my bipolar disorder & history with depression.


– Getting ready to film just now, I felt completely fine, and then as soon as I sat
down and pressed record I got the biggest pit in my stomach; but let’s do this. I have been wanting to
tell my mental health story on this channel for so long. I’ve literally sat down
and filmed this video at least 10 times, and I’ve just deleted it every time ’cause it didn’t come out
the way I wanted it to. I’ve been wanting to open
up to you guys about this for a really long time, but I wanted to make sure that
there was a positive outcome. I didn’t want to just sit
down and tell my sob story because, yes, I have been in some
really, really dark places because of my mental illness, but I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on the positives and how far I’ve come
from those dark places, and that if there’s someone out there who is feeling this way, just to know that you’re not alone and that there’s no shame in seeking help. Okay, so. Here is, I guess, my mental health story. If you didn’t know, I am bi-polar depressive; and I’ve said that before on my channel. It shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. But right now I’m in a really, really, really, really, great place. I’m not magically cured of my
mental illness all of a sudden but I have learned really
great coping skills. I have a wonderful
support system around me and things are just good. But they haven’t always been and I really started
to have problems back, I would say freshman year of high school. So I have always been a
very peppy, outgoing person. That’s me on camera. That’s me in real life. I think that’s probably why my parents put me into theater in such a young age. That’s just me. But starting in about my
freshman year of high school I started to occasionally experience these really deep bouts of depression and just this overwhelming feeling of being alone and being misunderstood. The best way that I would describe it is I just wanted to close my
eyes and not exist anymore. Which is dark, and I said we weren’t gonna get dark, but the thing is, I didn’t feel like that all the time. It would come and go and because I felt like I
wasn’t the type of person who was supposed to feel those feelings, I would just shove it down. I wouldn’t address it. People from all walks of life suffer from mental illness but, I think back then because I was this loud, outgoing little blonde girl, I felt like I wasn’t supposed
to feel those feelings. That being depressed was
reserved for people who dyed their hair black and
listened to emo music. But that’s just not the case. All types of people deal
with mental illness. Football players, accountants,
teachers, politicians, loud, obnoxious theater kids. But at that time, I felt like because I naturally am this outgoing, loud, smiley person who loves to sing karaoke
and embarrass herself; I wasn’t allowed to feel that way. And so I suppressed that. I shoved those feelings deep, deep down. I didn’t tell anyone. Not my parents, not the guy I was dating, not my friends, not anyone at my church; and I only allowed myself to actually experience
and feel those feelings late at night when I was alone in my bedroom. I kept it all to myself. So one day I just, I couldn’t deal with it anymore. The pressure of feeling so
distraught and broken inside and putting this facade of happiness and having this perfect
life on the outside just broke me. It got to me and I ended up in a mental hospital. So like I said, got to some dark places. But the good that came out of that is when I got home the cat was kind of out of the bag. The facade was gone. My parents knew what was up. Some of my close friends knew what was up. I wasn’t hiding those
feelings anymore because people knew. And even though that was a really terrible time in my life and a very difficult
season to get through, I think that’s the best thing
that could have happened to me because actually being able to talk about it and get some professional help and not have to pretend
that I’m okay when I’m not was exactly what I needed to get better. And if you take one thing
away from this video, I just really want to encourage you, if you’re feeling this way do not keep it to yourself. Seek help. Talk to someone about it. I mentioned before that a
really important part for me in making this video was making sure that there
was a positive outcome to it. Which is why I’m so excited
that this video has a sponsor. And that sponsor is BetterHelp. BetterHelp is affordable,
private, online counseling and when they reached out to me and were interested in sponsoring a video; I felt like this was
the perfect opportunity. The opportunity I needed to talk about my mental health struggles and shed a light on that while still having a positive outcome and hopefully encouraging some of you guys to seek professional help if you need it. So with BetterHelp you can get access to fully licensed, trained and accredited counselors and therapists. They’re LGBTQ+ friendly. They do couples counseling. And they’ll match you with a
