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How has mental illness affected your life? Watch

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    I suffer from psychosis, if I stop taking my medications after a few weeks my symptoms start to return. Starts off with faint whispering, people calling my name and talking about me. Then as it goes on it gets louder and louder until I can hear full conversations about me, even if there's no one else in the room. It's quite scary hearing voices but having no clue where they're coming from. Then the visual stuff starts, at first it seems like objects on the floor are creeping towards me, then it looks like the walls and ceiling are moving sort of like breathing. Eventually it gets to the point where I'm seeing dark ghostly figures who talk to me and tell me to do destructive stuff like harm myself.

    I know this because of months and months of work with my psychologist and psychiatrist, they've helped me see the warning signs and triggers so that I can begin to start managing my condition myself. If I notice any of the symptoms above returning, I tell the doctors and they increase my medication until it subsides.

    It's had a big impact on my life, it means I've had to give up driving for the time being. The medication I take means I'm almost constantly feeling drowsy and tired, and it also slows my thinking down meaning sometimes even simple problems take a lot longer to sort out. You lose a lot of friends due to it as well.
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    (Original post by i.am.lost)
    I've been affected by pretty much every mental health issue you can imagine. I've really always been borderline autistic and it exhibits itself most annoyingly in my love of collecting and categorising the most random things you can imagine, and getting very obsessive about them. It also makes me feel very emotionally detached from people and all of my relationships have been with the most messed up people imaginable probably partially because normal people cannot tolerate my inability to exhibit normal emotion, and the fact I can be very rude without realising it (which has landed me in a lot of hot water with teachers).

    Then from about 13-15 I was plagued by a variety of eating disorders. I was eating so little that it eventually led to calcification of my pancreas (which is surprisingly painful) and that was a wake up call I needed to adopt a healthier approach to my diet. And even though I'm very slim to this day (and struggle to find trousers that fit me), I do eat more sensibly now.

    Around 15-16, I developed (what I later found out was) trichtillomania, a compulsive urge to pull my hair (though for me it was localised around my eyebrows and a few other parts). Obviously there are no actual physical harmful effects of this, but what was left of my eyebrows was so sparse that I had to draw them on using eyebrow pencil. After a year or so, I learned to cope better with my trich but I still maintain thin eyebrows for a guy (I learned to control my impulses and just use tweezers rather than pulling clumps out). No one really bothered me about it, but it did make social situations even more awkward as I had the sensation that everyone was staring at me.

    At 17 I started having spells of mild depression which would come and go, and although I put on a happy face in front of others I would completely lose the will to do anything and want to spend the whole day just in bed. I never let it spiral out of control but it's something I still battle with periodically.

    Wow, I've never really written all of this in one go. I'm so messed up.
    Someone else that has trich, sometimes I feel like i'm the only one because it is so rare to come across someone with the same problem!

    I've also had trichotillomania from a very young age. It is usually something that occurs during adolescence but mine happened young I think because of stress due to what happened in my home and family life. I hate how people judge me when they find out I have the disorder and it has completely destroyed my self confidence. Doesn't help that I don't really trust people fully anymore and so am always wary of what they might do or say. The stresses arn't there anymore, I have gotten over that and learnt to cope but the compulsvive, addictive behaviour is sadly. People don't understand that I can't just stop >___<

