all stories

"It was so embarrassing to have to tell my friends about my problem, but I knew it had to be done."

My name is Jordan. I am 11 years old.

About one year ago, I began experiencing a feeling of terror and panic during everyday situations. I was scared of everything, from going out to eat to going to a friend’s house. I told my parents, and we thought it might just be that a lot was going on. So we waited. As months went on, the anxiety and panicking didn’t get any better, and everything…

"I spent hours in the bathroom scrubbing my hands raw. I felt that if I didn't take part in this routine, my mother would die. I forced myself to eat foods that I absolutely hated. "

My experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) began in the summer I was seven years old. My father was planning a vacation to Florida with his girlfriend, my five-year-old brother, and me. I was so excited about seeing the beach and feeling real sand for the first time.

That excitement was short-lived. Once there, my father and his girlfriend began to argue, throwing plates and…

"I'm no longer at the mercy of my PTSD, and I would not be here today had I not had the proper diagnosis and treatment. It's never too late to seek help."

It is a continuous challenge living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and I've suffered from it for most of my life. I can look back now and gently laugh at all the people who thought I had the perfect life. I was young, beautiful, and talented, but unbeknownst to them, I was terrorized by an undiagnosed debilitating mental illness.

Having been properly diagnosed with PTSD at…

"It took a long time for me to accept that panic disorder is something I must live with. It is simply a part of my life."

Looking back, I can see that I had symptoms of an anxiety disorder even as a small child. I remember going for weeks at a time waking up, unable to go back to sleep. Then, as if by magic, I would go back to sleeping normally.

I remember being scared to death that I would die in my sleep. I feared death, what was beyond death—I was scared stiff. When I was 14 years old, I experienced my…

"I spent the next 20 years trying to avoid another panic attack. Unfortunately, avoiding fear also meant reinforcing it. "

Fear is an unseen enemy that can emotionally cripple and turn your life into a nightmare unless you learn, as I did, how to stage your own “anxiety rescue.”

I suffered from anxiety, panic, and fear for most of my adult life. It started in college when during marathon studying, I suffered a panic attack. I had been smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, and stressing over final exams. I…

"Thanks to a very loving and understanding partner, I was able to work through more of the anxiety I felt."

My struggles with emotional and mental problems began at age 12, when I experienced my first nervous breakdown. At age 20 I was diagnosed with major depression. By the time I was 30 that diagnosis had changed to chronic major depression with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Later, ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were added to my diagnoses. At age 40, and after three suicide…