I was the girl who had everything all figured out. Who knew where she was going in life and what her goals were. That was, until I had my first episode of psychosis at age 18. I was in the middle of my senior year when everything came crashing down on me. I no longer knew who I was and I had lost my grip on reality. I isolated myself and became depressed, and before I knew it I could no longer do so much as form a sentence. It wasn’t until a family member took me to the local psychiatric hospital that I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type.

The diagnosis scared me beyond belief. What did the future hold for me? Was I going to be able to live a normal life? So many questions raced through my mind. I was hospitalized for a week, and it ended up being the best week of my life. I learned so many things, and the torture and suffering I was experiencing was laid to rest by proper medication.

Since, I have had only mild mood episodes and no schizophrenia symptoms. While I was reluctant to receive treatment, I now realize the positive impact it has had on my life. So I encourage you, if you are struggling with mental health problems, reach out. Ask for help. You’ll be amazed where your life can go. This is only the beginning of a life long journey for me, but I know one thing… I’m not giving up on my goals and dreams. Neither should you.

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