Teens Who Struggle With Mental Illness
I’m sharing this story of one teen’s struggle with mental illness on her behalf, and at her request. Too often, this is when these struggles typically begin.
Emma is a friend of my teenage daughter, Bailey. They met in school, and quickly became close. As they began to hang out more often, I got to know Emma better. Both she and Bailey have shared with me some of the events that have occurred in her life, as well as her mental health struggles because of these events.
I think it’s a difficult topic to discuss for anyone, let alone a teenager. This is already such a complicated and stressful time in most of our lives. Add in traumatic and/or life altering events, and it can be devastating. In Emma’s case, she handles it as best she can. She is getting help for her mental health, and luckily has caring and compassionate friends.
From what I’ve gotten to know about Emma, she is a sweet and soulful teenager, who has had to endure some harsh realities. While she prefers not to discuss the details, she wanted to share some of her story. Hopefully this will help other teens who struggle with mental illness too.
Emma’s childhood was a little rocky, with parents who were dealing with their own personal struggles. At some point in Emma’s life, her parents separated, which is a more common occurrence than we think. This can be very hard on the child or children involved.
When Emma was just 12 years old, the unimaginable happened. She lost both her mom and dad within just four months of each other, from separate health issues. She’d barely had time to digest one loss, before she had to deal with another. All of this happening at the most vulnerable of times in a child’s life.
As a result, Emma has had to battle multiple mental illnesses, including anxiety and PTSD. There are some parts of Emma’s struggle she prefers to keep private, but just these two diagnoses alone are a lot to handle. Emma uses multiple coping techniques to help, but it will take time for her to work through the traumatic events in her life, as well as working on her mental health.
Fortunately, Emma’s stepmom stepped up, and took Emma and her brother in, and she is their primary caregiver. As both a mom and a stepmom myself, I can’t imagine how hard this has to be on everyone involved. Again, I don’t know every detail of the situation, but with what I do know, my heart goes out to all of them.
Emma’s Current Goals
Despite everything she’s been through, and continues to go through, Emma is a great kid. She’s very talented, she loves to draw and paint, and she has a beautiful singing voice. The first time I heard her sing I was very impressed. Her creativity and passion has the potential to take her far!
Emma’s goal right now is to continue to improve and heal, and be as normal of a teen as she can be. She’s currently trying to raise money for a service dog to help her with her PTSD symptoms. To help support her cause, I asked if I could share her story with you, and I’m so glad she agreed!
Our hopes are to help raise awareness for teens who struggle with mental illness – and to help Emma with her own diagnoses.
There are two ways Emma is trying to raise money – She is selling her original artwork, and she has also created a GoFundMe page. Owning a psychiatric service dog to help with PTSD can be a very healing experience.
PTSD Service Dogs can:
- help adjust serotonin levels
- help lower blood pressure
- help with episodes of depression
- provide companionship
- calm their handler
- prevent people from crowding around or rushing up on their handler
To help Emma with being able to afford her own service dog, please visit her GoFundMe page at http://gf.me/u/mf4ayp. Every donation helps, no matter how big or small! Sharing her story will help too!
Artwork and Designs by Emma
Emma is also selling her original artwork to help raise funds as well. I’ll be sharing some of her designs here for you to purchase if you’d like to help support her cause. (And have an awesome original piece of artwork, of course.)
Any of her artwork can be customized with a favorite quote, custom colors, or the semi-colon as well. If you’d like a custom made design, you can DM me on Facebook @anxietygirljess, and I will put the request in for you. Payments for artwork can be made as a donation towards Emma’s GoFundMe goal!
Here are just some of Emma’s original designs:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read Emma’s story. I hope you will enjoy her artwork as much as I have, and I also hope this will help raise awareness for teens who struggle with mental illness.