A Teen Girl's Mental Health
Coping with Mental Illness

By Nikki, age 18, Pennsylvania

When you think of the term mental illness, you assume someone with a physical disability that talks differently or walks differently. Today that perception has somewhat changed. Many people are mentally ill and barely show any signs of anything abnormal at all. I myself have bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, and ADHD, so when it comes to mental issues, I am very well aware.

The issue in the world today is that many people have disorders and don't even realize it! Many people go through depression and other problems that they think can't be treated, and they feel abnormal and weak compared to everyone else. The main point is that there is hope for teens going through hard times and dealing with emotions and thoughts they do not comprehend. Many teens commit suicide because they didn't know they had a problem, so they didn't reach out for help.

What I'm here to tell you is that there is help, and you don't need to suffer anymore. You don't need to deal with this on your own anymore. I wake up every day confused and anxious, feeling as though my life could easily just crumble and cause me to want to hurt myself. I have irrational fears and troublesome thoughts that I have trouble coping with. Some days I feel like I'm going crazy and I worry that someone could hurt me. It's a hard shoe to fill.

If you're dealing with a mental disorder you know where I'm coming from. The assistance I have to offer you is that when you feel down and out about yourself don't hurt yourself - reach out!

I have learned in life that being blunt is the best way to cope with disorders and to feel better about yourself. If you tell people exactly how you feel they will listen. They might think you're a nut, but trust me, getting those feelings and emotions out really takes a load off. You don't have to live your life wondering if you are okay because no matter how horrible you feel there is always a reason to go on. If you are having trouble finding positive things in your life, and you feel like you can't go on, don't let yourself fall into that lie. You are okay. You will make it through life no matter how much you feel like you won't.

I hope that my personal experience and advice will help you to try to get help. I also hope that it will help you to see yourself in a positive way. Always remember ... No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Thank you, Nikki. As Nikki said, if you feel you are struggling with these kinds of issues, don't hestitate. Contact your doctor, school counselor, religious leader, or a mental health care professional. There is help for you and it will make a difference!

Take care,
Stephanie Lynn

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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