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View all ADAA personal stories of triumph (you can also search by topic/population on the right hand navigation of this page) to learn how people living with anxiety, depressive, obsessive-compulsive, and trauma-related disorders have struggled, coped, and triumphed. Find out what helped them find hope and recovery.

Do you have a personal story of triumph? ADAA would love to hear from you. We welcome guest blogs to share on our website and across our social media platforms. 

In a story of 500 words or less, please describe your experience with an anxiety disorder and/or depression and how it has affected your life. Focus on the therapy or other treatments that have helped you manage or overcome your illness. Please include how ADAA's website or resources have helped you. In order to publish you story on our website and to share it on our social media platforms, we require that you use your real name and include a photo. Please note that we do not accept advertorials (these stories should not include any call-outs for personal websites or publications or sell any products). We reserve the right to reject any story that we do not feel is appropriate to share. 

Submit your story together with ADAA's completed media release form via email to: ADAA Web Features.

NOTE: ADAA reserves the right to edit for clarity, length, and editorial style. We do not guarantee that every submission will be published. If your story is accepted, you will be notified. If you have not heard from ADAA within one week of submission that means that your story has not been accepted. Once your story is posted on this website, it is the property of ADAA.

We also invite you to check out the ADAA page on The Mighty: Make your voice heard and submit your story. “We face disability, disease, and mental illness together.”

Recent Personal Stories

by Kayleigh Ballantyne

KayleighPic.jpgI have battled more at the age of 25 than most humans do in a lifetime. Take a moment to think of the most dreadfully painful experience you have had – I can empathize with you. In my life, I have overcome two near death experiences. One at the age of 11 which left me in a coma, the other at 21 where I was fighting against a collapsed lung and losing a lot of blood. My suffering has not only been painful physically but mentally. 

by Stephanie Cardamone

Stephanie-C.pngStephanie generously shared her story and her struggle with anxiety and depression with the ADAA community last year (and has been very grateful for the support she received) and since then has been actively involved in helping raise awareness about the importance of speaking out and finding help.

by Mark Bermudez

MarkBermudez.JPGMark Bermudez, an art student at Florida International University, reached out to ADAA a few months ago to let us know that he was working on a project for his Graphic Design III class where he would create a series of posters that explain how mental illnesses can affect people through the use of metaphor. His designs are all related to the different themes that represent ADAA’s outreach and educational efforts around anxiety, depression and related disorders.

by China McCarney

ChinaMcCarney.jpgI have lived with anxiety since 2009. I was 22 years old. My first panic attack occurred that year. About 45 minutes into a car drive I felt as if I was going to die. I could not breathe and had to pull the car off the road and walk for hours to try and catch my breath. That was my introduction to anxiety and I had no idea that I was about to embark on a back and forth journey for years to come.

by Ryan "China" McCarney

Ryan McCarney Baseball Photo.JPG

When I last sat down to reflect on my journey with anxiety I was nervous, timid, and YES even a little ANXIOUS. I wanted to share my story with the “right” spin or the “right” perspective. I gave just enough details to get the point across and deflect the focus away from me and my “issues”. This is what came out.

by Bailey Kay - Miss Sandy City International

Bailey Kay.JPG I was in seventh grade when I discovered I had anxiety. I didn't go to school for 2 months because every day my mom would take me, and I would end up on the floor of the car sobbing and hyperventilating. I was a sophomore in high school when I was diagnosed with depression. I skipped class a lot, I would cry over everything, and I would never leave the house.

by Jenni Schaefer

JenniSchaeferPTSD is an invisible monster. It disguises reality. When I was sucked into what I learned to call the trauma vortex, I often couldn’t distinguish between what was real and what wasn’t. I thought I was going crazy.

by Meredith Arthur

Meredith-Arthur-websize.jpgGeneralized anxiety disorder can be hard to recognize because you may not think of yourself as worried or anxious. But if you are having physical pain, or waking up in the night, or sensitive to sounds, or overthinking things, you may have GAD. That's what happened to me.

by Tobias J. Atkins

TobiasAtkins-personal-story-social-anxiety-website.jpgFor most of my life I’ve struggled with social anxiety disorder, along with generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and depression. During the worst of it, I was on strong medication and medical disability benefits due to my fear of job interviews. I would feel uncomfortable or awkward in public 90 percent of the time.

by Michael E. Reagan, Jr.

MikeReagan_personal-story.jpgI wish my breakthrough moment wasn’t when I thought "I'd pay good money if I could feel better." I am cheap, so the path became clearer once cost was no longer a concern. After I decided to get help for my depression, one challenge was telling a receptionist why I wanted therapy. I had never told anyone I felt depressed.