Nikita Richardson
October 12, 2015 11:07 am

Unless you avoid Facebook completely, you’ve probably heard of I F**king Love Science, which three years and 22 million likes later, has proven to be one of the most popular pages on the social media site. Both celebrated and vilified, the site is and has always been run by one Elise Andrew, a 26-year-old science enthusiast.

Andrew hasn’t given interviews in more than two years, but over the weekend she decided to give the world a brief glimpse into her personal life. In particular, her struggles with mental health issues. See, Saturday was World Mental Health Day and Andrew took the time to explain that despite the fact that she was offered a $30 million offer on her site and suffers from mental health issues—many of which are exacerbated by the vitriol she regularly faces on social media—she continues to run her site.

Andrew started off by touching on the occasion for her sharing:

Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay. Strangely, I only noticed as I had a mental breakdown in front of my computer over a Facebook comment.

— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

And then detailed her own issues:  

I have mental health issues. I have since a very young age. I struggle every single day with these issues. — Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

I have trichotillomania, a disorder that makes me compulsively pull my hair out. I’ve done this since I was two years old.

— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with depression. As I got older, the diagnoses changed.

— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

I’ve since been offered diagnoses of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. I struggle with thoughts of self-harm & suicide.

— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

According to Andrew, she’d never shared this information publicly until now, but she hopes it will help others who feel ashamed or embarrassed by their mental health conditions.    

But if I feel ashamed, then there’s a good chance that others out there do to. — Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

The only advice I have to those struggling with mental health issues is the same advice I give myself every single day. It does get better. — Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

The thoughts do go away. Do whatever it takes to get through, because nothing is worth your life.

— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

In fact, running IFL Science has been helpful for her mental health—even if it has created no small amount of controversy for her:  

It’s easy to be criticized for my work, that’s never bothered me. Agree or disagree, and always strive to do better — Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 201

I was offered $30 million for IFLScience last year. And it was so, so tempting. Not because of the money.

— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

Although hey, $30 million. But the thought of being a private person again. Of no one caring who I am. Of everyone just leaving me alone

— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

Other days I think my job is the reason I’m not in some psychiatric ward somewhere. Having a purpose keeps me together.

— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

And then she hit on the Golden Rule of the Internet:

Some days my illnesses make me feel insane. But then I have the internet there to remind me that some people are so, so much worse. — Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) October 10, 2015

Elise Andrew will be the first to tell you that dealing with mental health isn’t easy, but we think she’d also agree there’s lot of amazing science out there that’s made it easier than ever to deal with these types of problems. Like she says, it does get better.

(Image via Twitter)

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