    Occationally I get depression although I think that is it purely hormonally caused as I also get other PMS signs :/ Despite that i'm now trying to make a good life for myself so I don't end up like certain people who i've seen go bad in my life time.
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    I feel like I've missed out a lot on life, on having 'normal' teenage years. I've been under section most of this year, just got taken off it this month, and I hate sitting around doing nothing all day, I feel quite bitter about the time wasted.
    I've done some permanent damage to myself which I'll have to live with forever
    A lot of friends have become distant with me, I don't blame them because I've been very distant too and mental illness is a hard thing to understand and cope with, but it's still difficult.
    I have however gained a lot of knowledge of other mental illnesses by talking to other patients, a lot of knowledge about hospitals and treatments. I've also made some amazing friends, the type I think I'll have forever because we don't have to explain ourselves to eachother all the time, things just are.
    I feel bad for the way it's impacted my family, because I haven't lasted long out of hospital for a while, at the moment they seem constantly on edge whenever I go out or have a bad moment
    I'm also on antipsychotics which make me very slow and sometimes I get a drowsy spell hit me in the middle of the day, i feel fine one minute then BAM. cuts driving out. Also I have to keep a major watch on my weight because it increases my appetite amazingly, I never seem to get full
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    This thread reminds me, I should probably see a psychiatrist at some point. I don't actually think a healthy thought has entered my mind for... well, since february-ish. The only "healthy" thoughts seem to be ones that benefit me, and the only way I can be benefited is for my sobriety to be cured.
    Seeing as I have work 5 days a week, I can't afford to spend all my time in a surreality, so therefore I'm left with disturbing thoughts, paranoia, social anxiety, and sometimes suicidal urges.
    • #10
    #10

    Depression for the last 8 or so years, diagnosed with anxiety too, tried counsellng and have been on citalopram 60mg for about a year now, which drugs me up to the eyeballs. Am on my longest stint of not selfharming for about 5months now, and the suicidal thoughts have gone and I moan till my mouth is dry but I feel much better. Only told one of my best friends yday that I had stopped and she said she was proud - just before christmas, it's just really lovely to hear I am still a bit ****ed up and have massive moments of despair but I am making progress now
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    This topic is depressing.. is there anyone just happy around here too or only anxious, depressed, bipolar and/or psychotic?
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    My mums got OCD and I suspect that she is a manic depressive as well she flips out so badly sometimes it's unreal I hate her for it sometimes but I try to remember that she has an illness. It's not in her hands, she takes pills everyday but they don't seem to work. My aunts got a similar thing minus the depression, her case is much worse though she's extremely superstituous and very cautious when it comes to things she can and cannot touch and what needs to be cleaned etc. I wouldn't wish this thing on my worst enemy, it literally destroys your entire life
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    How mental illness has affected my life ?

    I feel like I have missed out on a 'normal' adolescence.
    I can't seem to have a lasting relationship with anyone.
    I feel isolated and lonely a lot of the time, like noone understands.
    I feel trapped, like I can't enjoy myself, go certain places, make friends, be happy..
    It has affected my academic achievements.
    Day to Day tasks that are trivial become a struggle.

    Basically, mental illness have affected most areas of my life.
    In adolescence, It was just seen as hormones, normal aspects of being a teenager. I think when you hit post-18 and you still feel the same, you realise that you suffered throughout adolescence, its just hard to distinguish what is normal teenage behaviour and what is mental illness.
    Even back then I knew that being unhappy all the time just wasn't right..

    I think mental health services are in a bad state in this country really. The first choice is always medication and you often have to wait a while for talking therapies, you should be able to choose what treatment you want to follow and not have to wait weeks/months for talking therapies. Waiting for a therapy doesn't help someone whos in daily distress. Doctors don't have a consistent view of things, they each suggest their own favourite antidepressant, some don't seem to understand the chemical theories of mental illness, some don't even seem to understand mental illness at all....

