My name is Mamela, and I only ask for your help out of dire need. Sharing my story is difficult, but necessary, and I thank you for taking the time to hear me. Up until the age of 12, I was subjected to repeated sexual and emotional abuse and threats of physical violence at the hands of my own sibling. Due to the secretive nature of the abuse and the repeated threats to maintain my silence, no one realized this was happening, though they saw the resulting behavioral issues. At age 12, I finally found the strength to reveal the abuse to my parents and therapist. My parents did everything in their power to help me, and for the next twelve years I saw a variety of therapists and psychiatrists. However, despite numerous different mental health diagnoses and treatments, nothing seemed to have a significant impact. Eventually, in 2011, two of my therapists collaborated and realized I needed more. During a three week hospitalization, I was finally given a diagnosis that fit: Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) is a psychiatric illness typically caused by severe, repeated childhood trauma and/or abuse. It is a complex disorder which requires intensive, extensive, specialized therapy. Due to the highly specialized nature of this therapy and the limited amount of qualified providers, it can be extremely difficult to find an appropriate therapist and psychiatrist. Additionally, many of these practitioners are not covered by insurance, and all expenses must then be paid for out of pocket. Due to the nature of the disorder and the symptoms it causes, my therapist currently recommends that I only work minimally and without extended commitment, as work stress can severely exacerbate my symptoms during flare ups and increase the risk of hospitalization. At this point in my treatment, it would be detrimental and counterproductive for me to add the stress of full-time employment on top of my mental health and therapy needs. Unfortunately, this means that my resources are extremely limited, and just one month’s worth of therapy bills can run as high as $2,000 – plus expenses for travel to and from appointments. Unfortunately, with insurance and family not stepping up (for different reasons, some beyond their control), I currently have no way to cover these bills, and am at risk of losing both my psychiatrist and therapist unless I get immediate financial assistance. Since receiving the correct diagnosis and beginning appropriate treatment, I have made tremendous strides. My relationships and communication have improved dramatically, I am far better able to care for my own needs, and I am finally able to live independently. With ongoing therapy I fully expect to become increasingly self-sufficient – but the ONLY way to sustain this progress is by continuing treatment. Please help me continue on my journey towards health and happiness. Every donation is helpful and appreciated, no matter how small!