As a young girl, living with mental illness was never easy for me. I went through years of needless anxiety, suffering and depression.
But in 1995, when I was 51 years old, my oldest daughter and her husband observed my paranoia and other symptoms and talked with me about seeing a psychiatrist. I was in denial about my condition at the time, and I refused help.
Later, an upper respiratory infection led to my being taken to the emergency room of our local hospital. While I was there, my daughter requested a psychiatric evaluation for me.
Doctors were able to identify a chemical imbalance in my brain that was the source of my problems. Finally, I received a diagnosis: paranoid schizophrenia.
After another few years of denial, I was sent to a state facility. My going there is the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned more about my illness and the methods of treatment necessary for me to stabilize the chemicals in my brain.
I’m 57 now. My health has improved, and I’m praying and reading my Bible every day. At the end of what I believed was a dark tunnel, I have found that there is light and hope.