    My sympathy lies with everyone here who has posted, as one way or another we all have been affected in some part of our life, be it health, relationships, eating, general mood, self-image etc. Someday, we will be able to conquer our own troubles and lead a better life.
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    (Original post by phen)
    This topic is depressing.. is there anyone just happy around here too or only anxious, depressed, bipolar and/or psychotic?
    What exactly did you expect in a thread entitled "How has mental illness affected your life?" I mean it's patently obvious that it wasn't going to be a thread about sunshine and rainbows.
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    (Original post by IlexBlue)
    That can't be right... I have anxiety, got diagnosed when I was 17 and referred to counselling and from there to CBT not long after. They really didn't want to put me on medication.
    I was in the exact same position last year. Only I went through CBT after a 6 month waiting list, to then be told that CBT probably wasn't the best thing for me because she thinks I have OCD and/or Anxiety Disorder. I was told I would be on a 6 month waiting list to see a psychologist, to which I cried because I just wanted to make some progress on this and they just left me! It's so shocking, I was told that my case was 'too severe' for counselling, so I was left to just wait with no help whatsoever.
    During the summer everything was overwhelming so I rang my Primary Care Trust and they put me through to a Psychologist who I had a little cry to on the phone. She then told me that the waiting list was actually 9 months and that I would be seen in February at the earliest. Worst news ever at the time. She was lovely and calmed me down but to be made to wait with absolutely no help if very traumatic and makes me feel so unwanted and alone.

    In the meantime I've been seeing the College Counsellor but obviously she has said that she can't be of much help but she won't leave me and she'll be there to talk and help where she can. It's really helped but the NHS has completely let me down, to the point that I'm not looking forward to February incase I get put on yet another waiting list.

    I also went to CAMHS (is that right? I can't remember) when I was 15 for suspected depression but I hated it (I just rebelled against anyone who tried to help to be honest) and I don't recall having to wait or anything. The adult service however is just awful, from my experience. I'm 17 for heavens sake, if this was 1 or 2 years ago I might be getting some help now.

    I haven't even been diagnosed because only a psychologist can diagnose me, which makes things very very difficult for me. Especially when trying to explain things to people, teachers etc. I've come to accept that I've more than likely got OCD.

    Sorry for this ridiculously long post, the longest I've ever posted on TSR actually :P But it really annoys me.
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    I was diagnosed with anorexia when I was 16. As far as getting help went, my parents were very reluctant (my mum especially) in referring me to anyone. I think they just hoped if they ignored it, it would go away. I started seeing a doctor who then referred me to a psychiatrist and dietitian. I was supposed to undergo CBT. But I hated going to the appointments so much, they made me cry and I hated talking to them, that my parents let me stop going. After 6 months or so, I started eating normally, although I barely gained any weight still. I'm 19 now. I'd say it's affected me in a few ways - I still have major issues with my body and with food...there are occasions where I'll turn to my old habits, I drifted apart from friends and I missed out with some school work too. Sometimes I wish I'd stuck with the treatment.
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    I didn't even post how it affects my day to day life haha, went on a rant there.
    I can't eat certain foods, sharp foods mainly (crisps, some chips, some chocolate, anything in a batter or breadcrumb, iceberg lettuce etc.)
    I moisturise my hands a lot, I need to carry moisturiser with me at all times. If Ii forget or whatever I have a panic attack and make an excuse to go home or buy some and can think of nothing else, which can make me seem very rude.
    The moisturising isn't just my hands, often my face and feet which can make fulfilling these 'compulsions' in public quite embarrassing.
    I get obsessed with knowing where everyone is and what everyone is doing so that I know I am safe. This makes some lessons difficult if a teacher has planned for changing groups or something.
    Just in general I am constantly doing a kind of risk assessment in my head of situations.

    It definitely affected my last relationship, I won't go into detail but it was a major problem for us. My mental health also had a negative effect on my family life as my dad just doesn't understand it all.

    Reassuring to see all the replies though, nice sense of understanding you don't often find on this forum :P
    Funnily enough, I'm actually a really happy person so I don't want this to give the wrong impression. It's just one part of my life. I feel for some people who have posted, who feel like it completely takes over
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    I had one career in mind my whole life, now I'm ineligible for it.

    :moon:
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    I had one career in mind my whole life, now I'm ineligible for it.

    :moon:
    The military?
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    (Original post by Mujeriego)
    The military?
    or police.

    The former until I got depression, then the latter until things got worse.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    or police.

