Series presents five women who tell of heartbreaking and challenging journeys with postpartum depression and perinatal anxiety and mood disorders.
Taking Xanax to help Maria Palmer cope with her sometimes debilitating anxiety had serious limitations and, eventually, Maria realized she needed more help.
Carissa Chesanek’s father experienced undiagnosed PTSD from his experience in Vietnam. His daughter never went to war, but was diagnosed with the same illness.
We publish a new mental health recovery story each week.
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This mental health recovery story focuses on Leif’s journey through hospitals, homelessness, and diagnosis. Leif learned to advocate for himself and now finds ways to do so for others. Read more in this two-part essay!
Monica, a young transwoman, talks about her experience with mental health challenges, homelessness, and finding her chosen family at The Attic Youth Center.
This mental health recovery story focuses on Leif’s journey through hospitals, homelessness, and diagnosis. Leif learned to advocate for himself and now finds ways to do so for others. Read more in this two-part essay!
Bipolar mania told Erika Nichols-Frazer that sex was love, that Stephen Colbert and John Oliver would want to interview her, and that gibberish was genius; these are the lies mania told her.
Brian Marshall has seen the same therapist for decades, and his relationship with her has been a key element to his recovery from depression.
Mini doc about Nick Emeigh, aka NAMI Man, a colorful and awe-inspiring superhero who roams the world fighting stigma and promoting mental health awareness.
Anne Marie Malloy had trouble loving who she saw in the mirror after facing childhood trauma, so she’s reclaimed control over self-identity with piercings, Doc Martens, and a rebellious attitude to match.
This mental health recovery story focuses on Andrea’s journey after an incident of unwanted touch in a public place. Andrea felt anger, confused, uncertain how to go on. Through mental health care and re-prioritizing her needs, read how Andrea learned to heal from her trauma.
Eleni Stephanides has learned how to run with depression, instead of running from it.
As someone who lives with panic disorder, OCD and anxiety, Caitlin Irish is uniquely positioned to help people as a psychiatric nurse, and uniquely challenged.
Nick Emeigh is NAMI Man, a colorful and awe-inspiring superhero who roams the world, fighting stigma and promoting mental health awareness.
Losing people is always hard; for Amanda Wolf, the grief and loss following the deaths of a close friend and her grandfather threatened to overcome her.
Ronald Crawford calls himself a hip hop therapist, using hip hop lyrics as a way to connect in therapy sessions with young people.
Faced with traumas before unimagined, Laura turned to the tool of magical thinking to create safety after ongoing experiences of trauma.
Faced with trauma and grief, writer Laura Farrell turned to poetry to process her experiences.
Jules Aukerman, a budding pharmacist, confronts her sexuality and her eating disorder in this genuine, compassionate essay.
Christina faced issues with addiction and the law, due to underlying mental issues, eventually with the proper help and diagnosis she learned to tackle these issues.
Third in a series of films that presents poetry for mental health wellbeing.
Megan Fisher tried in vain to conceal her OCD behaviors from those closest to her, and therapy wasn’t the magic cure-all, until she found hope and help, compassion and change.
Khadija grew up with two hard-working, loving parents, it was later in life that she experienced the impact of her father’s depression.
Avis Yarbrough considers herself “shy” and “timid,” someone who stays at home. But when she first started hearing voices in her late twenties, she was catapulted on a trip she would have never taken otherwise.
A man wrestles with whether his depression and suicidality are diseases or conditions in this introspective and far-reaching essay.
Second in a series of films that presents poetry for mental health wellbeing.
Alicia McClendon has been parsing out the word “forgiveness” for some time now. Can you forgive your own mother for causing you childhood trauma? And what does it mean to forgive while still holding on to your truth?
Gabrielle Guillon has come a long way from growing up with depression and abuse as her constant companions; poetry has helped her heal.
Onome felt a lack of support in her childhood, which quickly spiraled into depression, although it was hard to find treatment in Nigeria and Ghan, she eventually got the help she needed.
First in series of films that present poetry for mental health wellbeing.
Cheyenne Ruiz spent much of her adolescence fighting panic attacks, working through depression, and pretending hallucinations weren’t happening. One hallucination pushed her to take recovery into her own hands.
A Goodbye Call in a Summer Afternoon: Noticing Suicide Warning Signs May Be the Difference Between Life and Death
When her uncle called trying to give a cryptic goodbye, Thaís Freita noticed suicide warning signs and saved a life.
Two people with borderline personality disorder begin a romantic relationship that quickly becomes toxic, out-of-control, desperate, and dangerous.
Tackling PTSD on the High Seas presents U.S Navy Taylor Greiger’s transformation from suicide attempt survivor into suicide prevention awareness activist.
Aneta Dabrowska felt the ups and downs of bipolar type II as a teenager, but no one around her knew how to react. When she entered adulthood, Aneta set on a journey to understand her illness on her own terms.
Being a Marine is supposed to put you through Hell and test your will, but not by subjecting you to rape by two different superior officers. Years later, Joyce Villeta is recovering and living through her trauma.
Kate’s eating disorder started with a desire to control her body and quickly spiraled into something else, learning to reconnect to her body, Kate found her way to healing.
