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Shelby’s Story

“Not everyone will understand, but don’t give up until you find that one who will.”

Share your stigma experience.

My entire life I was never very motivated, I remember when I was in 2nd grade and sat on the pavement for the duration of recess. I told my teacher I was tired and that my brother kept me up. That day, she called my parents to tell them and they talked to my brother who denied the story, which makes sense, since I was lying. My parents knew I was lying, but dismissed it as no big deal. I continued for many years feeling this way, and in school I was continuously told to “stop seeking attention” when I came to class crying or looking sad. My teachers continuously told me to “get over it”, the people I was supposed to see as mentors dismissed my hurt and pain and decided that I was just looking for attention.

How did you overcome this experience?

That never did stop in high school, but in college my friends knew something was wrong and encouraged me to reach out, so I did. I was then diagnosed with depression and began taking those meds, but they weren’t working. It wasn’t until I was hospitalized, so they could evaluate me first hand, that they realized my true diagnosis was Bipolar 1. They put me on medicines for this and it’s been a battle, but I have been doing better than ever before.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

Not everyone will understand, but don’t give up until you find that one who will. That person will encourage you and walk with you on this journey. When you find that one person, you’ll forget the ones who didn’t treat you right, because what matters is those who encourage you.

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