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.
So, seven years ago I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID). No, I hadn’t heard of it either. I was 16 at the time – I was in an adolescent psychiatric ward, a secure intensive care ward, 230 miles from home. It was terrifying. Getting a diagnosis was a positive, a weight off my mind, it all made so much sense. I was given some literature to read and it was practically my life story. Then the journey really began.
At a dinner at a good friends house the other night, I overheard one of the other guests in conversation with the host. ‘I know loads of people who take anti-depressants’, she said. ‘My dad takes them too and do you know what, I just don’t get it. It’s not like these people haven’t got anything to feel blessed about. It’s about gratitude. They need to stop wallowing and be grateful for what they have – some people have nothing. Having some gratitude would definitely make them feel better’.
I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder almost 6 years ago now when I was 20. I've learnt to manage it to a degree now but it can be incredibly difficult to live with. The paranoia, intrusive thoughts and delusions can be a daily battle at times. It can be a very lonely and exhausting battle too.