Meet Seneca Valley Cast Member Madeline McLinden

We are excited to introduce you to Madeline McLinden one of the cast members of our Seneca Valley show.   hope you can join us on April 20th.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born on Februrary 29, 2000 (a leap day) and I am a twin.  Her name is Katherine and she is my best friend.  Growing up, I lived in Hawaii for three years and it was one of the best times of my life.  Right now, I’m a junior at Seneca Valley High School. I love to write and read poetry, and I have found a passionate love for photography.

How has mental illness affected your life?

My depression almost killed me. Yes, it has gotten better through the years, but I am still struggling. Depression is like a cold wet blanket that suffocates you until you’re almost dead but not quite. It holds you there and tortures you every day. It’s hard to focus. It’s hard to feel. It’s hard to connect to the people that love and care for you. Sometimes I feel completely apathetic, and I simply make impulsive decisions that I regret in the future. I want to be successful in school but sometimes it’s difficult when everything around me doesn’t mean anything. I can’t do my homework. I can’t spend time with my friends. I don’t want to because I’m so tired ALL the time. I don’t mean tired like “sleepy”, but tired of life. I still go through these phases even on my medication, and other times I’m genuinely happy. It’s sporadic and I can’t control it when the depression takes over.

Photo credit: Lisa Hornak

Photo credit: Lisa Hornak

Why did you want to be part of This Is My Brave?

When I first heard about This Is My Brave, I knew I had to do it. I want to share my story. It’s been boxed up in my mind and soul pounding to get out of my chest and finally it has the chance. This Is My Brave is giving me an opportunity to express what it feels like to have depression. I’ve never had that chance before.

What inspires you to stay mentally healthy?

Knowing that I have a chance at a successful future inspires me to stay mentally healthy. My motivation to get good grades and get into my dream college inspires me. I have potential and so many things to do in life. I don’t want to be unhappy living it.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

All I want the audience to take away from the show is that they are not alone. They are not alone and do not have to be.

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Come here Maddie and her castmates end stigma one story at a time.  Tickets are now on sale for our Seneca Valley show on April 20th! Get your tickets before they are sold out. Hope to see you there!