therapist that’s right for you and fits your needs. Someone who really gets ya and let me tell you, that is so important with therapy. When I first started going to counseling, I think I went through four therapists before I found one that I, like, really vibed with. And with BetterHelp you can always switch to a
new counselor really easily if it’s not working out. All you need to do is go to the link in the description, fill out the questionnaire and you can get started today. It’s cheaper than in-person counseling, plans start at just $35 a week. And if money is an issue for you, they actually do offer
financial aid discounts which is great. Making mental health
support more accessible. You can sign up for BetterHelp with the link in the description and when you use my link, it actually does help support the channel. So, I do appreciate that. Now I wanna say that if
you are in immediate danger or thinking about harming yourself, please do not use BetterHelp. I will have a crisis line
linked in the description. Please take care of yourself. And whether you choose to seek support for your mental health through BetterHelp or
with in-person counseling, I’m proud of you. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It takes a lot of strength to finally ask for help. And it’s okay not to feel okay sometimes. So, getting back into my story, shortly after I started therapy I was first diagnosed
with depression and then later diagnosed as bi-polar depressive. Which, honestly, was so incredibly relieving to me to be diagnosed because it was kind of
this validation of like, ‘oh, okay, that makes sense.’ Like, ‘something really is wrong with me.’ ‘There’s a reason I’m
feeling these feelings.’ ‘There’s a chemical imbalance in my brain’ ‘that is causing me to have
all these crazy ups and downs’ It just, it finally
made me feel understood. And then I started working through coping mechanisms with my counselor, opening up to my friends about it, talking with my parents, and bless my parents oh my gosh they were so amazing and
continue to be so amazing through all of this. They helped me get through
so many difficult nights and just did anything that
they could to help me. But through all of that, things slowly started to get better. And it wasn’t immediate. It wasn’t overnight. But I started to value myself. Not only for the happy, peppy person that I was 90% of the time, but also for the darker parts of me that I used to hide. I learned how to deal with
those difficult emotions instead of just bottling them up. I learned that, personally, I feel so much better
when I’m out in nature and when I’m eating healthy. I learned that some of my friends were going through similar trials that they also weren’t talking about. And we were all able to
open up about those things and support each other. And I learned how to
survive those really deep bouts of depression without
taking it out on myself. Like I said earlier, I’m in a really, really
good place right now. My highs way outnumber my lows. I was able to get off my
medication a few years ago. I feel very stable. I have a wonderful support system. But, I don’t think I could
have gotten to this place on my own. I so strongly encourage you to reach out and talk
to the people around you about these things before you get to the place that I did. Seek professional help if you need it and let’s break down that stigma around mental health because the truth is that people from all walks of
life deal with these things and it’s okay to feel that way. Yes, I am peppy, loud, obnoxious, the first person to
volunteer for drunk karaoke but sometimes I get depressed and that’s okay. I can have both. I can be both and that doesn’t
change who I am as a person. And if you do feel like you
might need to talk to someone check out BetterHelp there is a link in the description where you can get access to private, affordable, online counseling. I hope this video helps at
least one person out there to feel less alone and
seek help if you need it. I feel like this has just really been on my heart lately and I just been feeling this like, need to talk about it on my platform. Maybe it’s because one of
you guys needed to hear it. Maybe it’s because God
knew that one of you guys needed to hear it. I don’t know. I just felt like I
needed to talk about it. Or maybe I just needed to
get it off my chest and, and be a little bit more open. I know this isn’t my typical
‘curvy fashion hacks’ or whatever, but, I just, it’s important for me to share all the parts of me with you guys and that doesn’t mean that
the peppy, over-the-top Sierra that I usually am isn’t real. That is real. This is real. People are complex, ya feel? Did that just rhyme? Oh my gosh. That’s embarrassing. (sigh) Anyways, I love you guys. My stomach doesn’t hurt anymore like it did at the beginning of the video. I think I really needed to get this off my chest. So thank you for listening and I will see you on Friday
with another new video. Bye. (upbeat electronic music)

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