mental illness

Graphic of a brain
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Our experiences shape who we are.

Here at State of Opportunity, we've talked extensively about how Adverse Childhood Experiences—or ACEs—can affect a child throughout their lives. But new research suggests traumatic experiences in adulthood can be just as harmful.

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Do you remember what it was like being a teenager? You had to deal with hormone and body changes. It felt like no one understood you and you may have had trouble understanding your own feelings.

Being a teenager can be tough. But it can be even harder when a child is dealing with depression.

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Earlier this week, Dustin Dwyer brought us Brianna Darin's first-hand account of conquering depression.

The high schooler shared the steps she took after it clicked for her that she needed help.

But for some, the stigma surrounding mental illness can keep them from seeking the help they may need to achieve mental health.

Dustin Dwyer

[Note: Brianna Darin is a high school student in Kelloggsville Schools. We met her in a poetry class run by The Diatribe, a poetry group we profiled last year. We asked Brianna to share her story with us. Dustin Dwyer recorded and produced the piece. A transcript is below.]

Growing up, if you see me walking on the streets, you’d think, ‘Oh, she comes from a caring and loving family.’ Which is true. We were always protected.

But then you’d start to wonder, ‘Oh, where’s her dad? Maybe he just left and that’s it.’ But no, my dad would pop in and out of my life, and that, honestly, caused the beginning of my depression.

I got diagnosed with depression in sixth grade. I was 10.