July 23, 2015

I have struggled with psychotic depression and PTSD for the past 2 years.Sue Gull's blog  During this time I also had a baby and I am also a busy mum to my 15 year old daughter. I’ve also had lots of support from my husband, a team of healthcare professionals, family and friends. Being involved with the Time to Change campaign and attending a Recovery College has really motivated me. In fact, I am recovering well that I felt it was time to give myself a daily challenge: every day I try to talk briefly to a random stranger about the difficulties I have faced and to talk about mental health. Today it was a lady in the supermarket, but last Friday in was a children’s entertainer! I imagine that if I had a badly broken arm with pins in it the random stranger might ask me how I did it or if it’s getting better. It’s not very easy starting the conversation and sometimes I do get the odd ‘really’ or ‘oh dear’ but generally I find people are happy to have a short conversation. 

I am gaining confidence and no longer feel ashamed about my mental health

So what do we all get out of it? Well, it’s my way of getting people to talk about mental health, which I hope will make a tiny difference to combat the stigma around the subject and for them to be a little more enlightened and perhaps more comfortable to talk to loved ones, colleagues or friends about mental health. Talking to people makes me feel empowered and is one of ways I am trying to thank those of who helped and supported me. I am gaining confidence and no longer feel ashamed about my mental health. So last Friday’s conversation went something like this…

Magician man asks “Have you ever been to Winchester before?”

I reply “Actually I lived here for three months last year”

“Only three months” he replies “that was a short stay”

“Well, too be honest I was in a specialist psychiatric unit just up the road, so that’s why I was here”

Magician man says “Wow I’m sorry to hear that.  Are you better now?”

And so we chat for about 5 minutes.  He tells me about a family member who had been unwell and I tell him about my experiences and how I am recovering.  Job done for today!

If you are thinking about talking about your mental health, it's OK to start small - talk to a trusted friend or relative. Find out more about talking about your mental health here.

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Comments

Great to hear

It's great to hear stories of recovery when you're in the thick of it.....

Healing from Mental Illness

"Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives." I am grateful I can look back at my journey from age 65 and that I'm living to tell others about it. My story Aug 4 on the International Bipolar Foundation webinar is one of deep gratitude as your's is.

PTSD and the common man

I cannot understand why this condition is not more understood. In the general public, I mean many people experience ptsd and never even know it. This is not just some crazy disease left for soldiers. It's easy to contract, and therefore should be watched much more closely than it is currently. I cannot believe that when I hope ptsd into google OR YouTube the only links I get are links about soldiers. HELLO! This is a very real disease affecting more people than u can dream of and it would be great to be recognized because instead of antidepressants- which just kill braincells and make u wacko, doctors would be able to prescribe real, life altering treatments. This is what I want to see.

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