We love to hear your stories dealing with mental illness. Whether you or a loved one has dealt with the difficulties of mental illness, we want to hear your story. Below are stories that others have submitted to Rehinge. If you would like to submit your own story, click here.
January 02, 2015
If three years ago people would have told me that everything would get better, I would have merely nodded my head while screaming my disbelief on the inside. I thought things simply could not get better, that I’d be forever trapped in the dark room I felt myself imprisoned inside. While my friends went out, I chose to remain home. When I attended parties, I could not help but think that I’d have had a better time on my own. Even when I was surrounded by others, I felt like a bubble shut me out, like I was somehow different from all the others. And even when I found myself in the Intensive Care department of the hospital, I still could not bring myself to reclaiming my life.
Do you ever feel that way? Well, you are not alone. It took time, but even I, so skeptical at first, learned to envision a recovery. And I envisioned myself writing about this recovery, helping others get on top of things even if at that moment I was not quite sure whether I, myself, would. My name is Hanne, and I battled my inner demons for over four years. I thought I wanted to be perfect, but it turns out that I never quite knew what that really was. I am also a survivor, the living proof that if you put your mind to it you, too, can survive and overcome your struggles. If I can do it, so can you. I believe in you. I believe in recovery.
Because of this same reason, I wrote a novel entitled “Just Perfect.” It is a novel that finds its roots in the difficult times I have gone through, and it took me more than three years to write. But it was worth it. It’s definitively worth it. Meant to inspire and help others through the sharing of my personal struggles – experienced by so many others as well -, I believe it would be incredible to share my work with the largest audience possible to convince people of the fact that they are not alone and that they, too, have things worth fighting for.
If you are interested in checking out “Just Perfect” (I hope with all of my heart that it will help you on your road to recovery) you can find it here: https://www.createspace.com/4888416 (hardcopy) and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QHCWQC0 (Kindle version)
Not only would I, in this way, be able to help others, it would also lift a heavy burden off of my shoulders. Yes, indeed, there were several things that were vital in my recovery, things I could not have survived without. And penning down my thoughts and battles were vital. On top of this, the incessant help of my family was vital. Without them, without being able to share my story with them (particularly my parents and twin sister), I would not have been able to fight as bravely through this struggle as I did. Because you can’t win a battle on your own, and I urge you to find that person to open your heart to.
Writing was the second-most important aspect in my recovery, and it may work for you as well if you give it a try. Take just five minutes each night or fifteen minutes each week – find a time that fits for you – and pen down the thoughts, feelings and events that you encountered during the day. Make sure to note down the positives and the things you are proud of, and repeat them to yourself. Because you are unique, and you are special and talented in your own way.
I mentioned the need to get your story off of your chest – please don’t keep it locked up inside of yourself – and, therefore, if you have anything you want to discuss or need to let go off, I hereby offer you my ears in case you feel the need. Because I know you are worth fighting for. I’m sure of it. To all the fighters, don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to reach out to others and to talk to family, friends, or a professional. I know you can do it – build trust in yourself and make it happen!
November 18, 2013
I’ve always suffered from being “different.” I just didn’t know what it was or how “different” I was. I now know I have GAD, OCD, ADD, and Magical Thinking… that’s a lot of “different.”
I’m putting different in quotations because, I don’t consider them to be a bad thing anymore. I know about my illnesses, how to treat and manage them, and I get along in life wonderfully. Sometimes I find myself thinking “unwanted thoughts” but I just say (audibly, mind you) “Oh, shut up OCD!!” HA!
I’ve learned to incorporate it into my everyday life and it has made me the outgoing and bubbly person I am today. I am not sitting in a corner and feeling sorry for myself. This is because I sought help. That is the most important thing. Seeking help is NOT a weakness, it is a STRENGTH! It takes courage to admit you don’t know the answers and you need guidance. I can’t imagine what my life would be like right now if I had not done that. I am very grateful to all the health professionals and caring people who have helped me over the years,
I have been following Paton Blough’s story for quite some time. I am so excited about his new endeavor with Rehinge and I can not wait to see what it grows into. I KNOW you will help so many people.
