a monthly Mental Health feature
by Maddie M. White
I Will Always Stand Up
with Charlotte Underwood
1. What mental illness do you suffer from?
I suffer from pretty chronic depression and anxiety (gad)
2. When was the first time you noticed it and how?
I don't remember a time I didn't feel this way but I didn't notice it really until I was 14 and became an alcoholic and self-harmed; It was like a compulsion I couldn't stop.
3. How does it affect your life as a whole?
It limits me every day. It affects my ability to work, clean, have a bath and sustain any
relationship. Nothing really feels simple, everything is scary and seemingly impossible.
4. What have you learned about it?
I've learned that I am not defined by my mental illness, I can live a full life and do the
things I love. I'm not a problem, I'm human and I'm just reacting from my traumas.
5. What has it taught you about yourself?
I am so resilient. I will always stand up and find my feet each time I fall. And I've also
realized how much empathy I have, which I think has a lot to do with my experiences with
6. Have you found anything helpful in coping with it?
I write a lot and that's my main therapy. As well as lots of cuddles with my dog. Finding
a healthy outlet where you can feel supported and let out those feelings is so important for
7. Describe a time in which you felt empowered after doing something in spite of
My dad died in 2014 to suicide and I got really ill, to the point I tried to take my own life.
The next few years were hard but eventually I wrote a short e-book where I talked about my
father and the affect his death had. I was so scared of what people thought, my anxiety told me I was too dumb to write and my depression said no one cares. But instead I found advocacy and I've been empowered ever since.