Carol: My Story


As far back as I remember, I’ve had paralyzing anxiety. In 6th grade, I began to have blackouts and crying tantrums that I couldn’t control. Even though my family was notified, my problems were not addressed.

As I grew older I became more emotionally isolated. I believed that I was going insane and tried very hard to hide my symptoms. This included self medication (alcohol and drugs), which only made my illness worse.

After years of sobriety, I finally began to seek help for my illness. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and put on anti-depressants. The medication made a big difference for me, but I was still not accepting my illness. I spent years bouncing on and off medication.

I became caregiver to my mother and realized I needed to be more stable. I began taking my medications seriously. They helped; I went through very difficult times, but was able to function. My mother needed me and with the help of my doctor, social workers, and the meds I was able to be there for her.

After my mother’s death, I realized I had to start living for myself. I had suffered 3 major losses in 6 years and knew I needed more help. I began openly discussing my feelings and suicidal thoughts with my doctors and case manager. I was hospitalized and my diagnosis was changed to borderline personality and my medications were changed.

It’s been hard staying on my meds, but I’m doing it. My life is much better when I follow directions. I still don’t like being mentally ill and I really don’t like my diagnosis, but I believe it today.