Strength and Resilience

Worth Living Ambassador Johnaton Poulain

Hi my name is Johnaton Poulain. I am from Newfoundland and I suffer from mental illness.

Strength and Resilience

I am currently 28 years old and at the early age of five I was diagnosed with an illness called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Not many people knew how to treat this illness or knew the effects that this disorder has on an individual who has it. On the outside, people who have certain disorders may seem like they have everything together but inside they are fighting their own personal battles and unless they speak to others about what’s going on they will always feel alone. Although as we all know, the stigma associated with mental illness prevents people from actually talking to someone about it.

Since the age of five, there have been a few more diagnoses that I have and they are severe anxiety, depression and also post- traumatic stress disorder just to name a few. The stigma that came with all this at the time was difficult. Going to school and having to deal with other kids who were my age wasn’t easy because of the bullying that occurred due to them thinking I was different.  But deep down, I tried to be one of them but I wasn’t welcome. Even given all this, I went on to get my grade twelve and also went to trade school and successfully became a welder.

I now feel like I have a better understanding and control over my mental illness. But there all still a few days where I still can’t answer my phone due to my anxiety. Now I would like to take the understanding that I have gained and help others who suffer on a daily basis with similar struggles. Live a life worth living

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