Sep 28, 2021

Sharing His Struggle

A young man holding two copies of his book. He is standing outside with trees in the background.
Daniel Nardi was having a bad day. It was January 2020, and he wasn’t sure what to do with himself. “I kind of was just hopeless, and my mom said, ‘Daniel, you should write a book,’” he shared. “I thought about it for a while, then just went to my room, opened Google Docs and I just started writing.”

Nardi, 21, has autism and has been diagnosed with depression. Recently he published a memoir called Daniel’s Way: My Experiences with ASD and Mental Health. “I was put through a lot at 17 years old to 20 years old,” he said. “I wanted to share my story because I felt like it would help me feel a little better and get people to understand what I went through.”

For years, Nardi was in and out of hospitals for his mental health struggles, including thoughts of suicide. He was prescribed numerous medications and went through nine electroconvulsive therapy treatments. “I was so frustrated and upset, and I wanted to go home,” he said. “I went through a lot on that unit, but I felt like it was a special place. I learned so much there about self-care.”

Over the years, Nardi estimates he spent close to 200 days in the psychiatric units. His longest stay was 50 days and during that time he grew close to staff.

Daniel’s Way describes his experiences and how caring people around him made a difference in his life. “I think if I would have known more about being in an inpatient unit, I would have handled it better,” he said. “I would have been more calm and understanding. But I was young and 18, and just wanted to go home.”

Nardi hopes his book can help others who are struggling. It’s available on Amazon as a paperback and e-book. It’s also for sale on his website, danielsway.net, where you can request a signed copy.
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