Personal Stories

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health, suicide or substance use crisis or emotional distress, reach out 24/7 to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) by dialing or texting 988 or using chat services at to connect to a trained crisis counselor. You can also get crisis text support via the Crisis Text Line by texting NAMI to 741741.

Carly's Story

My name is Carly and I’m 18 years old from Upstate New York. It all started when I was 16. The summer going into my junior year of high school, I started to feel different. I had no ambition to do a lot of things anymore, didn’t care about anything, the list goes on.

That October, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I started seeing a therapist and going on medications to help make me feel better. Well, they weren’t working and my depression and anxiety got worse. A month or two after being diagnosed, the thoughts came. I had a plan to end my life. I felt alone, like I didn’t matter. I thought nobody would miss me if I was gone. I couldn’t keep those thoughts to myself so I told my therapist. After telling her about it, she thought it was best if I went to a mental health unit. I was seen by my primary care doctor and she evaluated me to see if it was necessary for me to go. We went through the whole list and she asked me if it was something that I wanted to do. I agreed to go so I could get better. I didn’t want to feel that way anymore.

I went through another evaluation through the hospital and 24 hours later, they found a place for me. I was sent to an adolescent unit and was there for 2-3 weeks. This place truly helped me. I made friends there that I would never forget. Most importantly, I didn’t feel that pain inside anymore.

A few months after being out of the hospital, I started to feel bad again. I started to self-harm. It became an addiction and a mistake that I still regret to this day. I told my therapist about it and instead of having sessions twice a week, I had to go three times a week. They also increased my medications, just until I felt better. I continued that for three months. I started to feel better so they lowered my dosage for my meds. I found different coping mechanisms to help me through my anxiety attacks or when I felt like self-harming.

It has been two years since being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It has been two years since being in the unit. It has also been a year since the last time I self-harmed. I am here to tell you that you can’t let your mental health conditions get to you and destroy you. You have to fight because your life matters. There are people who are willing to help you get through it. You might think nobody is willing to help you, but there are. They will support you every step of the way. Something that helps me get through my bad days is this song lyric: “The sun will rise and we will try again.” -Truce (Twenty One Pilots).

It may have been a bad day today, but that doesn’t mean tomorrow has to be a bad day. To anyone who feels like giving up, please continue fighting. You matter. It gets better.


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