Senior utilizes positivity to manage mental health

Rebekah De Priest, Managing editor

The transition from middle to high school is difficult for many students. The new environment and workload have potential to harm one’s mental health, making life and these changes even harder cope with.

For senior Angela Blinne, this transition was especially rough. She struggled to balance classes, extracurriculars, and time for family and friends on what seemed like a teetering tower of exhaustion. However, with many others by her side and many new experiences, Blinne has found that staying positive and self-aware has allowed her to become a happier person, and it has allowed her to be there for others when they may need it most.

Coming into her freshman year, Blinne took on much more than she could handle in an attempt to show everyone she was capable of the heavy workload high school provided. When her mental health began to suffer, she consulted her mother, who informed her depression and anxiety run in the family. From there, Blinne was able to get prescribed medicine to help and began attending therapy.

“I went to get checked out by the doctor and they thought they should take me to therapy,” Blinne said. “So, I went there, and they were like ‘Yeah, we should get you on some medicine, and let’s keep on doing therapy.’”

Sophomore year, however, Blinne was still struggling under the weight of classes, especially later in the year as she prepared for a trip to Australia over spring break.

“I was going from six in the morning to nine at night with no breaks, and I didn’t have a lunch either because I also was taking too many classes,” Blinne said.

When spring break came and Blinne flew out to Australia, her mental health worsened, so overwhelmed by life that she began to have suicidal thoughts.

Blinne once again talked with her parents and her therapist, and was admitted to Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center shortly after returning to Colorado, where she was able to begin the path to getting better.

“It just helps to be in a place where you’re really focusing on yourself,” Blinne said.

The staff showed Blinne how to positively change her thought patterns as she focused on improving her mental well-being. The therapists she worked with taught Blinne how to put things in perspective rather than dwell on irrational thoughts. From there, she felt ready and capable to begin thinking and taking more time for herself.

Some of the biggest contributing factors to Blinne’s recovery have been her open system communication with those close to her and her ability to make positive changes in her life.

When she noticed she was struggling with issues such as perfectionism or comparing herself to her peers, she changed habits that furthered those issues in exchange for positive encouragement and outside support.

“I just kind of started reassuring myself and telling people so when I do get really anxious, my family and friends can know the signs and really just remind me that I’m doing my best with what I have,” Blinne said.

Blinne’s change in mindset has also affected her view of the world around her. She has found she has more empathy for people, and tries to think about what they may be going through before she judges them. It is also easier for her and her friends to help each other through rough patches, understanding what they have gone through and how to help.

“You feel like you have someone there with you going through the same thing,” Blinne said. “Being with others in hard times, whether they’re going through hard times or you’re going through hard times can really create a bond.”

From it all, Blinne has grown immensely through her four years in high school. The support and positivity of her family and friends was able to pull her from a dark place and guide her to where she is now. Blinne wants those going through difficult times to know that these struggles are more common than many think, and it is important to practice positivity and self advocation, as well as to understand it is OK to reach out for help.

“Find people with similar circumstances and talk to them,” Blinne said. “Also know doing too much is just as bad for your mental health as doing too little; get involved but not over committed.”