Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 39

This is the 39th story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Anonymous had a difficult time maintaining healthy relationships, but after accepting her mental Illnesses and getting help, she was able to improve her life. This is her story:

She is from Brisbane, Australia and she loves to write, produce music, read and exercise. 5 years from now, she sees herself still learning and growing as a person. Eventually she wants to be completely off medication and able to be an independent individual. She was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), along with depression, anxiety and some eating problems. Her father died when she was four years old and her mother remarried two years later to a man who already had a daughter. She lost contact with her father’s family and experienced identity issues at an early age. Anonymous believes these events may have triggered her mental disorders.

At the age of 14 she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and at 16 years old she was admitted to hospital for a month and put on antidepressants. She started seeing a psychiatrist every week. On October of this year, she was admitted to hospital again for two weeks and was prescribed Zoloft and diagnosed with BPD and PTSD. After being discharged she started seeing a different psychologist and attended group therapy every week, focusing on mindfulness.

Anonymous dealt with self-destructive symptoms. She said, “I would set myself up to fail. At my worsts, I couldn’t leave the house without everything around me spurring thoughts and ideation of suicide. My impulsive behavior lead to negative consequences involving friends and family distancing themselves from me, I would feel like I was getting what I deserved.” This affected her life tremendously, she struggles with school and in the last 5 years she has been to 5 different schools. Sadly she attempted suicide four times.

Not only that, but her BPD made it difficult for her to have healthy romantic relationships. She said, “I Found myself becoming manipulative and cruel. Because of my reckless behavior, people disassociated themselves from me which was quite hard however a bit of a wakeup call.” The made her feel trapped, she said, “I felt guilty considering and attempting suicide, but when my actions hurt and offended people I felt even guiltier.”

The turning point for her was when she realized that people are not medicine. She said, “There is nothing wrong with me. I have accepted that this may be a lifelong thing that I can never get rid of. I have dealt with the sadness and now I’m focusing on the management of my mental health and ensuring it’s my first priority.” Anonymous wants to be the best person she can be and grow. She is not going to let her mental illnesses define her. The current strategies she uses to control her disorder is to practice mindfulness, eat clean, exercise and erase negative people from her life.

This experience changed her outlook in life, Anonymous said, “Although mental illness sucks, it’s made me appreciate life. I’m a lot less materialistic and find joy in little things like the feeling of the sun on my skin and hearing people I love laugh. I learned to take nothing for granted and that it’s okay to not always be happy.” She realized that people are not out to get her, that they are just for themselves. To prevent herself from falling again, she has become aware of warning signs and her bad habits like impulsivity. She tries to make sure she is moving closer to her goals.

This is her advice for others struggling through similar situations:

“PUSH THROUGH!! Everything gets better in the end and if it’s not better yet, it’s not the end. Seek help. No problem is too big or too small, you are worthy of help and if you don’t receive sufficient support the first time, don’t give up, keep on fighting. Focus on yourself. Love is a great feeling when it’s good, but when it’s bad it can tear your heart out. Remember that people are not medicine. You are the only permanent thing in your life.”

This is her advice to help a loved one battling mental illness:

“They are allowed to be sad, they are allowed to cry. Their feelings are legitimate. When I was younger my family found it hard to believe that I had a real reason to feel the way I did. Mental illnesses are not always dependent on life factors and there needs to be more awareness of that.”

I am glad she was able to control her mental illnesses and find meaning in her life. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.

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