Pam's Story

I guess looking back now, when I lost my Mum suddenly to cancer aged 10 it was from there on that my anxiety and depression (later) took hold. I’ve since learned that back in 1979 depression was a bit of a taboo subject, something never to be spoken of, so for a massive chunk of my teenage then early adult life I tried to suppress these feelings.

I remember at the age of 14 feeling so alone and worthless I tried to take an overdose of painkillers, but when I woke up the following morning I wished I had died. I began to hate myself. My father back then was an alcoholic so I could not turn to him for support so I just kept plodding on through life.

In 1987 I met my husband (we’re still together all these years later) and for a long time life was good.

I'd found a man who understood my past and accepted me for just being me. Following the birth of my daughter first, then my son two years later, I began to withdraw into my shell. I knew something wasn't right so by 1995 I'd been put on Prozac which I'm still taking to this day. Over the years (I’m now 49) my life felt like a rollercoaster of emotions at times. Some periods were more difficult to handle than others but I held down a job until 2011 when out of nowhere I began to experience severe anxiety and panic attacks. I still felt ashamed to admit this to anyone other than close family and looking back now I think perhaps all the years of suppressing emotions led to me becoming ill.

In 2012 a friend introduced me to amphetamines and I then became the life and soul of the party. I'd have so much confidence, for the first time in my life I felt truly "alive" but we all know addiction can grab a hold of you before you know it. By 2015 I barely left my house. I was referred to a Psychiatrist who diagnosed me as having agoraphobia as well as social anxiety. I was put on a drug called Mirtazapine. With support from family, friends and professionals, I'm at a stage now where I'm slowly learning to love life again.

It's been an incredibly hard journey for not only myself but for my close family.

I guess the message I'm trying to send out by sharing my own personal experience is never be afraid to confide in someone how you're feeling. You're not weird; you're a human being who deserves to be happy just as much as any other person.

I think it's truly amazing that mental health is now being given the recognition it so rightly deserves. Every newsfeed I see in relation to this subject gives me hope. I've read many people's stories and they're all inspirational.

Thank you See Me for giving people like me a "voice".

Back to stories