Thursday, 4 February 2016

Time to Talk Day

Hello everyone, today (Thursday 4th February 2016) is Time to Talk Day. Time to Talk Day aims to end the stigma and misconceptions related to mental health. This is a post I have wanted to write for a very long time, but I am always worried about upsetting those who care about me, because they know little or nothing about my mental health. In this post I will be discussing my depression, self harm, suicidal thoughts and committing suicide. I have pictures of my self harm but there will be no pictures in this blog post, it will be just me rambling on. If this post makes one person feel less alone or helps in any single way, that would really make me happy.  If this is a post that does not interest you or may be upsetting and distressing to read, I have many other blog posts you can read.

I am not sure where to begin really, I suppose the start would make sense. Throughout school I was bullied from primary school, junior school and even secondary school, I never was a happy child. I remember being about 8 years old, having my first suicidal thought. I was sat on my window ledge wanting to jump, this was at an age before I knew much about mental health. I remember very little but the next thing I do remember is being in year 8 or 9 of secondary school (age 13-14). I self harmed for the first time. This was 4 little cuts on my wrist which I did using a pair of scissors, that I hid wearing a sweatband. It took a few weeks if not months before I told a family member. Unfortunately I did not get the supportive reaction or help I was hoping for.

Instead I was told I was not doing it properly and doing it just to attention seek. I have no idea what this was meant to achieve but it was deeply upsetting, and is even today. I want to write a whole post about attention seeking, but that is for another day. Sometimes it is an attention thing, but most of the time there is another reason why I do self harm. This is because when I do self harm, I can only think of the pain it causes. Self harming does hurt, I do not enjoy doing it, but it is the only way I have found that makes my mind stop thinking about everything. My mind is constantly switch on and I over think every single thing possible.

I did stop self harming for 3 years and aged 16 I was diagnosed with depression and was put on anti depressants. They did not help at all, they made me feel dizzy and it was not long before I stopped taking them. At this point I was not self harming but I did have suicidal thoughts and was very unhappy. My collage years were the toughest yet (aged 16-19), after being diagnosed with depression I have 2 family members die within 9 months of each other roughly, as well as this I was really struggling at college and I felt increasingly isolated.

It was aged 17 I took an overdose. I wanted an escape, I took about 40 tablets and I just cried in bed, hoping I would just pass away, but that did not happen, instead I was shouted at for wasting tablets and was made to throw up. I did not need any additional care. I had counselling to try and find another way of helping how I felt. But I hated it, the person who saw me basically said I was wrong for feeling how I did and just seemed like they did not care. I did not go again.

After college I took some time out before going to university. I was becoming increasingly depressed as I was applying for so many jobs, getting rejected a lot, it made me feel even more worthless. I decided to go to university in the hope I would be able to get a job at the end of it and to spend time with my partner at the time, who was in the same town studying.

Once my partner had left university, I was alone, I decided to rent a maisonette which was one of the worst times of my life. Within a few months of living there I did not go out much, by the summer I did not go out for nearly 2 months, I ordered shopping online and went into the emergency gas and electric. I remember opening the front door and I would burst into tears, I would sit in the cold hallway for an hour crying because I could not leave. It was only when I ran out of electric I had to go out. I remember that day very clearly and I felt so happy I was able to go outside.

I was hoping things would start to get better but they started to spiral out of control. At this point I was with a different partner who lived far away, he also had mental health issues and I tried to help him as much as possible, unfortunately nothing seemed to help and it just made me feel guilty. At this point I was self harming a lot, now a proper way, I have scars on my face, chest, left arm, left hand and both legs. While doing all this I was attending counselling through the university, I had 8 sessions and as much as I liked the person I saw, it still was not for me. The guy and I ended up splitting up and he completely blocked me out of his life, at the time it really hurt, but it was honestly the best thing he could have done for me. I was, and still am, having suicidal thoughts, and these are now very gory, vicious day dreams where I see myself dying in many different ways. Sometimes I end up in tears, they used to happen daily and I had little control of them, now they happen 2 or 3 times a week and it is something I am able to ignore better now.

In the past few months I did take another overdose, this time using prescribed harsher medication, it only took 12 tablets for me to feel really ill. I threw up a lot, felt like I was on fire, I lost all feeling in my right shoulder, right arm and hand, I should have gone into hospital but I just kept drinking water and I was actually on skype to a friend of mine as I was so much pain and scared I could have died. Within a few hours I improved a lot and got the feeling back in the right side of my body. I have also self harmed once but the past few months have been so much of an eye opener and it has really put me off doing all this damage to my body and to try and improve my state of mind.

I end at the present day, I am single once again but I feel at my strongest within myself. I am self conscious of my scars but I am not ashamed of them, they all tell a story, a story I have shared today. I still occasionally have suicidal thoughts but they are no where near as vivid as before. I am eating healthier and I am starting to do a bit more exercise. I only have a few months left of university but it is stressful, but it is helping me take my mind off things.

So why have I documented all of this? I am not looking for attention or for people to feel sorry for me. I am very lucky to have spoken to so many people since I have started blogging, but very few of them know much about my mental health. Many of my friends see me as the funny one and are so shocked to find out information about my depression. Anyone can have mental health issues and I hope that this can help to fight some of the stigma surrounding mental health. For those who are suffering in silence, the main thing I can say is to tell someone. I got a bad reaction but it lead to a diagnosis and after so many years things are getting better and they can for any one else. Breaking silence is difficult, I am only able to talk about my depression as I have had to speak to counsellors and doctors so many times. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or you can privately message me on my twitter. Thank you for reading, let us keep talking about mental health and fight the stigma!

5 comments:

  1. Such an amazing thing to do to share your experience so that others know what it's like for you and that they aren't on their own. I wish you all the positivity in the world xx

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    1. Thank you so much for the comment and friendship, it means a lot to me :) xx

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  2. I truly admire you for sharing all of this because it's not always the easiest to do so. I'm so glad that you're starting to feel stronger in yourself, its an ongoing battle but looks like you're taking steps in the right direction :)

    http://www.livinginagoldenafternoon.net

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  3. Hi Laura, this is my first time here so first a quick hello :)

    I want to say how truly sorry I am that life has dealt you so many emotional struggles, but I'm especially sorry that you've had such little recognition or support.
    Whenever I hear the words "its just for attention" it breaks my heart because I think...AND??? Do you not question why someone might feel the need to ask for attention? It's a cry for help, a desperate one at that, so to respond in such a dismissive and rejecting way is a travesty. Society is failing people when they are most in need of help.

    So I'm so sorry you've had that response, but I'm glad that you feel you're now making small steps of improvement. Seeking help was one of the hardest, but most important things I've ever done in my life and I'm glad you've done the same. I hope you continue to improve and come to find joy from life.

    Today is International Day of Happiness so I hope you find some today :) xx

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