"When I was not well, I was told I had it all and that I lacked nothing. I was told that I needed to pull myself together. Day by day, I would sink further and further which only brought my self-destructive habit of drinking and smoking which were ways to cope and manage my agonizing heart and the desire to get out of my skin. As far back as my early teens, my life has been double. The one inside and the perfect façade. Every day was a battle, a struggle. I am a victim of an alcoholic parent, was emotionally abused when my parent was drunk. Inevitably, it led me to hate alcohol. And yet! No matter how determined I was, or felt I was, no matter how hard I kept away, eventually again I found my solace and peace in alcohol.
My depression manifested itself in many different ways, none less than my feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem, yet I simply could not understand why."

Nayla's Story

“Everyone always told me that I had it all, the friends, the character, that I was sociable. Until today friends and family member remind me of how I was when I was a child, how everyone would follow me, and describe me as a leader. I don't know from where my sickness originated or when it started but I think my surrounding, the people who I hung out with affected me the most, on the other hand my mom tells me that I am very emotional and that “my spirit is too soft”. I believe anything that people would say. I've been on meds for more than 7 years and 3 weeks earlier I decided to stop taking my last medicine Zoloft. I felt I was ready to walk the earth medicine free like any normal person. Here is the list of medications I took: Seroquel, Zoloft, Abilify, Anafranil and many more because I was diagnosed with OCD. I felt ready to stop my last medication...”
My depression manifested itself in many different ways, none less than my feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem, yet I simply could not understand why."

W.H.’s Story

“Around my family and friends and always around the happiest times of the day, I would get the most annoying negative intrusive thoughts; thoughts that are very evil. Thoughts that are logical but nevertheless out of place. I would be sitting in the most peaceful place up in the mountains, surrounded by trees and nature, but my mind was anything but that. I was continuously thinking of details that happened that day, analyzing them and wondering what I could have done better. This would take out all my night until the thoughts accumulated into obsessions. I would think and think and repeat and feel out of control and think some more, until finally I would feel the power of the thought on my body. My heart would be racing. I would feel dizzy and out of breath. Things were amplified; noises were louder and people were scarier. Family would come to see what’s going on, but it only made me feel worse.”
My depression manifested itself in many different ways, none less than my feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem, yet I simply could not understand why."

Mira’s story

“We are brought up to always be strong and never to show weakness even if we were. We are brought up that emotions should always be controlled and that there is no such thing as mental illness or depression per se. It’s a just another bad day and everyone has bad days. What society and families don’t understand is that depression and particularly severe depression can actually and effectively make a human being completely dysfunctional. It strips him/her from every single weapon that we as human beings use to live our daily lives and leaves us naked, open to the whims of the evil destructive powers of depression. I lost interest in literally everything, anything, and anyone around me. I quit my job, kept myself locked in the room away from anything that is related to social interaction. I basically lost the incentive to live. I preferred death over life. I stopped eating and went into an anorexic phase where my BMI dropped to 12 (normal is 18-24).”
My depression manifested itself in many different ways, none less than my feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem, yet I simply could not understand why."

Ghida’s story

“ Patients with manic-depressive illness may not opt to popping pills in order to cure themselves (a lot of patients don’t believe that there is anything the matter with them in the first place). The reason behind this resistance is that they perceive the taking of medication to be a sign of weakness. Also, manic-depressive illness has a profound effect on a person’s identity and some patients believe that taking medication will rob them of their character. There is also the concern of medicalising human emotion. A person with manic-depressive illness can no longer merely be angry any more, for any manifestation of human emotion is regarded as symptomatic of his illness.”
My depression manifested itself in many different ways, none less than my feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem, yet I simply could not understand why."

Ahmad’s Story

“… I have been living with bipolar depression for almost 25 years....at the beginning it was like an earthquake inside and in my family ...I was mentally destroyed and my family were shocked....thanks to their patience and the support of my friends, and where I work, I have survived. I got married and have 2 great children and I became a writer. I already wrote 2 poetry books and 3 novels and I am working on the 4th.....the good side of bipolar depression is that it made me appreciate a healthy life more and come to understand the world and people around me better…”
My depression manifested itself in many different ways, none less than my feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem, yet I simply could not understand why."

Z.K.’s Story

“…I developed an eating disorder, along with sever self-harming, from hitting my head against walls to deeply cut my arms and legs by any sharp tool available, as I was growing older, my social anxiety and depression were piling up, I could not hide them anymore, and as people started to realize and actually notice my scars and my instability, suicide was always there in my mind. I actually tried it twice, once by cutting and the other by overdosing on a certain medicine I was on, I "obviously" failed both, then a close friend sort of forced me to go to a psychologist, the thing that positively turned my life up-side down…”
My depression manifested itself in many different ways, none less than my feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem, yet I simply could not understand why."

M’s Story

Tell us your story

We have had brave and remarkable people come out and tell their stories of their struggles with the difficulties they have faced due to mental illness. The stigma of mental illness can only be overcome if we talk about it. By sharing your story of the struggles you have faced, you are breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness. We want people to know they are not alone, we are all in this together and through our community we can accept and help each other. Help us talk about it, share your story.

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