I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Schizotypal Personality Disorder (StPD), Depression and Agoraphobia, so a bit of a list there. It’s a struggle knowing where one conditions begins and another ends. I don’t feel like I have a “normal” day and if I have, at any point, a “normal moment” I try and hold on to it for dear life but everything changes so quickly.
I was diagnosed with Depression at 13, BPD at 20, StPD at 23 and Agoraphobia at 26 and one of the biggest problems I’ve found is who I can talk to about my mental health. I find that people become awkward when I mention it and, if they’re not, then I may be feeling paranoid or having delusions or more likely I’m feeling so uncomfortable in a social situation so that I clam up completely.
Looking back, almost all of the symptoms of my conditions started when I was at school. I’d find myself uncomfortable in classes of about 30 other people (Agoraphobia). I’d feel sad and down and suicidal almost all the time and my emotions became more intense as time grew on and I started having delusions, such as being convinced I could walk through walls or that I could read people’s minds amongst other things. This made school (and work since then) difficult (but not impossible) and because I knew very little about mental health issues I didn’t even realise what was happening to me and when it did start to sink in I didn’t say anything to anyone. I felt out of place already and telling anyone would make that worse.
My family have been the ones who have taken all of this the hardest and because of this I can’t talk to them. They choose to ignore it and, when my mental health is brought up, they say the nastiest of things. Well, to me that’s what they are. Things such as "I wouldn’t trust my kids with someone with mental health problems” despite me never so much as hurting a fly and during a time where I self-harmed they would tell me that they’d harm themselves to show me what it’s like for them. I try and explain my conditions to them but explaining it to them or anyone else can be difficult for me. I get what can be called a “word salad” where I end up choosing words in a sentence that don’t fit the intended use of what I’m trying to say and people struggle to understand. I don’t always know how to make the words fit properly. But I keep trying as I believe informing people of what mental health really is will reduce the stigma attached to it over time.
I still experience all of these things but I’m trying to move on from them. As for the delusions and hallucinations that I experience, inside I still believe them to be real but I’m trying to put those beliefs to one side to try and have a happy life. I don’t believe they’ll ever truly go away but I intend to keep trying anyway.