Bullied, Depressed & Anxious: How Helping Others Helped Me
headspace Day takes place on 9 October to raise awareness of youth mental health.
Growing up, school was not a happy place for me and things were tough in about grade 4 and I started to get bullied. By the time I was in grade 7, I was bullied to the point of having anxiety attacks, and I was suffering from depression. I would also get asthma attacks from anxiety, I was not attending school for a while with a recommendation from my doctor. I was a sad and lonely boy.
I saw my dad twice over the years, and he would never return my calls. Mum was around, but just living her life. I felt discarded.
By about age 12 I saw an advertisement for headspace looking for committee members. I applied and joined the youth engagement committee and it was the best experience! Being on the committee gave me so much confidence, and surrounded by such amazing, positive people. My life just got so much better and I felt I was finally accepted and valued. I worked very hard at school studying my music, and I think choosing to join headspace was probably my best life decision at 12 years-old.
One challenge I had to face was dealing with my lack of confidence and self-worth when I was younger, because of circumstances beyond my control. What I learnt was that I am a pretty decent person, and I think helping other young people was actually what helped me the most. Linking in with other young people who had some similar stories reminded me that I wasn’t alone. Where I had always looked down I was now holding my head up and I was part of a change.
headspace has helped me to find myself and find value. I had been mostly let down by adults over the years, so finding a safe place where I could trust people was really important to me. headspace is such a huge part of my story and my life, so much so, I can’t really tell my story without talking about what headspace did for me.
I’ve also found my passion for music and I’ve followed my path and worked really hard to get to where I am now. I am carving out a career for myself, which is amazing as when the bullying was happening I nearly gave up on music. I don’t think I would have stuck with it if I had not joined headspace. As a young musician I write songs which are a great way to express myself. I wrote a song called ‘Cool’, which is actually an anti-cool song about staying on your own path, and being happy with who you are.
My mental health and wellbeing management has changed over the years. I do practical things like, time management to help me not burn out when my schedule is busy. I like to try and keep a perspective on life and I look at life as a bit of a roller coaster. I am not flattened by the lows or overwhelmed by the highs. I take my time to make decisions and remember to have time out when I need it. I have also done meditation and exercise, which are both great.
- Mason, 18
Do you need urgent help?
If you have hurt yourself or need immediate help, call emergency services: 000.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and in need of support, you can contact these 24/7 crisis support services:
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Lifeline: 13 11 14