College Park Community Newspaper : CPCN 022717
MARCH 2017 COLLEGEPARKPAPER.COM Features 17 ANNA’S HOUSEKEEPING Since 1991 4-hour roea (Mon-Wed) 407-447-4663 Licensed/Background Checked http://www.annashousekeeping.com 407-447-4663 aeor P oor 68 Get all your nail needs for only $35.00 a month • One free polish change each month • Gel manicure with express pedicure - 60 min • Spa manicure with spa pedicure - 60 min • Signature manicure with hot stone treatment - 60 min • Signature pedicure with hot stone treatment - 60 min www.thespaorlando.com Phone: 407-898-7737 If you’ve ever had a loved one or friend who suffered from mental illness, you know that many times they suffer in silence to avoid the stigma. Not College Park resident and UCF freshman Andrew McCorey; he is committed to shar- ing his story in an effort to help teens and young adults who may be suffering like he has most of his life. Growing up, McCorey remembers acting impulsively, getting angry and continually receiving demerits in school. A diagnosis of ADHD was made when he was 5, and therapy sessions started at 12. It was around that time he started having suicidal thoughts and major anxiety. By the time he was 16, McCorey began noticing sudden changes in his moods. “I was going from ex- tremely depressed, anxious, or angry one minute, to bouncing-off-the-walls happy the very next minute,” he said. “The scary thing was, nothing was causing it.” McCorey kept how he was feeling to himself and hoped it would just go away. But then he started harming himself. “I would cut myself on my hands or chest as a way to try and make the pain of the anxiety go away,” he said. In the fall of 2014, just after his 17th birthday, McCorey told his mom what was going on and asked for help. After two hospitaliza- tions in Richmond, Virgina, where he lived with his mom, McCorey’s parents decided to move him to Orlando to live with his dad and stepmother and to work with a psychiatrist they knew of. In January 2015, McCorey was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. McCorey credits the support of his loving, accepting family for giving him the strength to open up about his struggles so others might find help. “That [support] allowed me to not be ashamed of my diagnosis, despite the stigma surrounding mental illness.” McCorey further explained: “I understood that to help people who, for example, don’t have as supportive par- ents, I needed to open up about it and share my story. The best thing to do to help people, and teens especially, to open up, is to show them that there are other people out there who are going through similar situations because when you are going through that and no one knows ... you feel alone.” McCorey wishes he had gone to his parents sooner, “It sucks having to tell your parents that you are feeling suicidal, but once you even just get it off your chest, it feels so much better and is the first step toward getting help.” Oftentimes, family members may brush aside a teenager’s mood swings as teenage angst, but McCorey encourages them to try to really figure out what’s going on. “The biggest thing is to notice when your loved one starts becoming very reserved all the sudden, has severe mood swings, and/or is self-harming. Another thing for my parents personally was they noticed whenever I was over-engrossed with my texting on my phone, I was feel- ing really anxious with one of my friends or in a relation- ship,” he said. If a friend or loved one expresses having suicidal thoughts, McCorey encourages you to tell someone, even if you are afraid. “They may not appreciate it at first, since it is something that is very personal and can feel embar- rassing to share, but in the long-run will benefit them the most and could easily save their life. If you suspect someone may be struggling with a mental illness, don’t shame or disregard them as this is when you must be the most loving and caring.” McCorey now lives a healthy, happy life and deals with his anxiety through different coping skills he’s learned through therapy. He acknowledged “the importance in seeing a therapist and psychiatrist on a regular basis, even when I am feeling really well. I stick to routines and I always take my medicine to ensure that chemically I am doing everything I can to stay healthy.” His journey has brought with it a desire to help others, which is why he founded Crush the Summit, a nonprofit cre- ated to provide financial assistance to families with teens with mental illness, as well as information, tools and resources to help them stay healthy post-recovery. “I found out that the number one reason people with a suspected mental ill- ness do not seek help is because they know they will not be able to afford it. I became frustrated about this and felt like I should do whatever I can to help,” McCorey said. The inspiration behind the name Crush the Summit came from McCorey’s under- standing that teens who are struggling feel like they are at the bottom of their own mountains, and he wants to show them that they can reach their summits. If you are having severe anxiety or suicidal thoughts, McCorey wants you to know you’re not alone. “Don’t be afraid to seek help. I promise that people will think you are strong for getting help rather than weak for not. Getting help is the definition of courage.” To learn more about Crush the Summit, visit crushthesummit.org. Andrew McCorey Local teen opens up about mental illness in effort to help others By Debbie Goetz Community Spotlight Courtesy photo Andrew McCorey has dedicated himself to doing what he can to help other young people dealing with anxiety and mental disorders. How do you find the stories? Jackie: It’s not hard. It’s hard having the time to cover the stories! Because there are so many incredible stories. It’s the theme of “there’s not one way to grow bolder.” People will email us, call us. They will leave comments on our Facebook page. They will tweet a story at me. Most schools have a 100th-day celebration. I have a daugh - ter in third grade, and they did the same thing, and most of the kids dressed up as really old people and they have the walkers. And my daughter, on her 100th day of school, dressed up as a very fashionable woman, and she took a copy of “Growing Bolder” magazine with her to show her classmates people running hurdles at 90. I sent her teacher five or six stories, and she ended up showing all of them to her class. I’ve been hearing from parents of her classmates saying, “Thank you.” Are you hearing from people who have watched your content and say, “You changed me”? Jackie: The most recent person I got a call from was a woman, recently retired, who tuned in one morning and watched our TV show, and she said something just clicked. And she remembered she always wanted to write, and now she’s writing. She said, “I forgot how much l loved writing, and life got in the way, and I just wanted to let you guys know, and I thank you.” Marc: The most important lifestyle determinant of how we age is neither diet nor exercise; it’s our basic belief system about aging. We’re showing people, telling people, literally helping people realize, that they can live a longer, healthier life than they knew, and when they believe that, that’s what happens. What’s next? Marc: A multiplatform, global media network. That’s the beauty of where we live today. Now, the definition of televi- sion is like retirement; it has totally changed. It is no longer a linear experience. Television is delivered online. In the next 12 months, we’ll create an app that gives us an online media network. People will be able to access Growing Bolder content 24/7. Are you seeing the older demographic working comput- ers well enough to be internet savvy? Marc: The fastest growing demographic on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn is 55-plus. It’s exploding. Everybody that is aging into our market is very, very savvy. What would you like people to know about Growing Bolder? Marc: I’d like them to know that they can grow bolder in their own lives. Growing bolder is a choice. It is a choice that will result in a quality of life that you will enjoy for decades and decades. One person at a time, we’re trying to inspire, to make their lives meaningful until the very end. PRIORITY PAINTERS OF ORLANDO COMMERCIAL/RESIDENTIAL | INTERIOR/EXTERIOR 16+ years experience. No job too big or small. FREE ESTIMATES 407-761-7105 INTERVIEW Continued from Page 14 “Don’t be afraid to seek help. I promise that people will think you are strong for getting help rather than weak for not. Getting help is the definition of courage.