Shannon McBride has felt the fog of depression and anxiety nearly her whole life, until an accidental run-in with a pamphlet at the post-office changed her life.
Leon Harris was shot and paralyzed when he was 17 years old. Over the past 14 years he has built a life that includes being husband and father.
Depression in India, for women in particular, is still a taboo topic, with women being blamed and shamed for what they experience, as Aakanksha Shukla writes.
Life with psychotic symptoms, hallucinations, delusions and paranoia is hard enough, but when coupled with suspicions of medication; it can be intolerable.
Victor’s social anxiety felt debilitating and out of control, until he found and embraced journalism, a new tool for managing these difficult emotions.
Pianist Jonathan Biss recounts his journey and examines the interplay between his lifelong passion for music and his own personal struggles with anxiety.
Bereft of meaningful activities during the pandemic, a recently retired psychiatrist explores his mental health decline and the difference between acedia and depression.
Hospitalized for a major depressive episode, Katie Thomas looked into the eyes of broken people and saw herself.
Robin lived the “perfect life” and was excited to welcome her new baby boy, quickly after his birth Robin noticed a shift in how she felt. As her postpartum worsened, Robin did not know what to do and eventually sought help.
After a suicide attempt, Chris Brown, a young man living in England, realized that having a father who could hear him and be with him in that moment, made all the difference.
David Thomas is a musician who lives with bipolar disorder. His first single, “Dear Me,” stems from an exercise assigned at a group therapy session.
While hospitalized under the mental health act, Dominic found himself feeling hopeless and desperate to end his mental pain, read his story to learn how he moved through the pain and found hope again!
Living with schizoaffective disorder and anxiety, Leif Gregersen was hospitalized numerous times. Now he is a compassionate and vocal advocate for those in need of a voice.
Chris Russell, an actor living with bipolar disorder, writes about medication, realizations, acceptance, and managing his mental health.
Years of traditional therapy didn’t do much to quell Daniela Silva’s existential dread and fear of smiling. It took a dose Freud to spur her journey forward.
When Danielle Hark was experiencing postpartum depression, she turned to photography to aid in her mental health recovery.
The national fatigue and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic felt all too familiar to Jennifer, who is diagnosed with bipolar and has experienced mania.
Max Noir lives with anxiety, depression, and chronic lyme disease, but she has not let these conditions diminish her capabilities, limit her travel, or her love of life.
David Thomas is a musician who lives with bipolar disorder. His first single, “Dear Me,” stems from an exercise assigned at a group therapy session.
After silently living with anxiety and panic attacks, therapy and medication helped Nicci Attfield, from South Africa, find her voice.
Shortly after her first hospitalization and diagnosis of bipolar, Jocelyn fell into a deep depression. While in the hospital, Jocelyn was guided by the beauty of an orchid, sitting on her window sill. Jocelyn found ways to find beauty day to day to help cope with depression and diagnosis, along with therapy and medication. Read more about her story!
When Kenyan university student Noah Kirui was in college, he started developing hallucinations and delusions and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia.
After experiencing mountains of trauma at the hands of her therapist, Harper Hanson found that treating her OCD might actually be better solved in the operating room.
Thomas Duliban loves to share with people; but what’s acceptable to share of his autism, his OCD, his bipolar diagnoses?
After his death by suicide, Raghav Thakran’s family discovered hundreds of poems that he wrote and published them in a book to keep his memory alive.
Bharti Bansal reaches out a gentle, compassionate hand from India to a friend she has never met, another human being considering suicide, just like she did.
Caitlin Irish thought obsessive compulsive disorder was “just another quirk” but it was a life-changing diagnosis that led to a bright road to recovery.
Lisa Greene’s trauma recovery journey is hopeful, inspiring, and beautifully crafted, like the intentional life she leads.
Evelyn Sachs won’t stand for electroconvulsive therapy being just another cheap “Cuckoo’s Nest” reference; it has helped with her bipolar depression.
A new book about many different productions of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town features a production by mental health workers.
When Disabled Womanhood Means Shrinking: How Diet Culture Affects the Bodies and Minds of Disabled Women
In middle school, Erica began to notice her weight and developed disordered thinking about her body in an attempt to control it. Through recovery, Erica learned that her need to control her body was in part to make her disability less noticeable to others.
Josh Forner has been in recovery from depression his entire life, and likely will continue to be. The process is not a straight line, but rather one that curves up and down, and sometimes circles back on itself.
Christopher Dale once received mentorship on how to deal with depression from a man who knew the disease well. Now he’s learning to do the same for his son.
Jalil Frazier was shot trying to prevent a robbery. He is a member of a support group for gunshot violence survivors who speaks about his journey.
Jason Schreurs zig-zags through different moments in his life, finding both clarity and confusion throughout. It all coalesces with one surprise diagnosis.
As a police officer, trauma, PTSD, and thoughts of suicide threatened to end Constable James Jefferson’s career, and his life, but he wouldn’t allow it.
Severus Snape saved my life; a life lived with seemingly endless pain and despair due to anxiety and depression, writes Giovanna Errore from Italy.
Steven Smith is an anti-gun violence advocate and member of a support group for gunshot violence survivors who speaks about his journey.
