“I should have been successful, but I wasn’t.
When AJ was nine or 10, he was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). That led to other diagnoses: generalized anxiety and depression.
Growing up, he was in the gifted program at school, but was getting into shouting matches with his teachers. By the time he was in grade 10, he had dropped out.
On Vancouver Island, 1 in 4 people struggle with mental health issues.
His illness made it difficult to get along with his family. His depression was so bad that it manifested as suicidal thoughts. By the time he was 18, he ended up leaving home. He had no money, no education. He had little social life.