July 17, 2015

It’s funny, I love writing – I also love talking, but when it comes to talking about mental health I always find myself second-guessing my own thoughts, beliefs and experiences. 

I’m often comparing myself to stories I’ve read in the media – or even my own assumptions on how somebody should live with a mental illness, so much so that it makes me stress even more when I struggle with new things. (I often question myself – ‘so and so’ wasn’t seen to react this way, so why on earth am I feeling like this? That newspaper story said that people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) shouldn’t do this... this person said that you can only get PTSD if...) Ahh – even though I’m the only one fighting my particular, personalised battle it seems I find it hard to believe. I haven’t been to a war zone, but I’ve seen my own wars in my mind.

More needs to be done to break down the stigma around PTSD

I was diagnosed with PTSD early last year, and I’ve often stated that I’ve been fortunate not to experience mental health stigma. But, I have – even if I’ve not realised.  The tricky thing for me is people have always associated PTSD with war-related trauma, which is understandable – yet I feel more needs to be done to break down this stigma.

I’ve survived three separate traumatic experiences and often I find myself thinking ‘I have no right to feel this way.’ But I do. I mean, I don’t want to feel this way, but it is okay for me to not be okay.

To me, having a clear diagnosis is important – I want to feel aware of what’s going on – I want to have something I can identify with and relate to. Simply for the reason that this will help me accept that it’s okay to be struggling. Yet, when I search for PTSD related articles and information – there seems to be a lack of content that I can relate too. I guess this is, in part a good thing – I’d never wish my experiences upon anyone, but sometimes it does make me feel like my struggle isn’t actually real...

In my darkest moments when I feel alone I am reminded that there are people out there willing to share their stories

I blog openly and freely about dealing (and struggling) with PTSD; I was inspired after reading some of the blogs here on the Time to Change website. Though some of the people who interact with me through social media haven’t directly experienced what I have, I never anticipated how it would make me feel.

I am often reminded that though, when in my darkest moments, I may feel alone – there is a whole world of people out there brave enough and willing to share their stories. And for that I am grateful... keep sharing your stories, people! 

Ella blogs at Dearest Someone, and tweets @_EllaRobson.
 

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Comments

panic attack

I have been up and down for months and months. my partner has been telling me to go to the doctor but i keep telling him its just life. on wednedsay i went to work with a pounding headache which i'd had for days. my job is to support a adsd child in a mainstream school, any how on this day another member of staff was quite curt with me in regards to the child i support i had a few words back and we had a descussion about the child in question. this began in a q & a session was quiet helpful. the member off staff then said i was moody! to this i broke down and began to cry she took me into another room and ask me what the problem was--- i couldn't answer i couldn't because i din't know i began to panic and began to shake n cry more and found it difficult to breath the member of staff asked are you having i panic attack to which i said i don't know i couldn't understand what was happening to me but i knew i was really scared! the person helped me to control my breathing and then continued to disscuss our previous conversation. i remember saying some randon things which looking back i didn't really mean but i was very confused. she went away and i thought i was OK. I went back to doing my job but couldn't stop the tears from falling, other staff began asking if i was ok to which made me cry more. i began to feel weak and shakey but carried on. As the children went to dinner i found a quite corner to try to regain some control another member of staff came to speak to me but again i broke down. i went to my car to have my dinner (didn't eat) but managed to make it thought the rest of the day. i went home that evening a visited my mum to which i absolutly broke down resulting in me fainting and a ambulance being called. I have now been to the doctors who have perscibed me beta blockers and talking theropy but i still feel not with it. i am very scared of myself at the moment and i don't know how to get better. I have taken 2 days off from work and am going back on monday as it is the last week off term and i want to get to the end. i am terrified of going into work monday morning knowing what i have done and how people will responded to me espically the staff member in qustion who is a senior lead. i don't like to hurt other peoples feelings and i sure i did to her!! i am also a mum of 3 childern and have a very supprotive partner i feel i've let everyone down. as my kids keep asking me to stop crying and i can't and i don't know why i feel like this

Support

Hi Vic, I'm really sorry to hear that you've been going through a difficult time. As an anti-stigma campaign we aren't able to offer advice on support directly, but you may find these links useful: http://bit.ly/1Lh54ZT Best, Crystal at Time to Change

ptsd stigma

Thanks Ella, I also have PTSD and share some of your feelings -having that diagnosis is good for me. It meant I could be aware of my behaviour and be more mindful, objective. We have to be compassionate to ourselves but at the same time, live and speak openly about the disorder to people who don't understand it. I hope to bring stigma to the surface so everyone can talk about it easier

Thank-you for your comment :)

Ella__'s picture
Thank-you for your comment :) I agree that we need to be compassionate to ourselves and I've also seen firsthand how speaking/blogging openly can have a positive effect on others! I think everyone's experience is dissimilar, yet related at the foundations (mental health discrimination) - which is why I think it's great that more people are trying to bring stigma to the forefront of discussion! I'm glad to hear that you wish to bring stigma to the surface! :) Thanks, Ella :)

Given me confidence

What a fantastic piece of writing, I would like to talk about what's its really like to have BPD but can't see how you get to write the main blog on here can you advise?

Writing a blog

Hi Heather, you can find out more about writing a blog for us here: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/how-to-blog-for-us Best, Crystal at Time to Change

Thank you

Ella... thank you for being brave and sharing your story! You mentioned 'In my darkest moments when I feel alone I am reminded that there are people out there willing to share their stories' - so true and so powerful. There is so much to learn from others stories! I can't post the link on this comment board, but if you go to theProse dot com (a social network for creative spirits interested in writing) and search for 'what was it all for'... there is a very raw, but beautifully written piece that speaks to his struggles with PTSD as well. Please keep writing... please keep inspiring others to share their stories as well! Anthony

Thank you

Hi Ella Thank you so much for the courage it took you to be vulnerable, and tell your story. I just started writing a blog a few days ago, but I think I posted it on the wrong page or something. I don't know when it comes to computers and technology I know nothing. Someday soon though I want to have the courage to be able to tell my story, so as long as there are people out there like you that has the courage to share then maybe that will give me the courage to share my whole story someday. Thank you

Blog post

Hi Jackie, thanks a lot for your comment. If you would like to have your blog post published here, please see this page on our site: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/how-to-blog-for-us. Email webmaster@time-to-change.org.uk if you have any questions or want to discuss your post. Take care, Tim at Time to Change.

I feel exactly the same

HI Ella, I've had PTSD for the last 2 years but only got diagnosed a couple of months ago. My trauma is related to my parents abandoning me,multiple(15 I can remember)sexual assaults. The fact that I'm a man makes a double so hard to talk about the sexual violence I've gone through. When I have been talking about it in the past I got ridiculed. I keep telling myself I have no right to feel what I feel and I'm afraid to meet other people. I completely isolate myself because I think or know people are going judge me. I constanly tell myself people won't accept me because I feel like a miserable loser, I blame myself for what has happened to me and I'm afraid it might be me provoking violence or the will to rape me. Most of my days I feel like I'm better of dead but haven't even got the courage to finish my own life.

Support

Hi Kurt, I'm really sorry to hear that you have been through all of that. No one should have to suffer ridicule over such things, and you have every right to feel how you feel. Are you getting the support that you need and deserve right now? Please don't feel like you are alone - there are people out there that can help you. If you feel like you might want to harm yourself you can go to the nearest hospital, they will be able to look after you. If you want to talk to someone about your feeling, Samaritans are free to call on 116 123, and you may find these links useful: http://bit.ly/1Lh54ZT – Please take care of yourself, Tim at Time to Change

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