- You must be between the ages of 18 and 35
- You must have experience living with depression or bipolar
- You must be willing to publicly self-identify your first name and age
- Your submission needs to focus on ways that life has improved for you and what made that possible in the form of a letter to your younger self
- You must use respectful language
- You cannot identify others in your letter by name
- You cannot make suggestions or inferences that someone else’s consequences or experiences are better or worse than your own
- You cannot make recommendations to our audience on how to live in wellness, only speak to your own experience of what worked for you
I’m Living Proof: A Letter to My Younger Self blog was created so that young people can share their experiences in the form of a blog and companion podcast. The purpose of writing the blog in the form of a letter to your younger self is so that the audience will get a perspective on change over time, what you have learned and grown from while living with depression or bipolar.
If you are selected to share your letter, you will also be asked to record a podcast with the DBSA team. On the podcast, you will be asked to read your letter aloud and then be interviewed by the podcast host about your experience.
Prompts to consider when writing your letter
- How old were you the first time you noticed that your mood was being impacted?
- Did having these symptoms or experiences bring up other feelings? (fear, shame, etc.)
- Did you feel like you could talk to anyone about you experiences? Why or why not?
- What made sharing your experience with others easier or more challenging?
- Over the years, what have you learned about living with depression or bipolar disorder?
- What about mental health did you not know at that younger age that you wish you had known?
- Would you have done anything differently along the way?
- What coping mechanisms or wellness strategies have you found that have been helpful to you?
- What does “living in wellness” mean to you?
- What is your greatest strength?
Are all letters submitted chosen?
While we appreciate all letters received, unfortunately, we can’t publish every submission. Please do not perceive this as us not seeing value in your experiences; we are committed to including content that meets the needs of our audience.
How will I know if my letter is chosen?
If DBSA uses your letter, you will be notified via email. You will also be asked to schedule a recording time for the podcast with the DBSA team.
Will DBSA edit my letter?
Please note that we do edit letters and how they are titled for length, clarity, and to meet DBSA’s editorial guidelines. That said, we will never change the sentiment of the letter itself or the message you are trying to convey to our audience.
What information should I include with my submission?
Please include your first and last name, age, and email address.
What information will be publicly shared with my submission?
Your first name and age will be shared with our audience. Your voice will also be recorded on the companion podcast.
What is the process for recording the podcast?
If you are chosen to be featured in the series, you will receive an email from a DBSA staff member letting you know your submission has been selected. DBSA will work with you to find a time to record the podcast which can be done from your home via Zoom meeting.
How will sharing my letter help?
DBSA feels that sharing experience and reflection is important to our own wellness journeys and those of others. We know there is hope because you are living proof. Your letter and podcast could be the inspiration that someone needs to hear.
I would like to help others who are having or had a similar experience, how can I help?
Writing your letter and sharing your story is a great help to many! However, please do not share your personal information such as social media accounts, email, address, and phone number within your letter.
I’m a young adult, what are other ways I can get involved with DBSA?
We are so glad you are interested in getting involved! Here are some options to consider:
- Attending a support groups in your area
- Attending a DBSA Online Support Group for young adults
- Starting your own chapter if there isn’t an in-person support group near you
- Joining the DBSA Young Adult Council