Mental Illness Recovery Series: Short Stories # 30 & 31

This is the 30th story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Bethany’s mental disorders took complete control of her life. Upon realizing that life is too short,she decided to change perspectives. This is her story:

Bethany is from Montgomery, NY, and she loves photography and exploring abandoned buildings. Her goals is to have a stable job and a home. She’d like to be married and live comfortably. Bethany was diagnosed by a mental health professional as she suffers from a panic disorder, depression and bipolar disorder. Although the reason for her daily attacks are unknown, her mental disorders stems from not being able to deal with death. Bethany receives medication and therapy.

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She had to deal with terrible symptoms, Bethany couldn’t leave her house, she was unable to drive, and had blurred vision. She felt like she couldn’t breathe. Bethany said, “The walls felt like they were coming down onto me.” She’s also suffered from insomnia, weight loss, and felt completely numb during the whole experience. This affected her life, she became suicidal and lost her job. Bethany had to be put on disability and lost complete independence.

This affected her relationship with others. Bethany’s fiancé didn’t know how to handle it at first, and she became extremely dependent of her mother until her mom began suffering from health issues. This made her feel horrible. Bethany said, “I didn’t feel like a “normal” 20 year old should.” Although Bethany is still struggling, the turning point was realizing that life is too short to be sad and panicking all the time. She said, “You have to live each day as if it were the last.”

The strategies Bethany used to control her mental disorders was going to talk therapy, and doing art and photography. Bethany’s fiancé also went to therapy and treatment, so he could help her during a moment of crisis. The lesson she learned from this ordeal is that ‘you are your own enemy!’ Bethany is still learning to love the good and bad parts of herself. She is now enjoying life through a new perspective.

I am glad Bethany, little by little, is gaining back control of her life. It is not easy, but with determination and the help of loved ones, she will be able to make it through.


This is the 31st story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Anonymous had to struggle everyday to get out of bed, but with the help of friends, she was able to appreciate life and change. This is her story:

Anonymous is from Southeast US and she enjoys cooking, baking, writing, drawing, and playing the guitar. Although she still struggles with depression, her goal is to be happy. Anonymous had a therapist she briefly saw, but she stopped going because she felt uncomfortable. She believes the root of her mental disorder is due to genetics.

Anonymous dealt with debilitating symptoms, she said, “I felt nauseous and dizzy frequently. I’d also experience headaches a lot.” This affected her daily life tremendously. She constantly had negative thoughts about herself and her appearances. Anonymous said, “I would often talk to myself by creating two personalities (a good side and a bad side) and having them discuss who I was and who I felt I should be.” Because of her struggles she attempted suicide twice and self-harmed.

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Her relationship with others was affected because Anonymous was extremely temperamental, lashing out on others. This made her feel trapped, she said, “I felt angry, like my angst and sadness was bottle up inside me. Whenever I tried to talk to someone about my problems, I would feel extremely guilty because I would whine about my mental condition while thousands of people had it so much worse than I did.” The turning point for Anonymous to control her mental disorder, was when she began exercising, going outside, and making new friends. Her friends gave her the support she needed.

The lesson she learned from this ordeal is that life is valuable, and battling a mental illness alone is no way to spend the only life you’ve got. Not only that but her outlook in life changed, anonymous said, “I am encouraged every day to be a better, brighter, and happier person.” She now encourages herself by reminding herself all the amazing things she has in my life, and all the things she has yet to experience. This is her advice for others struggling with similar situations:

“You don’t have to be alone. If it feels like there is no one out there for you, someone always is. You can always reach out and establish a new friendship with someone, as well. There is always help.”

I am glad Anonymous was able to find the encouragement to control her depression. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.

Edited by Hamad Hussain

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