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Every patient has a story.

The "I'm Not Average" campaign features fellow Americans whose lives have been impacted by treatments and cures for debilitating, chronic, or rare diseases.

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I'm Not Average: Virginia

Condition:
Depression, Anxiety, Bulimia


Age:
15


Location:
New Canaan, CT


In recovery, it always felt like I went two steps forward and then one step back. But you also know that you're moving and that you must keep moving, which somehow makes you feel better. That makes it okay.


I always had difficulty being alone in a room. Things had been going downhill for me for years, ultimately resulting in a period of time when I rarely left the house and started missing school regularly. I didn't get off the couch. I had lost all hope, and with it, my will to continue. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety, depression, an eating disorder and other mental health disorders.   

Now I’m a teenager and I have overcome my eating disorder, but I still have struggles with mental health. I think that hope is something a lot of people take for granted. Through my challenges, I realized that there is something traumatizing about spending a period of time completely hopeless. Once you come out of it and are feeling better, you find yourself afraid to admit things are going well. It seems like no matter what you do, you'll end up back “there”. 

Over the course of my treatment, I was sent to a wilderness therapy program and then a residential treatment center across the country from my home. I spent about 13 months away, but I could never have foreseen that rejoining my peers was almost as difficult as the whole ordeal combined. In recovery, it always felt like I went two steps forward and then one step back. But you also know that you're moving and that you must keep moving, which somehow makes you feel better. That makes it okay.

Condition:
Depression, Anxiety, Bulimia


Age:
15


Location:
New Canaan, CT

connect with PhRMA...

Make your voice heard. Join the important discussion on the value and economic impact of new medicines.


connect with PhRMA...

Make your voice heard. Join the important discussion on the value and economic impact of new medicines.


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