Having mental health problems has always been the most isolating and difficult part of my life. Most of my thoughts and feelings have been my secret, so as not to look ‘strange’, ‘weak’ or ‘self-obsessed’. I worried I would be judged and discriminated against. I worried I would become further isolated if I discussed it and on top of that, I did not want my family and friends to worry themselves or see me as a burden.
The first time I started experiencing severe mental health problems was when I was in Year 10. I turned round to my teacher, A, and said; “what is the point?” - that’s when I first started opening up about my problems.
One of the many, many, untold and unseen effects of mental illness is what it does to you psychologically, as well as physically. It affects us in ways you wouldn’t imagine.
Take depression, for example. People think it’s just being ‘sad’, when it’s actually feelings of severe despondency and dejection. People don’t quite understand my story, and by my story I mean my battle with multiple mental illnesses, specifically depression.
From an early age, I have really struggled with any form of relationships, friends, family and romantically. My friendships never lasted for any length of time – I was too “intense”, “needy” or “emotional”. I still have the same problems. Getting close very quickly, then worrying that they don’t like me. Why haven’t they texted me back? What did I do wrong? Why haven’t they checked how I feel? Why am I always the one to text them? They hate me.