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Leslie’s Story

“…also don’t give up, even if you feel like you will never get better!”

What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?

I have had difficulty with depression, substance abuse, an eating disorder, suicide, low self-esteem and anxiety, since I was 17 years old and I am 53 now. Sometimes it feels like I have to live a lie with people, because I feel like that they would not accept me if they knew my true life story. I typically do not share a lot of this information. It can be difficult because it feels like I am hiding things. I want people to like me, but it feels too risky to share my past history with them.

How did you overcome this experience?

As I have gotten older it has become easier to talk about my past struggles. I attended a women’s support group for many years, which helped as these women all had similar stories. I share bits and pieces of my story, which seems less of a risk.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

I found that these are some things that have helped me. Ask for help if you need it. Many employers have employee assistance programs and they are free, also don’t give up, even if you feel like you will never get better!

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