A mental health peer specialist takes us inside to show us what it is like to work with clinicians to help individuals with mental illness recover and thrive.
Living with depression denies you of a lot of things, but Victoria Martinez isn’t about to let her depression take the wheel; she’s in charge.
Lisa’s journey into the world of sibling suicide loss is painful and, ultimately, hopeful and inspiring.
Isaac Nunoofio felt treating his depression was a hopeless cause, and then he found singing.
Through a difficult childhood, Kate developed PTSD, slowly as Kate began to understand the effects of her father’s absence and mother’s discipline on her mental health she began to heal.
Jaleel King is a photographer and member of a support group for gunshot violence survivors who speaks about his journey.
Leigh Abraham spent much of his life thinking his failures belonged to him, but not his accomplishments. Then he found baseball.
When panic and anxiety come for the accademic, how does she cope? Sarah Barnette shares her recovery story.
As a child, Brianna attempted to find ways to control the emotions and experiences that she did not feel in control of, how Brianna’s diagnosis and treatment helped her to understand her moods.
Teenager Alex Andrews was well-acquainted with her school’s bathroom floor, where she wrestled with sometimes crippling anxiety and depression.
Charles Horton is a disability rights activist and member of a support group for gunshot violence survivors who speaks about his journey.
During childhood, Joao had trouble finding friends he could trust, how Joao moved through experiences of bullying and self-doubt.
Peter Leman, a university professor with depression, discloses to his students to help bust the stigma of mental illness on college campuses.
Dave Brennan reflects on the difficulties of living with someone with a bipolar diagnosis, as well as how we may look past these difficulties and see the rest of that person.
At times, Martha Ocasio’s symptoms from her OCD and anxiety disorder made herself and others feel uncomfortable.
Anuradha Malhotra has keeps finding ways to quell her depressive symptoms, but her cures always seem to run out of gas. Now she’s finding other ways of moving forward.
Dr. Erica Harris wrestles with the term “hero” as an emergency room physician during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When faced with a multi-faceted stack of mental health obstacles, Ethan Sunny Swift survives through self-reflection and helping others.
James Howard’s younger life was dominated by trauma and substance abuse, but today he lives stronger with faith and music as his guides.
In childhood, Amanda the constant fear of neglect and need, how Amanda moved through her upbringing and re-parented herself.
Australian Zoe Judd writes with vivid brilliance about her recovery from self-harm behaviors.
Ed Kozempel is a hero who understands the power of music and doesn’t let paranoid schizophrenia or bipolar get between him and his flute.
44th in the Queue: What Texting the Suicide Lifeline Taught Me about Life, Mental Health, and Toxic Masculinity
When bipolar actor Chris Russell was experiencing suicidal ideation, he called the Lifeline; this is what he learned.
Growing up, Natalie struggled with her father’s alcoholism and manipulation, how Natalie worked through her relationship through therapy and writing.
Overcoming an addiction to self-hatred has been a life’s work for Harris Pike, in addition to managing anxiety, depression, ocd, and psychosis.
Kaci Curtis’s anxiety and panic manifested in obsessive worries and fears. Find out about how this young mother battles her brain every day.
Yarn Bomber Nicole Nikolich creates vibrant works of art for the street that are filled with humor and hope and help her battle anxiety and depression.
Canadian singer-songwriter Skylar Bouchard has long struggled with addiction and self-harm, and his essay is a hopeful ballad to recovery.
Suicide loss is different than any other kind of loss, which Indian writer Raashi Thakran beautifully describes in her essay about her brother.
Dear Mom, I Want to Kill Myself is a heartbreaking and, ultimately, hopeful essay about overcoming suicidal thoughts and helping family members heal and grow.
Arielle Kremnev experienced an increase anxiety and depression after the birth of her second child.
The voice of her borderline personality disorder told her not to get into recovery. She worried that no one would love her when she got better.
The Smith Family of Philadelphia rejects the limitations of the term autism, and instead create “The Autisarians,” people with superhuman abilities.
Katie Thomas is a caring mother, sister, and wife, but often battles intrusive thoughts of doing horrible things to the ones she loves.
Artist and Educator Greyson “Haji P.” Davis discusses how art is his superpower, and has been his salvation during quarantine.
Artist and Educator Greyson “Haji P.” Davis discusses how he’s free from social interactions and pretending to be anything but himself during quarantine.
Angelica Pinna-Perez, an intersectionally-oriented therapist, works with marginalized and disenfranchised folx to access culturally-competent, affordable treatment.
Artist and Educator Greyson “Haji P.” Davis creates a routine for maintaining his mental health during quarantine: drawing in a studio and on the street.
After several suicide attempts, Sarah Sharp now writes and lives with a passionate desire to stay alive.
The COVID-19 era has shifted and changed Wendy Hahn’s depression, her relationship with her husband, children, and self.
Brittany Lopes’s suicide attempt was intended only to harm herself, but it didn’t turn out that way. Read about her journey of healing, redemption, forgiveness, and recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed truths about ourselves on a global level. Hear more from Therapist Winden Rowe about mental health and coronavirus.
Under normal circumstances, being a flight attendant with anxiety and OCD is challenging; with COVID-19, it was next to impossible.
