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.
In late 2018, I was diagnosed with bulimia. Although I was suffering for a long time before this, I was living in denial that something was genuinely wrong and I needed help. Like many young men, I was never told to talk about my problems – never mind anything about mental illness. Instead, we are told to simply get over it. Rather than talk about what is bothering us, we are told to keep it down and carry on pushing forward.
Any diagnosis of a mental disorder is frightening, but so too are those crushing depressions when you can’t function, the times when life is simply too much or when you are simply out of control. It was after my second suicide attempt that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The crushing, life draining, depressions I had noticed (obviously), but somewhere down the line I seemed to have missed the mania.
Initially when I was diagnosed, I was thrilled. I identified with the symptoms and my diagnosis meant I could finally get help, but when I googled borderline personality disorder (BPD) it was horrible to read how people talked about us. I read articles about how to get out of a relationship with someone with a personality disorder, how ‘toxic’ we are and how to spot us. It made me feel too ashamed to tell anyone for a long time.