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It is no doubt that disabilities create many challenges and hurdles for those who suffer
from them. Actually, people do not suffer from disabilities, rather, they live with them.
Disabilities, whether physical or mental, become apart of an individual. You learn to live with it.
You learn how to overcome those hurdles and how to get through the many challenges you
have to face. Not because the person wants to, but because they have to in order to live out
their day-to day lives. With that being said, physical disabilities are easier to understand, as they
are very clear and easy to see. Mental illness, on the other hand, is something that hasn’t been
talked about enough until recently. When a person’s brain is sick, it cannot be seen or visualized
without the use of medical technology. Ultimately, these illnesses are often swept under the rug
or are glossed over as something less severe. Within the past few years, however, people are
speaking up. Society is beginning to talk about mental illness in the same way that we talk about
physical disabilities; we have started a mental health revolution.
When one thinks of mental illness, they probably automatically think of anxiety and
depression as they are two of the most common. Anxiety is a difficult disability to understand;
we all feel anxiety at one point or another, which is often why it is brushed off. Those who live
with an anxiety disorder, or even multiple, know how crippling and life altering the disorder(s)
can be. Anxiety can change the way one lives their everyday life, but it can also come in
unexpected waves. Everybody’s anxiety is different, and it is ultimately almost impossible to
describe and understand until you feel it yourself. Often with anxiety comes depression, and
vice versa. Depression is often described as feelings of “sadness”, when sadness is really only
one little part of the equation. Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, unmotivation, isolation,
sadness, guilt, and self-loathing all come with different levels of depression. When one has
depression, it can be incredibly easy to spend days in bed, sometimes without even having the
motivation to eat. Others may find themselves going about their daily lives normally, and
seemingly happily, while still feeling these other emotions. The reason why I chose to discuss
mental illness, specifically anxiety and depression, is because I personally have lived with both.
I know what these hurdles and challenges are like, and I know how it feels to lay in bed for days
at a time. I have been paralyzed by anxiety and beaten down by depression. However, in spite
of these, I also know growth. I know that these “disabilities” of mine have made me who I am
today, and I now know that these things do not define me.
When I was 13, the words “I am a freak” came out of my mouth, because I legitimately
thought that seeing a psychologist for my anxiety made me a freak. It was very rare that I told
anyone about my anxiety. It wasn’t until I got to university that I began to open up a lot more
about my mental health. I educated myself through research, and I started to realize that asking
for help was not a bad thing, and that it would only benefit me. When I got into second year
university, that’s when the depression hit. I finally began to utilize SAS, and I have only been
understood and accommodated by the faculty and staff at Trent. I never knew that this amount
of good could come out of something I used to believe was so terrible. If I had never gone to the
doctors, or psychologists, or psychiatrists, or services like SAS, I don’t know where I would be
today. Because last year, I sat in the spot I am sitting now, utterly terrified of life. I sat here
wondering if it was worth living anymore. But a year later, because of all the help and
understanding I’ve received, I sit in the same spot, almost a completely different person, writing
you this essay.
Today I advocate for mental illness, because there are so many more other illnesses to
talk about besides anxiety and depression. ADD, PTSD, anorexia, bulimia, bipolar disorder,
mania, schizophrenia, and other illnesses are still not talked about enough and are still
surrounded by a stigma that prevents people from receiving and looking for help. I want to be
part of the mental health revolution, I want to be part of the change. I don’t want anyone else to
feel embarrassed because they have a mental illness, and I don’t want anyone avoiding help
when they know they need it. I want others to know that they do not suffer, they only live with
their disability. Finally, I want them to know that it does get better, these challenges are only
temporary.

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SAS essay

  • 1. It is no doubt that disabilities create many challenges and hurdles for those who suffer from them. Actually, people do not suffer from disabilities, rather, they live with them. Disabilities, whether physical or mental, become apart of an individual. You learn to live with it. You learn how to overcome those hurdles and how to get through the many challenges you have to face. Not because the person wants to, but because they have to in order to live out their day-to day lives. With that being said, physical disabilities are easier to understand, as they are very clear and easy to see. Mental illness, on the other hand, is something that hasn’t been talked about enough until recently. When a person’s brain is sick, it cannot be seen or visualized without the use of medical technology. Ultimately, these illnesses are often swept under the rug or are glossed over as something less severe. Within the past few years, however, people are speaking up. Society is beginning to talk about mental illness in the same way that we talk about physical disabilities; we have started a mental health revolution. When one thinks of mental illness, they probably automatically think of anxiety and depression as they are two of the most common. Anxiety is a difficult disability to understand; we all feel anxiety at one point or another, which is often why it is brushed off. Those who live with an anxiety disorder, or even multiple, know how crippling and life altering the disorder(s) can be. Anxiety can change the way one lives their everyday life, but it can also come in unexpected waves. Everybody’s anxiety is different, and it is ultimately almost impossible to describe and understand until you feel it yourself. Often with anxiety comes depression, and vice versa. Depression is often described as feelings of “sadness”, when sadness is really only one little part of the equation. Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, unmotivation, isolation, sadness, guilt, and self-loathing all come with different levels of depression. When one has depression, it can be incredibly easy to spend days in bed, sometimes without even having the motivation to eat. Others may find themselves going about their daily lives normally, and seemingly happily, while still feeling these other emotions. The reason why I chose to discuss mental illness, specifically anxiety and depression, is because I personally have lived with both.
  • 2. I know what these hurdles and challenges are like, and I know how it feels to lay in bed for days at a time. I have been paralyzed by anxiety and beaten down by depression. However, in spite of these, I also know growth. I know that these “disabilities” of mine have made me who I am today, and I now know that these things do not define me. When I was 13, the words “I am a freak” came out of my mouth, because I legitimately thought that seeing a psychologist for my anxiety made me a freak. It was very rare that I told anyone about my anxiety. It wasn’t until I got to university that I began to open up a lot more about my mental health. I educated myself through research, and I started to realize that asking for help was not a bad thing, and that it would only benefit me. When I got into second year university, that’s when the depression hit. I finally began to utilize SAS, and I have only been understood and accommodated by the faculty and staff at Trent. I never knew that this amount of good could come out of something I used to believe was so terrible. If I had never gone to the doctors, or psychologists, or psychiatrists, or services like SAS, I don’t know where I would be today. Because last year, I sat in the spot I am sitting now, utterly terrified of life. I sat here wondering if it was worth living anymore. But a year later, because of all the help and understanding I’ve received, I sit in the same spot, almost a completely different person, writing you this essay. Today I advocate for mental illness, because there are so many more other illnesses to talk about besides anxiety and depression. ADD, PTSD, anorexia, bulimia, bipolar disorder, mania, schizophrenia, and other illnesses are still not talked about enough and are still surrounded by a stigma that prevents people from receiving and looking for help. I want to be part of the mental health revolution, I want to be part of the change. I don’t want anyone else to feel embarrassed because they have a mental illness, and I don’t want anyone avoiding help when they know they need it. I want others to know that they do not suffer, they only live with their disability. Finally, I want them to know that it does get better, these challenges are only temporary.