Thank you for what you are doing and God Bless you!!
November 10, 2013
Ever since I can remember I have been in a church. Growing up in a Christian home was how I will always remember being brought up. I was dedicated in a local Baptist church at 3 months old. I attended that same church through about 3rd Grade. During my time at this church I had the opportunity to be baptized as a fellow believer. I got baptized for all the wrong reasons. I thought all the cool kids where doing it so why shouldn’t I follow them. Plus my two brothers got baptized too. After 3rd Grade I started attending Eastern Hills Baptist Church. Fast forward to about 6th grade. I was already involved with the youth group at Eastern Hills but was a lonely 6th grader because I didn’t have hardly any friends due to being diagnosed with ADHD, which is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Basically, with this disorder I had a lot of trouble focusing and sitting still during classes in middle school. The end of middle school was tough because I got diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder. I also started seeing a counselor/ therapist to begin to work through my depression. Again, I had no really close friends and found myself very lonely. Nothing drastic really happened that I can think of that cause me to become diagnosed with depression. I just think it is some chemical imbalance in my brain. High school was pretty rough too. I spent time in the mental hospital for trying to hurt myself I even tried cutting on my body to release the pain I felt inside. It was also during my time spent in the hospital that I can remember being strapped down to a mattress and being physically restrained so I wouldn’t hurt myself. Now I’m thankful for those times I spent in the hospital because I was getting the help I needed and if I wasn’t there I probably wouldn’t be here today.
It was about my senior year of high school that I thought my battle with depression was over. I spent time actually growing in my relationship with the Lord, went on several church trips and was even president of the local committed young Christian club. I graduated high school in May 2007 and went on to College and chose to attend North Greenville University a small Southern Baptist school in Tigerville, S.C. After being at College for only one semester I felt the Lord calling me to go on a missions trip to Kenya. I went to Kenya in the summer of 2008 for two weeks and got to share in the joy of working in an orphanage with children who were learning about Jesus themselves. It was then on the way back from Kenya after seeing the Lord work there that I had my first panic or anxiety attack. I don’t know exactly why it happened; I just know I felt like I was going to die, even though I wasn’t. I was crying and hyperventilating. To this day I still don’t know why this happened to me on my way back from doing what I thought was a good thing.
Let’s move onto the next date, September 2008, while I was attending college at 2:30 am. My heart began racing. The school EMTs came by to check on me and decided to take me by ambulance to Greenville Memorial Hospital. Once at the hospital, a lot of tests where run and the doctor I saw couldn’t really tell what was causing my heart rate to be so high. The doctor told me that he wanted me to see a cardiologist to make sure nothing was wrong with my heart. So later on I visited the cardiologist. He decided for me to wear a heart monitor for two weeks, which later showed that nothing was wrong with my heart. So, I returned to North Greenville and on October 11th 2008 the doctors at Greenville memorial finally figure out what was wrong because I had been three times to the same hospital in two and a half weeks. It was that I had a potassium and magnesium deficiency. To this day I still have a deficiency and can’t keep enough of those vitamins in my body. It doesn’t interfere with my heart rate anymore though. On October 22nd I made the decision to leave North Greenville for the rest of the semester. Spring and summer 2009, I took classes at the local community college here in Charlotte with no health problems and actually did pretty well considering the facts. I also didn’t struggle with depression as much because I was home in Charlotte. Fall 2009 I decided I would return to North Greenville and I thought my health concerns including my mental health concerns were gone. I took classes as normal in the fall and did well. Then In spring 2010 my depression struggle got worse. I had started off the year with the good intention of me making it the best semester ever. Well shortly after that I began to feel depressed; the main reason was because of me being away from Charlotte I think. I started feeling depressed in ways I thought I could never feel. And things started happening that I had never experienced. One night I remember I started to have hallucinations. I remember thinking I just needed to go to bed and get some sleep and this was happening because I was tired. Well the next morning my roommate had to wake up and go to work at 5 am so I woke up around then too. After she had left the voices that I was hearing became so demanding I thought they were real. Because I thought they were real they told me I was worthless and that I shouldn’t be alive anymore. I then tried to overdose on some pills. Like I said before I couldn’t really comprehend what was going on. I then discovered shortly that empty bottle of pills in my hand. I was able to get myself together and walk down to the coordinator‘s apartment on campus. Then by that time I began getting dizzy and my heart was racing. Then I blacked out. The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital bed with a few people by my side. It wasn’t until later that they actually found out it was a suicide attempt. In May 2010 I was in the mental hospital for the suicide attempt for two weeks. I then decided to leave North Greenville for good. When I first came home I was doing better but still had my good and bad days.
