How 12 People Actually Deal With Mental Health Issues

"I’m Scarlett Curtis, I’m 22 years old, and I have depression, anxiety, and PTSD," a pink-haired woman says in a new short film from The Pink Protest.
The Pink Protest, an organization dedicated to encouraging young people to engage in activism, has partnered up with the NYC-based mental health community, Sad Girls Club, to create a series of short films that tackle the shame around talking about mental health.
In one of the short films (each of which are sponsored by mental health app Happy Not Perfect), Curtis and several other young women from the Sad Girls Club community open up about their mental health diagnoses, what it was like getting diagnosed, and what it's like to live with a mental illness.
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"I just walked into a mental health center at my school, and I had some conversations with my therapist, and I told her about some of the behaviors I’d been noticing that were hindering my work performances in my projects and my classes in general," one woman says.
"Growing up in a very conservative Chinese family, mental health kind of did not exist," says another. "It’s very hard growing up in that environment and being told you need to be strong, and that your family issues don’t exist outside of the house."
In having these women openly discuss their mental health, Pink Protest and Sad Girls Club are hoping to help others who have mental illnesses feel a little less alone. Because, while acknowledging that plenty of people live with mental health issues is helpful, actually talking about how different people get through them shows others that they can recover, and they can live a full and happy life.
For some of the women in the video, like Curtis, therapy and medication has been really effective in helping to manage their mental health. “I’ve been in talk therapy for six months, and I’ve been on a new anti-depressant for the last six months called Trintellix, which has really helped me," Curtis says.
For others, managing their mental health on a day-to-day basis means doing more of what they love or finding outlets to work through difficult feelings. "I invest more time in things I really enjoy: so to act, to sing, writing — I write a lot of poetry — those are just ways I can channel my emotions," another woman says.
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Whether you go to therapy or you have other ways of managing a bad mental health day (or week, or month, or even year), it's helpful to have a good support system that you can turn to.
"Talk to someone, and stop internalizing everything," one woman advises in the video. "Share yourself with someone, and you just never know who shares that same experience with you."
If you are experiencing depression or anxiety and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
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