22 Mental Health Glow-Ups That’ll Give You Hope


“Learning that you’re not alone is a major part of recovery.”

Posted on January 20, 2018, 17:16 GMT

Recently we asked the
BuzzFeed Community to
share their “mental
health glow-ups.” Here are some of the brave and
inspiring results we received.

Warning: Some of these images and stories may be disturbing
to the reader. Also, treatment for mental health is deeply
personal and what works for one person might not work for
you, so always consult with your doctor about your own health
and wellness.

1. “I’m mentally and physically
stronger than ever.”


“In the last year, it became alarmingly apparent that all
my “overthinking” has actually been anxiety, and on top
of that, I was sexually assaulted on my 20th birthday.
Flash forward to summer 2017: I started going to
therapy and doing yoga!
Now I swear by yoga. It feels
so amazing to sweat all my toxins away and come out of a
class in a peaceful daze. I’m mentally and physically
stronger than ever and I’m so hyped about it!” —haileyw4636b1c54

2. “My therapist recommended using

“I was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression and social
anxiety last year when my baby was four months old. At that
time, my days consisted of me lying on the floor while my son
played because I simply had no energy or desire to do
anything other than keep my son alive and happy. My marriage
was on the rocks, I had no friends, and I had constant
suicidal ideation. Then I took the step to start therapy and
my life changed. My therapist recommended using mindfulness and it absolutely changed my
Today my marriage is stronger than ever and I feel
free for the first time in my life. I am actually myself now,
and that is amazing to me.” —savannahl4fb56b06b

3. “I fought for a new

“Last December, I would only wake up to sob my way back to
sleep. I finally got to a psychiatrist and fought for new
medication: he finally prescribed Latuda.
A few days
after I started taking it, everything changed. I was getting
out of bed again, answering my phone, brushing my teeth — all
the things that go out the window when deep depression hits.
I smiled again on December 28th and haven’t looked back.”

4. “I can work my ass off and at least
give myself that.”

Anna Kopsky

“I finally recognized my ~glow-up~ after years of feeling
like garbage from my anxiety and depression. This is the
first winter in my entire life (25 years) that my
depression hasn’t consumed me, and I can credit that to
working out until I am truly exhausted (sounds FAKE but I
SWEAR), lots of vitamin D pills, and therapy. I also
learned that a lot of the meds I’ve been taking the last
few years have just been fucking with me and personally
making me worse. I’m NEVER going to be *healed* and it
still comes and goes, but I can work my ass off and at
least give myself that.
” —annakopsky

5. “I decided to do something for

“After struggling with depression and anorexia my whole life,
I decided to do something for myself and I took an aerial
silks class
. Suddenly, I felt happy and strong, and I had
to take care of myself in order to keep up with it. I’ve now
been training in circus acrobatics for three years and I
wouldn’t trade it for anything.” —m44932a784

6. “Seeking treatment for my eating
disorder was the best decision I ever made.”


I ended up taking the second semester of my freshman
year off to seek residential treatment for my eating
disorder and it was by far the best decision I ever
Since then I’ve gained weight, but more
importantly I’ve gained a whole life. It can be difficult
at times, but doing things like writing for posts like
these, writing for The Mighty, telling my story to people
who are currently in treatment have all made it so worth
it. Most recently, I started running the Miami chapter
for Project HEAL, a non-profit organization that provides
treatment grants to those who are unable to access the
care so many people need, but are unable to receive. What
keeps me safe is remembering I would not be able to
live the fulfilling life I do now if I was to give in to
my eating disorder.
” —daniellelowe

7. “I quit the job that was weighing me

“During my junior year of college, I was a resident advisor
and a biology major. My course load was overwhelming and I
ended up having severe panic attacks three to five times a
week. Then I started therapy. I quit the job that was
weighing me down, switched my major to nursing, and got a
You can always make it through, no matter how
impossible it may seem!” —samanthaw44b4f7c82

8. “Accept your mental illness,
recognize it, and work with it.”


