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How has mental illness affected your life? watch

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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    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.
    I started self harming when I was 13, I stopped until just after my 17th birthday and have had problems with it on and off for the last year. I'll be clean for a few weeks and then something will trigger it again and I'm right back to square 1.
    I also have a weird phobia of talking on the phone and going into classrooms by myself. I'm not sure if I have anything wrong with me, I've never been to a doctor.
    • #13
    #13

    PTSD. It's like waiting to die again.
    • #14
    #14

    (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.
    How did you deal with your trichotillomania? Although not diagnosed by a doctor (as it's not really necessary, the symptoms are pretty obvious) I pull the hairs out of my arms, eyebrows and the back of my head near my neck. Any tips would be great!
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    (Original post by AX21)
    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.

    You pretty much summed up everything, I feel exactly the same
    Lost so many good friendships and failed education.
    I have depression and also been diagnosed with bdd, I suffer from some of the symptoms of bdd but I do not believe I have it as what I see isn't a disortation or imagined.
    Mental illness for me is completly disabling and has pretty much ruined my adolescence and I feel I've wasted my life, education has suffered as I literally have no motivation or inspiration to work you desperately want to succeed but its like a mental block and the pressure of deadlines just made me worse. I've recently dropped out of college in the 2nd year for the second time.
    I wish there was more awareness about mental illnesses, the ignorance that people have to deal with is astounding specially with some of the more severe ones such as anorexia.
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    I've had social anxiety all my life!!

    Was never popular in school but things started to get really bad in years 9-11 when I was being pychologically and emotionally bullied pretty badly, which wrecked my confidence and my grades. Being socially awkward/shy/nervous etc.. made me an easy target to these kinds of people. I know I would have the potential to get great GCSEs but depression seemed to take over my life and it came with a lack of motivation to do anything. I passes all my GCSEs and they are well above average, (but not by grammar school standards), I got into 6th form, but I know I could have done better. I can't help but compare myself to other people, and think about how many other people, who had a great life in school, great friends, got better grades than me. For quite some time I have wanted to get into LSE but having recieved crap GCSE results (by their standards) my chances are pretty slim. I changed to another sixth form just to avoid certain people (even though I'm sure that some of the people who bullied me are off to college now) and find my life here much better, and it's nice to start on a clean slate but I've still had people ***** about me behind my back and I can't help but think that I'll just be known as the weird nervous freak as I was in my previous school.

    I spend a lot of my time worrying about all the stupid things I've done in the past, things I wish I didn't do, times I've embarassed myself, etc.. I can trace back from the early years of primary school and still worry about things that happened back then. It's just regret, regret, and more regret. My mum won't let me go on medication. I started self harming very regularly (at one point I was cutting almost every day) in yr 11

    It's something I will have to live with I guess.
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    I agree with those saying they have been failed by the nhs. I believe that they need to have more stringent targets with mental health. There is no time to waste with mental illnesses, waiting lists should be less than a month. I started getting really bad with panic attacks about April at the end of my first year of uni. I ended up coming back from Uni, and never leaving the house. They completely missed out panic attacks and thought I had high blood pressure. I had 24hr blood pressure monitors on 3 times, 5 day urine collections, blood tests, allsorts. Took ages for them to realise it was panic attacks. To which the consultant said ''it's only a panic attack, nothing serious''. Nothing serious? Because of the panic attacks I haven't been able to go back to Uni to do my degree, I'm just living at home pretending to do my uni work from home when really I can't find the motivation to get out of bed. I can't remember the last time I've seen a friend. It took until July to get CBT, to which it didnt help. Took a further month to get referred to someone else. 4 days ago I got told I can't have any more sessions because I've reached the quota and to go on my merry way. I've stopped taking my Prozac and just come straight off it and had no symptoms no side affects, it was like I wasn't even taking anything. Noone knows I've stopped taking it.
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    I've suffered from undiagnosed anxiety/social phobia since I was around 17. Trying to get a job during my A Levels was pretty traumatic, as was actually completing my A Levels.

    More recently I've been diagnosed with clinical depression. My anxiety is a lot better now, due to being on anti-depressants, so everything seems to be getting better. I was suicidal and self-harming back in Oct/Nov, but seem to have come out of my rather dark cloud. The clouds are now a nice pale grey, rather than charcoal black, which is good!
    • #15
    #15

    I think unconventionally in weird patterns, I am drawn to fantasy, quite paranoid and suspicious, socially withdrawn, have a poor attention span, and am consumed by a particular set of thoughts until I find something else to think about.
    There seems to be little to no point doing anything about it. Prove me wrong?
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    OCD has really messed up my life at some points, but either way I would rather have it now than not have it, as strange as that sounds.

