Hi my name is Wes. I have Schizoaffective Disorder and Depression. I probably had mental illness all my life but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 18. I had a nervous breakdown and had to drop out of college. I have a great support system of doctors and family that has helped me throughout my life. I’m one of the lucky ones. My parents advocated for me so that I could talk to the Nevada legislature and tell them that with my illness, I could not take a full load of classes, and I needed my scholarship to make an exception so I could take 1 to 2 classes a semester instead of the required 4 classes. The legislature agreed and I was able to go part time to college with my scholarship paying a portion. I believe that this action might have helped countless of other students with disabilities get access to their scholarships.
Starting over with my life, I changed majors from Architecture to Special Education, and just kept chipping away at the degree, slowly but surely. I had a few hospitalizations in between, but I survived. Ten years after my first breakdown, I finally graduated from college. It was the happiest day of my life. My parents were so proud and I had a bunch of family members come and join us for a nice pizza dinner after the ceremony.
After college, life was not so easy. I didn’t get hired as a teacher, so I tried my hand at selling cars. That put me in a tailspin that eventually led me into a deep depression and the following year, I was hospitalized for two months in two different hospitals.
Now, I consider myself in a “reconstruction period” in my life. I’m building back my life by trying to make it better. I joined a small group from church and go to Overeaters Anonymous meetings. I am also learning to be an emissions technician. I’m picking up the pieces slowly but surely.
Thanks for reading my story. I wish you nothing but the best in your recovery as well!