Contributed by Haylee
Even though it got more problematic over time, my mental health started slipping when I was only eight years old. This is my story of childhood mental illness.
(TW: suicide, eating disorders)
It started with severe anxiety. I would often have irrational fears of things that weren’t even possible for my circumstances, like my eyeballs falling out. Eventually, in 5th grade, I started having even more irrational fears, along with washing my hands so much that they became red, raw and flaky. I had obsessions and compulsions that were often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
At age 11, I started developing depression and disordered eating. This, towards the end of 5th grade, was the first time I said I wanted to end my life. It was a mess. I was crying a lot, feeling very low self-esteem, obsessing about my weight and thinking too much about what I ate. I even restricted my food intake at some points.
The last year of my childhood, age 12, I spent experiencing hallucinations and paranoia. I saw demons, weird figures and horrifying things. There were two figures in particular, Gingerbread and Gumdrop, who constantly tormented my mind, telling me to do awful things. The paranoia was especially bothersome to the point that I couldn’t function socially, even with once close friends, or new friends, for that matter.
All of these problems continue every now and then, but have been managed a lot better.
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