Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 23

This the 23rd story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Life has been extremely difficult for Maegan, since her childhood. Although she has not been able to fully recover from her mental illnesses she has been able to control it. This is her story:

Photo from: Maegan
Photo from: Maegan

Maegan is form Ontario, Canada and she enjoys music and going to concerts. Maegan works at a restaurant as a cook and attends school for psychology. She loves to play guitar and watches Netflix on her spare time. Her goal is to graduate from her university and to work at a job that she is excited about.

Maegan has bulimia and EDNOS (now OSFED), major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, generalized anxiety and social anxiety. Maegan said, “I’ve always been very sensitive, so I believe I’ve had my personality and mood disorders since before I can remember.” Although her eating disorders developed due to bullying in middle school. Maegan was diagnosed while she was attending an outpatient group for bulimia. She said, “I went for weekly psychiatric appointments, weekly group meetings and was put on a bunch of different anti-depressants to stabilize my mood. I was hospitalized in early 2013 for 6 weeks in a mood disorder unit after a very bad depressive episode.”

Image from:
Image from:

Maegan dealt with terrible symptoms. She constantly felt extremely depressive. Not only that, but she felt uncomfortable in social situations. Maegan said, “I feared that I was being made fun of/mocked behind my back.” Sadly she would binge and purge up to 6 times a day. She also restricted her calorie intake to as low as 100 calories a day. This made her weight fluctuate, causing a body dysmorphic disorder, where she couldn’t perceive her weight making her behavior continue. Maegan began to self-harm during anxiety or panic attacks since she was 12 years old and stopped at 21, although she still struggles with urges. Sadly, Maegan attempted suicide three times; one of which landed her in the ER and in a 6 week impatient stay.

This has affected her daily life. Maegan said, I suffered from, and continue to suffer from chronic insomnia due to my anxiety and not being able to stop worrying long enough to get a good sleep on many nights.” She was constantly depressed and tried to keep secrets about her behaviors. It caused her to lose a lot of friends. Maegan skipped classes in high school. She also had to quit her job and drop out of her first year of university. Maegan said, “I was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol for a long time, and ended up getting arrested with a DUI. I carry guilt and fear from that to this day, because I could have easily harmed someone. I made a lot of bad decisions that will affect me for the rest of my life because of my mental state.”

This is how her life was affected:

“Being anxious all the time makes making friends, and keeping plans very difficult for me, and I feel as though I’m missing out on a lot of great people and connections because I’m too nervous to put myself out there. I distance myself from people important to me for no reason that I can understand, and of course that hinders my relationships.”

Image from:
Image from:

This made her feel more than anything scared and stuck, but the turning point for Maegan was being hospitalized and arrested. It was a wakeup call. She said, “A healthy me wouldn’t have drove after drinking, and it scared me so terribly that I stopped drinking and abusing drugs for quite a while until I could learn to control it with help from a group I attended.”  The strategies Maegan used to control her mental disorders is talking to people who support her about her thoughts and urges. She also continues to take her medications, especially Prozac. Since it stabilizes her moods and manages her binging and purging urges.

Maegan has learned that she is stronger and that she can learn from a bad experiences in life. She said, “It’s made me much more empathetic to other peoples’ struggles, and issues affecting different groups of people. I try to fight and stand up for people who have trouble doing it themselves, and I try my hardest to keep positive despite feeling depressed.”

This is her advice for others struggling through similar situations:

“Talk about it and get help as soon as you possibly can! It is so important to let those who care about you know that you are struggling and how to help you. It’s not a battle you need to fight alone.”

Maegan is a strong young lady, I am positive she will help others through her experience. I hope she is able to let go of her passed mistakes, and realize it does not define her. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.

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