Trauma to Drama
May 11th, 2019
Victoria, who studies drama and theater at Lipscomb University, shares her experiences with anxiety and PTSD after a traumatic car accident.
NAME — Victoria Thompson
AGE — 21
OCCUPATION — Theatre student at Lipscomb University
HOMETOWN — Spring Hill, TN
FUN FACT — Victoria can make balloon animals
How would you define yourself?
“I’m an artist, goofy, tall, empathetic, and a cat lover.”
What is your experience with mental illness?
“I was diagnosed with anxiety as a child and grew up with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). That was always my main struggle. My depression started during college and is both situational and seasonal. Last fall, I was in a car accident, which led to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which I started taking medication for last October.”
Have you ever gone to counseling? If so, what was your experience like and what would you tell others about counseling?
“I’ve been to therapy for three years and have had three different counselors. The first one wasn’t great. My second counselor was great, but she had to move suddenly. My third counselor, who I finished with in December, was the best fit I’ve had. I definitely think everyone could use some form of counseling, but not every counselor is right for everyone. Don’t give up in your search for the right counselor.”
Why are you passionate about mental health awareness?
“Mental health is something that everyone deals with in some way or another. Talking about it is probably the best way to help connect with other people about it and raise awareness. It’s a form of self care to share things you’re struggling with.”
What do you want to change about mental health and awareness of it?
“I think there’s a stigma around it that sometimes makes people ashamed or afraid that it makes them weaker or ‘less’ – like it holds them back. They think they can’t do something because they feel this way. But being more honest about it is the way to overcome it.”
Even though you struggle with mental illness, that doesn't define you. What would you want others to know about yourself?
“I’m hard to get to know at first, but I’m very good at keeping friends. So, if you break through my wall of introversion, you’ll be friends with me forever. Also, with social anxiety, talking to people isn’t my favorite thing.”
What do you want others to know about mental illness?
“If you deal with it, you’re not alone. If you don’t, try to educate yourself on mental health because someone you love definitely does struggle with it. Having that support can change everything.”
My name is Victoria, and I am not defined by my struggle with mental health.
You're Not Alone
About 7 million people in the U.S. suffer from PTSD, but only 50% of those people reach out for on professional help.