I've dealt with depression/anxiety on & off for quite a few years now, and I'd like to think that in that time, I've found ways to manage it better. At the very least, I can better recognize these patterns within myself, and even that by itself can be a huge advantage.
I can also say that after quite a few years of false starts and trial & error, I've found something that I'm genuinely good at and feel that I could help people with in the future. Between being just less mature/focused at the time and less able to deal with anxiety & depression problems that popped up, it took me longer than I care to admit to earn my Associate's Degree. But for the past year since I transferred colleges I've been working fairly steadily toward my Bachelor's in English & Education programs, and my family has been very supportive, both emotionally and financially. Both my mother and father seem to think that this is a respectable career path, which is important to me. Just knowing all the stress they have to deal with from pretty much every other angle of the family, I really aspire to the kind of kid that's quiet & consistent in the background. More than anything, I'd really like to make some money for them someday, at least enough to move them out to the West Coast or something, away from all these people taking advantage of them.
But I find that the depression & anxiety really has a way of creeping up on me at times. If there were nothing going on, or if all I had to do was show up and put in time for a certain set of hours, it wouldn't bother me as much, but for these classes, where I do need my mind to be pretty active & productive for the most part, I'm pretty much constantly aware that this could very well derail my education/career path, which is probably exacerbating the problem, a lot of the time.
I've been aware that I've been "on the edge" with this for quite some time, as I had a pretty consistent pattern of just barely getting assignments done on time because of the anxiety weighing your mind down. But the feelings of shame and fear of failure were generally enough to motivate me over the finish line, so to speak. And maybe the longer that went on, the more convinced I became that that was always how it was going to be. Over time, I went from thinking, "You've got a problem, kid–You've got to work on this," to "Well, maybe this is just how my mind works."
I guess I just don't know how to "reach out" or if I even should.