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I'm Mentally Ill and a Published Author

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Roughly 10 years ago, a family member whom I won’t name made the following statement when I told him I wanted to be a published author: “You have a better chance of ending up in a mental hospital in Dartmouth than you do publishing a novel.” I was hurt and I wanted to cry.

The truth was I was struggling with mental illness. Something I’m not sure he knew at the time. His comment was about the odds of being published—which, to his credit, seemed abysmally low for a small-town Nova Scotian 16-year-old girl.

In the years since, I’ve learned that my “treatment resistant depression” was actually obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that was never properly diagnosed by a rural, understaffed and undereducated mental health system.

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