“I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. In high
school and college, I had multiple suicide attempts,
struggled with medication and self-harm. It wasn’t until
my sophomore year of college that I decided the only
way things would change was if I tried to change
I began therapy and I started communicating
openly with my family about how I was feeling. I even got
an emotional support dog, Fleur, who has helped me with
being alone and traveling. I haven’t self-harmed in two
years, and I’ve been off medication for a year. However,
I always reach out to my therapist when I’m struggling.
Given my experience, my advice to others is to accept
your mental illness, recognize it, and work with it.


9. “I found a community through social

“I was a frail kid, cognitively disabled, and gay. I became
depressed and struggled with anxiety and OCD, and eventually
lost an academic scholarship. Thankfully, I discovered
Tumblr and VK. It was on these social media platforms
that I discovered intersectional feminism and was able to
connect with others in the LGBTQ+ community.
Now I’m at
school again (on a scholarship!), I’m top of my class, and
I’ve made friends that accept me for who I am and support me
no matter what.” —uhaya

10. “It took me two years to find the
right medication and doctor, but I’m so happy now.”


“In college, I was so down that I’d sometimes sleep for
15-16 hours a day. I was nervous, anti-social, and at my
lowest point, I cut off all my hair in a cry for help.
Fast forward to four years ago, when I was diagnosed with
depression and general anxiety. It took two years for
me to find the right medication and doctor, BUT I AM SO
HAPPY now!
I’m healthy, stable and my hair is finally
growing back!” —maddb

11. “I now have a toolbox of coping

“When I developed an eating disorder in college, I was told
by my doctor that my kidneys were failing and I was weeks
away from death. I knew it was time to seek the help I so
desperately needed. After two months of residential
treatment, I was finally on the road to recovery. I’m happy
and proud to say that by my wedding day, I was in a much,
MUCH better place, both mentally and physically. Today, I am
fully recovered from my eating disorder (and have been
symptom-free for going on two years now), but I still
struggle with my other mental illnesses on a daily basis.
Some days are much more challenging than others, but unlike
before, I now have a toolbox of coping mechanisms as well
as professional support from an excellent therapist and
psychiatrist, all of which has helped tremendously.


12. “Knowing my diagnoses gave me
courage and reassurance.”

“Getting my mental illnesses diagnosed and treated not only
helped stabilize me mentally and emotionally, but also gave
me the courage and reassurance to pursue a career in
medicine.” —jordanh452db4d1b

13. “Acting as a mentor to kids renewed
my sense of purpose.”

Syd Robinson

“I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, and OCD since I was
15. For a while, I had a hard time connecting to other
people and I struggled to find medications that worked
for me. Then a couple summers back, I decided to go work
as a counselor at the sleep-away camp I went to as a kid.
At the camp, I was able to bond with a bunch of campers
and counselors and be a support system for them, and them
for me. Acting as a mentor to the kids renewed my
sense of purpose, and being a part of the community there
made me feel happy, confident, and valued.
all these years, camp has always been my happy place.”

14. “I now plan on studying to become a
social worker.”

“Back in 2014, I was hospitalized twice for suicidal
ideation. I was so depressed that I couldn’t hold down a job
or even live safely on my own. However, I was lucky enough to
be able to move back in with my family and have access to
comprehensive mental healthcare. Finally after three years
of intensive treatment, I’m proud to say that I’ve been
accepted to an Ivy League graduate school where I plan on
studying to become a social worker.
” —anotsmallgirl

15. “I now feel much more confident
about myself and who I want to be.”


