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not_alone

Your are not alone in this fight

Spread the word! “You are not alone in this fight” when it comes to mental illness.

Our goal is to raise $300,000 by Dec. 31, 2012. Your donations help NAMI provide free education and support programs, publish reports and provide resources for people in need.

This year we’re asking you to share your story to inspire hope and break down stigma everywhere.

Submit your Video or Story

Amy's Story


I am not alone because I have many people in my life who support and love me and understand my struggles.  In the last 25 years, I have carried the diagnosis: ADHD, GAD, Bipolar, BPD, and panic disorder.  I have learned over time that although I struggle silently, the illnesses that I do have do not define me.  I am larger and stronger than any symptom I have and my ability to continue trying in times of adversity has made me a more sensitive, empathetic person. 

I was diagnosed with ADHD in the late 1970’s when I was six years of age.  My mother chose not to medicate me, instead encouraging a lot of playtime outside and “breaks” during homework in order to allow for a release of energy.  During high school, I began suffering with extreme panic attacks where I would have to leave the classroom.  I also suffered with depression as well during these times.  It was extremely scary, but I found that swimming and being actively engaged in theater and swim competitions helped with some of my symptoms.

During college, I again began suffering; this time with severe mood swings which resulted in a diagnosis of bipolar.  The medication did help and at the age of 40 now, I still take medication for this chronic illness.

In the last decade, I went through a lot of life changes that have resulted in an increase of stress: divorce, a few cross-country moves, and graduate school.  During my divorce, and the changes that occurred as a result, I became unstable in my career and was later diagnosed with BPD.  At the time, with the increase of stress, I was crying virtually everyday and did not have great control over my emotional state.  As a result, I decided to re-group and go back to school to obtain my Master degree.

I have found through my journey of living with a mental illness, that seeking help and informing people (you trust) of your illness can help them help you.  I have learned to let go of trying so hard to be like everyone else, pace myself, and to pay attention to my emotions so that I can more effectively deal with them.  I have a handful of friends who have always been there for me, a boyfriend who is learning how to help me when I get fearful, and a mother who is a constant source of support and encouragement. This doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days. But overall, I know that I am not alone.  I have people who love me, my faith that I draw upon for comfort and encouragement, and a puppy that provides constant companionship and love!  I will be finishing up on my Masters degree this Summer and am ready to begin the search of gainful employment. Life is good!


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