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Anika Morton, now in therapy, copes with anxiety and depression

Anika Morton hopes to stop the stigma for her three young children in that if they also struggle with mental illness, she'll recognize the signs and be able to get them help.

After 12 years of feeling ashamed to talk openly about her struggles with anxiety and depression, Anika Morton is sharing her story to encourage others to get help.

“I don’t think there’s ever going to be a day in my life that I don’t have anxiety,” Morton said. “I think one day, I might not have to deal with depression as much now that I’m learning how to cope.”

Morton grew up in Kentucky. At 26-years-old, she’s a mom to three young kids. She has a family history of mental health issues. Despite that, Morton went years without a diagnosis for her anxiety and depression, counseling or treatment. Doctors told her she “had boy problems,” it was “situational” and because she wasn’t suicidal, they didn’t have “major concerns.”

Morton tried to cope on her own and twice threatened to end her life.

In January 2018, she started taking medication for the first time and it helped. Morton stopped taking it after losing health insurance.

Morton now is in therapy.

She hopes to stop the stigma of mental illness for her three young children in hopes that if they also struggle with mental illness, she’ll recognize the signs and be able to get them help.

More: Question about mental health? Resources connect you to need-to-know information

Related: By the numbers: 14 interesting facts, statistics on mental illness

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