Since May it’s the Mental Health awareness month i thought i could share a bit of my own experience with mental illness.
So, let’s talk about it a little…
I’m 26 years old and I’ve been struggling with depression since I was 16. To be honest i think it started earlier in life, because i was always very melancholic and started crying for no reason.
I mean.. I’ve been seeing therapists since I was about five, it started because i had to have surgery (cutting off part of a bone that was growing too fast in comparison to the rest of my bones), but after it passed my therapist thought that because i cried a lot and didn’t want friends i needed to keep seeing her.
From then and to this day I’ve been most of my life in therapy, which i like, because i don’t have friends to talk to much, and i avoid going out as much as possible.
By the age of 16 i was in a very bad place, i would start crying at the middle of the classes, hid under sinks to cry in the dark and skipped school for about a month, i just couldn’t wake from bed… i remember once talking to a counselor after the mother of one of my “friends” died, i told her i felt so sad for her i just didn’t want to wake up anymore.
This comment granted me my first visit to a psychiatrist. Well, my mother wanted me to go before, because i told her that summer that i could hear the fan talking to me, which is weird, and only happened that summer. Still it was pretty disturbing because it wanted me to do bad stuff…
My visits to the psychiatrist ended in hospitalization twice. The first time for a short period of three weeks in which by the end a doctor told my mother i wasn’t sick, i just had a personality problem.
Until that moment i was always diagnosticated with Dysthymia or Depression (sometimes it was a psychotic depression) and Anxiety, depending on the doctor that checked me, so my mom just thought they meant i had a bad attitude (which i do have so…).
But as the time passed by and my second hospitalization happened (which was more like going to a school for kids with special needs) they decided and explain i did have indeed a personality disorder, which was misdiagnosticated once more before they “got it right” or so… at least i still have the same diagnose since i was 22.
At first they thought i was Borderline (yeah… right, trust me to be borderline) and that diagnose sticked for about two years before i changed doctors and was re-diagnosed. This time to decide i suffer from “Avoidant Personality Disorder” which leads me to suffer from Depression and Anxiety. My doctor told me that actually i have features from all Cluster C personality disorders (Avoidant, Dependent and Obsessive-Compulsive).
Do you know that moment when you feel you can finally understand yourself? well, for me that moment was when i was told i had an Avoidant Personality. It all made sense finally. So i’m guessing that the correct diagnose.
Anyway, through all my struggle doctors hadn’t treated my problems right and for a very long time i took the same pills that weren’t doing anything. Whenever i went to visit the psychiatrist i would told them i feel nothing and they didn’t change the meds, because at least i wasn’t feeling sad.
But is that the only goal in the treatment? for me to be numb, feeling like i was in a limbo, without happiness or sadness? Does everyone just not feel anything? I thought if i took the meds my brain would start working correctly and i could feel happy somedays, but for years it never happened.
Then a few months ago i had a very bad episode, i stopped going to work, i didn’t wake up from bed in days, so my sister made me go to the doctor… now i gotta say that i hadn’t been taking care of myself right for a while now and i have more episodes than i had in a very long period.
So i went to the doctor and they gave me a new med, one that will help my regular meds to connect with my brain better.
It was wonderful, for a month i felt happy, like seriously, i woke up in the morning and couldn’t wait to do stuff. I was feeling great.
Sadly it didn’t last much and by February this year i was in a dark place again… this time i got one more med to help the other med to help the original one i was taking to connect my brain cells right (or something like that … it’s weird). And thought i’m not in the dark place any longer, i still feel only numbness, or at the most fear or anger.
I forgot to mention it, but the only feelings i did feel within my numbed times were anger and fear, that’s why i watch so many horror movies and read creepypastas and such, fear it the only feeling i can control. Anger comes and goes however it wants to.
Look, i know my life isn’t the happiest but neither is the sadest. Many people think i have no reason to feel bad, because i have my mom and my family (however my dad died when i was little), and nothing so terrible happened in my life, but depression, or in my case a personality disorder not always happens because you have a bad life. You may have everyhting you want and still suffer from a mental illness. You may be having a lot of problems and still be happy.
Each person is different, and just because you think their life is beautiful you still don’t have the right to dismiss their suffering as unreal.
Anyway… i think that’s all i wanted to say, if you still want to know about some other stuff i just mentioned, if you’re interested on more of my experiences with mental illness, the stigma, or anything else, just leave a comment i’m willing to share, if it interests you.
‘Til Next time 😉