Many people are terrified to speak out about suffering from mental illness .
I was one of these.
For many years my life was tough and 90% of it was down to me.
I wasn’t willing to accept my illness.
I hid it the best that I could when I was out of the house.
People just saw me as a timid child, but my home life was hell.
Constant arguing and fighting over stupid things. I couldn’t control my anger.
I wasn’t angry at my family, I was angry at myself, but I would blame them as it was easier.
Hiding anxiety is tough and when you lash out, you normally lash out at those closest to you.
My parents just thought I was a naughty child, but there was so much more to it, I just couldn’t tell them.
Eventually, I went to see a doctor when I was 16. I was diagnosed with depression at aged 6 but they put it down to school and being a “school phobic”.
I was a phobic of most things, anything that included people and strangers.
I spoke to the doctor and they advised me that I should take medication. They gave me leaflets and told me to speak about how I was feeling and to keep diaries to help me speak about it.
I did the diary part, but I never spoke out about it.
I refused medication for as long as I could. I did speak to my parents about my anxieties but very vaguely.
I went through a lot in my short life, counselling being a main thing in my life. I hated it. Strangers wanting to know everything about me and asking me why I was feeling this way etc etc. It’s not my cup of tea.
I gave in to medications at the age of 24. It made me spiral backwards and I was at an all time low. The doctors kept changing them often. I was getting worse and worse.
I managed, after a year and a half, to pull myself off them .
Eventually, when I was 25. I started CBT.
CBT changed my life.
I spoke to my family and loved ones about my illness. I opened up completely.
It lifted a massive weight.
CBT only lasts 8 weeks. One session , one hour a week, but it made a HUGE difference to me.
Alun helped me focus on the here and now. He made me realise I wasn’t weird or an outcast. I accepted my illness and I managed to help others accept me to.
He helped me make this blog page which in turn has helped a few other people cope with their mental illness. I have also made new friends through this and I don’t feel lost anymore.
Speaking out has helped me:
- Stopped the arguments.
- Made others understand that I’m not cutting them out, my anxieties restrict me.
- Made new friends.
- Helped others speak out.
- See my friends more now.
- Made a blog.
- Taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.
- Got people off my back about working again.
- I’ve spoken about all of my physical illnesses, as speaking out about my mental illness has given me the confidence to be open.
- Made me feel more “normal”.
- I have accepted myself and the hand I have been dealt.
As terrifying as it is to think about, it really isn’t anything like that. Thinking about it is the worst part.
Once you know you’re ready to accept yourself, speaking is part of the healing process.
I’m no where near “cured”, but I am getting there. I am slowly taking steps in the right direction, and as long as this road may be, I know I can get through it.
Day by day, little by little.
I highly recommend speaking out to everyone.
The best people to start with are the ones closest to you. Eg. Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, etc.
You’ll be surprised by how many people understand.