I'm Living Proof

I'm Living Proof

Being diagnosed with a mood disorder as a teen can feel like a life sentence. Without success stories, it’s easy to think you will always feel this way and you won’t be able to have the life you had hoped for. Perhaps you remember this feeling when you were first diagnosed. Did life get better for you? Share your journey with teens experiencing mood disorders to give other’s hope because—you’re living proof!

Guidelines | Submission DetailsFAQ | Watch and Read Stories

Submission Guidelines

  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 35
  • You must have experience of living with a mood disorder.
  • You must be willing to publicly self-identify, as the video will be posted to the website, as a person living with a mood disorder.
  • Your submission should focus on specific ways that life has improved for you and what made that possible. 
  • Please include your first and last name, age, and current email address. (Only your first name and age will be shared.)
  • Videos should be no longer than 7 minutes in length.
  • If you are submitting a written story, please keep it to 1500 words or less.
  • You must use respectful language. (no profanity)
  • Please do not make suggestions or inferences that someone else’s consequences or experiences are better or worse than your own.


Submission Details

Guiding questions to share your recovery story*

  • Please give a brief description of yourself or situation at its worst. 
  • Throughout this journey, what have you learned about yourself?
  • What do you find to be your greatest strength?
  • What helped you move from where you were then to where you are now?
  • What have you had to overcome to get where you are today?
  • What does wellness look like to you?
  • What are some positives in your life now?

*What’s a recovery story? A recovery story shares your journey from your darkest points to the successes of your current life. It provides hope to others by showing that change is possible. It highlights your personal strengths and explains what tools and strategies have worked for you in overcoming challenges and maintaining your wellness.

Often times we may get caught in the pain of our stories and spend much of our time focused on how hard times were. While sharing some of this information is very helpful in that it shows the audience that you have been in similar places as them; focusing on it too much can turn your story into an illness story, rather than a recovery story.

In order to assure that this does not happen in your story, we recommend that you spend less than one minute speaking about how things were at their worst and the remainder of the time sharing what helped you move out of that place, what you do to maintain your wellness now and what is happening in your life now that perhaps you didn’t think would be possible when you were first diagnosed.


Are all stories submitted chosen?
While we appreciate all stories received; unfortunately, we can’t publish every story or video submitted. Please do not take this as us not seeing value in your experiences; however we must go with content that suits our needs.  

How will I know if my story is chosen?
If DBSA uses your story, you will be notified via email. Please be sure to provide a current and active email address.

Will DBSA edit my story?
Please note that we do edit stories and their titles for length, clarity, and our own editorial guidelines. We will never change the story itself but we will make sure your story complies with DBSA’s guidelines.

What information should I include with my submission?
Please include your first and last name, age, and email address.

What information will be publicly shared in addition to my story?
The only details shared will be your first name and your age.

How will sharing my story help?
DBSA feels the sharing of experiences is beneficial to those who are on the road to recovery. We know there is hope because you are living proof. Your story could inspire someone who is in your shoes or a similar situation. Knowing you are not alone can make a big difference.

I would like to help others who are having/had a similar experience. How can I help?
Although, we are always happy to help people connect, please do not share your personal information (i.e. social media accounts, email, address, or phone number) within the videos or stories. If you would like to help others and share their road to recovery, please consider:

Sample Stories


Gretchen,  27
I was a junior in High School when I was first diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorders. It really wasn’t a big surprise to me. It’s hard to be surprised when you spend the majority of your day envisioning jumping in front of a bus or having panic attacks. At my lowest point, I remember sitting on the floor of my room trying to decide whether to drink a bottle of draino because I just wanted an out. I never really wanted to die, I just wanted an escape from all the pain and I couldn’t figure out any other way to do it. Read Gretchen's story (PDF).



Rebecca's Dream  

DBSA would like to thank Rebecca’s Dream for their support of the I'm Living Proof program. Rebecca’s Dream promotes awareness and compassionate understanding of depression and bipolar disorder as real diseases. Visit RebeccasDream.org