“I thought being bipolar and suffering from depression was something only crazy people did, so I labeled myself as crazy.
Mental illness can completely take over one’s life, and has a large impact on an individual’s self-esteem. “Since I was in 7th grade, I hated everything about myself,” Barton said. She recalls not having much self-love, and usually kept her sadness to herself.
Barton’s situation never seemed to get better, and she suffered from an emotional breakdown. After realizing that she could no longer do it on her own, she accepted the help that was offered to her. She went through a rehabilitation program where she learned how to live with her illnesses, and not let them control her life.
Getting help was not easy. “The hardest thing for me was accepting myself knowing I had these illnesses,” Barton said. “[Asking for help] can be scary.”
Barton’s courage to ask for help, however, helped her to see how strong her support system is at home. “I am so grateful for my family,” Barton said.