Learning to Conquer Anxiety: My Mental Health Journey

By Chloe, Children's Hospital Colorado Patient Ambassador

Thursday, Oct 10 2019

Chloe

I have always been an extremely driven, competitive, and perfectionistic person. As a kid, this manifested itself in my soccer. Stepping onto the field gave me a much-needed outlet where I could work hard to be the best. However, it was this aspect of my life where I first started to experience anxiety.

Due to the pressure I put on myself to be successful, I began to have overwhelming and debilitating bouts of anxiety. Even at a young age, anxiety dictated my life.

Living with anxiety was a challenge, but when my older brother began to display symptoms of bipolar disorder, it got worse. I desperately wanted to make things better for him, but I felt helpless. His struggles with mental health were severe, and despite seeking help, he eventually took his own life.

After his death, my own mental health deteriorated rapidly. The realization that at any moment someone I care about could die made me angry and depressed. I became numb, watching everyone around me move through life while I felt like I couldn’t take a single step. My anxiety became crippling and life became unbearable. A year later I attempted to kill myself. 

After my suicide attempt, I found myself at Children’s Hospital Colorado. There I spent time in the inpatient unit and experienced the intervention I so desperately needed. Children’s Hospital Colorado provided me with the opportunity to pull myself out of the negative spiral I had fallen into. It gave me the skills necessary to manage my depression and anxiety while simultaneously teaching my parents how to best support me.    

The quality of care at Children’s Hospital Colorado is unparalleled and should be available for any adolescent who is struggling with their mental health. This is why support for the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado is of utmost importance. This support means more kids like me can receive life-saving treatment and, ultimately, prevent the occurrence of stories like my brother’s.

Comments

Chloe - Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. I am grateful that you have gotten the help you need and were brave enough to share your pain, your struggle, and the light at the end of the tunnel. You have a beautiful smile. You are special and the world needs more people like you in it! Keep fighting the fight.
Posted by Alisha on October 21, 2019
It’s nice to read that somebody is getting help. My own son has been referred for mental health services. He has been a patient at TCH since he was 6 months old due to a handful of congenital medical issues. He is now 10. So far this year he’s threatened suicide and to bring a knife to school and “harm” h is classmates. The mental health unit at children’s hospital has told me it will be eight months before they can get him into see an outpatient provider. None of the psychologist in the clinics we already access will see children on a regular bases. I worry every day for his safety and the safety of those around him and my heart hurts for having to watch him struggle without support for eight months.
Posted by Anonymous on October 17, 2019
It’s so hard when your adolescent is struggling and the program at Children’s is so impacted that you can’t even get them in to be seen.
Posted by Anonymous on October 15, 2019
I'm so glad you got the help you needed! I hope that you continue to flourish in managing your depression and anxiety. It's not always easy to admit we need help or to reach out for it. I'm so glad you did! You are a very brave and strong person.
Posted by Nic on October 15, 2019
Thank you for sharing your story Chloe. Reading about your struggles and strength brought tears to my eyes. As the mom of a son who has been hospitalized at Children’s for physical health issues 4 times, and now is beginning to struggle with anxiety, It’s inspiring to read about your ability to work though your anxiety issues with the help with Chikdrens. I wish you a future filled with lightness, joy and love. You deserve it!
Posted by Patients mom on October 15, 2019

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