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Anna’s Story

“You deserve happiness and stability.”

Share your stigma experience.

I grew up as what I would consider normally. As I hit my middle school years, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I was bullied for self-harming and for being labeled ‘psychotic’. My family didn’t understand it at the time and just blew it off saying ‘you’ll get over it’. But I never ‘got over it’. In 8th grade, I dropped out of school. I could no longer get out of my bed. My ‘friends’ at the time would always tell me to get over it. I was on suicide prevention watch, in and out of hospitals, and on many medications. I finally went back to school a year later and everything felt fine, almost like I had my life back again. Yet, I did not feel the storm brewing inside of me. So much anger from the past was unleashed inappropriately through arguments and violence. I was later diagnosed with OCD and Bipolar 1 disorder. Just last year I was diagnosed with bulimia and I am currently working on it, but it’s hard doing it all alone. Through misdiagnosis and heavy drugging, I found a psychiatrist that has it figured out. She has helped explain to my parents about each illness and now they understand. To this day I will admit that I’m still struggling, but I will say that I am in a better place. I am ecstatic to say that I’m about 4 months clean of self-harm (my biggest accomplishment).

How did you overcome this experience?

Everyone around me assumed that I was psychotic and insane. They didn’t understand the illnesses and severity of them. I overcame it on my own. It got to the point where I didn’t care who knows what I’m struggling with, I just had to tell them that mental illnesses is not just being sad. I am not ashamed of my illnesses as it makes me who I am today.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

As times goes on new situations, tragedies, and experiences take place. It will NOT be easy. The easiest thing to do is to relapse and it will happen at some point in time. Do not let that stop you though, you deserve happiness and stability.

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