Hello, my name is Madeline. I am 14, in the 8th grade and I am a passionate artist. I also live with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
I grew up with an emotionally, verbally and sometimes physically abusive father. I developed my mental illnesses during this time after constantly walking on eggshells. Since I was 7, I remember having suicidal ideations to end it all.
My parents separated when I was 9 and were divorced when I was 10. Since then, my depression has come in and out of my life giving me the same ideas. Finally, when I was 12, I couldn’t take it any longer. I told my mom what was happening and she took me to a therapist right away. For 4 months I was put on medication but that didn’t help. My life was a mess, my family was falling apart, I didn’t know what to do.
After 2 hospitalizations, my medication was finally changed. I started to feel whole again and my depression got better. I found a school, PACE Center for Girls, and started getting help there with therapy and counseling along with academics. A year later, I look back, and see how far I’ve come.
Now I face my days through prayer, art, writing, and snuggling with my dog. I put my emotions and dangerous thoughts out on paper. I leave my body and everyone else alone. This year I am proud to say that I worked really hard at my art and nailed my interview at Douglas Anderson for visual arts during high school!
I’m not afraid to share my story and who I am. I hope my story encourages others to seek help and inspires them to fight in a constructive way. Remember, you don’t have to be an artist to paint, draw or use art as a coping skill. Thanks for reading!