Michelle Hammer, the creator of Schizophrenic.NYC shared her experience with TheMighty.com on How I Opened Up About My Schizophrenia Diagnosis – and Started Helping Others Sponsored by Janssen.

Hi, I’m Michelle Hammer, a schizophrenic girl living in NYC. I created and founded the mental health clothing line Schizophrenic.NYC. At this point in my life, I consider my symptoms to be under control, but it was quite a challenge getting to this point.

In college, I was on the lacrosse team and that helped get me through. I felt like people depended on me. My coach knew about my struggles living with a mental disorder and tried to help me the best she could. She even helped me keep track of my treatment plan at the time. She kept me balanced.

After college when I found out I had schizophrenia at age 22, I was pretty bummed out. I felt like I had a secret I could never tell anyone. One evening I had dinner with my best friends from college and I decided to tell them. I said, “Hey guys, just wanna let you know I found out I’m schizophrenic.” And their response was, “Wasn’t that what you had the whole time?” “That could have not been more obvious.” “Yeah, we told you that.” I thought: They just knew because I lived with them, right?

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