everything made me upset, and I couldn’t find enjoyment in any of the things I used to love. I didn’t want to play tennis anymore, go to work, hang out with friends, or even leave my apartment. Once I started treatment, it took about six or seven weeks to notice changes in myself. During the first three weeks, I experienced side effects from the medication. However, once my body acclimated, I started to feel so much better.
“My favorite part about Brightside is that it’s entirely up to me how much time and effort I want to dedicate to my mental health.”
My favorite part about Brightside is that it’s entirely up to me how much time and effort I want to dedicate to my mental health. I don’t feel pressure to talk if I don’t want to, and I feel very comfortable talking to my therapist about anything.
Facing my mental illness head-on
Recovery has also been challenging, too. It’s hard to talk about my feelings and experiences that pain me. I like to pretend some things didn’t happen. Those events shaped who I am today, and rather than hiding from them, I’ve found strength in revisiting them and facing them head-on.
“My mental health is something that I have to continue to work on each and every day.”
I’m feeling great now, but still have room to grow. I think working on yourself is very important, and mental health is vital. My mental health is something that I have to continue to work on each and every day. I think that treatment has helped me enjoy spending time with people again. For a while, I wanted to be by myself or in smaller groups because I would get stressed out with bigger groups. Nowadays, I think I see the glass half-full rather than half-empty. I notice that I am much calmer and less likely to overreact. Every little thing would bother me in the past, and I was always so quick to see the worst in every situation.
I chose to share my story because I wish someone would have shared their story with me, and I wish I would have been more open to getting therapy sooner. If I can help one person by sharing my story, then it’s worth it to me.
Personal essay by Marnie P.
Thank you, Marnie, for sharing your story with us. For more member stories, check out Jacquelyn’s story, Bridgett’s story, and Kyle’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.