what began as a struggle, became a passion, then a purpose.

As a child, I would often wake up feeling debilitatingly sick on school mornings, but I was continuously told by pediatricians that there was no obvious explanation. I vividly remember being accused of faking my symptoms and left feeling so confused, helpless, and even broken. I unknowingly struggled with the severe affects of Anxiety and Depression for most of my childhood. As I got older, my behavior shifted from debilitation to substitution with drugs and alcohol. At the age of 17, I made the brave decision to go see a psychiatrist because I was out of control and I knew it. I made the appointment to treat what I thought were ‘anger issues’ but I was instantly diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression and it all became so clear.

 

After receiving my B.F.A from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, I began to focus my career on fighting the stigma behind Mental Health Awareness. Studies show that 25.1% of children, ages 13-18, struggle with Anxiety and Depression. However, that statistic is extremely low considering that so many children do not recognize that they have a Mental Illness to begin with. In 2018, it became my mission to create a platform designed to initiate conversations to prevent others from experiencing the same lonely journey

that I encountered growing up undiagnosed.

It wasn’t until after a pivotal conversation with my best friend, Claire, that I uncovered the concept behind Guilty Minds. Claire and I met during our Sophomore year of college. As our friendship grew, I learned that she had survived leukemia as a young girl and was in Remission. It wasn’t until several years into our friendship that she shared with me the overwhelming feelings of guilt that she endures. She recounted her childhood experience of watching others lose the battle that she had won. She described the amount of pressure that she felt to have a meaningful existence, explaining Survivor’s Guilt and all that it entails.

 

I always assumed that her battle ended when she overcame the cancer. It never occurred to me that she was fighting a new and different battle. Guilt. I immediately began researching and found that feelings of guilt are quite common among those with mental disorders. It became clear that the stress of the guilt itself can have a serious effect on some people.

That is when Guilty Minds was born.

 

My hope is that Guilty Minds can initiate meaningful discussions about Mental Health Awareness. I believe that we can fight the stigma behind Mental Illness by

simply starting the conversation.

-Heather Fulton

Founder of Guilty Minds

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