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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. 

Do you have a personal story of triumph? ADAA would love to hear from you. We welcome guest blogs to share on the ADAA 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.

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.”

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.

Recent Personal Stories

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.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.