All of us can appreciate some degree of negative impact on our own wellbeing with the current advice on self-isolation and social distancing. As somebody with mental health problems the current situation is both increasing my anxiety levels and reinforcing my negative thoughts and subsequent low mood. Indeed all the ‘usual’ things I would do to help manage my mental health are out of bounds; Park Run, meeting friends or going to the cinema.
My diagnosis is schizophrenia. I’ve had four catastrophic breakdowns in my lifetime; three of these were so severe that I was sectioned under the mental health act. However, for some 12 years during the intervening period of my 3rd and 4th breakdown, I was largely mentally healthy, engaging in relationships and work.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015 shortly after my mum passed away following a tough battle with cancer. When I look back, my first psychotic episode was actually in 1994. This arose following a traumatic event in my life.
I joined Time to Change movement in July 2019, which turned out to be the best decision of my life. I have been struggling with mental health for so many years and I have been receiving ongoing treatment for my anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Borderline Personality. Disorder (BPD) and depression. By sharing my experience of my diagnosis with other people, I feel that my mental health has been improving, and I feel that I am not the only one in the world who suffers.