Darrell, 43, Tennessee, US

Darrell Pic

“My struggle with depression, anxiety, and hyper-sensory disorder is one that reaches back into my early childhood. By the age of five or six, there were times when I couldn’t be touched because it made my skin crawl. Also, I couldn’t stand certain sounds because they hurt my ears.

By the age of 11, I rarely smiled, and I began to withdraw socially due to my struggle with depression and anxiety. My parents noticed that I was an emotional rollercoaster at times, but they weren’t equipped with the tools to properly help me.

In my teenage years, despite being a high academic achiever and playing sports, my self-esteem was very low. I became more antisocial and narrowed my interaction down to two close friends. Teachers and other adults just thought I was the “quiet type”.

As I ventured into my adult years, my depression and anxiety led to me dropping out of college, starting and ending a string of jobs, two failed marriages, and multiple suicide attempts.

I did return to school in my later years and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Unfortunately, I graduated at a time when the economy was at its worst. Difficulty in finding a career led to my sinking self-worth and increased anxiety. I truly believed that I was worthless and that I could never achieve my dreams.

Five years ago, after hitting rock bottom and considering suicide, I decided to get help. Therapy, medication, and research have provided me the necessary tools to cope with my mental illness. I have also been blessed with a wonderful family who supports me.

Now I have decided it’s time to help others who struggle in silence with mental illness. Millions of people are afraid to discuss or seek treatment for their mental illness due to stigmas, stereotypes, and lack of information. Because of this, I created and host a podcast to help raise awareness, offer hope, and let others know they are not alone.

The podcast, please give it a listen. Also, I host a Facebook page that provides articles, tips, and tools to help cope with mental illness as well as providing links to organizations you can get involved with. The page also allows you to share your stories, ideas, and creations that help you cope.  Get involved and help yourself and others who are on this journey.”


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