by Bella King

Bella King (2)_0.jpgMy name is Bella, and I’m 10 years old. Last year I was diagnosed with OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A lot of people think OCD is just about having to keep things clean and organized, but that really isn’t the whole picture. 

by Now the 'Why?' - Part Three

Chicago_0_1.jpg5 months later

by Samantha Thornton

Chicago_0.jpg3 months later

by Samantha Thornton

March 25, 2017 – 6 weeks later

by Justin Goldman

Lift the mask_Full_Colour_BLK_No_Date_0.jpgFor the past 24 years of my life, I’ve been wearing a mask. 

Not just any old flimsy mask, either. No, this is a true military grade bulletproof battle helmet, complete with a stainless steel cage, high-density foam padding, and some screws to hold it all together. It’s even custom molded to better protect, perform, and intimidate. 

by Abigail Hills

ADAA2_0.jpgMy name is Abigail Hills and I am an illustration major at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.  I was in a car accident, a few years ago, and suffered a hit to the head.  Since then I have been dealing with varying degrees of anxiety and depression.  At first I didn’t understand what was going on.  All I knew was that I was constantly worrying about things that had never bothered me before, and sometimes I did not want to be around people, or do anything.  I experienced ups an

by Eileen O’Meara

Eileen-1Pic_0.jpgI’ve been overwhelmed by anxiety for as long as I can remember.

I thought it was the normal way to be!

I’d be stuck in traffic, and these irritating voices would take my brain hostage “Did you leave the coffee on? The house will catch on fire, the neighbors will burn!”

Even though I knew the fears were unfounded, I found myself turning the car around again and again.

I decided to make an animated movie about it.

by Alexander Crawford

18765582_10210450578195324_4449012371890568036_n.jpgWhen I was about 22 years old, I had, what they call in Shakespearean studies, hubris. I had recently graduated from a competitive public high school, and had been accepted into the University of Chicago, undergraduate studies. Little did I know what was in store for me.

by China McCarney

ChinaMcCarney_0_0.jpgADAA has partnered with Healthline.com to share China McCarney’s personal story of triumph “I Embrace My Anxiety, Because It’s Part of Me” with both of our communities.

by Zac Hersh

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.

by Allison Kugel

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, perhaps because my racing mind did not extend that courtesy to my body. I was wrapped in a backless hospital gown and meagerly strewn blanket that had been nuked in a microwave to keep me warm.

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.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.

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.