The Face of Mental Illness – 10/13/2013

The faces of mental illness for 10/12/2013:

“While at Star Wars Celebration VI, I discovered the power of wookiee hugs when my friend and wookiee handler threw me in with three of our friends in their wookiee costumes. I had been having panic attacks all day and felt horrible, but I managed to smile for the camera. When I was in position, my friend yelled “WOOKIEE HUGS” and I felt my friends wrap their arms around me and I felt safe and happy. It turned my day upside down.”



“Hi, I’m Heather. I’ve been dealing with OCD all my life. It has gotten better over the years with age, but only because I try to control it. I’ve stopped checking my kids 3 times in the night to see if they’re breathing and I’ve stopped checking every single closet, under beds, behind doors over and over, at night, etc,  but I still count obsessively, I still do things in the exact order everyday with a sense of doom if I don’t, touch objects over and over, and many other things that anyone with OCD will already know. In fact, I just read this paragraph over and over and I will have to physically stop myself, in order to send it off.”



“I’m 60 years old and married, living in Canada, but originally from the USA. I had my first panic attack at work in Feb. of 1984 because I vomited there. In my world, I did not vomit anywhere other than my own home or at my Mom’s. Every time I drove near the entrance to where I worked, I would feel nauseous and shaky and scared. One thing led to another and I finally quit my job. Found out right away that I had agoraphobia. Went through pdocs and meds for a long time. Did a lot of talking to one pdoc and then later on to one therapist. I’m on Lexapro l5 mg. a day and it has helped me quite a bit. Also take Ativan 1 mg. 4 times a day, but going to cut back soon. I had many jobs, good jobs, but either had to leave them or got fired from them because of ag, anxiety, PA’s, PTSD, etc. As of last Oct. I had a sudden turn around and I was able to go shopping, to the pharmacy, get a haircut and go to the dentist by MYSELF. Long story why this happened. I still go out, but usually with my husband because he’s retired. I have health problems too. One GI doc told me I had IBS w/constipation, which is not true. My present and GOOD GI doc told me I have bad bacteria in my intestines and he’s trying to help me because he also believes I do not really have IBS. I have arthritis all over and OA of the neck and back. I lost weight for no reason at all and when I got down to 75 lbs. from around 100-110 (5 ft. tall) I really got scared. Had all kinds of tests done, but showed everything was alright including my thyroid. I am finally gaining some weight back because I was told to eat everything. Okay. I don’t want to make this a novel. But I do want to tell you that there is hope when it comes to having these mental disorders. I always hated drugs, but I have to say now that they probably are the only things that got me through any of this. Thanks for letting me share.”

If you would like to share your face of mental illness, please email us at or mail us something the old fashioned way at:
P.O. Box 11391
Prescott, AZ 86301


5 thoughts on “The Face of Mental Illness – 10/13/2013

  1. I can identify with the lady with the OCD. Me too, but not as bad as it used to be. 🙂 Thanks for sharing my story, Rory.


    • Exactly. Who wants any of our loved ones to suffer? It breaks my heart on a regular basis when Rory tells me things. But the best things we can do are to love them unconditionally, support them in their efforts to improve, and take charge when they just can’t face things.

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