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Summer Solstice 2024

Navigating the Mental Health Crisis in Young Adults

Summer Solstice 2024 Friday, June 21, 2024. Learn More
Former Resident

Former Resident

Nearly 20 years ago, at age 7, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was experiencing a set of symptoms that overlapped with that mental illness. In retrospect this was a misdiagnosis. Today we know these symptoms were early signs of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a dissociative disorder.

I had many traumatic experiences in hospitals and mental health institutions that did not contribute to my recovery. They made me forget that I was just a child who liked to play games with my friends, swing on the tire swing, and read cookbooks checked out from the school library. They made me forget I was human.

Then I was introduced to Hopewell. My dad reminds me that after a few days at Hopewell, I told him, “I think my work here is done and I should come back home.” Being at a new, unknown place, I was so afraid of the world that I barely spoke. But I soon realized there was nothing to be afraid of at Hopewell, especially the people there.

I’m so thankful that my parents presented compelling reasons for me to stay at Hopewell. I did not want to go back to one of the other facilities I dreaded. My Hopewell care team diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder, and I started EMDR therapy. I immediately started to feel well for the first time.

I tell my family and friends, “If it was not for Hopewell, I would probably be dead.” Trauma is defined as an overstimulating and terrifying event or events from which there is no escape. I could not escape the brutal cycle of my debilitating symptoms and traumatic pediatric medical treatment. Hopewell took me in with open and loving arms. I was free to roam around the beautiful grounds and taste the outside air every day. I would walk to the Mesopotamia store and buy ice cream with friends.

It has been years since I was discharged from Hopewell. Since leaving, I have continued to heal and function more fully and with significantly less medication, all under the guidance of doctors. I learned that with continued EMDR therapy, I will recover and no longer experience symptoms.

I now attend Cuyahoga Community College, where I am studying for my liberal arts degree. In my free time, I volunteer at Chagrin Falls Historical Society and work at a vintage clothing store. I also dabble in creative writing, exchanging ideas with other writers. Hopewell was my second home, my second family, and I will forever be grateful. They broke the cycle of trauma and gave me hope so I could have a life. They are true to the name "Hopewell."

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