November 12, 2014

Emma is one of the stars of our radio adverts. Listen to her advert here.

My teenage life has been one hell of a ride.Emma's Story The up-down ride that is bipolar. A large chunk of my life has been a total mess. When I was ill my moods were all over the place and my life seemed like a pit of hell that would never end. I was in pain and simply existing became such a challenge; a challenge that I wanted to give up on. What made this pain bearable were the people I had around me. I was fighting a battle, but I wasn’t fighting it alone. I was surrounded by love and support every step of the way.

My family were by my side throughout.

When I first became ill it was difficult for them to support me. We were unaware of mental health problems and none of us knew what was to come – it all came as rather a shock. They didn’t know what to do.

It was scary for them, just as it was scary for me.

My family love me and they were desperate to support me. They did everything they could to understand what I was going through.

As time went on they gained a much better understanding and were better equipped to support me. I spent two years in hospital – 2 hours away from home. Despite the distance, my parents would visit most weekends. My brother would often drive down to see me. Seeing him always made me smile. As time went on we became more able to talk about mental health.

Simply knowing my family were there was a massive support and I love them so much

My family are a constant support to me and I know that they always will be. We have a really good relationship and we are all so much more aware of the importance of mental health and the effect it can have on our lives.

I have a great set of friends around me. We have supported each other and I love the time I spend with them.

We would chat, not just about mental health but about all sorts of things, such as who could hula hoop the longest! I was pretty impressed with my 12 minutes, but I was defeated by a friend who managed more than half an hour! We played games and made each other gifts. Simply spending time with your friends can lift your mood so much.

A friend doesn’t necessarily have to understand everything; just being there is support enough

I had a huge amount of professional help. I was in hospital for a long time and the members of staff I had around me were absolutely brilliant. I had an exceptional doctor and an insightful psychologist who were able to identify what was going on and how to help me. The nurses and health care assistants were always there for me. They were there to talk to 24:7 and I am so grateful for everything they did for me. They saved my life, literally, and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Since being discharged from hospital a year ago, I have continued to receive great support. I have recently left the most amazing school ever. The teachers were outstanding. They have been a great support to me and they have continued to help me despite the fact that I am no longer a pupil there.

I have found that talking about mental health and sharing my experiences has really increased my confidence

I have also enjoyed the support of Time to Change. I have found that talking about mental health and sharing my experiences has really increased my confidence and has helped me to be more open. The Time to Change staff has been beside me for every event I have taken part in. I have also made friends through Time to Change.

I feel very fortunate to have received such great support and I am grateful to everyone for what they have done for me. The support people give plays a massive role in recovery and I have had such amazing people around me every day. Family, friends and professionals… thank you!

That visit. That hug. That hula hoop session. Sometimes it’s the little things you do that make a big difference.

What do you think about the issues raised in this blog?

Share your views with us on Twitter >>

Or sign our pledge wall to show your support and find out how talking tackles mental health discrimination.


Share your story

Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.