Every donor is special. Every reason someone donates to ADAA is unique. We are very grateful for the many ways that donors choose to support us. We are also so thankful for those in our ADAA community who raise awareness about mental health issues and work with us to #breakthestigma. We invite you to read donors' and public ambassadors' stories and campaigns below. You can also search all stories by disorder and by population by clicking on the search bar to the right of this page.

We encourage you to share your story with ADAA by sending us an email: lbram@adaa.org. We will feature your story here and through our social media platforms. Together we will triumph over anxiety and depression and together we will #breakthestigma!

by Matthew Woods

Matthew Woods 3_0.jpegHello everyone! My name is Matthew Woods, I’m 28, and I suffer from Panic Disorder. This disease once dominated my every waking moment with excessive false alarms that sent me to the emergency rooms more times than I can remember. Something as simple as a cramp would be misconstrued by my brain as a life-ending condition, sending me into a tailspin panic attack.

anxious1_1.jpegI never intended for depression or anxiety to be a part of my platform. When I was writing my EP I was speaking purely from my personal experiences, while writing it and speaking honestly I found a lot of what I had to say was about me not being ok in that particular time in my life.

setmo (2)_0_0.pngAnxiety is something that affects so many of us to varying degrees and is too often overlooked. When we wrote our track Nightmares in London with Scott Quinn the darker mood of the music made us explore this idea of anxiety and how it can feel suffocating. Scott had some great lyrics that really capture different effects that certain situations can have on people. 
 

BLACKTAIL_VECT_0.jpgEver since I was teenager I’ve always struggled with the highs and lows of depression and anxiety. I’ve woken up many times in my life thinking that I’m a failure and that I would never amount to anything. You begin to tear yourself down further and further until it’s almost impossible to get out. You try certain medications and they can do a decent job of helping calm yourself down, but no one wants to be dependent on that for the rest of their life.

Lularoe1_0.jpgThe weekend of October 31, 2014, I was hit hard with Panic Disorder.  Panic attacks one after another, all weekend long.  Even my throat "fell asleep".  You know, that feeling when Novacaine is about to wear off.   Before that, it was gradual.  It all started while driving to Virginia for my Uncle's 50th birthday party. I never made it there.

333NYC1_0.jpgThere’s no doubt that today in the United States, anxiety and depression are at an all-time high. Given the political climate, the actual climate, and the immediate availability to see how an Instagram-famous puppy or an 8-year-old reviewing toys online is living a seemingly better life than we are, it comes as no surprise that 40 million people in the country admit to struggling with anxiety, depression or other stress-related disorders. 

3 months laterChicago_1_0.jpg - Wow, I can’t believe I am finally mustering up the strength to being writing about how things have been these past three months. We’ve made it through Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and our first two family vacations. All three were complete hell. My parents and I often talk about how the “firsts” will be some of the hardest, and that’s all there is right now. Everything seems so dampened by his loss.

5 months laterChicago_1_0.jpg - Well, it’s shocking to believe that it’s been 5 months. I feel like I am living in a completely different lifetime than I was just a few short months ago, but this loss also feels so painfully fresh.

March 25, 2017 – 6 weeks later: My name is Samantha Thornton. I've always had a passion for others so I decided to become an elementary school teacher to plant the seeds of a love for education into little hearts. I am currently a 5th grade content literacy teacher. I graduated from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) and I'm currently living in South East Florida.

divabigg2 (2)_0.jpgDivaBigg is a body positive company. The company has three divisions; clothing, modeling (BBW in the Room), and show production, all geared toward body positivity.

by Sammy Sucu

Dream6_0.pngAs someone who has suffered chronic depression and has a family history of anxiety and addiction, I decided to take it upon myself (once I figured out my career and made enough money to support myself and my family) to make a change in the world.

lbb1_0.jpgI have been struggling with anxiety honestly my whole life, not up until about 6 months ago did it really become a problem.. I couldn't function day to day, I couldn't hold a job, and I couldn't even handle social events around my loved ones. I was diagnosed with a multi anxiety/depression disorder.. And going through the struggle of trying to make my family understand was another battle. I'm really broken by the fact that not enough people truly understand nor care too..

mindswimmers_0.jpgmindswimmer is an experimental jazz quintet committed to using our art to improve the world around us. We have each faced anxiety and depression, both personally and with those close to us. Unfortunately, one of our past collaborators and dearest friends took his own life when his burden became too great.

OOTD Walk flyer_0.PNGSuicide is the 12th leading cause of death in Maryland, the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 15-35, and the 1st leading cause of death for ages 10-14. But suicide is preventable. With your support, together we can save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. Last year, the Montgomery County Out of the Darkness Walk drew more than 650 walkers and raised over $75,000.

Ariel Costa Call For Action_0.PNG"I decided to create this video as a call for action. I hope it will bring curiosity and access to people who seek help.

Laundry Should be the Only Thing Separated by Color

Ally Wong and TShirt Project_0.jpgWe are 6th graders from Orchard Hills Middle School in Irvine, California. Our names are Katie Vu, Jacey Hwang, Gia Patel and Ally Wong. Recently our CORE class has been involved in service learning, where we learn by helping others. Students in our class researched organizations that help to solve problems in our world in learning groups.

by Alex Guerrero

BonneVie_1.jpgThere’s nothing more noble in life than helping other people. This mindset, instilled in me from a young age by my parents, is what drove me to create Bonne Vie Apparel Co. Hi, my name is Alex, I’m a Junior in college and I’m the CEO of Bonne Vie.

joyshowsupfinal.pngAnxiety and Depression impact millions of men, women, children, and teens each year. Many are left feeling so hopeless that they stop doing the one thing that could make all the difference- simply show up. The book Joy Shows Up highlights seven powerful ways to transform your life by simply showing up.

by Ariane Rauch

JasperJordan1.jpgOn May 10, 2017, an episode aired of CW's post-apocalyptic show "The 100" that made the hearts of the audience drop - 16 year old Jasper Jordan, beautifully portrayed by Devon Bostick, found a tragic end in the arms of his best friend due to an overdose after suffering from severe PTSD for a majority of the show. Thousands of viewers had followed his emotional journey, hoping for a story of healing and recovery.

by Rivka Bennun, Shulamith High School for Girls

Rivka.pngRivka Bennun is a fourteen year old freshman at Shulamith High School for Girls in Cedarhurst, NY. She loves to read in her free time and  play piano. She had to research something to write about for a class research project but also wanted to research something she was familiar with, as she definitely feels stressed on a day-to-day basis. Her is what she wrote...