My struggle with mental health began at an early age. It wasn’t until I started learning more about mental illnesses and mental well being that I realized I had been struggling with general anxiety and depression for a long time. The paradigm shift between understanding mental health and mental illnesses as issues and not just “who I was” or as “just being emotional” took a lot of effort. Dealing with mental illness or bad mental health wasn’t easy then, and still isn’t easy now. Finding people in a culture that doesn’t really acknowledge mental issues as problems is challenging and leads to greater insecurities and personal issues. When the people closest to you think you’re just being dramatic or don’t really understand what you’re going through it leaves you in a tough place. Be the friend that educates themselves and starts that conversation.