    The former until I got depression, then the latter until things got worse.
    Ah, okay. Sorry to hear that.


    This thread has really debunked my prejudices about mental health.
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    I was diagnosed with ''mild'' OCD a year ago, after my friends/family noticed my strange behaviour when it came to Stationary.

    i'd spend hours sharpening pencils until they reached their optimum ''sharpness''. In an exam, i'd spend 5 minutes at the start organising my stationary by size, ink remaining etc. Though this worked to my benefit, i get 20 mins extra in exams :P

    I knew there was something wrong with me long before other people did, i've come to terms with it, unlike others on here, it just felt right knowing that what i had was a condition and that there were other people suffering the same too.

    I tend to think less about my condition now, though i do have random outburts from time to time. For example in the morning when i'm making toast the pieces of bread have to be perfectly square shaped, I have a set square in the kitchen to help me out.

    Also, i don't really talk about the condition - since every girlfriend i've had usually treats me like a kid, and i hate them so much.

    Other than that it hasn't really, maybe because my condition is ''mild'', compared to others on here.
    • #11
    #11

    Does anybody self harm/know anyone who does? According to statistics it's very common but I've never even seen it come up on tsr or anything.

    I haven't been diagnosed with anything, but I'm very, very shy... and my parents suffer from depression & anxiety.
    • #12
    #12

    (Original post by IlexBlue)
    That can't be right... I have anxiety, got diagnosed when I was 17 and referred to counselling and from there to CBT not long after. They really didn't want to put me on medication.

    Do you have a long time to wait?
    I suffer from Anxiety and OCD. I am 19 and have been referred to a counsellor and may have CBT. Please could you tell me how CBT worked for you an how your treatment is going? Any info on CBt would be grately appreciated

    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I suffer from psychosis, if I stop taking my medications after a few weeks my symptoms start to return. Starts off with faint whispering, people calling my name and talking about me. Then as it goes on it gets louder and louder until I can hear full conversations about me, even if there's no one else in the room. It's quite scary hearing voices but having no clue where they're coming from. Then the visual stuff starts, at first it seems like objects on the floor are creeping towards me, then it looks like the walls and ceiling are moving sort of like breathing. Eventually it gets to the point where I'm seeing dark ghostly figures who talk to me and tell me to do destructive stuff like harm myself.

    I know this because of months and months of work with my psychologist and psychiatrist, they've helped me see the warning signs and triggers so that I can begin to start managing my condition myself. If I notice any of the symptoms above returning, I tell the doctors and they increase my medication until it subsides.

    It's had a big impact on my life, it means I've had to give up driving for the time being. The medication I take means I'm almost constantly feeling drowsy and tired, and it also slows my thinking down meaning sometimes even simple problems take a lot longer to sort out. You lose a lot of friends due to it as well.
    That sounds so scary mate, sorry to hear that. How old are you now if you dont mind me asking? How long have you been experiencing these symptoms? Hearing your symptoms I would have thought you'd have schizophrenia!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I suffer from Anxiety and OCD. I am 19 and have been referred to a counsellor and may have CBT. Please could you tell me how CBT worked for you an how your treatment is going? Any info on CBt would be grately appreciated
    Just finished my course of CBT, actually, I went for a "relapse prevention" session the other week which was effectively the end of it.

    I don't know what your symptoms entail, mine personally was for panic attacks and struggling to go out because of them. Found it immensely helpful, they've been reduced down to practically nothing - I can't remember the last time I had a PA, really. It just helps you recognise "faulty thinking" and how to change it, and stopping behaviours which might be encouraging your anxiety. I really recommend it. The only thing about it is that it's very "shallow" - it doesn't go much beyond the surface or deals with emotions, it deals with your symptoms and your thoughts behind them. Since my problems stemmed from emotional issues, now my PAs have gone I'm being referred to a counsellor - but as far as go my symptoms go, it's done wonders. I hope it works out for you too!
 
 
 
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