Sherry’s Story, Female, Age 37, Chicago


My name is Sherry Baldwin. I was diagnosed with Anti NMDA Receptor Encephalitis in 2009, at the age of 27. I am unable to recall the suffering I experienced during this time. But prior to Jan. 1, 2009, I remember living a normal, flourishing life. I was admitted to the psych division of Northwestern Hospital of Chicago after exhibiting psychotic behaviors. My mother, who was my strong advocate, pressured the doctors into looking deeper into my situation as I did not have a history of mental illness. I was eventually transferred to the main hospital. And after nearly 3 months of declining, I was finally diagnosed. A teratoma tumor was also found in one of my ovaries.This year marks 10 years since this horrible, near death event and I have suffered silently every day since my release from the hospital.

My memory has never been the same, I suffer from depression, anxiety (I have not been medically diagnosed) and I feel as if my brain just doesn’t “work” most of the time. I have no one to really speak to because no one understands what I went through. Mostly because they’ve never heard of this illness. I’m not exactly sure of what I expect to gain from submitting my story but it is comforting knowing that someone else out there understands me.