Anna Buffington - Pennsylvania Interview by Zoe D’Angelo Nomination by Natika Buffington Photography by Sherry Wilkinson Photography Issue 23 - Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Anna is an inspiring teen due to her mental disability. She suffers from MDD and anxiety. Throughout the years Anna has taught her peers what the face of Bipolar looks like. One day in class a boy referred to something as being “bipolar”. Anna turned around and asked him what bipolar was and what does it look like? He couldn't answer. She then pointed to herself and told him, “This is the face of bipolar.” He was stunned. Her teacher overheard the conversation and emailed me thinking I would be upset with her. It was honestly one of the best moments of being her parent!
To start off, I wouldn’t say I “suffer” from my mental disorders. I have them and they are a part of me, that’s it. I deal with anxiety, which causes me to overthink many situations within my daily life, and even makes me back out of doing certain things because I often doubt myself. My MDD causes me at times to become super depressive, not want to talk, eat, or even associate with others. When in that depressive state, I usually just sit around because I cannot sleep either.
To deal with these disorders I am on two different medications that kind of mellow out how I’m feeling. I also see a therapist regularly who gives me different coping mechanisms. Most people use the term “bipolar” when they mean indecisive. They usually use it to characterize someone who changes their mind frequently, but that is not bipolar.
What they don’t see is the nights crying because you feel like you are inadequate compared to everyone around you. They do not see the family members trying to cheer you up in any way possible, while you sit there and disregard all their actions.
People with similar disorders should be aware that they do not have to be ashamed of it. They should know that it is okay to ask for help whenever they need it, and they are not an inconvenience for asking. If they did not feel comfortable talking about it, it is better off to give them their space, because that may be all they need.
I learned to not take my disorders so seriously, and to be open and honest about them. They aren’t something that needs to be hidden, because there isn’t anything to be ashamed about. People cannot help that they have mental disorders, so the best thing to do is to embrace them, since it causes more damage fighting them.
Anna will be featured in Issue 23 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!