Perspective: I was a well-adjusted, mostly happy 20-year-old. And then I wasn’t.

I’ve never been superstitious, but it was an unlucky day. I woke up at 6 a.m. after a week filled with intense panic attacks. I was sleeping in my parents’ bedroom, something I hadn’t done since I was a child.

I wanted to die.

I was a star student at the University of Florida home for winter break. I’d dealt with anxiety in the past, but never like this.

Things were getting worse, and I was desperate to feel better. Don’t worry, my mom told me. We’re going to get you help.

It turns out, it’s very expensive to be mentally ill in America.

I had my first panic attack when I was 10 years old. It happened when I was in the shower. I got out, hyperventilating and scared. I felt dizzy and like I might faint.

What was that?

I didn’t tell anyone.

– The Tampa Bay Times

Read the full article here.