Me, Myself and My Mental Illness.
I use mental illness instead of any specific problem, because as I began typing this in my hospital bed neither I nor the doctors had been able to diagnose me properly.
I'm a 22-Year-old male from Glasgow and this is my story, which I’m sharing to help others who are feeling the same.
I had a mental breakdown last year, I felt like I just couldn't handle life anymore. I have always felt different but was never able to put my finger on what was actually the problem. One thing I did know was that I was a really good liar. By liar I mean I was able to hide the fact that for 4 years I hated my job that I was trapped in, I hated my life and thought life wasn't worth living.
The voice in my head (my voice) kept me awake most nights nagging and nitpicking at me about everything, reminding me of everything I wanted to forget. He would not go away no matter how much I tried, so instead I thought about ways to get rid of him. I carried on through my Army career for 4 years, living with it, but without telling anyone, I'm surprised I lasted that long.
I broke. I snapped. I couldn't handle living like this anymore and I finally broke down and told my family I was depressed and I had some ongoing problems that needed to be addressed.
Unluckily for me the therapy and medication I got made me worse and I physically started getting unwell. Constantly going to the toilet, tummy cramps, sore stomach, feverish, the list went on. I couldn't leave my bed because of the pain. This made me even more depressed because I was like a caged animal stuck in bed. I was meant to be getting treatment, but I couldn't go because the pain was too bad and I couldn't leave the house without needing the toilet. So I ended up down a deep dark hole I thought I was never going to get out.
I had to go to the doctors in pain to explain I could no longer live like this and that I needed help. Blood test after blood test came back clear. As well as everything else I had lost weight. Things got too much and I was admitted to the hospital to find out what the problem was. Again blood test after blood test came back fine, MRI scan came back normal. Day after day I was losing hope with the NHS, I just wanted to be better, is that such a hard thing to ask for?
I question if maybe I deserved this, if there was something I did to merit feeling this way.
I knew it was my anxiety doing this to me, but I felt like I was fighting a losing battle with it, the panic attacks, the sweating when doctors come in to talk to me, feeling agitated lying there with family surrounding me all looking at me. What are they thinking? Do they notice every single move I make, like the voice in my head tells me? That voice. Bad person. Bad son. Bad brother. Bad Boyfriend. What does a 22-year-old need to be stressed about the voice rings out. Freak. Loser. Never going to get better. Not a day went past without that voice making things worse.
But then a psychiatrist came in and I finally got my full story out there to someone. I felt like she was going to help. I began hoping I could finally defeat this voice and all my problems with it.
I had been out the hospital for a good few weeks and I could honestly say that I had never felt better physically. The diagnosis for my pain was Chronic Inflammation due to the medication the army gave me. I was back on track, however my main concern was my mental health.
Lots of people told me exercise would help. So I began attending a gym and for the 5 days a week I went there I felt good. My problems seemed to leave me alone for the hour I was in the gym and I felt positive about myself. The only problem is when I leave it all came rushing back.
My medication was increased because it wasn't doing its job anymore.
The hardest thing out of hospital is trying to live life. Trying to explain to friends or loved ones why I don’t want to do anything, why I'm not happy, why I don’t feel like the person they think I am.
I was still having dark days, the days I just wanted to get under the covers and listen to The Smiths. I had my days when I thought what's the point in living?
A lot of has changed. Not all good. I am on a new medication, but it's not working. I am scared nothing works. I just want to be 'normal'. I feel like my CPN isn't listening to what I am saying and I still haven't had a good day, though I have tried to do as she advises.
Since changing meds again, I have gone back to the old me, staying in bed and not eating. I just can't move, I can’t find the energy to get up and be active again. I’m not lazy it's just it’s a fight to get up and I always lose.
I start college in August and while everyone is saying that'll be good for me, I am dreading it.
But from all of this I have learnt that mental health is a real problem and I want to help others to realise they have a problem, even though I can hardly recognise mine. But I want to share my story to help others.
I am not at the end of the tunnel nor can I see the light, but I'm just hoping one day something will click and things will go back to normal, but what is normal?
So, how are you feeling?Back to stories