Many employees at Therapy Brands have a personal connection to mental and behavioral health. This series highlights why helping providers matters to them.
My name is Alana Daniels. I am the Manager of Integration Programs here at Therapy Brands. I wanted to share my mental health story and why working for TBH means so much to me.
Growing up, I unfortunately experienced various forms of abuse as a small child. Being so young and having no idea how to tell my family, I did my best to cope on my own. The first, quickest, and most prominent coping mechanism was food – I believed that in order to protect myself, I needed to be bigger so that way no one would want to touch me or bother me in a way that wasn’t psychologically or physically safe. Over the next several years, I also experienced relentless bullying and developed another coping mechanism – self-harm. I undeniably loved harming myself because I felt it gave me the the ability to be in control: I could choose when I harmed myself, how, the intensity, etc.
If you or someone you know are experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. You can also chat with them at https://988lifeline.org/chat. También está disponible en español.
During all of those years and even now, I continued to be outgoing, an “includer”, and tried to be a light for others because I knew how darkness felt. I tried several different anxiety and depression medications, and those kept me “at bay” for the most part -until they didn’t.
Fast forward to March of last year. I just felt incredibly dark inside but could not figure out why. I had just started a new job I was excited about; I was consistent with my medications, going to the gym, in therapy – doing all that I could for myself. Unfortunately, it only got darker. At the end of May, I found myself in the lowest place I had ever been, with a notebook full of usernames and passwords for all of my accounts, just in case I could not make it out. During a mental health appointment, I learned about ketamine infusion therapy and got set up immediately. I figured “this has to be it”. I began a series of 6 treatments over the course of 3 weeks.
I mean this with everything in me – those treatments saved my life. The week after my final treatment, I was laid off from the job I had started only a few months prior. Had I not gone through those treatments, I am not confident that I’d be sharing this with you all now. I looked at my lay-off as a redirection to something better, more meaningful, and that it was.
While desperately looking for a new role, I wanted to make sure that the company I chose to align myself with was making a genuine difference in the world. Mental health has always been incredibly important to me, and the stars aligned for me to happily accept a role here at Therapy Brands. I’ve been able to come off all depression and anxiety medications a few months following my final treatment as well – which is HUGE. I am fulfilled each day knowing that I have a small part of a beautiful ripple effect into the mental health space.
Even the brightest, most outgoing people can struggle – and that is okay. I know it can feel exhausting to reach out, but please do, it can get better 🌞