A teenager who says she was severely bullied for her peanut allergy shared an inspirational Facebook post showing the dark side of depression.
Ellie Newton, 18, posted two pictures of herself – one with full make up and the other with puffy eyes and messy hair.
She wanted to show people the other side to her, as she suffers from severe depression after the alleged bullying at her high school.
The teenager, from East Riding, East Yorks, shared the contrasting pictures in order to tackle the stigma around mental illness – and said people should not think those suffering mental health issues don’t have anything wrong with them ‘just because they look okay’.
College student Ellie said: “I wanted to show people that just because I appear to be ‘normal’ when I’m with them it doesn’t necessarily mean that things are okay.
“Although you cannot see mental health it shows itself in other ways, like not taking care of my appearance, or not getting dressed or change what I’m wearing most days.
“When I do go out it often find it easier for other people’s sake if I act like everything is okay, because people get uncomfortable and don’t know what to say or how to act around me when I say I’m not having a good day. That shouldn’t be the case.
“If you have a cold you don’t avoid telling people because it doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable so why should it be any different to mental health?
“It’s exhausting and draining having to pretend. People shouldn’t be scared of approaching me.
“I’m still a human and I’m still the same me so I just wish people would treat me like me not like me but with depression.”
Her post, which shows the two pictures of her, reads: “Scared to post this but I need to rant to try and get people to understand.
“The two pictures show two sides of me. The left is the face I put on for the world while the right is the raw, unedited me.
“On the left I look like a ‘normal’ teenager wearing makeup and my hair looking good and well presented. But this is a facade.
“While I’m not saying I look like the other picture all the other times, this is the me I don’t show the world.
“Tired, crying, puffy face, bags under my eyes, messy hair, no makeup, unbrushed hair, unkempt and exhausted.
“This is what my illness does to me.
“Please don’t tell me I don’t have anything wrong with me just because I look okay.”
Ellie battled severe depression and anxiety since she was 14 and at her lowest points even turned to self-harm – burning herself with hair curlers and strangling herself with cords.
She said her mental health was significantly worsened during high school when she was viciously bullied by other children over her severe peanut allergy.
Ellie claims her peers relentlessly taunted her online – leading to her family informing the police – and joked pupils should all ‘bring along a Snickers bar’ to the school prom.
And the teen said caring for mum Angela Ovington, 47, who has rheumatoid arthritis and older sister Sophie, 20, who suffered from endometritis also impacted on her mental health.
Ellie was finally able to tell her mum about her mental illness and self-harm aged 15 after first confessing to Sophie, with whom she is very close.
And while the teen admits she still experiences bad periods she is now finding new ways to manage her depression and anxiety and is determined to help others.
The 18-year-old said: “I was embarrassed to tell mum and feared she would be embarrassed by it or would be angry, but she was so supportive and explained to me that actually a lot of people do, do it for their own and that I could get help but she just wanted me to be safe.
“I would burn myself with hair curlers or strangle myself with cords. I was so desperate to try and make myself feel just a little better I would do anything.
“Thankfully now I’ve overcome that and haven’t done it in a couple of years but I am left with scars but I see them as a reminder that I can overcome things and that I am a strong person.
“I hope the post will help not just those with mental illnesses but others to be able to see the warning signs, how to approach them, and where to get help. The more we talk about it, the less awkward it becomes.”
Part time council worker Angela said: “As a mum, you just want to be able to take away the pain. It changes her face, it changes her posture. You can see it in her post.
“She has a beautiful face, and she’s got the funniest, most sarcastic personality, but she doesn’t see that at all. She’s amazing. She’s so brave for sharing that picture.
“She’s so open about it, I can really see her becoming an ambassador to help other young people.”
Ellie Newton, 18, posted two pictures of herself – one with full make up and the other with puffy eyes and messy hair.<\/p>\n
She wanted to show people the other side to her, as she suffers from severe depression after the alleged bullying at her high school.<\/p>\n
The teenager, from East Riding, East Yorks, shared the contrasting pictures in order to tackle the stigma around mental illness – and said people should not think those suffering mental health issues don’t have anything wrong with them ‘just because they look okay’.<\/p>\n
College student Ellie said: “I wanted to show people that just because I appear to be ‘normal’ when I’m with them it doesn’t necessarily mean that things are okay.<\/p>\n