Dealing with Mental Illness and Starting a Business at 17

William Kellogg
June 13, 2019
mental health

Lauren, a 15-year-old girl who was lying in a hospital bed after facing some social difficulties at school, which lead to her attempting to commit suicide. Three years on, she now runs an international business aimed at helping other young individuals like herself experiencing similar problems get solutions.

In our society today, issues faced at school don’t stop when the bell rings at the end of school hours. They carry on into the late night via social media, which was the case with Lauren. It felt like life was just cruel and inescapable, and the social media was to blame.  A few years after and Lauren is now using social media for the best, sharing reassuring and motivational messages to her followers. Her brand: Øbsydian. Is named after the volcanic glass obsidian- which is said to have protective and healing qualities- her brand has made lots of sales all over the world. Ten months on, and Lauren already has a reassuring feeling that she is reaching out to quite some people and hopes her positive messages have been helping.

“The painful truth is that so many people are feeling the way I felt all those years. What are people need is a community around us that understands- and that’s what Øbsydian is all about.”

She sells customized clothing item, and she encourages and convinces people to buy and customize with the patches, pins, and badges she also sells. Her slogan ‘Own Who You Are’ is a message she is hoping will resonates with most of her customers.

She also encourages everyone to accept themselves the way they are. Growing up in this world, there is so much pressure to deal with, and Lauren as being able to reach out to people and remind them that it’s okay to be themselves. She sells her T-shirts, which she designs and prints herself. Each Slogan T-shirt as a unique message that is personal to her and that she wants to share with the world. These messages include “Struggling does not equate to failure” and “To do: be me” this is among her favorites.

Lauren continues to hope that helping others with her work will go a long way in alleviating this issue, and in doing so, she knows she is helping herself.

“It’s so uplifting and fulfilling- I love what I do.”

The message she would like to share with the world is this: “With every new day, we get another shot at life. The sun will always rise, even after the darkest nights- sometimes you might be waiting longer than other times, but the light will always come back to you eventually.”

Lauren is still very much on her journey to full recovery. She battles with anxiety and depression, as well as PTSD from her experiences at school. Some days are harder than others, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Lauren also makes regular donations to a mental health charity, called YoungMinds.

William Kellogg

William Kellogg is a veteran writer who's covered the subject of the intersection of technology, health and mental wellness for nearly two decades.

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