It was while was at home I started attended Elevation Church. May 16th 2010 was my first time ever at Elevation. I can still remember that Sunday now. It was during the E series; the E stands for empowerment. One thing pastor Steven Furtick said was “I am God’s gift to the world, placed here for a purpose, guided by a passion and empowered.” For this girl who struggles with depression, that hit me hard and hits me even harder when I think about it today. Anyway, in August 2010 I began searching for an E group and that’s when I came across Kate Hass’ Egroup: later named the Goldmine and taken over by Kristin. I went to my first E group meeting on August 30th 2010. Even Though I was attending an E group my depression still is a strong factor in my life. My therapist that I was seeing at that point told me that I probably will struggle with some type of depression all my life. This didn’t make me feel good at all. But I continued to live as best as I could and will keep on living my life. Flash forward to November 2010 I started having hallucinations again. I had been experiencing them for a couple of days. Then the fifth of November I was going for a walk in my neighborhood and made a really bad decision, and then heard voices that I believe now was actually Satan’s voice. I then walked over 5 miles to the local mental hospital to see if I could see a doctor. Well the doctor I saw increased my meds and I stayed in the hospital overnight for observation just to make sure I wouldn’t do anything to harm myself. Keep in mind during this time I was still trying to grow in my faith but sometimes doubted that God was really working in my life.
Well, lets flash forward a good ways to July 10th 2011. Treatment series began at elevation, for those that don’t know that’s when Pastor Steven talked about things that often are not discussed from the pulpit. He preached on anxiety, depression, addiction and insecurity. Throughout this series it was very eye opening and what I learned is now what I lean on during the hard times that I still have. It was the next series “FOLLOW” that really was a spiritual turning point for me. It was during that series that Elevation did Spontaneous Baptisms. I was one of the 2,158 people that got baptized. On August 7th 2011 I made a commitment between God and me. This time when I got baptized it was for real and not a fake commitment like when I was a child. I want to go ahead and point out that just because I got baptized then that did not mean my struggle with clinical depression was going to end right then and there. It stayed with me and still stays with me today.
Let’s move on to another time in my life. It’s another bump in this road I call life. Please bare with me now as I take the time to share with you the next part of my story as it is very hard for me to wrap my mind around. To begin this part of my story I would like to share that I have never had a boyfriend or been on a date with a guy. Well I think I have prefaced this enough please just do not judge me based on what I am about to say. Around April/May of 2012 while I was still trying to grow as a Christian I started to begin to struggle with my thought life and started to have feelings toward other women. Basically I started to think I am a homosexual and struggled with homosexual feelings. These feelings lead me to question whether life was worth living. I didn’t attempt suicide but I was really close to it. I ended up at Presbyterian hospital on the behavioral health unit. During this time I got on some new depression medication because the doctor thought my other had stopped working. Also while I was there I wrote a letter to my parents and explained to them telling them how I felt toward other females. As soon as I got discharged from the hospital I started into counseling at Grace Life International. A Christian based organization. Upon going for about eight weeks, God started working in my life in ways unimaginable. My feelings toward other women started to go away. One night I just asked the lord to take away my feelings toward women. And he did.(for now anyways) I’m not saying this part of my story is over though and I still need lots of prayers that these feelings won’t come back to haunt me.
