August 4, 2016

I am a 20 year old female, I have recently come out of hospital (a psychiatric intensive care unit) after my last admission, which was my 3rd, all have been under sections.

I have been diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder emotional and antisocial, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), attachment disorder, anxiety, depression and, to put the cherry on the bun, insomnia.

From face value, I look very respectable, have a very good work life, a nice home and a stable relationship. This is what people see and they automatically assume that I am fine and because they can not see any off my illnesses it must not matter or they must not be that important. I want to break that stigma, show people the truth of what it's really like living with illnesses such as these, in the hope people will start to understand, empathise and acknowledge that mental health can not be brushed under the carpet and ignored.

My personality disorder makes me have very fast emotional switches, one moment I'm okay and in the next breathe I'm in hysterical tears and I want to commit suicide, then I might feel sad and in the next moment I'm filled with rage and this leads to me becoming very irrational and impulsive putting myself in dangerous situations and from there I can go to feeling completely nothing, like a hollowness an empty feeling and I feel it to the point it hurts physically. This then can lead me to self harming in many different forms, this in sense brings me back to normality for a moment.

My recent diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, this makes things that have happened in the past come back very real for me, I have flashbacks that can last for hours and this is non less than a mental torture having to relive that amount of trauma over and over again. My body's coping mechanism to this is disassociation, totally disconnecting you to that period as though you're watching yourself rather than it being you, this also leads to periods of pure freezing and zoning out completely and when you come back you can't remember any of the events that have just happened.

All of this then has a bad impact on my depression making it a vicious circle, people see depression as you might be a bit "moody", well I can tell you that depression is not just that, it's physically not having the strength to get out of bed, to do menial chores such as brushing your teeth, eating, cleaning yourself, staying in the same clothes for days, not talking to people, wanting affection but at the same time you can't bear people near you, refusing help because you feel you don't deserve it.

Then there's my anxiety, I struggle immensely with going to appointments, talking on the phone, being in crowds, going to the shops alone, meeting new people. This then leads to anxiety attacks, which feels to me like a physical pain in my chest a tightness as though I can't breath.

Too many people still don’t realise: mental illness is real, it is a daily battle, a daily fight with yourself just to stay alive, it is not something to be brushed under the carpet and ignored. The stigma needs to end.

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