Mental Illness Survivors of Rowan


In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, our Campus Celebrities are our strong girls who battle their own mind every day!

Here are some words from our fighters:


“Having OCD is like drowning, but never dying--gasping for air, but still breathing. And it doesn’t just go away. It never will. I will never be free of this illness; it is a part of me. But that does not mean I will allow it to consume me. It’s like learning to live after losing a loved one, working through an injury that will never fully heal. My life is my recovery; but it’s also my journey, my beautiful story. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it offers a wonderful life despite this hardship. I fight every day, and I become stronger every day. I understand others, am able to help them. I can express my thoughts through artistic writing because I have the opportunity to see things differently than others, to think deeper and feel more. I am thankful for my illness.” - Sammi Caramela


“I've recently found myself struggling with anxiety and a bit of OCD, which is new to me. Every day, it's a new cycle or a new thought. But I remind myself everyday that it's a new day and a new opportunity for growth, too. I look at my anxiety as an outlet for growth. I ask myself, ‘what can I learn (positively) from this experience?’ Instead of experiencing the negative aspects of the anxiety or OCD, I try to make it more positive. ” - Jenna Filippoli


“Many people don't realize that it's not something that's easily taken care of, or is it something people are quick to want to acknowledge. It took me a long time to get to where I am, and I did it by myself for the most part. And now, I'm happy.” - Anonymous


“Personally, my anxiety has been the biggest hardship in my life thus far. There is constantly an internal battle in my mind between what is logical and what my anxiety is trying to convince me. I cannot stress how important it is, though, to give your anxiety as little power as possible. Breathe. Do not let it keep you from living your life. Breathe. Take advantage of counseling opportunities for anxiety. Did I mention breathe? Breathing correctly is the most underrated skill and has the possibility to reduce your anxiety immensely. Lastly, connect and communicate with others dealing with anxiety. In the midst of anxiety, I like to remember these words said by one of my favorite authors, J.D. Salinger: ‘I've survived a lot of things, and I'll probably survive this.’” - Erin Lafferty

You are never alone. Everyone struggles with something. You are not your illness, your thoughts, or your mistakes. Be gentle on yourself and do not be afraid to speak up.

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I am a Writing Arts major at Rowan University. Poetry is my best friend. One day, I hope to be a successful writer for a popular magazine in NYC. My dream is to travel to Paris, London, and Rome to explore and write about my experiences there.

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