    OP, please reach out and get the help you need. It won't be easy, but after treatment it's amazing how much control you can have over your OCD. I have been involved with OCD treatment and research for many years now, and I find that knowledge really is power; the more I know about OCD the easier it is to cope with it and understand it. Feel free to drop me an email if you want someone to talk to who is on the same page x
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    9 years of varying degrees of depression, anorexia, trichtillomania, some psychosis, self harming and severe phobia thrown in for good measure.

    Now I'm just apathetic. I don't care about anything. I used to get bullied about my lack of eyelashes; thankfully they have grown back and I still pick at them, but nowhere near as much as I used to! I take meds and had 4 years of MH Input in varying forms and this is where I am now. I moved abroad as part of my uni course, so I don't really have any input. I think it's been positive because I've been able to put things into practise and get time to reflect - I'm not having to constantly evaluate how I feel and essentially: I have to keep myself pulled together.

    I used to have many regrets about things that happened earlier, but now I've realised it isn't worth it. I could have had better grades, I could have had more of a social life... but at the end of the day I got into a university I really like and I have some great people in my life - yes **** happened but this is my life now and I'm fine with that. I'm perhaps not as well as I could be, but this will do for now. No pressure.
    • #3
    #3

    (Original post by insignificant)
    I agree with those saying they have been failed by the nhs. I believe that they need to have more stringent targets with mental health. There is no time to waste with mental illnesses, waiting lists should be less than a month.
    I was actually pretty impressed with the NHS mental health services. I was originally seeing my GP several times a week no problem, then he referred me to a psychiatrist who I saw the next week. I left uni after seeing that psychiatrist so everything was transferred to another area of the country and that only took about 2 weeks too. Saw another psychiatrist for a while then got transferred again with little wait to a specialist team, who are great.

    Perhaps I was just really lucky?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I was actually pretty impressed with the NHS mental health services. I was originally seeing my GP several times a week no problem, then he referred me to a psychiatrist who I saw the next week. I left uni after seeing that psychiatrist so everything was transferred to another area of the country and that only took about 2 weeks too. Saw another psychiatrist for a while then got transferred again with little wait to a specialist team, who are great.

    Perhaps I was just really lucky?
    If anything that just demonstrates the inconsistency over the country within the mental health services , though it's fantastic that you got seen straight away, shows it can be done .
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    I've made about 15 attempts at writing something here. Every time, I've given up the will to continue and deleted it.

    Writing a reply on a forum should not be this difficult.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    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!
    I'm 23 and been experiencing the psychosis symptoms for around 2 years possibly a bit longer. Before that had depression for many years. My diagnosis seems to change depending on which of my psychiatrists I see, one seems to think psychotic major depression the other schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder. I don't particularly care for the diagnosis though, will let them debate amongst themselves and come up with mumbo jumbo.
    • #14
    #14

    (Original post by ctarling)
    I've made about 15 attempts at writing something here. Every time, I've given up the will to continue and deleted it.

    Writing a reply on a forum should not be this difficult.
    I did the exact same thing. It makes it harder because I've never seen a doctor about anything so I have no names or labels to use. I might not even have any actual problems, it could just all be in my head.

    :hugs: for you though.
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I'm 23 and been experiencing the psychosis symptoms for around 2 years possibly a bit longer. Before that had depression for many years.
    I've had depression for a long time, but lately I think I'm starting to see/hear things that I'm not sure are real. Can I ask how your psychosis symptoms started out?
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    (Original post by dita_parlo)
    My brother suffered a psychotic episode around this time last year and has since been suffering from psychosis which is such a terrible thing and is really destroying my family's life. The things he does and says are just unbelievable, I wouldn't wish this on anybody; but we can't get help because the psychiatrists he sees can't discard what he is saying as not the truth. So he's not getting the help he truly deserves, and we as a family cannot get any help. People come round and say to us to stick it out and be there for him, but how can you when he tries to kill my dad or calls my mum a disabled *****. It's heartbreaking and we just can't see a way out of it. I'm not sure about the provision available for people with depression, anxiety, bi polar etc... but for people suffering in the way my brother and family is, this country's mental health care is an absolute joke.
    Have your brother's psychiatrists never asked to meet any family members? The first time I saw a psychiatrist, they were talking about family therapies, etc. I laughed in his face and told him it was out of the question. They kept badgering me until I finally brought my mum to an appointment though, coz they clearly wanted to hear the truth/hear from someone with better perspective.

