“It is really important that people are kind and compassionate. My current battle includes depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. When I was younger, I didn’t realize I was depressed and anxious. My parents didn’t know either; they just thought I was being a teenager who was struggling to figure out life. When I realized I was depressed, I took action to help myself. I focused on changing my thought patterns. My parents and sister were confronted with my schizophrenic symptoms. They had to come to terms with the fact that I was dealing with something no one in my family had dealt with before. I needed to be on medication, and they understood this is serious along with all mental illness. They finally saw the truth and did everything they could do to help me. I love my family; they made a huge difference in my recovery. I work really hard to help myself, and I am not afraid to ask for help. No one should feel shameful about going to therapy or taking medication. It doesn’t matter what other people think. Even though it’s only been a few years since I was diagnosed, I see so much progress. It is a necessary part of life to be able to know you are supported and are not alone. “

-Debbie (Placentia, CA)