Mental Illnesses Treatment Support & Programs How You Can Help Find Your Local NAMI NAMIWalks

Your are not alone in this fight

Spread the word! “You are not alone in this fight” when it comes to mental illness.

Our goal is to raise $300,000 by Dec. 31, 2012. Your donations help NAMI provide free education and support programs, publish reports and provide resources for people in need.

This year we’re asking you to share your story to inspire hope and break down stigma everywhere.

Submit your Video or Story

Jennifer's Story

Growing up, I always thought something was inherently wrong with me.  I was first diagnosed with major depression in 1998. I started therapy and taking medication. I became full of hope as I believed this was going to “fix” me.  I was wrong.  I had suicidal thoughts and as time went on I prayed to God to just put me out of my misery.  Being in and out of therapy for 5 years, I felt hopeless and trapped. Trapped that I didn’t want to be alive and knowing if I killed myself it would hurt my family.  I was scared to really let anyone in.  I was ashamed of who I was and what I was doing. Then one day in May of 2003, I ended up inpatient for the first time in a mental institution.  I cut myself and had to get stitches.  I was mortified, not only was my secret out but I was behind multiple locked doors, my shoelaces were taken and I was told I could only use the phone to make one phone call to let someone know I was there. I have never been to prison, but this sure felt like it had been described.  Only three times a week for an hour could I have 2 people at a time visit me.  Now I was praying to let me out of there, I was scared.  But the best thing happened while I was there.  I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. 

Finally, something seemed to describe exactly what I was feeling.  Slowly I started to let go of my secrets in therapy. I was sexually abused as a 6 year old. This led to my whirlwind of growing mental illnesses. By 7 years old, I was self harming by bruising myself and pulling a belt around my neck.  But it was 20 years of this self abuse before I understood what I was doing and why.  I had few friends my entire life and always felt no one liked me.  The reality is I didn’t and still don’t like myself.  I have a chronic emptiness inside.  Most days I feel “numb”; like I feel no emotions.  Other days I feel so overwhelmed, I want to die.  I am almost 39 years old now.  For me, everyday still remains a struggle.  I have multiple diagnosis’: Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depression, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, and Bipolar 2.  I am disabled and in therapy 3 times a week.  I find my little glimmer of hope through seeing others suffer yet never give up.  Most importantly…I know I am not alone.  I want to share with you this poem that I wrote that I feel explains the battle within myself with what I am told vs what my mind tells me.

You know what to say
I fail to listen

You say there is hope
I can’t find the light

You believe I have worth
I know the evil within

You tell me - keep trying
I repeatedly fail

You think I am strong
I buckle within

You tell me I’m not crazy
I have no sane actions

You request I forgive me
I knowingly do wrong

You insist I deserve love
I will not show the real me

You ask what I need
I deserve no desire

You tried to help
I waited too late

I plea you will listen…
The pain is too deep

It cannot be undone
Stop wasting your time

This Hell I have earned!


Support NAMI to help millions of Americans who face mental illness every day.

Donate today

Speak Out

Inspire others with your message of hope. Show others they are not alone.

Share your story

Get Involved

Become an advocate. Register on to keep up with NAMI news and events.

Join NAMI Today
  • Follow NAMI
  • Contact Us
    • NAMI
    • 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100
    • Arlington, Va 22203
    • Main: (703) 524-7600
    • Fax: (703) 524-9094
    • Member Services: (888) 999-6264
    • Helpline: (800) 950-6264