By: Leroy V. and Wren H.

Content warning: This article discusses mental illness, and includes the personal experiences of the authors with things like depression, anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD. 

If you need support, reach out to a trusted adult and/or mental health professional.

Disclaimer from the authors: None of this information should be used for self-diagnosis, you should always ask your doctor about these kinds of things. This information is simply from our own research and self experiences.

1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness. 1 in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

Depression and anxiety usually come hand in hand but in rare cases, one can go without the other while in some cases they can be confused with each other, there is a difference anxiety usually leads to worry, uncontrollable racing thoughts, avoidance of situations,and thoughts of death. depression involves thoughts of everything being hopeless, believing things aren't worth trying, feeling worthless, and lastly thoughts of death.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Leroy V.

ADHD is one of the most common neurological disorders. It is commonly diagnosed at a young age, but in some cases, it is diagnosed later in life. Common symptoms of ADHD are and include trouble multitasking, excessive activity or restlessness, trouble focusing, being forgetful, and poor time management. 

In my experience and views, having ADHD is not a bad thing. It may be a little more difficult to do daily tasks, but I think of it as a gift. Well, not exactly a gift, but I may not be the same person I am today without it. 

I was first diagnosed in about fourth grade, which was around 2017-2018. It was difficult for me to focus or to listen to two commands at once. I also found myself fidgeting a lot in class, so I always had some sort of fidget toy on hand. For example maybe some velcro, or a fidget cube, maybe even a tangle. Most of my teachers were very understanding, especially when I was undiagnosed, but they allowed me to have a fidget.

Even today, I struggle with it, but my sister is usually there to be my emotional support. I’d say prolonged stillness is the main struggle, but it's also the spontaneous thoughts that are also difficult. Also, when doing tasks, I must get them done without interruption or they don't get done for at least a few days. Daily chores also take longer, or they may get put off for later. But that's my view on it.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Wren H.

Unlike people think, PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is not that uncommon. It is estimated that one in 11 people will be diagnosed in their lifetime, and women are twice as likely to be impacted than men. For me, I have medical-related PTSD. It mainly shows when a beeping sound goes off how badly it affects me depending on the day. Nightmares are a common symptom of PTSD for me it shows as a nightly occurrence with my brain thinking I’m going under for surgery. Every day I have to fight my fears and every day it gets a bit easier. For others, PTSD can show up following scary events in their past or times they almost died. 

One of the ways people cope with PTSD is with the color method. You pick one color and you count how many objects there are in your surroundings in that color. Coping mechanisms can come in all shapes and sizes; it could be a calming smell or it could be an object that brings you back to the present. 

Some of the symptoms of PTSD can be insertive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, change in physical and emotional reactions and lastly reliving. Those are just some of the symptoms and some of my stories. I hope this helps.



Leroy V.

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide. The main treatments are usually medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. There are 3 stages of depression - you may be diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe depression. Your mental health professional may diagnose you with depression if these symptoms happen most days and last for at least two weeks. 

For me, depression is a feeling of numbness. It's usually caused by the feeling of being worthless or maybe an interaction where I'm heavily put down. Usually, when going through a depressive state, I lose all my lack of interest in daily activities as well as the desire to eat. But I have people in my life who are always there to support me when I go through this state of mind.


Wren H.

For me, depression takes up the deepest well of sadness and feeling like I’m worth nothing, and that the pain in my life is deserved. I struggle every day, but some days I can see the light. Although days are few and far between, when I see the light it makes me not just stronger as a person, but it makes me capable to do things I thought I couldn't do, like survive my worst days. And I have. I’m also finally finding peace in writing novels, music, and of course for the Lime Green Giraffe - anything to be heard so I can tell everyone else that they are not alone.


Leroy V.

Anxiety is a very common thing today. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal stress reaction. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. 

Some common symptoms of anxiety include: feeling nervous, restless, or tense; having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom; having an increased heart rate; breathing rapidly (hyperventilation); sweating; trembling; feeling weak or tired; trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry. 

Most of the time, when I'm experiencing anxiety, I'll go into a state of panic or worry. I will be on very high alert and watching everything very closely. How I help get rid of my anxiety or anxiety attacks, is to put my headphones on and focus on the music. Another great coping skill for anxiety is to have a fidget toy because you can release your stress and anxiety into the toy and it helps tremendously. Another great way to handle it is to just remove yourself from the area, get fresh air and breathe calmly. 


Wren H.

Anxiety is hard to process for me. It starts, and then gets worse and worse until I’m drowning when I’m stressed, so stressed that my depression also starts as my mind goes in circles about every bad thing that has ever happened to me. Physically, my skin gets itchy and uncomfortable; and my breathing goes in and out, sometimes stopping for long periods or is faster than usual. For me, my anxiety is the easiest to deal with out of my other mental health concerns because of some of the techniques I’ve learned to curb it. For example, I state facts and try to show myself the truth of my problems instead of listening to my anxiety - these tools and facts are friends when I get like this.


Leroy V.

I won't be talking about my triggers, but I do want to explain exactly what a trigger is. Triggers are somewhat related to PTSD. A trigger is a stimulus that elicits a reaction. For example, an event could be a trigger for a memory of an experience and an accompanying state of emotional arousal. 

Sometimes on social media, someone will say “Oh my gosh that's such a trigger,” without showing any sort of symptoms of a trigger. The word trigger can be offensive, or people don't use it in the correct context. For example, if someone has gone through a very traumatic experience, something with similar attributes to that experience could trigger the person. But if someone says playfully, “Omg you just triggered me” that could be them using it in the wrong context. 

A lot of times, not everyone exactly knows what a trigger is. So that is how they can get confused and think it's okay to joke about it. 

Mental Health Facilities

Leroy V.

Mental health facilities are places where people can go if they are in a heavy mental health crisis. I think most times when people think of mental facilities, they think of straight jackets and small padded rooms. Although those do exist, there are also many other kinds. Some examples are: Residential, Long Term, and Outpatient.

I’m not very comfortable talking about my experiences with mental health facilities, but if you are wanting to know more about them or know someone who is going to be registered, just make sure to find a place where they are nice, understand the situation, and are equipped to that person’s needs. I personally hesitate to recommend them for a number of reasons, but also these facilities generally help teach good coping skills and other ways to let out your feelings without hurting someone, including yourself.


  • American Psychiatric Association -


  • Mayo Clinic -



  • The Blackberry Center -

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