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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 Sharon L. Longo

My 5-year old boy has a cherub's face with a hint of mischief in his beautiful green eyes. Brian dances to silly music and entertains us with his antics. He tells his brother to leave him alone and he teases his sister while she does her homework. The only difference between Brian and most other children is that while he is at school, he is mute.

Many people know Ricky Williams as the Heisman Trophy-winning running back who had it all — fame, money, and talent. Selected as the fifth NFL draft pick out of college, he became a celebrity overnight. With a successful career underway, who would believe that this football sensation who played for crowds of 100,000 dreaded the thought of going to the grocery store or meeting a fan on the street?

by Rob Fischer, PhD

The summer before my senior year in college, my mother died of lung cancer at the age of 57. I dealt with my loss privately, as I had handled most of my problems throughout adolescence: I repressed my grief and kept moving. I avoided talking about my mother's death and I continued my college work and social schedule as if nothing had happened.

by Rita Clark

Rita ClarkAfter more than 20 years of not going to a grocery store, restaurant, or public place alone, not driving out of my safe area and not attending school functions for my children, I began my difficult recovery from panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder.

by Robert Clark

An evening spent playing bridge with other couples was always fun for Rita, but one time it became a nightmare. Dealing the cards, first her hands began to tremble, and then her body shook uncontrollably. Terrified, she ran to the bathroom where she fell to the floor crying. She didn’t understand what was happening to her, so she told her husband she was ill and needed to go home.

by Jordan

My name is Jordan. I am 11 years old.

About one year ago, I began experiencing a feeling of terror and panic during everyday situations. I was scared of everything, from going out to eat to going to a friend’s house. I told my parents, and we thought it might just be that a lot was going on. So we waited. As months went on, the anxiety and panicking didn’t get any better, and everything started to go downhill. I sort of figured I was going to be like this forever.

by Jack Hagge

“Hi! I'm Jack. And I have an anxiety disorder.”

Merely talking to other people makes me anxious. I often experience "phone fear." I avoid social gatherings (particularly parties), which I find excruciating. Crowded settings, especially without a perceptible escape route, cause me uneasiness, sometimes panic.

by Samantha Pacaccio

My experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) began in the summer I was seven years old. My father was planning a vacation to Florida with his girlfriend, my five-year-old brother, and me. I was so excited about seeing the beach and feeling real sand for the first time.

by Melanie Higgins

I had all the typical life stressors of a married working mom. One spring I had a birth control device implanted that apparently threw my hormones and mental well-being out of whack. I switched to part-time work that summer because it allowed for a bit more rest and less stress. But when I returned to work full-time in the fall, I began having odd flashes of fear. And when people around me felt sick, I did, too.

by Cynthia Kipp

I have suffered from social anxiety disorder since I was about 10 years old, or about 34 years. I was a very intelligent child, but when teachers noticed a difference in me, I started trying to be invisible. Social situations, including school, were torture. I bulldozed my way through life, including dabbling in alcohol and substance abuse for relief of my anxiety and depression. I find it very interesting that the disorder is marked by a morbid fear of authority figures. And here I thought I was just being a rebel!