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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 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!

by P.K. Philips

It is a continuous challenge living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and I've suffered from it for most of my life. I can look back now and gently laugh at all the people who thought I had the perfect life. I was young, beautiful, and talented, but unbeknownst to them, I was terrorized by an undiagnosed debilitating mental illness.

by K. Waheed

I am a middle-aged woman, married with two children. I was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at age 25. I am grateful to say that I have had tremendous support, terrific professional help, a strong will to recover, and a resolve to do whatever work necessary to overcome all of my trauma. Other miraculous help has been my spiritual beliefs and practices.

by Amanda Leonard

Looking back, I can see that I had symptoms of an anxiety disorder even as a small child. I remember going for weeks at a time waking up, unable to go back to sleep. Then, as if by magic, I would go back to sleeping normally.

by Kathryn Tristan

Fear is an unseen enemy that can emotionally cripple and turn your life into a nightmare unless you learn, as I did, how to stage your own “anxiety rescue.”

by Clare M.

Two years ago I wondered if the horrible feeling, the gnawing in my stomach would ever leave. Inside my freshman dorm room, I lived in my own mind, fixated on my thoughts and tormented by irrational messages and faulty fears.

by Veronica Feeney

My struggles with emotional and mental problems began at age 12, when I experienced my first nervous breakdown. At age 20 I was diagnosed with major depression. By the time I was 30 that diagnosis had changed to chronic major depression with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Later, ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were added to my diagnoses. At age 40, and after three suicide attempts within two years, my therapist began to suspect that I suffered from bipolar disorder.

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