Depression, anxiety and PTSD: Talking was my first step towards recovery

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.

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Comments

emmas storey road to recovery

Being Emma mum I know she has struggled these last 6 years but she has been brave more than she realises doing well. At school and trying her hardest at college although it's been hard for all of us I'm glad she can now see the light at the end of the tunnel it's all about being patient and being there and pushing to get medical help I don't think n k she would be where she is without us going to london why can't nhs provide More support for young people like Emma

not in a good place

l am with mcch looking for work and being out of work is making me have clinical depression my gp said l am too unwell to go back to work but being out of work is making me unwell.

Support

Hey Finola, sorry to hear that you are not in a good place. We aren't able to offer support services, but work with charities that do: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/what-are-mental-health-problems/help-support-services Take care, TTC

Dissociative disorders - often misunderstood and misdiagnosed

Emma, it's good to hear you got proper treatment and support in the end. I wish I was nearer to London since getting a diagnosis in my area is proving to be a major challenge, and there isn't any treatment route here either - expect for a single year of psychotherapy which has a 2 year waiting list! A year is also not long enough for treatment for even complex PTSD, let alone Dissociative Identity Disorder (which I also have). I'm lucky to have found a therapist from a charity who can do long term and is willing to work with organised/ritual abuse, although I still do have to pay it's less than private therapy. The last psychiatrist didn't even realize when alter identity took over right in front of him. My GP however has been excellent and I'm improved enough not to need a psychiatrist. I can relate to what you said about the isolation - it makes life so much harder to feel like you are somehow the only one dealing with it. It's so good to hear your parents are supportive - it makes a great difference to have understanding at home.

I didn't get any help in my

I didn't get any help in my local area (kent) so i had to go to London (which is a private mental health hospital) to actually find help which was good but i wish there could be more done in my local area, having to travel up there for appointments can be very expensive on the train! but other than that i'm glad your GP understands you, as i didn't get any medical support until a year ago when i found Capio.

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