Today on the podcast we continue with our theme for May, hope to cope, and it coincides perfectly with mental health awareness month. People have shared their stories about hope and how they take care of their mental health on our social media and the podcast, and today Sherry’s son Clay joins the conversation. As a teenage boy, Clay experienced paralyzing depression and anxiety after he had to give up swimming following an injury. Not relating much to his peers at school, his sense of isolation escalated and soon turned into negative self-talk, which made him increasingly depressed. But he didn’t initially think he needed help as he believed that his mental and emotional state was just part of who he was, keeping him quiet about the turmoil inside. Eventually, he reached out for help and started on the journey to healing, which included choosing carefully who he shared with, spending less time on social media, and exploring the activities he loved doing like reading, writing, and playing music. Clay talks about how his experiences have allowed him to help others who are facing similar challenges, how therapy did and did not help him, why you shouldn’t accept depression and anxiety, and more.
Key Points From This Episode:
“I think the biggest stressor for me personally—and it’s been this way for a long time—is that I’m extremely hard on myself; an extreme perfectionist. But then I can also check out from being a perfectionist but I don’t necessarily stop beating up myself so I do things poorly but I just get even angrier at myself for doing things poorly.” — Clay Burkhard [0:06:07]
“My biggest concern was just being afraid of realizing that I was not okay because I knew that but to have other people tell me that is a whole other thing.” — Clay Burkhard [0:16:50]
“I’m very happy with where I am now and the experiences I had because I feel like they give me a unique opportunity to relate to other people and see the world in a different light that I probably wouldn’t have seen before.” — Clay Burkhard [0:28:53]
“It’s not easy to get to the other side but if you really commit to it and dedicate yourself towards that process of overcoming it can be extremely fruitful.” — Clay Burkhard [0:32:03]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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