Ben Knight’s anxiety raged to the point where he obsessed over a physical ailment that he never had. Read about his whirlwind journey back to reality.
Advice on how to make peace with yourself and build community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therapist Winden Rowe says that love is the answer.
Hira Raza shares how culture and parental pressure can impact a child’s mental health, leading to an eating disorder and depression in Pakistan.
COVID-19 has disrupted the myth of certainty in our lives, but therapist Winden Rowe shares that trauma can, in fact, heal.
Casey Cannizzaro is a brilliant writer who lives in a world of addiction and bipolar disorder, both of which he fights every single day, with every breath.
VIDEO: Therapist Winden Rowe looks at the hopeful aspects of life after COVID-19, and how societal change may have to come from the grassroots level.
Yolonda Johnson-Young has created a film titled Finding Elijah to help her answer the many questions she had after losing her son to suicide.
Need some hope during the #COVID-19 pandemic? Therapist Perri Shaw Borish (MSS, LCSW, BCD) has some suggestions for finding hope in the time of coronavirus.
Therapist Perri Shaw Borish (MSS, LCSW, BCD) details the sources of grief that many of us are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A herapist shows us how to calm the anxious feelings of not knowing what will happen next in the age of the coronavirus pandemic; anxiety and COVID-19.
Hannah Rose Preikschat shares what it’s like living with obsessive compulsive disorder, and more specifically, life with Pure O, or harm OCD.
A sudden move across oceans coupled with a psychotic break isn’t usually what saves a person’s life but, for Josie El Biry, it’s just what she needed.
Eli Parker spent his adolescence hiding his trans-identity from his friends and family, and took control of his life where he could, his diet.
Carol Blake writes her anxieties, joys, depressive thoughts, and words of gratefulness on physical paper to see her thoughts with objective eyes.
Claire Eastham is a blogger who lives in London. She writes about her journey with social anxiety disorder.
Sonia’s intrusive thoughts about her body controlled her behavior; how Sonia regained control of her life through identifying her disorder and finding help.
For the artist named Mederos, physical and psychological pain of depression is inextricably intertwined.
Eating and anxiety share the same spot in Rachel Nelson’s brain. After a life filled with crash diets and, Rachel’s recovering.
Pinar Tarhan is a writer from Turkey who lives with Purely Obsessional OCD, also known as Pure O, and shares about her mental health recovery.
After leaving an abusive relationship, Felicia Darlington’s anxiety and hopelessness felt out of control. Her strong essay details how she found support and learned to be comfortable in motherhood.
After a brain surgery left him with anxiety, weight gain, and depressive symptoms, Jakob
Waldron found out what real friends looked like.
For Rachel Davis, a doctor with OCD, every moment of every day is about managing her symptoms so she can function, live, and thrive.
Feeling anxious and depressed after the birth of her son, Katharine joined a support group and found help to understand what was going on in her body and her mind. Katharine found ways to understand her anxiety and become the parent she longed to be.
Ananya Sahoo, a young woman from India, tried to suppress depression and place the intense grief from losses in a box; but theses boxes always open.
When you are battling an eating disorder, decisions like stand or sit, one cookie or two, are not just benign choices. Emily Kelsall takes us into the world and brain of a woman living struggling with disordered eating and compulsive exercise.
AnnMarie Otis is a fighter; doing battle with cancer and depression every day of her life, and every moment of every day. Join her fight and cheer her on.
Liza Brock is an Australian mental health writer who writes about her journey with bipolar disorder.
Trying to navigate the world as a black older woman diagnosed with schizophrenia has more than its fair share of roadblocks. Jacquese Armstrong sees that world differently than most.
After two negative experiences with less-than-optimal therapists, Taylor Oxley chose to battle her mental illness alone. As a last resort, she decided to visit one more.
Author and advocate Beck Medina works daily to improve her mental health by cultivating self-compassion. Her essay is a mature take on what it means to be young and plugged-in in 2019 and the cost to your self-image, and how to maintain stability while living with panic attacks and anxiety.
Sanjukta Chauhan, a self-described “annoyingly optimistic” student from India, uses writing to tackle her depression.
Rachel Sellers does battle with anorexia, one of the most deadly mental health challenges, like a warrior: brave and also very scared.
Leah Holleran’s mystery illness was as common as common could be: anxiety and depression, but she and her family didn’t know it. Leah eventually solved the mystery of her mental health challenge, but not before struggling with self-harm and the loss of her best friend to an overdose.
In addition to wrestling some of the most noted sumo wrestlers in the world, Mike Wietecha is also well-versed in wrestling depression.
Ian Stoddart, a paramedic for 32 years, advocates practicing empathy for positive mental health.
Trying to manage bipolar disorder and a MFA program, she was influenced by mania, anxiety dictated the pace of her life, and her marriage was in danger.
As her body changed, Amanda lost track of who she was. Slowly, through recovery from anorexia, Amanda found a way to reconnect to herself and to her body.
I believed that my slightest misstep from perfection would result in the immediate and irrevocable loss of love and respect from every single person around me.
Dancer Morgan Rondinelli wrestles with her weight gain and its impact on her mental health challenges.
Ashley Neubauer is a paramedic who loves helping people. The stresses of her job, however, affect her mental health, which she must monitor carefully.