“I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. The majority of
my panic attacks would happen while I was sleeping, so I
was always exhausted in the morning. Because of my
lack of sleep and grueling college courses, I stopped
taking care of myself.
I eventually gained 100 pounds
and ended up with bald spots and frizzy, dry, unkept
hair. But after dropping out of university and working
full-time instead, my stress lessened and I now feel much
more confident about myself and who I want to be. Plus I
got a haircut (this is the before pic) and I’ve lost 30
pounds… and counting!” —caitlinm473daf3a2

16. “I’ve transformed my body from frail
and sick to strong.”

“At the start of 2017, like usual, ALL of my friends began
dieting. Unlike most years, I felt very insecure that
everyone would actually stick to their resolution and get
into shape. Being someone who is diagnosed with general
anxiety, OCD and depression, I started to obsess over the
idea of being thinner than all my friends. Being a social
worker, I was well aware I had began to develop an eating
disorder and it became very obvious to the people around me.
But since then, I’ve joined CrossFit and I eat healthily.
I’ve transformed my body from frail and sick to strong.

My physical change is great, but my mental change is even
better!” —courtneybetch

17. “I finally feel like a whole person


“After I moved to a new city, my depression exploded. I
hated my body and myself, and I was so depressed, I could
barely get out of bed. It took two years, but I
finally got my meds sorted, gained 40 pounds, discovered
roller derby and body positivity and I finally feel like
a whole person again.
” —dalyhenningm

18. “My family is my glow-up.”

“I lived with an eating disorder for three years. Although I
still struggle with my relationship with food, I’m now in a
supportive relationship seven years later with the best
husband, I have the most clever and wonderful daughter, and
two amazing dogs. My family is my glow-up.” —cbentley0814

19. “I’ve learned to love myself and my
body and that’s been the most amazing glow-up!”


“I battled an eating disorder since the age of nine that
left me with very serious health (mostly heart) problems.
When I turned 23, I think something in my brain just
clicked and I said enough is enough. I dove head first
into personal development books, self-help articles and
I spent every day working hard at it — I
read 20 books and filled three journals with
affirmations, feelings and hopes for what my life would
become. One year later, I’m the happiest and healthiest
I’ve ever been. I’ve learned to love myself and my body
and that’s been the most amazing glow-up!” —mollyp4ca8d4b1a

20. “I can’t even recognize the person I
was three+ years ago, and I’m totally okay with that!”

“I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and PTSD for
several years. I began using drugs and alcohol to
self-medicate, and soon became extremely reliant on them. I
couldn’t hold on to a job, my relationships were strained,
and I was in and out of hospitals and rehabs. Now, I’m
approaching three years of sobriety, I will be graduating
from college this semester with a 4.0 GPA, and I have learned
healthy coping skills.
I can’t even recognize the person
I was three+ years ago, and I’m totally okay with that!”

21. “Learning that you’re not alone is a
major part of recovery.”


“I struggled with depression highs and lows, always just
waiting for the sadness to pass. At my lowest, I decided
then that I couldn’t wait anymore and I needed to make
deliberate choices for my well-being. I started
practicing yoga, reading self-help books, spending more
time outside in the sunlight, and getting more sleep.
I also started a blog to discuss the internal
struggles I was experiencing.
It was so uplifting to
have others respond with encouraging words and similar
experiences. Learning that you’re not alone is a major
part of recovery.
” —mackenziek497fcaee9

22. “Even though my life isn’t always
perfect, it’s MINE.”

“I was hospitalized for depression and suicidal thoughts at
16, and my mental health has been a roller coaster ever
since. As I’ve grown up, I’ve worked at breaking the stigma
behind mental illness by openly talking about my depression
and anxiety, as well as the facts that I’m on medication and
seeing a therapist. I’ve realized IT’S OKAY to need a
little help sometimes!
I still have bad days, but now I’m
able to take a deep breath, look around my house that I share
with my husband and our two cats, and realize that even
though my life isn’t always perfect, it’s MINE.


If you are thinking about suicide or just need to talk to
someone, you can speak to someone by calling the National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by texting HOME to
741741, the Crisis Text
Line. Suicide helplines outside the US can be found

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