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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

Johanna's Story

Some people tend to act as if depression is a preference, like a choice someone makes when she doesn't pull herself up out of the sadness that life has to offer. But, trust me, depression is not a choice I make. It is a condition that has affected me since I was 18 years old.

I'm now 42 and in partial hospitalization for depression and anxiety. I have had to take a leave of absence from my teaching job to get intensive treatment because I could no longer keep up the appearances of everything being fine. I had finally awakened from a 19-year marriage that only contributed to my sense of invisibility and worthlessness. That realization sent me spiraling into deeper depression than normal, and along with it came the anxiety that I couldn't make it on my own. Daily, I am gaining the strength to fight back the demons that depression brings along for the ride.

Depression is not a choice I make, but fighting that depression is.

I sometimes feel like I have to make excuses for my depression, as if my condition were some sort of choice, and an illicit one at that. But speaking out about how depression has affected me and my family help me become stronger.

Depression is not a choice I make, but fighting that depression is.

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