Having a mental illness can be lonely, isolating and scary. But when people share their stories of coping with mental illness or substance use disorder, it can provide inspiration and hope and be a welcome reminder that you are not alone in your challenges.
Below are just a few examples of websites where people share their personal stories of hope and recovery. In some cases, there are opportunities to join in the discussion or share your own story.
Voices for Recovery is a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) with personal stories of people recovering from mental and/or substance use disorders. These individuals are celebrating their successes and sharing them with others to help educate the public about treatment and how it works.
Hearing Voices of Support is an initiative of the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA) to promote acceptance, support, hope, and recovery for people living with schizophrenia and related brain disorders.
SARDAA notes that people with schizophrenia or a related brain disorder “are often reluctant to talk about it for fear of being judged or discriminated against. We’re working to change that. We’ve invited people to speak openly about the voices they hear.”
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) presents a series of personal stories from people living with anxiety, depressive, obsessive-compulsive, and trauma-related disorders. You can learn about their experiences, how they have coped and what helped them find hope and recovery.
The NoStigamas project is working to raise awareness, reduce stigma, foster understanding and create conversation through self-expression. It offers a variety of ways to share experiences of mental illness, through stories, art, photography, poetry, music and advocacy.
The project encourages you to share your story: “Just like everyone has their own path to healing, everyone has a unique way to share their story.”
The websites include stories of many different types of experiences, such as the story of a communications professional and mother of two coping the bipolar disorder.