These Mental Health Glow-Ups Are Proof That It Gets Better
"Learning that you're not alone is a major part of recovery."
Recently we asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their "mental health glow-ups." Here are some of the brave and inspiring results we received.
Warning: Some of these images and stories may be disturbing to the reader. Also, treatment for mental health is deeply personal and what works for one person might not work for you, so always consult with your doctor about your own health and wellness.
1. "I'm mentally and physically stronger than ever."
2. "My therapist recommended using mindfulness."
"I was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression and social anxiety last year when my baby was four months old. At that time, my days consisted of me lying on the floor while my son played because I simply had no energy or desire to do anything other than keep my son alive and happy. My marriage was on the rocks, I had no friends, and I had constant suicidal ideation. Then I took the step to start therapy and my life changed. My therapist recommended using mindfulness and it absolutely changed my life. Today my marriage is stronger than ever and I feel free for the first time in my life. I am actually myself now, and that is amazing to me." —savannahl4fb56b06b
3. "I fought for a new medication."
"Last December, I would only wake up to sob my way back to sleep. I finally got to a psychiatrist and fought for new medication: he finally prescribed Latuda. A few days after I started taking it, everything changed. I was getting out of bed again, answering my phone, brushing my teeth — all the things that go out the window when deep depression hits. I smiled again on December 28th and haven’t looked back." —alyssab1987
4. "I can work my ass off and at least give myself that."
5. "I decided to do something for myself."
"After struggling with depression and anorexia my whole life, I decided to do something for myself and I took an aerial silks class. Suddenly, I felt happy and strong, and I had to take care of myself in order to keep up with it. I've now been training in circus acrobatics for three years and I wouldn't trade it for anything." —m44932a784
6. "Seeking treatment for my eating disorder was the best decision I ever made."
7. "I quit the job that was weighing me down."
"During my junior year of college, I was a resident advisor and a biology major. My course load was overwhelming and I ended up having severe panic attacks three to five times a week. Then I started therapy. I quit the job that was weighing me down, switched my major to nursing, and got a kitten. You can always make it through, no matter how impossible it may seem!" —samanthaw44b4f7c82
8. "Accept your mental illness, recognize it, and work with it."
9. "I found a community through social media."
"I was a frail kid, cognitively disabled, and gay. I became depressed and struggled with anxiety and OCD, and eventually lost an academic scholarship. Thankfully, I discovered Tumblr and VK. It was on these social media platforms that I discovered intersectional feminism and was able to connect with others in the LGBTQ+ community. Now I'm at school again (on a scholarship!), I'm top of my class, and I've made friends that accept me for who I am and support me no matter what." —uhaya
10. "It took me two years to find the right medication and doctor, but I'm so happy now."
11. "I now have a toolbox of coping mechanisms."
"When I developed an eating disorder in college, I was told by my doctor that my kidneys were failing and I was weeks away from death. I knew it was time to seek the help I so desperately needed. After two months of residential treatment, I was finally on the road to recovery. I’m happy and proud to say that by my wedding day, I was in a much, MUCH better place, both mentally and physically. Today, I am fully recovered from my eating disorder (and have been symptom-free for going on two years now), but I still struggle with my other mental illnesses on a daily basis. Some days are much more challenging than others, but unlike before, I now have a toolbox of coping mechanisms as well as professional support from an excellent therapist and psychiatrist, all of which has helped tremendously." —Lexirose0520
12. "Knowing my diagnoses gave me courage and reassurance."
"Getting my mental illnesses diagnosed and treated not only helped stabilize me mentally and emotionally, but also gave me the courage and reassurance to pursue a career in medicine." —jordanh452db4d1b
13. "Acting as a mentor to kids renewed my sense of purpose."
14. "I now plan on studying to become a social worker."
"Back in 2014, I was hospitalized twice for suicidal ideation. I was so depressed that I couldn’t hold down a job or even live safely on my own. However, I was lucky enough to be able to move back in with my family and have access to comprehensive mental healthcare. Finally after three years of intensive treatment, I'm proud to say that I've been accepted to an Ivy League graduate school where I plan on studying to become a social worker." —anotsmallgirl
15. "I now feel much more confident about myself and who I want to be."
16. "I've transformed my body from frail and sick to strong."
"At the start of 2017, like usual, ALL of my friends began dieting. Unlike most years, I felt very insecure that everyone would actually stick to their resolution and get into shape. Being someone who is diagnosed with general anxiety, OCD and depression, I started to obsess over the idea of being thinner than all my friends. Being a social worker, I was well aware I had began to develop an eating disorder and it became very obvious to the people around me. But since then, I’ve joined CrossFit and I eat healthily. I’ve transformed my body from frail and sick to strong. My physical change is great, but my mental change is even better!" —courtneybetch
17. "I finally feel like a whole person again."
18. "My family is my glow-up."
"I lived with an eating disorder for three years. Although I still struggle with my relationship with food, I'm now in a supportive relationship seven years later with the best husband, I have the most clever and wonderful daughter, and two amazing dogs. My family is my glow-up." —cbentley0814
19. "I’ve learned to love myself and my body and that's been the most amazing glow-up!"
20. "I can't even recognize the person I was three+ years ago, and I'm totally okay with that!"
"I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and PTSD for several years. I began using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, and soon became extremely reliant on them. I couldn't hold on to a job, my relationships were strained, and I was in and out of hospitals and rehabs. Now, I'm approaching three years of sobriety, I will be graduating from college this semester with a 4.0 GPA, and I have learned healthy coping skills. I can't even recognize the person I was three+ years ago, and I'm totally okay with that!" —kelseyk4ddd0391a
21. "Learning that you're not alone is a major part of recovery."
22. "Even though my life isn’t always perfect, it’s MINE."
"I was hospitalized for depression and suicidal thoughts at 16, and my mental health has been a roller coaster ever since. As I've grown up, I've worked at breaking the stigma behind mental illness by openly talking about my depression and anxiety, as well as the facts that I’m on medication and seeing a therapist. I've realized IT'S OKAY to need a little help sometimes! I still have bad days, but now I’m able to take a deep breath, look around my house that I share with my husband and our two cats, and realize that even though my life isn’t always perfect, it’s MINE." —stephanied4bf8f054a