Stigma Fighters: Sarah Fader

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Stigma Fighters: Sarah Fader

Hi, my name is Sarah Fader and I have mental illness. I have lived with panic disorder and depression for my entire adult life. I began having panic attacks as a teenager and they continued into adulthood. I am a mother of two beautiful children. I am a sister, a daughter, a friend and a human being. I am a survivor, a warrior, a writer, a poet, an actor and an artist. I am many things but I am not crazy.

Crazy is a derogatory word. Crazy is a curse word in my book, which I have yet to write. Do not call me crazy. Call me brave, call me scared, call me Sarah, but do not call me “crazy,” because I’m not. I’m Sarah, and I’m a multitude of other adjectives that do not include that word.

I am your neighbor, I am sitting next to you on the train, I am talking to you in the grocery store, I am smiling at you as we pass one another on the street. I am just like everyone else you meet, only I’m not. Because I am living with a significant mental illness that challenges me every day.

My mental illness is like an annoying neighbor who won’t get the hint when you want her to go home. My mental illness is my nemesis. It fools me, it tells me that I’m worthless. It tells me to give up. It tells me to stop. Go no further. Don’t do that, don’t succeed. You are not enough. You are not worthy.

I fight those thoughts every day.

But here’s the thing. Someone you are sitting next to in a coffee shop is just like me, but they won’t tell you that. Mentally ill people are living among us, they are just silenced continually by our society.

So stop.
Look around you.
And know…
that if you have been called crazy…
you are not alone…
I am standing beside you waving my freak flag high.

Because I’m taking crazy back. You can’t have it anymore.

There is no crazy…only human.

Sarah Fader is the creator of the popular parent-life blog Old School /New School Mom ( Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Additionally, like about six million other American adults, Sarah lives with panic disorder. She writes for Psychology Today on her column Panic Life. She has been featured on The Huffington Post, Good Day NY, and HuffPost Live. She is currently leading the Stigma Fighters campaign which gives individuals with mental illness a platform to share their personal stories. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to show the world that there is a diverse array of real everyday people behind mental illness
By | 2015-02-17T11:45:33+00:00 December 7th, 2014|Categories: Brave People, Uncategorized|7 Comments


  1. jess.⚓ December 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Amen!!!! Great post Sarah!

  2. Carrie Baughcum December 9, 2014 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Oh Sarah…this is so beautiful! You are beautiful. I love the words you share. The reminder you give to all, to know, to respect, to be compassionate but most of all recognize we are all human. You are so very brave and you message is so important. I feel so lucky that that tweet came to me on that day.

  3. Danny Price December 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    My favorite part of your great post is the end. It seems we have all forgotten that we are human. We are all beautifully flawed and messed up in our own way. The problem seems to come when we try to pretend we are not, as we all do at times. You, on the other hand, embrace your humanity and share your imperfections. It helps heal yourself (I hope) and the world (I know!). So glad to know you!!! <3

  4. Katy Nicole December 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    I love this! It is so true. The honesty she writes hits me right in the heart. It’s so true. I am with her – we both desire to see the word “crazy” no longer used to describe people. Truly love having her as my friend!

  5. Ross H December 29, 2014 at 2:45 am - Reply

    Lovely piece and a gorgeous piccie, Brighteyes

  6. […] are that many. I have so many of them on Facebook too. It’s amazing what a community Sarah Fader has created for those of us living with mental […]

  7. […] I am now officially a “published” author. I am SO excited! Thank you CEO and Founder Sarah Fader, Executive Board Director Allie Burke, and all the other brave and wonderful Stigma Fighters for […]

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