October 10, 2016

Mental illnesses can make people feel very isolated, especially if people around them are not so understanding or supportive. To listen, be patient and simply be kind are what I believe to be the most important things.

Five years ago I experienced my first depressive episode. I felt so low inside that I could not possibly picture a happy future for myself, and so I began to self harm and have thoughts of suicide. It affected my relationships with family and friends, I didn't want to socialise with anyone. My performance at school became worse, achieving lower exam grades and having poor attendance. Some days it would be a struggle even just to get myself out of bed. From depression, I would go into a hypermanic state, becoming quite careless of my well being and reckless, doing things which I would never think of doing in a well state. I was becoming quite a danger to myself.

Today I am mentally in a place I could never have imagined when I first became ill. I feel the strongest and healthiest I have ever been, working hard towards my dream career and looking forward to what the future holds. People said to me then that "things would get better" and that "everything would be alright". And I can now say that they weren't wrong.

For me personally, the thing which has helped most with my recovery is the great support I received from family members, my loving boyfriend and close friends.

Mental illnesses can make people feel very isolated, especially if people around them are not so understanding or supportive. To listen, be patient and simply be kind are what I believe to be the most important things when caring for somebody dealing with mental health problems.

Finding hobbies which I enjoy has also helped with my recovery greatly. Whilst attending art therapy regularly during a stay in hospital, I discovered that this was a great way to express how I was feeling if words couldn't. Whether in a low or high mood, or if I'm feeling a bit angry, putting those feelings on paper in the form of a painting really helps me. I find that it can sometimes help me to share what's going on inside my mind with others, then they might get some more understanding of how I'm feeling.

Anxiety (GAD), depression and emotional dysregulation are some of the diagnoses I have been given over the past five years, with my latest diagnosis being bipolar disorder. I believe that being diagnosed by a professional can be extremely helpful for some in order for them to get the correct treatment and to understand themselves better but it is not the most important thing. I remember feeling confused and scared when first diagnosed, thinking that it meant I would be unwell forever.

This was not, and is still not the case at all. Although the mental illness will always be there, I've learned that it is something which can be managed with the right support and that I am still able to live a very much happy and normal life. It doesn't stop me or anyone else suffering from achieving the goals they want to in life.

It is important to remember that mental illness does certainly not define you as a person. But most importantly, remember... things DO get better!

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Comments

GAD depression bipolar ?

I suffer with servere anxiety depression.i wake every morning with a dread of doom.i get chronic pain all over body servere stomach problems diagnosed anxiety tummy.its living hell.one minute I feel fine then I burst into uncontrollable crying.i feel like an alien .alone and nobody understands what life's like for me.i constantly think about death .turn any conversation onto death.i just can't go on living this way any more iv tried every tablet there is to try nothing helps any more .where do I go from here please help

Support

Hi Anne, it sounds like things are really difficult for you at the moment and that you might be struggling with suicidal feelings – I’m really sorry to hear that. Do you have the support you need at the moment? We have some information on our website that I hope might be able to help: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-and-stigma/help-and-support – and please remember you can also get in touch with the Samaritans at any time on 116 123 or via jo@samaritans.org . Take care of yourself, Tim at Time to Change.

Support

Hello Tim.thank you for shown concern.i wouldn't take my life .i have a son of 35 whom just wouldn't survive the aftermath of such a tragedy .he knows my anxiety is very surver ..but I hold back from sharing how depressed I become ..he lives a independent life has his own house not far from me.so I get to see him often he's so carring kind and has empathy..infact he's running a marathon for mental health awareness ..he wants to give something back for the support I get from the NHS ..well iv got through today with lots lots of crying ..yes I call sermarations lots there mostly very supportive..I just always feel a need to reach out to those suffering.nomatter whom I talk to even a delivery man.i always end up mentioning death.or say well if it's not much good don't worry I will be dead soon..this is nearly all the time lately.i don't say this to my partner well just soulmate now.i wouldn't distress them .thank you so much for been so kind anne

Hi Anne, thanks for getting

Hi Anne, thanks for getting back to me. It's good to know that you are getting the support you deserve, but I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling. I'm sure your partner and son would be appreciative and supportive if you let them know how you were feeling. They sound like great people. Take care of yourself, Tim at Time to Change

confused

Hi... I would like for someone to help me out cos I am so confused and really do not have anyone to talk to because people misunderstand me a lot. So ever since I was a child, I would always feel less important.. Although a lot of people tell me I'm beautiful, I still find myself on most days, thinking I could have been created with better eyes, better legs and all. I have never really had a meaningful relationship with anyone. I find it completely hard to trust people. I always, somehow, find a way to imagine d worst about people and everything around me. I lose track of reality most times, imagine weird things.. So weird that people laugh at me and wonder.. I overreact about the slightest things. I get very anxious and scared over nothing at all. This minute, I want to hangout and laugh with people. I'm all jumpy and just acting crazy. And d next minute, I want to talk to nobody, cry uncontrollably and remind myself how much of a worthless life I have and will always have. I don't like to talk to people or allow people come close to me. I don't socialise. I don't have any friends because I end up sending them away with my weirdness and mood swings.. I get suicidal on days when its very severe. And the urge to drink or smoke. I don't drink or smoke yet bt sometimes I want to try them out because I feel they'll relieve me of this problem. Does anyone know what exactly is wrong with me? Do I have a mental problem? Is it bipolar disorder? I don't know what to do

I to struggle with bipolar

I to struggle with bipolar and chronic depression since I was a little girl as I got older into my forty it is getting harder for me. I have self-harmed myself just to cope, suicidal visions of wut if I wasn't here. All I want to do is wake up happy every day

Support

Hi Catina, I'm really sorry to hear that you've been struggling. Are you getting the support you need at the moment, medical and otherwise? Take care of yourself, Tim at Time to Change

my family puts me down for my illness

My siblings have all deserted me and just mocked me for my illness. Ive now been stable 10 years, and i credit the moral support i get from one loyal friend whos been there for me.I think people with bipolar need more encouragement and moral support than other people, sadly my family never gave me that

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