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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 10/7/2008

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Adam Holbrook's Story

In early 1974, I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Since that time, I have authored two books, Dear Mom and Shining On,* which are chronicles of my life as a homeless person with mental illness.

I reside in Columbus Grove, Ohio, with my wife and four children. I am a guest writer for The Ada Herald newspaper in Ada, Ohio, and have been a guest on many radio and television programs and a featured speaker for NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) groups throughout Ohio and Indiana. I served in the U.S. Air Force as a Medical Service Specialist and a Psychiatric Ward Specialist, and I earned an associate's degree in business administration from the University of Northwest Ohio and a certificate in desktop publishing through a home study program.

The first of several significant points in my life that have contributed to my recovery was when I married my wife, Mary, nearly 25 years ago. Mary has been by my side through immeasurable crisis situations. There have been many middle-of-the-night trips to the hospital, and she has spent many a long night listening to me ramble on about whatever, at that moment, had power over my mind. Together she and I have endured the three-steps-forward, two-steps-back progress of my recovery. Mary is a jewel and I thank God that He brought her my way.

Another turning point came on September 17, 1980, when God came into my life. My religious beliefs have somewhat altered through the years but God remains a vital part of my life.

I have seen many therapists, been confined in many hospitals, and have been on many medications. Some helped. Some didn't. But there came a day when I internalized the fact that life had given me lemons so the only thing to do was to make lemonade.

Every day has its problems and challenges. My lemonade stand has sometimes been closed, often for days. But through all the tears, fears, and frustrations, we must remember that God in heaven loves us - and keep shining on.

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.