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!"

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Good on you for sharing you

Good on you for sharing you experience :) you're right, it does need to be dealt with that younger people have mental health issues. I wish you loads of success in your recovery x

psychosis - anxiety and panic attacks

Yes, good for you Mia in sharing your fears. I help people I know well who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and occasionally they self harm. I always repeat to them not to think they are abnormal or weird. They are not! It may seem odd to say this but it is quite normal and CBT counselling - if you can get access to it - has quite a high success rate. It won't work for everyone but with the right counsellor you have an over-50% chance of success. So, find an understanding and caring friend and, like your experience Mia, they can help to calm you down. I wish you well. And, always remember: all things must pass.

Letting it out

Thanks for sharing. I had a similar experience at school as physical assault by a teacher. But I am Indian and grew up in racist britain in the 70s so you can imagine how I still feel now having realised this was the beginning of anxiety and bipolar. Its not fair being highly intelligent and educated but your mind constantly reminding you the past and reminding you your indian you don't belong here.

Thank you

Thank you so much for sharing. Keep talking and talking about it and realising that you will be ok. I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate where you are coming from. Despite being diagnosed with different things to you, we all go through similar journeys in the struggles and rejection we face. It makes me feel so heavy inside to know there are people like us who haven't spoken out. So please keep it up with TTC to inspire courage in others. I hope you are a little closer to having more love for yourself and that you find a different way of dealing with all this rather than self-harming. What stops me from self-harming is literally just jumping up and occupying myself, or talking to someone about those thoughts. Voice them, make them seem smaller and take away their power. All the best. x

You are great

You honestly, are a great human being. Keep exploring your own self, whilst not forgetting to understand those around you. 'Labels' such as, Psychosis, Bipolar etc, those are simply indications of how your brain functions. Yield it responsibly, and you will be more than just great :). In fact, you are fantastic. You are a blessing :). Remember who you are, bottom line <3

well done

Hi, i was 13, im 27 now. i was bullied thats when my episode started, psychosis, i tried to keep that hidden,i found the courage like you to talk to my mum, i was taken to the doctors then diagnosed with depression, i had a breakdown, Was a struggle to get through things considering suicide, hearing voices,feeling like im in a dark place was the worst time of my life,i found talking helped eventually i got through it with the support of my family, im glad you have had a diagnoses mia, im glad you found the strength to talk about things even though its hard.

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