For a lot of problems, the first step to solving them is admitting there is one.

A year ago, I didn't want to admit that I had trouble controlling my own anxiety and depression.

You might be asking, "how did you get there?" Well, I can sum it up most briefly by saying three moves within a span of five years and job changes can be a little stressful for anyone. I thought I could handle it. I thought moving and a "change of scenery" was the answer to solving my anxiety. While I've been pretty blessed in response to those life changes, the moves didn't "cure me" at my core. I had to learn to navigate new challenges. That, single-handedly, made me go bonkers.

After going without any mental health treatment for three years, I finally had my nervous breakdown on April 18th, 2017. I left work early. I simply couldn't deal. That afternoon I made an appointment with my primary care at Mayo Clinic in hopes of speeding up the treatment process. I was in the doctor's office the next day and asked to take two surveys which would assess how my anxiety and depression was affecting me.

All I truly remember about that appointment was breaking down halfway through the "depression portion" because it was obvious to me that I had to add depression to my "list" for treatment too. I apologized to my doctor for the outburst, and she simply smiled and let me have a moment to collect myself.

I didn't get it. Aren't depressed people the ones who just sleep in bed all day and have zero motivation? Not quite - it's pretty much the epitome of hopelessness.

I had a prescription filled for Celexa that night, and I've been on it since. I also partook in two months of therapy after, per Mayo's recommendation.

When the emotional scars heal, you finally reflect on your choices and make better ones. Once I reflected on the treatment process I went through, I found myself amazed at how fast my therapist and primary care doctor responded to my crisis. They knew I was hurting, and they helped.

I'm not so sure this would've happened in my native Pittsburgh. There's literally a crazy three or six-month long waiting list to see a therapist most times. I'm so grateful that Mayo Clinic, and Rochester itself, recognizes mental health struggles and doesn't waste time assessing them.

If you're a local and needing help, I highly recommend taking in what our own city has to offer.

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