My name is Chris. I am 51 years old and a student here at Gateway PROS. I came from an extremely dysfunctional, chaotic, rage-aholic family upbringing. As a result, I developed severe anxiety and PTSD at a relatively early age, but wasn’t officially diagnosed until I was in my early thirties. Furthermore, I suffer from chronic recurrent depression and psychosis. I’ve also been hospitalized three times due to my disorders and panic attacks on the job and have experienced bouts of extremely horrible insomnia that caused intense paranoia, amongst other symptoms.
When I started PROS over three years ago I was in a much different place than I am now. I was in and out of the hospital on three different occasions and was suffering from pseudo-seizures from all the stress that my mind was under due to my illness. I came out of the hospital homeless and penniless. I ended up in a shelter with around twenty other men, which wasn’t the ideal situation because of the nature of my symptoms but I didn’t have any other options.
Melissa has been part of the Gateway family since enrolling in our Work Center nearly 20 years ago. Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with her through many of our programs and services and witnessing her build confidence and independence as she became more involved in the local community. As a participant in Gateway’s Internship Program, Melissa was able to gain work experience in several different fields.