Biggest myths regarding mental illness is that there is no hope: Path to Recovery

Article author- Haleema Bawany

Mental illness is one of the most misunderstood issues of our time. From stigmas to rumors, it’s truly concerning just how much misinformation is being spread about this harrowing problem. One of the biggest myths regarding mental illness is that there is no hope for individuals suffering from it. However, this belief is inherently false, as there are countless accounts from multiple people discussing how they overcame their disorders. In this article, we will be taking a look at 3 individuals who share their stories, recounting their path to recovery.

Donna’s Story – Recovery from Bipolar Disorder, Dissociative Disorder and PTSD

According to Natasha Tracy from, “Donna experiences bipolar disorder, dissociative disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Donna describes her life before recovery as a “living hell” – repeatedly in and out of the hospital and attempted suicide.  Even her doctors thought there were times when she wouldn’t make it through the night.

At age 24, Donna recalls,

I started going downhill really fast, I could not get control of any part of my life. Everything seemed to be too much of an effort and I began acting out in ways that I had never done before. I just didn’t care about myself or anyone.

Through medication, therapy, a great treatment center and religious faith, Donna achieved a level of recovery.

Every day I struggle with keeping my symptoms under control. The [treatment] center has played a huge part in not only my life but my recovery. I know in my heart that if it hadn’t been for the staff there I wouldn’t be here today. I know that I did the work to get here but they are the ones who helped me put it in drive and when I got stuck; they pushed me, even carried me.  

Today, Donna considers herself thriving both at work and home.

I have my symptoms under control and am stable now. It took a lot to get to this point. It took people believing in me. It took a huge effort on my part to want to learn how to get better and an even larger effort on my part to actually do it. No one ever told me that recovery was going to be easy but they did instill in me the belief that it would be worth every ounce of hard work that I put into it.”

Ana’s Story – Recovery from Depression and Anxiety

Recounting her recovery story to San Mateo County Health, Ana said, “I lived with undiagnosed depression and anxiety that began when I was a child until I decompensated (fell apart) and developed psychotic features (depression along with loss of touch with reality) including thoughts that others can read my mind, fear, and visual hallucinations. Thanks to the help of medication, therapy, my family and friends, and God, I recovered (although not completely).  I decompensated two other times when I stopped taking my medication and luckily with the mentioned resources, I am 80% recovered and I am now living my dream life with a job, a family, and a relatively healthy mental state. Remember: speak up, seek help, don’t give up, live intensely, and God loves you.”

Anjali’s Story – Recovery from an Eating Disorder, Self-Harm, Depression, and Anxiety

ForwardThinking Birmingham features Anjali’s story, where she tells us how, “I have dealt with mental health difficulties since the age of 11. I began receiving support for my disordered eating, self-harm, depression, and anxiety when I was 13 years old. This consisted of a lot of therapy and individual work and now I can happily say I am recovered.  I continue working on myself every day to create a life I know I deserve.

My recovery journey began at 13 years old when I finally realized something had to change because I was so sick of the way I was feeling every day. As a young girl, I’d always been a passionate person to strive for success and when I realized that I needed to receive help so I can stop holding myself back and reach my goals, I slowly began responding to therapy. Choosing recovery was the best decision I made. I learnt so much more about myself and began falling in love with myself and the world, without being so critical of everything. Making the choice to wake up every day and at least try to be kind to myself is what allowed me to now be here today helping others.”

By sharing their experiences, these individuals who suffered from mental illness give the world hope that there are ways to recover. Pain is not forever, and by making an effort to seek out the right resources, the path to recovery will be soon to follow.

Article author: Haleema Bawany

Haleema Bawany is a junior at Jordan High School with a passion for all things psychology! It is her dream to become a psychologist in the future so she can help people with mental health issues live life to their full potential!