TW: contains mild references to self harm.
I’m going to use this post to give a brief account of my struggle thus far. This will probably end up being pretty to-the-point, but I aim to start blogging regularly with a bit more ‘structure’ so please stick with me!
Having always been introverted, with naturally low self-esteem, I find it hard to pinpoint the exact moment where my Mental Health became a problem. I got through school, university and held down a decent job for 6 years, all the while working around my social anxieties, and even picked myself straight back up (literally) after a full-blown panic attack in front of a crowded office. I was sent home from work on 1st September 2011 and never managed to return. The prospect of returning to any kind of employment thoroughly terrifies me. Over time, my comfort zone has shrunk so much that I missed seeing my sister married earlier this year.
In the past 4 years I have been officially diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Anorexia and have been admitted to/treated in hospital countless times for Deliberate Self-Harm. This usually takes the form of cutting and, this year alone, my wrists and forearms have been sutured 20+ times. There has also been several vague suggestions of Asperger’s, although there seems to be a reluctance to ‘label me’. I personally would welcome this diagnosis as I think it would account for a lot of my difficulty.
I have been under the remit of the Community Mental Health Team for around 3 years and have a ‘care team’ consisting of: Psychiatrist, CPN, Psychologist and a Specialist Nurse for my Eating Disorder.
But I can honestly say that I am now putting all my energy (though anyone who has ever suffered with a Mental Illness will know that energy levels can be rather pathetic at times!) into recovering. I have been on a variety of medications over the years, but think my current combination of antidepressant and antipsychotic is giving me the best result so far. I am trying to keep my days as structured as possible, resting when I feel tired, complying with professionals as much as I can, trying to be vocal about what helps and what doesn’t and starting to think very cautiously about my future.
And I like to write. Having never been much of a talker, I have found therapy extremely challenging. Indeed, I have found my most productive meetings with professionals have been the ones in which I simply handed over a piece of paper detailing what I really wanted to say. So I’m hoping to use these posts as an opportunity to vent some thoughts and feelings that might otherwise never see the light of day – at least not in a way that makes any sense to anyone else! I would also love for them to be of use/interest to others in a similar situation, if only to provide reassurance that we are not alone in this.
Anyway, hopefully I haven’t rambled so much that I’ve put you off reading any more! Feel free to comment.