Busting the Stigma of Mental Illness

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Kyra Wilson distinctly recalls how it began, “It was really at the end of middle school and towards the beginning of high school that I started to notice that things were changing and I wasn’t necessarily like my friends.  A lot of sleepless nights; I started feeling really sad for no reason and feeling lost and hopeless and school became a lot harder and I had always been a really good student.”

Kyra was diagnosed with Type II Bipolar Disorder, meaning she suffered largely symptoms of depression with a few mild manic episodes. She also had Generalized Anxiety; both of which were treated with a combination of talk therapy and medication.

It’s been a long journey, and Kyra has found peace in helping others. She’s currently an intern at NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness. She speaks to youth about the signs and symptoms of mental illness and the importance of seeking help.

She knows that her mental health is something that’s constantly evolving, “If I have to take medication again, that`s fine. If I have to go back to therapy, that`s fine too. I’m a lot more open into supporting my mental health with however many services I need. Right now it`s not that many, because I`m doing well, but I know that that might change and that`s totally fine.”

It’s a sentiment that Dr. Reginald Richardson echoes, “We don’t speak of cures; we speak of folks that are in recovery. We might speak in terms of remission. It is a journey umm and so it`s not an end point, it`s a process.”

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