Chris's Journey to Recovery

Our friend Chris is in Denver and was recently discharged from a voluntary stay at a local crisis center. He continues to undergo treatment including therapy and medications. He has applied for insurance benefits but has not yet been approved for Medicaid so this treatment that he so desperately needs will be all out of pocket. We will update you through this page as Chris continues through this journey out of the darkness. 

Chris is a man that has by definition been put through the ringer. He has survived what would cause most to mentally collapse. He is one of the strongest people, but mental illness is real, it is debilitating and crippling in ways that many cannot begin to comprehend. His story has touched lives in ways he doesn’t even know or understand. Ever so loyal to his family and friends, and strong in his faith, Chris has been able to push through the darkest times. We love him and can’t fathom the idea of losing him to this horrible and crippling darkness.

Currently, Chris has been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder, a diagnosis that came late in life. He also suffers from PTSD and has borderline personality traits. As hard as it is to grasp, his first suicidal ideation occurred when he was merely 9 years old. His depression continued to grow through his teen years, when, in conjunction, he began suffering from anxiety. It was in high school where Chris’s mental illness began to truly manifest, as he began to self harm.

After high school, looking to better himself, he joined the United States Air Force. Unfortunately his military career was cut short, as we has honorably discharged due to the illness. He was originally diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, due to the traits he exhibited at the time. After years of battling, he would later find out this diagnosis was not accurate. The meds he was given with the original diagnoses made his depressive state worse, due to what would later be known as a more accurate diagnosis of bipolar 1.

During the years after the military the darkness Chris suffered from went away with his marriage and the birth of his son. It was a wonderful time in Chris’s life. His son gave him light and brought him out of the constant depressive states. However, due to circumstances, he and his wife divorced.

In 2008, Chris lost his light, in the most tragic way possible when his son was murdered. The combination of that experience, the hospital stay, the death, the angst waiting for the trial to begin, the process of the trial, and the years that followed the trial full of appeals and having the original sentence of the killer lowered all led him to full blown PTSD.

That experience is enough to drive anyone into darkness. Imagine already suffering from constant depression and having the light that brought you out of darkness tragically taken away. Chris spiraled into an even more intense depressive state. He survived with the help of friends, while trying to get himself together.

In a fortunate turn of events, Chris was able to somewhat crawl out of the darkness in 2016, when he was properly diagnosed with bipolar 1, and only borderline traits, not a full borderline diagnosis. He began therapy and was able to take control back.

However, over the past three months, due to causes unknown, he has taken a sudden and very quick spiral down showcasing new symptoms. He experienced perhaps the worst year of the anniversary of his son’s death since the original events. He was forced to quit a job that was toxic to his mental state, and began a new one. However, he’s had to miss many days due to the sudden spiral with his illness and deteriorating mental state.

Missing all this work has left Chris needing money to not only cover his past and present expenses, but the care and treatment he needs to not lose this battle. Those of us who love Chris only wish to see him genuinely happy again. We know this is possible, with your generosity and help. Please help us help Chris get the care he needs.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Laura DePaz Cabrera 
Newberry, FL
Chris Sheppard 
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