My Name is Nicholas
I live with clinical depression.
But I am Not Alone.
At 18 years old, Nicholas, or Nick as his friends call him, seems like the guy who’s got it all together. A pre-med student at UBC-O, talented goalie for the Okanagan Heat, good looks and a loving family. As a child, he travelled the world, went to school in Egypt, played soccer for one of the best teams in Texas. But things aren’t always as perfect as they seem on the outside.
Nicholas lives with clinical depression.
“I felt gray,” he says, describing how it felt when at 10 years old, his perception of the world changed. “I didn’t feel the joy that I saw in my friends.” His family sought help and after a year, Nicholas thought he had ‘beat it’. But he hadn’t.
And so began Nicholas’ journey to find support with his mental illness. He speaks of being afraid to tell his family how dark his days had become, not wanting to crush them, a fear echoed by so many young people living with mental health conditions. He speaks of the weight of his own expectations to be ‘well’ and his desire to appear like he had it all together, even though things were falling apart on the inside. He speaks of the moment he realized that he was not alone, when he ran into a fellow class mate at his therapists’ office.
Now a passionate advocate for youth mental health causes, Nicholas’ story shines a light on how this illness does not discriminate. “My story shows that anyone can be affected. You don’t have to come from a troubled family, you don’t have to have a difficult childhood… no matter who you are, mental health issues can arise. And there’s nothing you can do without proper treatment.”
Together with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna, we are raising $2million to open Foundry Kelowna, a new integrated care centre to support youth and families living with mental illness and substance issues. Everyone knows someone. This is a cause that touches us all.
Please give to support our young people, and the future mental wellness of our community.Donate to Not Alone Campaign