I don’t know if I will ever be free of the panic attacks but I have hope that I will know how to cope. As of right now, I am taking things one day at a time, living my life and sharing my story so that others know that they are not alone.
After her young brother’s death, Lauren Fraser takes us on her journey of recovery from mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and ptsd in this moving personal essay.
Instead of fighting against anxiety, I’ve learned to accept it and embrace it. Anxiety is only a small part of me, it doesn’t define me.
I fight for myself and those recovery from rape and PTSD. I still struggle, but I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I am not defined by what happened to me.
Michelle Monzo is a hero’s hero. Her work is her passion, and her passion is her work. She is trains police and other criminal justice and public safety personnel in mental health crisis intervention techniques. in addition to her crisis intervention education efforts, she creates safe spaces for first responders to be vulnerable when they are feeling they need mental health support.
Receiving a diagnosis for borderline personality disorder later in life was difficult for Lisa Parker. When she finally heard the phrase “bpd,” she was able to start learning skills in her 50s she wished she’d learned in her 20s.
This mental health recovery story focuses on Ziba’s journey through an eating disorder, that often felt invisible. Ziba felt unseen in her disordered habits around eating and misunderstood when she first shared that she made herself sick to doctors. As she learned more about her disease and found help herself, Ziba worked to dismantle stereotypes and bust stigma. Through therapy and group work Ziba was able to understand her disorder and reconnect to herself. Read more!
Hereditary Depression, Unplugged: My Uncle understood my mental illness because he shared it. Then he died.
When Christopher Dale lost his Uncle Steve, he felt he’d lost a guiding compass for navigating his hereditary depression. Now he’s trying to carry on Uncle Steve’s lessons himself.
Craig Tinneny is a 911 dispatcher whose lifetime work of fielding calls from people in crisis made him feel hollow, helpless, and hopeless. He sought help from a group of peers and has since become a crusader for better mental health for first responders.
This mental health recovery story focuses on Tina’s journey through a fixation on death, depression and suicidal ideation. Tina’s thoughts and actions felt out of control, guide by anxiety. Suicidal ideation was a constant in her life, how Tina sought help and learned that are her core, she wanted to live. Through therapy and a close encounter with death, Tina discovered her will to live. Read more about Tina’s journey!
Bryan Long writes about his struggle with anxiety and depression from the perspective of a young man opening up to a provider for the very first time.
If all you knew about mental illness came from television, you might think everyone with obsessive compulsive disorder was a “crazy clean freak.” Alexandra Ages begs to differ—a person with a mental illness is much more than a television archetype.
Trying to deal with a bipolar diagnosis, alcohol-abuse, self-harm, and hallucinations is a lot to take on. When Jessica Drake-Thomas met her emotional therapy animal, Mia, the road to recovery became much more clear.
This mental recovery story focuses on Lisa’s journey of childhood trauma, abuse and eventually her diagnosis of bipolar. After years of physical, sexual and mental abuse, Lisa thought she had found stability, until her mania set in followed by severe depression. Lisa’s life felt like it was spinning out. Her physical, sexual and mental abuse dictated her life, her mania felt out of control, how Lisa came to terms with her diagnosis of bipolar and past trauma and found a way to heal. With time and therapy Lisa found ways to cope. Read more about Lisa’s journey!
OC87 Recovery Diaries’ Editor in Chief Gabriel Nathan travels around the east coast in his beloved Herbie the Love Bug replica to raise suicide awareness and meet people whose lives have been changed by suicide.
This mental health recovery story focuses on Erica’s journey through an abusive childhood, a diagnosis of bipolar depression and the feeling of being misunderstood, by other and by herself. Her bipolar depression and anger left Erica confused, when she found therapy she was able to see what was beneath her rage and come through to the other side. Erica realized that her anger masked a deep sadness, as she worked with a counselor she found a way to explore her past and understand her present. Learn more about Erica’s journey!
Rachael grew up with a feeling that she was different from others. She experienced anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms and had regular meltdowns. Eventually these things turned into a problem with substance abuse. Her inability to adapt to change and childhood anxiety created a barrier, how Rachael’s diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome in adulthood helped her to understand her past and gain a newfound stability. Once, Rachael could understand what was going in her mind, she was able to take back control of her life. Read more about Rachael’s story!
If you think only a super-human force can successfully battle depression, then you don’t know Shawn Reynolds, comic book aficianado and mental health superhero in his own right.
Natalie Rodriguez knew she needed therapy for her anxiety and panic attacks; but she had to fight against shame and stigma to get that help.
Hell or High Seas follows veteran Navy rescue swimmer Taylor Greiger and friend Stephen O’Shea on the sailing adventure of a lifetime to prove that Taylor is stronger than his PTSD diagnosis.
JoEllen Notte, a sex educator who focuses on mental health, delves into her experiences as a woman who is depressed navigating a health system that often does not know how to respond.
Jenna Kohler’s life has been impacted by her boyfriend’s suicide, the Boston Marathon bombing, and other events that have shaped her exposure to depression and trauma.
A woman who lives with alcoholism describes the normalization of alcohol in Western culture and speaks openly and bravely about her alcoholism recovery.
Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on Houston, and on Sue Ann Perna, who writes with bravery about how this hurricane impacted her mental illness and changed her life.
An OCD story from a young woman who writes about how narrative poetry is helping redirect her obsessive compulsive brain in a beautiful, inspiring way.
A never-ending cycle: Broken souls having children only for those children to be shattered souls themselves. Because I know that millions experience this, I want to share my story in order to change a life or even save one.
it has been a very long time since I have been out dancing. I am much too depressed and the pain is overwhelming; however, there came a meeting of my many minds and the solution was couch dancing. LOL, you say? I would be willing to bet you have never tried it!
“You need to accept the fact that schizophrenia is a chronic condition. You will have it for the rest of your life, so you need to start focusing on managing your symptoms.” When I heard it put so plainly, I sighed in despair.
My panic attacks are still not discriminatory nor are they accommodating. For years, they came and went as they pleased. In bedrooms, in showers, on vacations, and in cars.
“Many police departments are good at continually preparing their officers for the daily physical and report battles they face. But, most of these same departments are inadequate in knowledge, and even unaware, of what is going on beneath the vest – in the heart, mind, and soul of the police officer.” – Ed Pila
We have a strong marriage but with our multiple diagnoses there are challenges that most would not understand—like going to the grocery store or out to eat.
I was trying to manage my PTSD (unsuccessfully), which was magnified by my newly received diagnoses of bipolar with treatment resistant depression and borderline traits.
I am what clinicians may refer to as “comorbid,” meaning I experience simultaneous disorders at once. With my history of diagnoses of major depressive, post-traumatic stress, panic, generalized anxiety, illness anxiety, body dysmorphic, and social anxiety disorders, I have had an overwhelming journey.
I had always been a sullen, solitary girl, sensitive and moody, prone to uncontrollable emotional outbursts. But the sadness I felt that winter was deeper, the outbursts more frequent, intense, and all-consuming.
I should have asked for her hand in marriage, but she would have just given me the finger. I live with bipolar disorder. Once, I loved with it too.
It is impossible to ignore the impact that a child’s addiction and mental health has on a parent. Because of this I started therapy myself, and I believe that it saved my life.
I’m a thirty-seven-year-old woman who was diagnosed with bipolar, depression and anxiety at the age of twenty-two. As I look back on my life I can remember feeling anxious throughout my childhood. I grew up in a good home with loving parents, but my anxiety persisted.
Bowser and I had met when I began a rather impulsive search for someone, or something, to help alleviate my mental and emotional turmoil.
I’m writing now as a happy and fulfilled young adult. But ten years ago, I thought my life was worth ending.
Though I am in recovery from generalized anxiety disorder, (GAD) that doesn’t mean I am cured, I have periods of remission and mini flare-ups.
I stopped drinking the next day. There was no plan. It was just, “I’m not drinking today, and probably not tomorrow.” Five years.
You’re more powerful than you know. And, once you learn how to wield your powers, trust me. They’ll applaud.
In addition to sharing a first name, they also share a passion for busting stigma about mental illness. Mental health advocacy brought them together, but something deeper created a connection.
My illness devastated me at age twenty when I was committed to a psychiatric hospital for sixty days and eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
My impaired judgement was obvious even in the early days of my illness. I exhibited so many of the symptoms associated with psychosis—a substantial drop in my grades, trouble concentrating, declining hygiene, a significant weight loss, oscillating from strong emotions to a feeling of emptiness to name a few.
Not hallucinations, but rather some of the smaller and fuzzier denizens native to Cambridge, Massachusetts. There is no metaphor more fitting for the person I was back then: twitchy, easily startled, a propensity to run scared from others. I had lost all the avenues I’d had to hide from depression and anxiety, and they closed in like a pair of gangsters in an alleyway.
I felt like a complete failure. I had always been able to handle everything without an issue. But at first, navigating depression was another story.
Taylor Grieger was diagnosed with complex PTSD several months after his release from the Navy with little-to-no guidance on how to cope with his condition.
One night, my mental state deteriorated to the point where I tried to end my life through a suicde attempt. It was impulsive and rash.
The Five Stages of Mourning is a perfect template for my own Five Stages of Depression: Anger, Anxiety/Exhaustion, Depression, Treatment, and Recovery.
When I exhibited symptoms of C-PTSD and OCD, I was afraid and lost. I survived multiple major depressive episodes, all of them including suicidality.
Whenever I’d gone through stages of major depression or anxiety as a young teenager, all I’d hear was that I was stupid, lazy, and unambitious. Imagine being judged by your symptoms and not by your illness.
A rising number of college students are seeking treatment at campus counseling centers for serious mental health challenges. Our video features the powerful listeners from Cogwell@Penn. Watch (and learn) how they skillfully role-play as active listeners when presented with a variety of stories from friends in need.
My psychiatrist became so annoyed with my theological nonsense that he abruptly stalked out of one session, exclaiming, “You just can’t talk to crazy people.” I sent him a note later, in which I informed him that I could talk to crazy people, so that was his problem, not mine.
Around age fifteen or sixteen, I began experimenting with drugs. I can tell you that this was, and always will be, the beginning of an ultimately fascinating journey that I call life with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.
