DBSA Brightened My Life…

My name is Dr. Carrie Player Sexton. I am writing this letter in reference to DBSA and how their peer specialist training gave me a voice again. As a 15-year scholar-practitioner with a bachelor’s in psychology, two master’s in psychology, and a Ph.D. in psychology, I learned much information about the mental health field. I began my studies to learn more about my bipolar disorder, my father’s suicide, and my past choices. I also have PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder. I am a survivor of childhood abuse, substance abuse disorder, and a re-civilianized convict who spent three years in prison and several incidents in jail, rehab, and probation. I lost my father to suicide as a child and then began the cycle of living in an addicted/abusive home. My stepfather sexually abused me at the age of seven, and it continued until I was 12 years old. After that ended, the trials, media, and bullying intensified my emotional instability. I turned to substances and ended up in prison. When I came home, I went to college, and now, 15 years later, I run a practice in Columbus, Georgia, called UnBroken Clinic and have obtained my doctorate in psychology. 

It was not until I attended the DBSA peer specialist training I found my true calling and niche. Using my past to help others aided me in not carrying that dark cloud with me. It took away the lack of discussion about my journey, and I have begun to help others with my past. I genuinely feel I can relate, promote social change, and use what I suffered from, went through, and have survived as a way to not only help me accept my past but bring purpose to my journey as well. For so long, I worked to be better than what I was. I tried to learn everything I could to understand my choices. Now, I can use those choices, that pain, that story, and it has removed my fear of judgment from my past. I now no longer see my past as years of my life wasted or hide who I once was as I was before.  

DBSA not only helps those who have a mental illness but also helps others to find value in their lost years, not hide behind shame, and use their past as a purpose. It gives hope to those without purpose or means to move forward. With their past, they can now become a part of the change. DBSA makes that possible. Sustained campaigns can continue to shed light on mental health and help others find a reason to change, grow, and want to keep doing so. I share posts from DBSA, use the skills taught and implemented daily from DBSA, and guide people to DBSA because their purpose stands for change.  

DBSA promotes value, purpose, change, help, growth, and LIFE, as their programs are life-changing. Donating to DBSA will aid in the future of people with mental health concerns, not just substance use disorder. DBSA helps not just those suffering from mental illnesses but also their families and children and gives purpose to their futures. Supporting DBSA promotes social change in a world where hope is deteriorating. I genuinely see DBSA as the cutting-edge leader in clinicians, doctors, and peers, becoming a more robust alliance and team that will one day touch a more significant portion of the world. Removing the stigma and using each willing and capable body as a domino effect of change that this world could greatly benefit from.  

DBSA changed my life for the brighter even after decades of sobriety, mental health stability, and education. They will undoubtedly continue to do so with the proper support they deserve.  


Dr. Carrie Player Sexton, Ph.D,