Hi everyone I would like to talk to about how I learned how to deal with my mental health diagnosis, and how I went from using it as an excuse, then learning to not use it as a label above my head, and let the diagnosis take over my life.
I was first diagnosed in 2006, but was not told about it. It was by chance I saw a doctor in 2011, who mentioned my diagnosis, which came as a bit of a surprise to me at the time. I had been through a rough time in 2006 with my mother, who had me arrested due to my threatening to kill myself again, and in the process, threatening her. Once arrested, I was asked if I had any mental issues. I had in that week been told I had a mild form of schizophrenia , which I told the police. They went to check it out and came back to me, to inform me I was lying. I told them to ask my mother, even though she was the one pressing charges, but I knew she would confirm what I was saying as she was with me when I was told. Thankfully, she confirmed it.
This really confused me, but for the time being, I just used it as an excuse for they way I was and the way I was acting. I didn’t feel that I could trust a professional again for the next 13 years. I mentioned earlier a doctor told me my diagnosis in a routine appointment. She informed me I did not have schizophrenia, I was actually diagnosed with personality disorder. She gave me antidepressants and off I went. At this time I was with my partner, who does not take any rubbish off anyone, particularly me. So I kept most of my thoughts and visions to myself, due to fear of her reaction. I later found out it would not of made any difference to her at all.
Then in 2017, I had a psychotic episode. This is the worst I had ever been. My partner rushed me to an out of hours doctor, who I had seen years ago, and I did not trust, due to his dismissive attitude then. But thankfully, my partner talked to him, and explained everything. I was shocked he actually listened. I felt like someone was actually listening to me. Although I was still going through the psychotic episode, I felt like I was getting somewhere. This then led to me going to my local mental health centre and being assessed by the psychiatrist. He confirmed my personality disorder but gave me the full diagnosis. Emotional unstable personality disorder, with psychotic episodes and compulsive components. Quite a mouthful, but at least I knew what I was dealing with. This was also a period when I found out who my true friends were. I was accused of ‘putting it on’ and not being believed. This attitude compounded how I felt about myself.
Through the mental health centre, I was sent to a place called, recovery college. This isn’t a normal college, it’s just the name they give it. But this was my saviour. one of the courses they put me on, thaught me that I shouldn’t live as my illness I should live as me. This was hard to accept at first, but once I could get my head round what they where saying, and I put it in to practice, I did notice the difference, and so did my family and friends.
I have tried various medications, anti psychotic and anti depressants, and after over a year of changing them, I seem to be in a better place now. Being diagnosed has made a huge difference to me, as most of my life, I thought no one was listening and I was on my own. I know it took years for me to get the help, but I got the help I needed before it was too late. I’m not happy I have this, I’ve been told I’ve always had it, and it will always be there, but at least I am managing it better, and living my life to the best of my ability. I want to help others who are struggling, I want them to know they are not alone, and people will listen. If I can help just one person, then I’m happy.
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