By Michelle Hammer

Having Schizophrenia and making it through college is not easy, but I had Lacrosse. Playing Lacrosse in college saved my life. It did. I know some people won’t get it. But being an athlete meant something important to me. It made me feel needed. I felt like people depended on me. I was someone to look up to. I worked hard to be the best player I could be. When I didn’t perform well, I got upset. When I did something good, I was relieved. I tried my hardest. It wasn’t an easy journey, but without lacrosse in my life, I don’t think I would be living right now. I  credit my coach for helping me. She never gave up.  She helped me realize that I needed to take my medication regularly, which changed my life forever. Lacrosse saved my life. Follow my journey.


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I would run at night. Go out at 11pm and come back at 1am. My roommate would worry about it being so late. I would use running to get manage my mania and my anxiety.


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I go on and off a medication that’s very subduing. I eat a lot of sugar to give me energy because I think the medicine is making me tired. When a senior tears her ACL I become a starter on defense. the first game I started, we lost to a team we shouldn’t have. I took a large amount of medicine on the bus ride back home. I didn’t realize I was in crisis.


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I am under a lot of pressure to work as hard as I can, and be a role model to under class men. However, I act out at practice, and get in fights with my coach.  One day, I had a bad game, and we lost in double overtime. I then stole a surgical blade from the sports training room. I called my best friend, who had graduated and told her what I had, and plans I was thinking of doing with it.  I go home and decide to throw the knife away. 5 minutes later my head coach and assistant coach show up at my front door.  I didn’t realize I had a complete panic attack, that made me want to self harm.


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I decide I am going to take my medicine regularly when I am supposed to. I am behaving at practice, as well as when I am spending time with my coach.  Other coaches are noticing the change in me, in addition to my own coach.  I am being a leader on defense and teaching younger teammates how to play effective defense. My coach notices my improved behavior and asks me to be captain.  I then realized how my life journey of lacrosse has saved my life.

Schizophren.NYC Blog Post

Schizophren.NYC Blog Post

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Michelle HammerCreator of Schizophrenic.NYC
Michelle Hammer is a 28 year-old NYC native with Schizophrenia. Diagnosed at 22, she wanted to do something that could benefit the mental health community. In May 2015, she founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, which is a clothing line that caters to the mental health community with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. Michelle takes a portion of the profits and donates to organizations in NYC that help out with the mentally ill population of NYC.