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It Took Me 8 Years to Get the Mental Health Help I Needed

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I found myself in a stark white room, itchy from the pilled fabric chair. Sitting next to me was a man in a hospital gown, attempting to pick off and eat the chipped linoleum.

I glanced down at my right thigh, embarrassed and disillusioned by the foot-long bandage. This was rock bottom. I was committed to a mental health institution for a 72-hour suicide watch.

Fresh-faced and hopeful, I moved to the sunshine state when I was 18, not even enough time for my graduation cap to reach the ground.

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