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Brave Face Forward

A campaign by Sarah Anaiyah Chamberlain

I'm running a 5K to help raise mental health awareness! On May 7th, I will be chasing the proverbial banana around Ala Moana Beach Park. I'm also raising money to help me get to BlogHer.

In 2015 I began my self exploration into the reason's why my body started rebelling against me. I was plagued with digestive issues, and no doctor could figure out what was causing it. My final "break" was when I woke up one day to find fungal lesions breaking out on my body.

Finally through my M.D., and eventually through Psychotherapy, and Psychiatry we discovered that I have General Anxiety Disorder, and Cyclothemic Disorder. This completely took me by surprise, and many of m friends who just thought I was "wild", or a bit "different". My digestive issues were by-products of my mental illness that I was oblivious to. It took me over forty years to finally get over the stigma that mental illness is for crazy people only.

Mental illness effects 1 in 4 people in the United States, and the numbers are beginning to rise as more and more people finally start seeking professional therapy. It can be your neighbor, your brother, your mom, or even you. It doesn't discriminate, and it doesn't matter how "spiritual" or "religious" you are. It is a chemical imbalance that effects our central nervous system, that sends out messages to our bodies that we are in crisis.

I want to show the world that positive mental health attitudes are vital to our well being. Whether it's through photography work, raising money, or just raising consciousness; we are all in this together.

Help me use these contributions for the betterment of mental health advocacy. Because just because you can't see what's causing us pain, doesn't mean it's not real.