Time to talk

Mental Health Carnival June 2012

On Monday 25th June I’ll be hosting a Mental Health Carnival, teaming up with Dance Without Sleeping, and I’m going to need your posts to do it! All you have to do is write a post about Mental Health between now and 25th June and email me the link to mrsteepot@mrsteepot.co.uk . If you don’t have a blog you’re more than welcome to email me your post and I’ll post it on my blog either credited or anonymously, just let me know.

And to start you all off, here’s my story:

I have been diagnosed with (in no particular order): Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder.

I started showing signs of anger and issues at a young age, my mum recalls me as a toddler having massive temper tantrums, more than your average terrible twos tantrum. But I don’t really remember that, I remember being pretty ‘normal’ until around puberty really. Puberty is a difficult time anyway but it’s also often when mental health issues become apparent, and during that time I also lost my Gran, my Dad and was bullied and changed schools. I, and my ex-counsellor, believe that all that contributed to the onset of my illnesses.

In my teenage years, after the stresses of my earlier life had calmed, I went off the rails somewhat; my anger was uncontrollable, I was partying, I started smoking, self-harming and rebelling and was up and down like a yo-yo. I was incredibly volatile but managed to do well in school in spite of it all. It did lead to me leaving home during college as I was finding it increasingly difficult to live with my parents though to live with my (ex) partner and his family. I calmed down a lot then but after we moved in together alone the stress and arguments led to a break up which saw my mental health take a serious tumble.

From what I recall that’s when I made my first serious suicide attempt. Thankfully (I think) I don’t remember much about my suicide attempts; number, order, reason, etc. I have vague memories of waking up in hospital at 5am telling them I had to get to work because I was on the early and I needed to be there. I recall being allowed to wander around the car park in just a gown and being taken back in by a nurse only to find I’d been discharged. I remember feeling the worst hangover ever and feeling so ill and hating the person who called the ambulance.

Following that there was more partying and another relationship that ended, fairly recently, in a huge amount of heartache which again sent my mental health into free fall with more failed suicide attempts and an inability to deal with anything in reality. Eventually I had no choice but to move to France to live with my parents as I found myself without even the money to feed myself day to day when I was declared ‘fit for work’ by ATOS.

Fortunately since moving I’ve found a fabulous, supportive psychiatrist and am mostly stable and seem to be on the right medication for my symptoms. I’ll never be completely healthy but stable is good by me. When I’m under a lot of stress I still hear voices, when I’m under a lot more stress I still see things, and my mood still peaks and troughs at random sometimes, but all in all I can function now and really that’s what matters.

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