Name: Ana Cielo Dueñas Diagnosis: Bipolar II, social anxiety, ADHD Age: 27
Describe something you are proud of in your journey in managing mental illness, could be a moment, an overall victory, etc. (character count below 600):
I always thought that my mental illness would get in the way of pursuing my passions and dreams. However, consistent therapy and the proper meds have been game changers for me. After my first year of consistent therapy and meds, I was able to begin working toward my dreams and my goal of becoming a full time artist. It was something I had always dreamed of, but I never had the confidence or self esteem to pursue. This has been my first full year working as a full time artist/ tattooer and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for trying. It's challenging, but worth it.
Advice for Newly Diagnosed (character count below 600):
Do as much research as you can on your diagnosis. Educating myself was a big part of how I was able to learn to manage and cope with symptoms. Also having a strong support system is hugely important. I wouldn’t be able to do everything I’ve overcome without my close family and friends. It’s okay to be afraid, you aren’t alone! And you can achieve amazing things, even with a debilitating mental illness. We are more than just our diagnosis.