all stories

ZachJourney_0.pngMy name is Zac Hersh, but I go by “Z.” I am a 23-year-old recent college graduate, certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, mindfulness and meditation coach, and an accomplished distance runner, and triathlete. I am also the co-creator of the Mood mobile app.…

allison kugel standing shot_0.jpgAt 3 AM on a July 2012 morning, I lay helpless on an emergency room cot, unable to experience any emotion other than fear and the physical sensations that racked my body. My extreme levels of anxiety did not cease; my body showed me no mercy…

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…

Stephanie-C.pngSitting down to write my story brought on a crazy mix of emotions. I was nervous, anxious; I didn’t know what would come out.

But, why the fear and anxiety? Why is everyone so afraid of what others think of them? Why is judgment and perception the…

"The challenge for me was I’m not just creating these posters for myself, but for everyone who views them; and follows your organization. I really wanted to create posters that were uplifting."

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…

"Give yourself permission to accept help and to seek resources that can help you"

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…

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…

"The worst era of my anxiety disorder was the time before I knew I had it. I knew something was wrong, but not what."

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…

"Social anxiety is not a life sentence and with some work, you can get over it."

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…

"Becoming educated about mental illness taught me about my life and living better."

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…

"Depression hurt physically, a pain like a pit in the stomach that won’t go away. "

Doug-Duncan-webcrop.jpgDepression can affect anyone — men, women, and children — at any point in their lives. And its debilitating effects show up in many different ways. Doug Duncan tells us how depression changed his life.

Mr. Duncan is the President and CEO of Leadership…

"Love isn't everything — it's the only thing."

What can we do to prosper when facing pain and suffering in our lives?

Pschologist Steven Hayes describes psychological flexibility in relation to his own harrowing panic disorder

"I'm grateful for the experience of my panic, because it taught me that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to panic and anxiety."

Rita Zoey ChinThere was a time when basic things—like driving, climbing a flight of stairs, taking a shower, or going through the checkout line at the grocery store—landed me somewhere between mortal unease and full-throttle terror. It all began with a single…

"No matter how bad things seem, you were meant to win."

Wills MurrayMy earliest childhood memories are of constant fear. A skinny kid with crooked teeth, somewhat shy and reserved with social anxiety, I was an easy target for bullies, which made my issues even more difficult to handle. I never spoke to anyone…

"If I can do it, so can you. I believe in you. I believe in recovery."

If anyoneHanne Arts had told me several years ago that everything would get better, I would have nodded while screaming disbelief inside my head. I thought things simply could not get better, that I'd be forever feel imprisoned in a dark room.…

"Giving up cannot be an option. Be grateful. Be happy. "

Alexandra LewickeNothing could have been worse for me than being a teenager in high school — until I became a teenager in high school with depression.

I was constantly bullied, my heart was in the midst of being broken, and my grades were dropping…

"I know from personal experience...getting anxious kids help early can be crucial in heading off more serious problems later in life."

Scott StosselChildhood anxiety, even severe and chronic, doesn’t necessarily stand in the way of success and achievement. But caring parents will do…

"I?m trying to get off medication so I can have a baby. It's been tough and I've experienced many setbacks, but I haven't given up."

It started at the onset of puberty, when I was 11 years old. I was at school, watching my older sister load the school bus to be taken away to 6th-grade camp. Suddenly a wave of panic overcame me. I don't recall my physical symptoms other than a racing heart and nausea.

From that day forward I have continued to struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. It went from that initial wave of…

"Shortly after beginning CBT, I was able to discontinue medication and stop seeing a therapist."

Michael Timmermann, personal storyAn excellent student, a talented singer and musician, a competitive athlete. That’s how I appeared on the outside as a young child, but I felt as though I were trapped in a nightmare that…

"Sometimes I felt as if all my thoughts were leaves in a pile on a lawn, and a huge gust of wind would blow them all around."

As a child, I was gregarious, outgoing, and happy-go-lucky. Then something went horribly askew at about age 12. I did not know why I was unable to focus when I had been the best reader in school. I had been talkative, but I kept to myself, remained silent, and let bullies pick on me. I hadn't the slightest idea what was going on with my body and mind. Eighth-grade was probably my worst year…