I am determined to love and live intensely and fearlessly because, as Audre Lorde said, betraying myself into silence will not protect me.
When you think of married life, what comes to mind? Are you in complete bliss or just plain miserable? Maybe you’re floating somewhere in between.
I endured this routine for so long: try a new medication to alleviate my treatment resistant depression and either feel horrible or feel absolutely nothing.
I am trying hard to make good decisions. I see my psychiatrist regularly. I take my medication. I try to live a healthy lifestyle with schizoaffective disorder.
The passive suicidal thoughts are still there, but I have started to recognize that they are only powerful if I give them the power.
Sheri Heller’s new book, A Clinician’s Journey from Complex Trauma to Thriving, is a guide to healing with a keen awareness that no two paths are the same.
When I finally saw a psychiatrist, she was surprised that I was still alive, having been afflicted with depression for so long without medical treatment.
As I battle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, it has always been far easier for me to support others with mental health struggles than to admit my own.
With depression, I had suicidal thoughts. Not because I wanted to kill myself, but because the idea of being “done” felt like serenity.
These images of mental in pictures are not what the public wants people to show. They are reality. They are dirty, messy, uninhibited, and true.
Persistent depressive disorder (formerly known as dysthymic disorder or dysthymia) is just what it sounds like: depression that persists.
A complex PTSD diagnosis became inspiration for a fashion designer’s runway line. In Glenn Holsten’s short film, Lilah James shares recovery and creativity.
Social anxiety still exists online. You’re still putting yourself out there and you feel vulnerable opening up, not knowing what response you’ll get.
This installment of our mental health resources column highlights Instagram mental health from authors who have appeared on OC87 Recovery Diaries.
In my research, I found several articles about Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures. Doctors do not use the term pseudo-seizures anymore because it falsifies them and invalidates them. Pseudo is a prefix meaning “false” or “fake,” and the seizures I was having, while not epileptic, were anything but fake.
I feel like I need complicated charts, graphs, and spreadsheets to adequately explain how big of a failure I am as a brand new stay-at-home dad.
“I can’t explain where I’ve been, and though everyone wants to understand, it doesn’t mean they comprehend. They can’t grasp where I am.” – Kathryn Rose Wood
Experiencing childhood trauma, I knew that something was wrong or different about me, but for a long time I dismissed that notion.
This month’s installment of our mental health resources column is centered on anxiety Facebook pages, including a few pages with one to two million followers.
I went from unhappy to miserable to struggling to overwhelmed to depressed and suicidal. First I was diagnosed with post-natal depression, followed by treatment-resistant clinical depression. Then came the biggest clanger of all, diagnosis number three: borderline personality disorder.
My father’s compassion when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder was unreal and unexpected. Importantly, he was engaged in his own efforts to better understand what life is like for a son with bipolar disorder by seeking out support groups.
It took months of internal debate before I worked up the courage and the desire to at least give the depression and bipolar support groups a shot.
A few months ago, I saw a photo on Facebook of a cemetery in Marlboro, New Jersey. The cemetery was on the grounds where the Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital once stood, and was the place where people who were once residents of the hospital were laid to rest.
Groggy. Always groggy. Part bored, part feeling down. Seems I always have habits I either need to break or start—when I can get around to it. Maybe tomorrow, after my 8:30am nap.
This installment of our mental health resources column focuses on depression Twitter accounts including DBSA, Sad Girls Club, Heads Up Guys, Natasha Tracy, and Depression Notes.
Before I had a name for my mental illness — bipolar disorder and ptsd — this is what it felt like: playing diagnosis dress-up, trying on labels, seeing how they fit, and feeling lost — like there was nothing left in my closet to wear.
Ellen Forney has written a second graphic novel, Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from my Bipolar Life, which leads the reader through her healing process.
In Suicide: The Ripple Effect, Kevin Hines recounts the tale of his suicide attempt when he was nineteen years old, and then embarks on a journey to offer hope to others who may be struggling, and to hear stories from mental health advocates like him.
They say when you experience a traumatic experience as a child, you block out the details. My memory jumps.
I failed the postpartum screening given, as protocol, by the hospital, and yet they sent me home.
I crossed seamlessly from ambivalence and malaise into an area I’d never been before: actively planning suicide.
I’m not an expert on mental health, addiction, or suicide. I’m a survivor.
These five OCD Instagram accounts show different perspectives on what it’s like to live with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
I don’t know when it started. It was not as though I suddenly woke up with a raging heartbeat and butterflies in my stomach, wishing I could run away from myself. It came in tiny bits of worry.
Yes, I have been diagnosed with depression, OCD and borderline personality disorder. Yet, I am still a good person.
Trapped between fear and anxiety, I would drink and use drugs to cover up my feelings. After years of living this way with several bad trips, blackouts and hospitalizations, I went into treatment.
Schizoaffective bipolar type is a disease characterized by mood swings and depression, in addition to psychosis, delusions, and paranoia.
This post highlights bipolar disorder on Facebook. Check out these accounts, give @oc87rd a follow on Facebook, and be sure to explore the related links in this post.
This video features Officer Ron Griffith, formerly of the NYPD. After 9/11, Ron’s personality shifted. He became a controlling, angry person. He says he wasn’t aware of this change until his family left him, and all he was left with cumulative PTSD.
