Wes K

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!

6 responses to “Wes K”

  1. Dawn says:

    Hi Wes,

    Thank you for sharing your progress! I love the way that you phrased this part of your life as a “reconstruction period”. I hope you don’t mind if I borrow that from you.

    You helped to remind me that we are capable-we just need to make adjustments and maybe take it a little slower.

    Your hopefulness and positivity shines through in your post. Keep shining!

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you for sharing the story if your ongoing reconstruction. I suffer from TRD and BPD. I am presently working to rebuild my life as well after 3 hospitalizations and a 5 day per week therapy program. I have a very small support system of only a handful of friends and I am estranged from my family. Sometimes the work of rebuilding seems pointless and other times I find peace in it. Especially when I find work in the industry I love. I am a Broadway musician and composer, making my way back into the community and working steadily is difficult in what most would consider a business and an art form that has contracted due to the recession and the continued economic climate. You truly have inspired me with your words. Stay brave and loved. I will try to do the same.

  3. Friend says:

    Hello Wes, thank you for sharing your story. I understand what it’s like to have a condition that challenges you. I know how you feel …..as a single parent, I have fought off feelings of depression because I want to do more to help my family. You are so very blessed to have a loving and supportive family, please let that speak out loud to you how very wonderful you are. A young man who knows the value of family and education tells me how much potential you have.You’ve already done so much in graduating which can be difficult when one has any challenge…especially one of the mind but not impossible and you’ve shown that, so please do not be hard on yourself Even though you may not have gotten a teaching job , you can help the world even by sharing your story. I am a true believer that we all have a purpose. I myself am inspired by your story . I only ask Wes, that you realize that we think your awesome just because of how far you’ve come already please don’t compare yourself to anyone else …in other words , it can take time to figure things out for many of us and at any age. So go easy on yourself. Sometimes what were meant to do is right in front of us all along. I myself have realized this because it is hard for me mentally and physically to attend school , that I must accept where I am now. So I help others with either their homework or a word of encouragement and that’s ok with me til the timing is right and I can afford to get my diploma online. You’re awesome , you achieved your degree , that’s alot. One more thing when you’re down remember you are not alone, many of us suffer depression a bit because we want the condition gone or sometimes depression can be a part of the condition but whenever you’re feeling down at any given time know it will pass…when dealing with such a condition we have to remind ourselves we’ll get there …we just have to know where there is ( when we have achieved our goals and ready to step into what we’re meant to do tho it may be hard ) and accept ourselves as good people who by no fault of our own have a mental illness, we just need a little patience with ourselves. I tell myself these days eat when its time to eat, rest when its time to rest, take my medicine and pray and let god do the rest….i take medicine for my physical challenges and get counseling thru my church for the emotional, I say this only to say i’m sensitive to meds but if there was one I could take I would but what i’m doing works for me , every condition is different in my case I was told my ptsd comes from stress and there really isn’t much by the way of traditional psych meds I can take I have to do the emotional work one step at a time but I don’t mind because I find the journey very interesting. I love people and find our differences is part of what makes the world a fascinating place. Tho we do not want to be ill seeing how mankind often comes together just gives me a warm feeling in my spirit. I hope you’ll take it easy also and know there are people out there making great strides in the medical community searching for a cure-)Again thanks for sharing your story

  4. donna says:

    Hello Wes I think your pretty awesome and you have a awesome family as well. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. Know that your best is good enough. I say that because i truly believe that..I am one who believes we all have a purpose that does not mean we have to wear ourselves out or pressure our self but to just enjoy the journey at a comfortable pace..(as you said little by little) no worries though you have not gotten a teaching job eventually you will know what it is you’re meant to do, or maybe you will teach but in a different way. Already you’ve inspired me with you’re story. Id like to offer a phrase I came up with….I will eat when I need to eat , rest when I need to rest ,take my medicine pray and let god do the rest, …take care wes and please hang in there knowing there are wonderful people out there in the medical community searching for a cure for all of us

  5. David says:

    This is amazing. I feel so ashamed and embarrassed all the time. You guys are really strong. I want to talk but I don’t. Know what I mean.

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