Before I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and severe ADHD, I was quite oblivious to mental health issues. Since then, I have gained a much deeper insight on how society views and deals with these issues. I have also come to realise how my words effect the way people interact with me, and how they view me as a person. Words are powerful. Which is why I have said publicly, “when I keep quiet, stigma wins – and I can’t let that happen”.
It wasn’t until I was in sixth form that I opened up to my mum about my mental health. She noticed my behaviour was affecting my everyday life, including college, and we had a conversation about the appropriate steps we could take going forward to find a solution. She booked a doctor’s appointment for me and that’s when I was diagnosed with social anxiety and depression.
I was in secondary school when I developed mental health problems and started to self harm. I had experienced a lot of bullying from my peers and I felt very isolated and low, often spending lunchtimes sitting in a toilet cubicle or in the library studying alone.
It all started when I noticed Adam’s behaviour had changed. He became quiet and started to isolate himself, staying in his room more than usual. He was irritable too, getting upset about things which wouldn’t normally bother him so much. Looking back on it now, he was just feeling frustrated – he didn’t understand why he was feeling the way he was.