Mental health silent retreats have been an important tool in my recovery. They have allowed me to forgive, heal, and gain clarity.
I started writing songs about my feelings and sharing them with audiences throughout the country as a touring musician, under the name The Homeless Gospel Choir.
Therapists have told me that I use these repetitive behaviors as way to avoid facing my fears.
Podcast interview with PsychCentral.com podcast host, Gabe Howard, who suffers from bipolar disorder, but is in recovery.
A memory, a word, a smell, an instance can take one back to the exact moment the trauma first spoke to them.
Joe has wrestled with alcoholism and the stresses of life as a police officer, a sometimes combustible combination.
I have bipolar disorder and I’ve written a book about my experience living with bipolar disorder and depression.
A podcast interview with psychologist Maury Joseph, PsyD. Maury is different from most psychologists in that he “gets out of the way of his patients.”
Gabe lives with bipolar disorder and Kendall lives with Gabe, who lives with bipolar disorder so, in a way; Kendall does most definitely “live” with bipolar disorder.
“I wrote the song “Becoming” about giving my mental health adequate attention and care, even while in a relationship.” — Emily Yacina
Rudy Caseres is a mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.
As bad as my depression has been – and I’ve experienced more than 40 years of it – I have somehow, luckily, always found the magic of laughter within reach.
In this short film, Rob Davis shares his journey as a police officer who lives with trauma and PTSD.
Depression tricks you into thinking that you are completely alone when, in fact, you are the opposite. No one is truly alone.
We’re always looking for mental health empowerment in unsuspecting places, and today we’re featuring feeds focused around the diagnosis of anxiety on Instagram.
Mx. Libby Parker, MSS, LSW is an outpatient therapist and manager of Einstein Health Network’s PRIDE Program, which coordinates and supports various services designed to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ+ identified patients.
All my life, the media had taught me that, in order to suffer from mental illness, you had to endure some kind of a severe trauma. That was incorrect.
The memoir “Gorilla and the Bird” discusses how bipolar disorder affects work, family, and relationships. Podcast interview with Zack and his mom, Cindy.
When it comes to mental health, how we can become our own best friend in 2018? Here’s what we came up with. Happy New Year to you, friend.
In this installment of our Mental Health Resources column, we’re covering the best of anxiety Twitter accounts. As always, OC87 Recovery Diaries is committed to our shared cause to #buststigma around mental health issues.
Host of The Mental Illness Happy Hour, Paul Gilmartin has come a long way since doing stand-up comedy and hosting the TV show, Dinner and a Movie.
“I was hoping that Herbie The Love Bug would bring us some joy.” — Gabriel Nathan, Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries
As I lie in bed, my thoughts spiral saying, “You’re a horrible mother. You’re a horrible writer. You’re a horrible person.”
How were individuals with mental illness treated in 19th century psychiatric hospitals? What was society’s attitude towards these people?
A journey from dark days of mental health institutionalization and repeated electroconvulsive therapy treatments, to a successful advocacy career.
On losing my mind with bipolar disorder, the bottom line is this: I need to take my medication, no matter how much faith I possess.
Depression Facebook pages that share genuinely different content while still all speaking to what it can be like to live with depression.
Tammy is one of about 60 people who sell One Step Away, Philadelphia’s first newspaper produced by those without homes for those with homes.
“What could go wrong for someone who has panic attacks in large crowds at an event regularly attended by 20,000 people?” — Sheila Hageman
Episode 14 – “The Hunting Ground”: Recovering from Sexual Assault – an Interview with Documentary Film Subject, Kamilah Willingham
Interview with Kamilah Willingham, a subject of the documentary film, “The Hunting Ground.”
Depression tricks you into thinking that you are completely alone when, in fact, you are the opposite. No one is truly alone.
The doctors recommended that I receive an Honorable Discharge from the Army with a 100% Disability Rating: not what I had planned for my life.
Winden Rowe’s approach to sustained recovery for clients centers around the biological, psychological, and social implications of traumatic stress.
Dr. Kristin Neff is a pioneer in the study and practice of self-compassion. What is self-compassion? Listen in to this podcast episode to find out.
Managing bipolar disorder behavior involves more than medications. Changes in mood are affected by factors in our environment.
A therapist writes with humor and passion about her struggles with panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and an eating disorder.
As we seek to #buststigma around mental illness, this installment of our mental health resources column highlights OCD videos on YouTube that we love.
Adesola Ogunleye, a Nigerian American immigrant who lives with depression and anxiety, is interviewed on this episode of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio.
This was not exactly the learning I wanted when I went to graduate school, but the lifelong journey of becoming a therapist, is the therapy I have needed.
Despite getting progressively better at social interaction, dating with schizophrenia is just too much and, every time I try, I crash and burn.
“When you make a choice to put yourself out there, you’re empowering yourself — and you’re empowering others.” – Gabriel Nathan
Still, I resisted. For several years, I didn’t want to accept that the push and pull of depression was a permanent part of me.
The media is so quick to pick up the mental illness scapegoat because it knows that people need to blame the tragedy on something.
There is only one thing that gets me through the bipolar cycles and that is time. It is a cliché but, during my cycles, the only way is through.