I had my first panic attack when I was 9 years old. Worries in my mind had taken over my body and it was as if I had no control over what was happening to me. Growing up, anxiety and depression was not talked about often or understood by most people. The stigma, embarrassment, and shame led me to keep my depression and anxiety hidden. I felt like no one understood and I didn’t understand myself.
As I got older, I wanted to start to understand mental health. I went to school and became a licensed counselor. I wanted to give back what I felt like was takin from me and help provide resources that were not accessible when I was a child.
The ability to share my story without the shame that was previously attached to it was the biggest step in my ongoing ability to not only help others and reduce the stigma, but to continue to help myself as well. – Kari, PA