    Even if your brother's psychiatrists aren't actively reaching out to you, would it be possible for you to reach out to them? :dontknow:


    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I'm 23 and been experiencing the psychosis symptoms for around 2 years possibly a bit longer. Before that had depression for many years. My diagnosis seems to change depending on which of my psychiatrists I see, one seems to think psychotic major depression the other schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder. I don't particularly care for the diagnosis though, will let them debate amongst themselves and come up with mumbo jumbo.
    I had that problem too, though my symptoms were not as severe/frequent as yours. Different psychs deciding different things, resulting in me not getting proper treatment for ages, with rather dire consequences :sigh: That said, I get the impression that the line between psychotic major depression and schizo-affective disorders isn't particularly clear-cut sometimes. Sorry that you've been mucked around like that though :console:

    How has mental illness affected my life? That's very difficult to answer, not least because I've apparently been this way my whole life but nobody noticed :lolwut: It's changed me into someone that people don't recognise. It's controlled and endangered my life. It's made me incredibly paranoid because my mood can change with very little warning. It's trapped me in/out of rooms/buildings. It's made me hurt people and told me to kill some (fortunately I didn't!). It's left me bedridden at points and completely dependent on others for food, being able to walk, etc. It screwed up uni for me.

    It's basically made me scared of living, which is rather problematic (Out of respect for certain people who put everything on the line to help me, I can't detail everything.)

    It really does seem as if mental healthcare is a postcode lottery. Oxford's EIS is notorious for being appalling, apparently (and they were :mad: ), whereas my particular London borough are for the most part very efficient and helpful :yes:
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    (Original post by ctarling)
    I've had depression for a long time, but lately I think I'm starting to see/hear things that I'm not sure are real. Can I ask how your psychosis symptoms started out?
    You should speak to your GP or whoever you see if you think you might be hearing or seeing things that aren't real. It could just be a short term thing and in many cases for most people it is just a short term occurrence that can arise from things like stress, mood changes, etc. For a while we thought my cousin might be the same as me, but her symptoms of hearing things only last a few weeks at most and since then they've never reoccurred.

    For me it started with misinterpreting social cues, I mistook genuine accidents and quirks of nature for malice and deliberate intent against me. I thought people were going out of their way annoy me, if there was someone mowing their lawn they were doing to annoy just me even though I didn't know them, if someone glanced at me in the street they were doing it because I was under surveillance and being watched. Then I started hearing stuff, people talking about me. At first I just found it annoying but then I started believing some of the stuff they were saying and become even more paranoid.

    That's how it pretty much started out, not so bad at first but then gradually worse and worse.

    This site might help you it's got some info on psychosis plus there are two videos on the site about developing it, living with it, and then finally treating it.

    http://www.ei-team.org.uk/
    First video: http://www.ei-team.org.uk/video/?src=ei_team_vid.flv
    Second video: http://www.ei-team.org.uk/video/reconnect.php
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    I suffered with (and still suffer from, though to a much lesser degree) depression. I have attempted suicide in the past (and I mean attempted I don't mean wanted attention).

    I used to be a guy who was the most intelligent in his class (and possibly year) but now I can hardly concentrate and find it hard to have enthusiasm (I don't find the work difficult, I mean I have no love for my subject, or anything else, now).

    I often wish, even 1 and half years later, that it (the suicide attempt) worked.

    So in answer to your question "how has it effected my life?", it has completely changed the person I am.
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)

    I had that problem too, though my symptoms were not as severe/frequent as yours. Different psychs deciding different things, resulting in me not getting proper treatment for ages, with rather dire consequences :sigh: That said, I get the impression that the line between psychotic major depression and schizo-affective disorders isn't particularly clear-cut sometimes. Sorry that you've been mucked around like that though :console:

    How has mental illness affected my life? That's very difficult to answer, not least because I've apparently been this way my whole life but nobody noticed :lolwut: It's changed me into someone that people don't recognise. It's controlled and endangered my life. It's made me incredibly paranoid because my mood can change with very little warning. It's trapped me in/out of rooms/buildings. It's made me hurt people and told me to kill some (fortunately I didn't!). It's left me bedridden at points and completely dependent on others for food, being able to walk, etc. It screwed up uni for me.

    It's basically made me scared of living, which is rather problematic (Out of respect for certain people who put everything on the line to help me, I can't detail everything.)

    It really does seem as if mental healthcare is a postcode lottery. Oxford's EIS is notorious for being appalling, apparently (and they were :mad: ), whereas my particular London borough are for the most part very efficient and helpful :yes:
    I'm too bothered about them being indecisive any more, can't blame them when what they're going by isn't an exact science either so requires a bit of guess work and filling in the gaps. Or maybe I'm too forgiving

    I've had the being told to kill people thing too, was it like thoughts put into your head for you or an actual voice telling you to do it? I found it difficult to disobey it and it's always something that leaves most people rather silent when brought up in conversation! Even though you're supposed to be able to tell your doctors anything, I still find that a really difficult thing to discuss with them.

    And I agree that it really is a postcode lottery. When I was living in Hull the provision of care was awful, I was often left for weeks at a time without anyone checking up on me despite being suicidal at the time and very paranoid. When I moved back home I was seen by a specialist psychosis team within a week and have had regular care from them since.
 
 
 
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