Mental Health First Person Essays - OC87 Recovery Diaries

Mental Health First Person Essays: We feature stories of mental health, empowerment, and change, including mental health first person essays, by and for those with mental health challenges.

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How Do You Change the Negative Self-Talk Conversation?

How Do You Change the Negative Self-Talk Conversation?

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.

Eight Miles Of Agony: Anxiety and Travel

Eight Miles Of Agony: Anxiety and Travel

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.

Life On the Borderline: Learning to Live with BPD

Life On the Borderline: Learning to Live with BPD

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.

I Want to Live: Turning a Corner with Suicidal Ideation and Depression

I Want to Live: Turning a Corner with Suicidal Ideation and Depression

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!

I Suppressed Everything – A Story of Abuse and Bipolar

I Suppressed Everything – A Story of Abuse and Bipolar

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!

Emptying My Head: Bipolar Depression, A Tale of Two People

Emptying My Head: Bipolar Depression, A Tale of Two People

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!

The Kid’s Alright, or Close Enough; My Asperger’s Diagnosis

The Kid’s Alright, or Close Enough; My Asperger’s Diagnosis

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!

Dancing Away Depression

Dancing Away Depression

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!

Psychosis: A Beginning. An End.

Psychosis: A Beginning. An End.

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.

Is Mental Illness Your Rabbit, Too? Living with Anxiety and Depression

Is Mental Illness Your Rabbit, Too? Living with Anxiety and Depression

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.

From Depressed and Suicidal to a New Outlook

From Depressed and Suicidal to a New Outlook

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.

Dating with Schizophrenia

Dating with Schizophrenia

Despite getting progressively better at social interaction, dating with schizophrenia is just too much and, every time I try, I crash and burn.

Talking About My Depression

Talking About My Depression

I’m talking about my depression, not in vague terms any longer. It is a problem. It has a name. My boys know that name and I hope they’ll be stronger for it.

Schizophrenia and Love

Schizophrenia and Love

Love can be the gasoline on schizophrenia’s fire, playing tricks on your mind and it can lead you to places from which you may not be able to return.

Disclosure

Disclosure

Disclosure is about feeling safe enough to find a kinder voice for ourselves. Every time I share my experiences in safe spaces I feel truer to myself.

New Editor In Chief

New Editor In Chief

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Gabriel Nathan as editor in chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries.

I Have Schizophrenia

I Have Schizophrenia

Yes, I have schizophrenia. But I don’t want to sit around feeling sorry for myself because I have schizophrenia, and life can be difficult sometimes.

Young, Black and Bipolar

Young, Black and Bipolar

“Young, Black and Bipolar” helps people navigate through the craziness of accomplishing a normal life after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I Still Lose Myself

I Still Lose Myself

I hurt so much. I didn’t understand how to take care of my body. I didn’t know that I was sick with Bipolar II and a major anxiety disorder.

Best Day Project

Best Day Project

To cope with depression, Grace Kim set out to do something scary every day, and the Best Day Project was born, giving Grace a new perspective on life.

Things Blur

Things Blur

“Things Blur” is a story about a break from reality. Due to PTSD (among other things), I had what was later described to me as a manic episode.

A Director’s Journey

A Director’s Journey

I was 14 and my mother, in the depths of depression, sat in our living room crying. This experience began a director’s journey into documentary film.

Learning To Trust Again

Learning To Trust Again

As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s very difficult for me to take the perspective of other people. Recently, I made a breakthrough in this area.

The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm

Bud Clayman, from the documentary OC87, talks about his experience with Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy while at the International OCD Conference

A Choice

A Choice

I don’t really want to share any of this. My mind is like a pendulum swinging from, “I don’t have any mental health problems and it’s a sham to pretend. . .

Marbles

Marbles

Marbles is a hilarious moving graphic memoir about artist Ellen Forney’s diagnosis & recovery journey with bipolar disorder, a search for clarity & wellness.

My OCD Odyssey

My OCD Odyssey

It wasn’t until I graduated from college that the compulsive behaviors of my OCD emerged. I often had obsessively sad and sometimes violent thoughts.

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