Before I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and severe ADHD, I was quite oblivious to mental health issues. Since then, I have gained a much deeper insight on how society views and deals with these issues. I have also come to realise how my words effect the way people interact with me, and how they view me as a person. Words are powerful. Which is why I have said publicly, “when I keep quiet, stigma wins – and I can’t let that happen”.
My late brother and I were working together in the hospitality sector, running a bar. We were making good money. So, I advised my brother, we should build a house. We worked together on it for more than two years. It was a three bedroom flat each… on one plot.
That’s around the time I started seeing things differently from reality. I thought people were controlling my lights… but no one was there. I was hearing voices.
I was diagnosed with depression during my final year of medical school. Since then it’s been a struggle of relapses and recovery. Sharing my story makes things easier. If I tell you my experience it’s easier for you to share yours.
I remember I wrote a sort of suicide note when I was 12. At that age I self-harmed as well. I didn’t speak to anyone about how I was feeling. What was I going to say?
That was the first time I started feeling something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what it was. Even at medical school, I still couldn’t figure it out.
The diagnosis of bipolar eight years ago was a huge relief because I finally knew what was wrong with me. I was so relieved because I said – ok, so I am not lazy, I’m not erratic, I’m not unfocused. I’m sick.
I got the diagnosis before I got married. My then boyfriend (now husband) was ok with it. But some of the people in his circle were like, “no, no, no, no… you should not get married to her, how you will be able to cope with her condition?”