There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about mental health out there. These stories address some of the dangerous and troubling beliefs about different conditions, and explore what it's really like to experience mental health problems.
When I’m really struggling internally, I overcompensate externally. Think Ross from Friends when he finds out about Rachel and Joey. That episode struck a chord with me because I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve tried to put on a good show and ended up looking like an absolute idiot. I’d get all loud and animated; try to be funny; try to convince others and myself that there’s nothing wrong. They say the unhappiest people are the ones that seem the happiest. For a large chunk of my school days, that was me. My face was laughing and smiling but my eyes weren’t.
The way I like to describe anxiety is that it is much like falling down the stairs. When you miss a step and your stomach drops for a second. That’s how anxiety feels: the only difference is it is constant, always there, tapping away at each part of me. It is sweaty palms, shaky fingertips and chronic headaches. It is the inability to breathe properly and stay calm. It is thinking "I shouldn't have said that" and "they are laughing at me".
We are Emma and Sophie and two years ago we bumped into each other while we were out for dinner. We had been really good friends in the past but had fallen out of touch over the last few years. We had never meant to lose touch but we had both been scared that too much time had gone by to reconnect.
To me, life with a diagnosed personality disorder is a wrestle. That’s how I’d describe it to others. It’s a wrestle, but the key opponent is me. I am officially my own worst enemy, and every single day I put up a valiant attack against myself and my weaknesses – beating myself up for every shortcoming I perceive to be there and every mistake I know full well I am making, yet feel unable to stop making.