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Photography by contributor Katie McLaughlin, a teenager from Connecticut. Katie was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety when she was thirteen years old. She has since been hospitalized many times due to both manic and depressive episodes. Thanks to medication, therapy, family, and friends, she is finally starting to live life to the fullest… one photo at a time.
About this photo: “This photo is a close-up of a dandelion and you’ve probably been told to blow on a dandelion and make a wish. When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I wished that I could be like all the other kids at my school or at least be able to tell them why I wasn’t in school for almost two months. Whenever I was hospitalized I wished that I never had to suffer from this illness. Three years later, I’m glad that those wishes didn’t come true. Every hospitalization, therapy session and pill that I’ve swallowed have made me into the person I am. My mental illness doesn’t define me but it did make me stronger. The only wish I have now is to help others embrace their mental illness and not be afraid to use their voice.”