Let’s flash forward a good ways more. January 2013 the Lord started stirring in me and working on me. I had prayed a lot and sought the Lord on the matter of maybe going on another mission’s trip. Since it had been almost a whole year since I had been hospitalized for my depression. I started feeling great and new my mood was much better. March 17th 2013 was my first Sunday at Forest Hill Church. I started to attend forest hill because I felt like it was time for a change. As much as I love Elevation church I wasn’t growing like I should be in that E group. And due to some other issues I decided to try Forest Hill out. I ended up leaving my E group due to God leading me to this new place in my life. About a month after my first visit to Forest Hill, I heard that life group connect was coming up. In April I attend life group connect not knowing what to expect. Well when I got there I saw this girl (later I found out her name was Kristy). She was holding a yellow balloon. Something drew me to her balloon, which I think now was definitely the Holy Spirit. We then joined up in that first circle and that’s when I knew something was going to be different. I knew my life was about to change for the better. It was also during April that I was picked by adventures in missions to go on a mission trip to Chicago. Now its June, 2013 I’m heading out at the end of this month to Chicago. Even though I still am on medication for my depression, I’m still going. Because I feel like there is someone in Chicago that needs to hear my story .Am I still the same depressed teenager/early adult I was in the past? No I think I’m starting to slowly change and make progress. I am reading my bible daily and trying to seek the Lord. Yes there are plenty of days where I might not feel 100 percent, but I know the Lord is always in control. I know for a fact that one day I won’t have to experience depression or my other issue anymore. Through y’all’s prayers and support I will fight this battle. I’m probably going to be in some sort of counseling the rest of my life just because clinical depression is hard to deal with. Right now I see a therapist every two weeks and my psychiatrist every 3 months. I’m hoping my story not only helps you get to know me better but helps you grow in your faith as well. I tell you all these things to not make you feel sorry for me. I have experienced all these things in my life to make me into a stronger person to where I am today. Every day when I wake up in the morning I am happy to be alive. I am also happy because God has given me the strength to tell my story again and again.
October 31, 2013
I grew up in a family with 6 brothers and sisters. I never had any friends. I just never fit in (the reason would be clear when I got older). I remember telling my mom, and I had wanted to when I was younger. Her response was that I should not feel that way. When I was 18 I attempted suicide for the first time. Soon after I got scared and told my dad that I took pills, and he rushed me to the hospital where, for the first of many times to come, I was put in a psych ward. I was there for two weeks before I was released back home. But all I wanted was to be back in the hospital. I would later find out it was because of my illness. I was now on a mission to get back in to the hospital were for the first time in my life I had people who understood me and I could relate to them. I graduated high school but soon after I was back in the hospital and for close to the next ten years I was in and out like a revolving door. I would cut or threaten myself so I could get back in to a place I felt comfortable and people were paying attention to me be it negative or positive. Restraints were a common occurrence with me. Eventually things seemed to be getting better and the revolving door stopped. I found a school for the disabled where they would teach computer and office skills and help you find a job. I was accepted and became the first non-physically disabled person to go to the school. I was very proud of that because I opened the door for many people. I got a full time job after graduating. I also won an award for the courage to come back. Sadly, the happiness would soon end. I was having medication problems and went back to my old doctor, and he said I could stop taking all my meds. Needless to say the revolving door started all over again. I started receiving ECT treatment in hopes this would help. When I was not in the hospital I was doing a lot of research on my symptoms. The anger, the cutting, the fear of abandonment. I soon found out I have what is known as borderline personality disorder. When a Doctor officially told me that I have it, it was one of the most happiest days of my life I now realized all that was happening to me was not my fault. I now understood the anger, the cutting, and the manipulating. My next goal was to get it under control, and through a lot of therapy and a family who never gave up no matter how rough it got, I did just that. It has been thirty years since my first episode. But I have been very blessed to have insight and understanding to know if I were to kill myself the damage I would cause to my family and friends. I also had an experience during my illness that made me realize that only way I would die was when God was done with me on earth and not until then. God is the one who makes the decision not me. I also know God gave me the illness for a reason and because of that I have never been ashamed to say I have a mental illness. I love telling my story, and telling people that they don’t have to be afraid. In my therapy one of the hardest things to talk about is things that I did during my illness, and I still feel shame even though I know it was due to my illness. I also get from time to time flashbacks but I am learning to deal with them. I still have my bad days but the good far out ways the bad. I recently had to go in the hospital for ECT treatment because I have no way to do it out patient. One of the most positive outcomes from this is that I actually did not want to be in there, but as I said I had no choice. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would hate to be in the hospital. Thank you God.
