Since about the age of 10 I’ve had depression and depressive episodes, I always knew there was something else to it, but only a few months ago I got diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This was also the first time in my 23 years of living I had even heard of this disorder.
People hear the words “personality disorder” and presume the worst of the worst or don’t know how to react, this makes it extremely difficult for people like myself to open up, even to friends and family.
When I started taking antidepressants for the first time last year, I was scared of what people would think. Whilst I knew, rationally, that there is no shame in taking medication for a health condition, I was flinching away from the imagined reactions of those who knew me.
I told a select few. Partially because I was advised to, and as an advocate for mental health, it would have been hypocritical of me to stay quiet.
My name’s Carl, I’m 26 years old and I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression for over 10 years. However I suspect even before then there were some mental health issues going on.
I think it's key to talk and create an open discussion on mental health. I believe it should be treated in the exact same way that physical health is treated. We will very likely have either been affected or know someone close to us who is suffering from mental health issues, and it’s a very serious problem. Suicide is the number one killer of men under the age of 45, which is a terrifying statistic.
I've been told since I was 12 that my constant stress, sickness and weakness, and panic attacks were nothing more than attention-seeking behaviour.
I didn't want to make friends, but I didn't want to be alone. I didn't want to leave the house, but I couldn't live with the idea of me being a failure. I didn't want to admit something was wrong, but at some point I had to.