A quick lil ‘my story’
I’m Bea, twenty-something and from the UK, and this blog has been a long time coming…I’ve been blogging on tumblr and instagram for a few years now, and after months of thinking about it, I’ve decided I wanted to move to a more public forum and start blogging to raise awareness and share my story.
I’d always been an ‘anxious child,’ a little ‘moody’, an extreme perfectionist; my mental illness isn’t the result of a deep seated trauma, but probably just a combination of certain personality traits, an unsettled early childhood and a batch of malfunctioning neurotransmitters.
I first began to notice lowered mood at 14, the summer before beginning my GCSE years. It was around 10 months later before my mum suggested I could have depression, a further 6 before she rang my head of year, just before Christmas 2009. In February 2010, I was taken to the GP and referred to CAMHS, a few weeks later after admitting to having suicidal thoughts, I was taken back to the GP and referred as an urgent case.
I was seen by CAMHS in March 2010, diagnosed with depression and anxiety and was immediately started on medication. I stayed with the service until May 2011 when I refused to go back and began seeing a private psychotherapist. That September I was discharged from CAMHS, my care being transferred to the CMHT, who I’ve been seeing since, in conjunction with my private therapist.
In May 2014 I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for exactly two months, and was subsequently admitted a further 3 times for short stay crisis admissions. My last admission was in January 2015.
Over the years I have struggled mainly with anxiety and my mood, but have also struggled with self harm, alcohol abuse and purging, all of which I’ve largely overcome. In October 2013 I was ‘diagnosed’ as having impulsive and borderline personality traits and a possible underlying bipolar disorder. In Summer 2015 I was assessed by the Personality Disorders service and was found not to be suffering from ANY personality disorder. Currently, I am awaiting an appointment with yet another doctor for yet another ‘second opinion’, after being told in August I may suffer from a bipolar illness.
Following my inpatient admissions I was also referred to a specialist service for assessment. Although I’d rather not go into it too much, I’m now receiving therapy from them.
So why am I blogging?
Over the years I’ve learnt a lot about myself, my struggles, my strengths and limitations because of my struggles and how to manage and cope with them better. One of the things I’ve learnt is that other people don’t know how to cope with me, or my illness, and a lot of people aren’t even aware what mental illness is or actually means for people. I feel like I’m at a point where I want to start raising awareness and sharing what I’ve learnt in the hope of helping others- other sufferers, family and friends of those who have mental health difficulties and the wider public who know only of mental illness by the stereotypes engrained in them.
I’m a lover of anything creative and I’ve always found writing extremely cathartic and the best way to express myself…(I have a journal that fills a large box, drawer and several scattered A4 notebooks, and by my final hospital admission the staff didn’t bother asking how I was, they’d just asked if I had any writing to show ’em)
So I guess a need to express myself plus a growing dissatisfaction with the lack of awareness on the subject and a lack of ‘real life’ experiences people can relate to have pushed me to try my hand at blogging.
I’m hoping to achieve three things with this blog:
- Document my journey with mental illness. I can’t guarantee this blog is always going to be positive…currently I’m in a ‘good place’ (but the jury’s still out as to whether it’s a good good place or a hypomanic good place #yolo), but that’s not to say this blog will always be written from a ‘good place’
- To raise awareness of mental illness and ‘recovery’/self management by blogging about my experiences and commenting on things going on in the media/government regarding mental health
- To help a few people- whether that be through showing that recovery is possible or by sharing some of the things I’ve found useful over the years in managing my illness