The day the doctor said:
“These seizures you are having are non-epileptic.”
It was really frustrating. I wanted to actually know what was going on - they had done all kinds of tests.
“The only option is to send you to a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents,” he said.
“… Hang on there”, I said, “You only have just told me.”
I felt so isolated from everyone
It was like one extreme to another - I couldn’t get my head around it. I was diagnosed with conversion disorder, social anxiety and self-injury disorder. Due to the seizures, I felt everyone disintegrated around me as they didn't understand what it fully was. I hated it and it made me feel so isolated from everyone; friends and family hated me not communicating as I wouldn't talk to them, but they didn't know that I just couldn't cope with everything. I had a big fear of telling them about my condition as I didn't know how they were going to react if I did. This is how the social anxiety particularly started.
I absolutely hated school, completing just 2 full years. I just completely hated myself, didn’t really care about my education or social life; I just wanted to hide away in a corner. I wouldn’t talk to anyone the way I felt about it. In 2012 my mental health condition gradually improved… I felt I was free. I was discharged from the therapy department that I went to, which felt great! I went on to succeeded in my GCSEs, despite all the difficulties.
This may seem like the end of my story, but you'd be wrong...
It was light sitting in a room with no lights on
During November 2013 I had reached an all-time low point. I started hearing voices. I wasn't sure to start with; I actually thought it was my mind playing tricks on me but I realised it wasn't at all. I kept skipping college. Even though I disliked social events anyway, they decreased rapidly and transport was a big issue for me. I starting thinking that everyone was staring at me and talking about me behind my back. My mental health got worse, and some things came back but I was also showing new signs of mental health issues including mood swings, sleep issues, voices, self-injury, low mood. I also didn't know how to control my mood and I kept shouting and throwing things on the ﬂoor. I didn't know what was happening at all. I just completely hated myself; I just wanted to hide away in a corner. I wouldn’t talk to anyone about the way I felt. Everyone was trying to help but I just pushed them away every time they were trying to help. I forced a smile on my face just to say to someone “I’m ﬁne”, but really inside there was a blackness and it was like sitting in a room with no lights on.
I wanted everything to go away
When my mental health condition got worse last year, my Mum and Dad made me go and see a specialist psychiatrist in London. I didn't know what to think. This was the time that I actually realised that there was something wrong with me and this was not normal for a teenage girl of 17. It had taken me 6 years to notice… I had to go in as an inpatient - this time I actually didn't mind. I wanted everything to go away but I especially wanted the voices and the hallucinations because I was terriﬁed of my own mind. I eventually got diagnosed with more than one mental health condition (severe depression, anxiety and PTSD).
Being an inpatient helped me to understand that I wasn't alone
Talking was my ﬁrst step towards recovery and it still is. I have learned that one step a time helps rather than big ones. I spent 15 weeks as an inpatient and I actually understood why all of this was happening to me. Being an inpatient helped me to understand that I wasn't alone, helped me to learn what my symptoms meant and learned how to cope with them with the right treatment and help I needed.