October 18, 2013
I am a 14 year old female. I’ve been here and there, noticing on the way, I’m not alone. I am not longer scared to tell me story. I have major depression, anxiety, panic attacks (also a part of anxiety), and bipolar disorder. My grandma was one of the closest people to me, but in third grade she got hooked on prescription drugs. It tore my heart straight out of my chest. I then went into a hibernation of never coming out of my room, and I was glad my family had no idea of the cuts down my wrists and legs. I went through three years hiding this, I never showed emotion it was just something that never came to mind. In fifth grade I met a friend that had the same interests as me. We communicated through, sadly, writing words on our arms with razors. I then got into the habit of sneaking out of my window going to her house to cry to her about how horrible things were. I went through three years and six months, without my mom knowing. That one friend I had, told on me. Let everything out. My mom came and got me out of school January 27th, 2012. She knew everything, and surprisingly she understood that I was hurting. I thought in my mind she was out to hurt me and that the rest of my family was against me to hurt me. It wasn’t the case though. She took me the doctor right away. I then got put on Citalopram 5mg, every morning. Things started to look up, I was getting out more and showing the girl I had been hiding for so long. I then started seventh grade, everything was getting so much better. Then in February of 2013, I had a melt down drag out. I was hearing and seeing things that weren’t real. I had horrible dreams that I couldn’t tell the difference from reality or not. I was trying to hang myself and kill myself with no reason. I had so many deep cuts I almost bled out and died. I was then sent to Aiken Regional Hospital for Men tal Illnesses in SC. I spent three days there and the doctors sent me home saying there was nothing wrong with me. I then continued on with public schooling and my doctor raised my Citalopram to 20mg. Things then continued on getting some what easier. Now lets fast forward to August of 2013. I had just broken up with the abusive boyfriend I had been with for a year. I went to the skating rink, (where I always went to let out my stress). There was a guy there, he made me laugh, made me happy for a little while. I don’t know what possessed me to do this, but he had convienced me to go out to the lake with him and smoke weed. Keep in mind, I had never done anything like this. I went out with this guy (I can’t tell you what he looked like because I can’t remember) and I took one hit off the weed and he told me it was laced with something that made me forget. He lied, I remember mostly what happened. He raped me. Took my innocents. I was scared for my life on the ride back to the skating rink. I then took it upon myself to make a bunch of friends that done drugs. I got myself into a DEEP hole. I smoked every morning, in the bathroom at school, anytime I was sober, I wasn’t. I drank, smoked, popped pills, anything that could get my mind off what happened. September came around and I noticed a HUGE drop in my grades, considering I am in 8th grade taking English one and algebra one also. I stopped doing the drugs to continue my track of graduating early. I had huge withdraw symptoms. This is when I finally made up my mind to tell my mom EVERYTHING. She is my source of support now. She took me to a counselor, it’s now October 17th, 2013. I am happy, I am complete, God has helped me get on track. I am now a NAMI goer. My mother is a NAMI goer. I am 14, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in September. I am on the track now to become an adolescent counselor, to help kids like me when I get older. My story, is mine. Not like any others. I am different. I am strong. I want to inspire, to dream, to become, to HELP.
October 18, 2013
I was first dx with BiPolar 16yrs ago when I was 30. I went through very hard times for 5 yrs donating my mind like a lab rat trying different meds. Finally I found a great, mindful place with the proper mix of medication.
My manic, grandiose choices led me to incarceration for 5 yrs. (2007) I was writing bad checks from 5 different banks in a 6 month period. I owe 40,000 of finds to the State of Washington. I couldn’t keep a relationship, marriage was broken.
After 16 unforgettable years of a dark world, I’m happy as ever, in a great relationship with a understanding man, stable work and living like taking my first breathe.
I want to start meetings here and I would like your professional input on how I can get started .I recently had a friend commit suicide last week because of mental illness. We both were in denial for the longest time..now I know it’s OK to say what I have been so ashamed and scared of..I have a Mental illness.