December 2, 2013

I am a self employed artist doing exhibitions, conventions and Freshers’ fairs. I also suffer from pretty intense mental distress. Talking to my peers has been very valuable because they gave me support that I was unable to get from secondary services. I needed someone to talk to and services do not always have the time for this.

My friends often understand when I talk about social anxiety and depression as most people have some experience with this, but they can’t relate to the strange sensory hallucinations I get. However, they are still willing, for the most part, to discuss it and this does help me. I know it's hard for them to get but they accept that it's real to me.

This afternoon, I took part in the final rehearsal for a gig and during this my vision sharpened, brightened, I started to sweat, people’s faces start to distort, I felt like running away, I couldn't bear to be there. I started to have paranoid feelings. I talked it through with one of my peers, so we went to a quiet nearby café and he sat with me, we had a cup of tea. I explained that when you’re in a massive panic attack it feels like it'll never end. I stayed in it, talked it through a bit and I was able to get home safely.

I wrote this blog because I think we can all relate to times we felt vulnerable, judged, unsafe, or down. I think the more we share experiences the more we realise there is more unites us than divides us, as I discovered this afternoon.

What do you think about the issues raised in this blog?

Share your views with us on Twitter >>

Or sign our pledge wall to show your support and find out how talking tackles mental health 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.