- Right so when I was aged 14 I started self-harming I was also developing an eating disorder
- I asked my GP for help, she gave me the number for Birmingham healthy minds – I called and made a telephone assessment (it took more guts than anything I have ever done before in my life!) but it got cancelled and I didn’t make another one – I have a major fear of speaking on the telephone (telephobia) – It was the first time and last time that I’ve ever spoke on the phone to anyone since I was a little kid (primary school age).
- I moved from high school to college (I struggled to settle in, I knew no one and it’s a big jump from GCSE to 4 full time A levels)
- I threatened to overdose, college found out about everything (planned overdose, self-harm, eating disorder, my perfectionism) My parents got told about my eating disorder and self-harm, college told me to tell them about my planned overdose (I didn’t).
- The next day I had an appointment with the community psychiatric nurse at my gp centre. He was useless, he said he didn’t think I was a risk or even had depression or anything because I hadn’t taken the overdose.
- The next day I overdosed on paracetamol, on the way to college, and got hospitalised for half a week.
-I’m quite lucky because my closest friend stuck by me (and we had only knew each other for 3months) and she is still my best friend now (august 2012) around this time I came out to everyone at college about my mental health issues
- The guy I had a crush on in high school (let’s just call him M) asked me to be his girlfriend. He gave me hope, he thought I was beautiful even with my arms covered in scars, maybe; just maybe, I am worthy enough to be loved. He knew my whole story and still wanted to be with me.
- Me and ‘M’ broke up for no apparent reason this really knocked me for 6. And I struggled to cope for a while.
- Also in December a friend of mine was threatening to commit suicide – she lives in a totally different city and it upset me more because I couldn’t do anything to help (she hasn’t committed suicide (thank god!))
- I started to self-harm again, I don’t really know why
- started to have many mental health referrals and assessments and I got told I may be put on pills for depression, also got told I may be suffering from social and general anxiety.
- I stopped self-harming. I haven’t self-harmed in 6 months, that’s the longest I’ve ever done
- I started to volunteer at ‘the big issue’ office in my city centre, its helps homeless people many of whom have mental health issues (it was a great experience) this only lasted a month because I was struggling to fit it around college and it was making my eating disorder worse because it gave me the opportunity to lie about what I have actually eaten.
- got referred to a specialised eating disorder out patient service in my city centre, I had an assessment by the psychiatrist and dietician (and got weighed and measured) got told id be put on the waiting list for CBT group therapy which starts in September (2012) and I have been diagnosed with EDNOS (but the psychiatrist said it’s not much of a diagnosis as the majority of people have EDNOS to a point) but I’ve been able to look at my medical files at every assessment I get (all 9 of them) and they all say in moderately affected by depression – but nothings being done because the services are focused on my eating disorder
- Me and ‘M’ got back together (boyfriend and girlfriend)
- ‘M’ told me he felt stressed, he’s been having arguments with his family for no reason, he has been in a low mood (crying) and has had a loss of appetite and sleep. We both came to the conclusion he may be developing depression, I’m keeping a close eye on him though, I’m not going to sit by and let depression ruin his life. When the time is right I WILL take him to his GP.
- I’m going to morocco for 12 days (with no phone or internet) on an expedition with my college – helping the community in morocco
- I (hopefully) will be accepted on a nursing (mental health) undergraduate degree with honours course.
So now I’ve been the one with depression, been in a relationship with someone with depression and in the future I’m planning to help those with mental health issues, I know how isolating it can be to have depression but I also know the effect it has on family and friends.
Yes the picture at the top is of me and my mum – she has stuck by me through everything even though I refuse to tell her things.
I used to wish that I didn’t have my scars or mental health problems but now I’ve learnt to live with them, they are a part of me and make me who I am, I’m NOT ashamed of any of it.
‘M’ says I’m amazing because I care, I think he is amazing because he listens and accepts me.
Every time I think of him, or get a message from him I have butterflies in my stomach. He is prepared to stick by me even with all my phobias, anxiety disorders and mental health issues.
My best friend is annoyed because of my social anxiety disorder which means I will only talk to her and no one else, not her friends, family or boyfriend. It took me months before I actually could have a conversation with her without stuttering or getting worried that I would say the wrong thing or mess my words up.
I know all my problems will affect my future, I won’t be able to get many jobs because my fear of talking on the phone and social anxiety disorder, and the scars on my arms. I would love to be a mental health nurse – but I doubt I would make a good one. But my dream job would to be a campaigner or someone who writes articles in magazines about mental health. I want to do as much as I can in life to help others and raise awareness.