November 15, 2012

Please note: do not read this blog if you are feeling vulnerable to triggering issues.

I have a complicated past when it comes to mental illness. My first ‘episode’ was when I was eleven. I was bullied regularly by everyone in school, even by the teachers.

I remember one day someone pushed me down the stairs and someone came up to me and asked if I was okay but, when she saw that it was me, she said: "Oh, it’s you." And she simply walked off. I had no one to talk to so I turned to self-harm. I would never recommend self-harm to anyone but every time I did it I felt so much better. This continued for three years until I finally met someone who cared.

we broke up and this is what triggered everything off all over again

I met someone when I was thirteen and he was my first love. We started talking online and soon we became extremely close. We met up in January of 2010 and soon we were going out. This lasted for ten months and it was the happiest ten months of my life. But eventually we broke up and this is what triggered everything off all over again.

I stopped self-harming when I was thirteen and I had promised my mum that I’d never do it again. So instead of physically self-harming myself, I tried to depend on others to do it for me. I used to go out into dangerous parts of town hoping that someone would so something unforgivable to me. I couldn’t see sense.

I don’t think my dad’s side of the family knew much about mental illness so I couldn’t tell them. Eventually after two months of crazy voices, sleepless nights and thoughts of suicide, I obtained help from my local mental health team. They urged me to tell my mum about everything that had happened but when I did she went berserk at me, telling me that she knew what it was like, that I wasn’t ill and that I was faking it. I ran away in tears, I planned to kill myself there and then, even though I didn’t know how.

my mum came into my room and we talked for hours about everything that had happened

Instead of doing that, I called my friend and talked to him, he managed to calm me down. I went back home, my mum came into my room and we talked for hours about everything that had happened over the past two months and she promised me that, if I was ill, she’d be by my side the whole way. I don’t remember much from there on. All I remember is being in the doctor’s office and them telling me that I’d had a psychotic breakdown. I was very lucky I wasn’t put in hospital during that episode, according to my mum.

I’ve had three more episodes since then and I was officially diagnosed with bipolar last year. After my last episode in March I had started self-harming again and this time I can’t stop. But I always figured that talking about my problems makes me feel better and it kind of does. Too often the problems of young people get brushed under the carpet with ignorant statements like: "Oh it’s just your hormones!" and so on. I’ve been doing everything to try and get my story out there, to tell everyone that: "Hey, young people can have mental illnesses, too!"

What do you think about the issues raised in this blog? Share your views with us on Twitter >>

Or pledge to share your experience of mental health today and find out how talking tackles 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.