Angela's Beautiful Life

25 images Created 9 Dec 2015

Angela Klein, a 40-year-old mother of four, lives an ordinary life. She takes her children to school, cooks dinner, celebrates her anniversary with her husband of 20 years at Dairy Queen, and prays with her family every morning. But every moment she exists in that world, she lives another wrought with fear that her emotions will take control and overwhelm her willpower. Angela suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, a mental illness characterized by intense feelings of anxiety, depression, and self-injury. She has been hospitalized multiple times in the past years for harming herself intentionally, and spent two months in a residential treatment facility in 2014, receiving therapy and gaining skills meant to help alter her behaviors. Angela’s loving husband, Jeff, and four children have all supported her tremendously during this time.

In 2013, there were an estimated 10 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. with serious mental illness in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. This represented 4.2 percent of all U.S. adults. The stigma surrounding mental illness has isolated many into their own deep wells of suffering.

Angela’s story is one common to many Americans, and an example of how fragile anyone’s world can become when stricken by mental illness.
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