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Wesley's Story

After graduating high school, I had dreams of becoming an architect/preacher like the pastor at my church. Although I had started to show signs of mania in high school, I was not diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder until three months after I had started college. Read More

Hannah's Story

Introducing NAMI to others is a form of positive creation that has helped me establish balance in my life. I wish that the people I have lost due to mental illness had found NAMI first. Now I know I can be there for people who are battling through that darkness by introducing them to the love and support of NAMI. Read More

Dawn and Matthew's Story

Mental illness is a sucker punch. It sneaks up and hits you hard when you’re least expecting, knocks the wind out of you. In the summer of 2001, my son Matthew graduated high school and was thinking about his future when he was sucker punched, struck by a serious psychotic episode. Read More

Wil's Story

The thing is, I wouldn’t just sit around and suffer if I had a treatable non-mental illness. I wouldn’t “just deal” with a broken arm. I wouldn’t refuse medication if I was experiencing a serious physical illness, like when I had H1N1. But I was afraid that medication for my brain would change who I was. I was afraid that it wouldn’t work. Read More

Angela's Story

There were periods of time where I would shut down, unable to function for weeks at a time. I refused to leave the house or talk to anybody. Each time, I would eventually be able to snap out of it, but the episodes got progressively more severe. Read More

Erin's Story

My struggle with bipolar disorder truly began in 2010, when I voluntarily admitted myself to a Lincoln, Neb. psych ward. I had experienced symptoms since my early teens and possibly for years before, even though my family and I didn't know it at the time. Read More

David's Story

When I first met Erin, we were in our late teens and signing up for college. As we continued to grow together as young adults, learning the ways of life on our own, we also got to find out something else: how to grow together as a couple with bipolar disorder in the relationship.  Read More

Juno's Story

How does a black kid from small-town Virginia with an IQ of 165, a 1,400 SAT score and an Ivy-League scholarship offer end up a mail clerk? Give up? It's quite simple really—he bets it all on becoming a rock star. Read More

Eric's Story

I am a single dad who just happens to have a chronic mental illness. After years of struggling, I found a wonderful doctor that actually took his time going through my symptoms in detail. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder/anxiety and major depression. Read More

Yashi's Story

I was living drug free in a loving family environment. But I was also living with deep internal pain and severe depression that I kept silent from my parents and siblings. I had no clue there was a name for what I was experiencing for several years. Read More

Edith's Story

I never imagined that I would come to learn about mental illness through a family member—my daughter. Read More

Nunca imaginé que tendría que enfrentar y aprender acerca de las enfermedades mentales en el núcleo de mi familia, y menos aún, que fuera a través de mi propia hija. Lea Más

Janie's Story

For a long time, I struggled. When I finally began my recovery journey several years after being diagnosed, I was true to my treatment and practiced effective coping mechanisms. But when it came to loving "me" just as I was, recovery was no more in reach than it had been before. Read More

Tom's Story

Well before I realized that this was the person I was going to love for the rest of my life, I realized that I would have to fully embrace her mental illness. As such, I would have to make her extensive involvement with NAMI my own. Read More

Phillip's Story

I always felt that there was something different about me, but I was too afraid to face it. If I had known what I do now, I could have easily skipped the dark years, which involved lots of self-destruction with heavy drug usage and self-harm. Read More

Imaj's Story

My first-hand experience with mental illness happened three years ago, when my older brother Sovereign had his first mental break. The day it happened, we—my three other brothers, my mother and myself—didn't have a clue of what was going on. All we knew is that for several days straight Sovereign wasn't his normal self. Read More

Linea's Story

How do I live a life of fulfillment? How will I accomplish all the things that I planned to do? Are the dreams I once had now gone now that I've been diagnosed with a lifelong illness? These are the questions I would ask myself daily when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 19. Read More

Paton's Story

When I was 26 years old, I believed that I had created the picture-perfect life with a family and thriving business. But my life took an abrupt turn when I had my first series of manic episodes in 2002. Read More


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