Charlotte is not a performer, but agreed to write an article for my blog about her mental health issues, which I am sure will resonate, in whole or part, with a lot of you. Thank you Charlotte for sharing your life-long mental health issues with us.
I’ve had problems with my mental health for my whole life, though they really started to show when I was 14, which was a significant year for me as I started to deteriorate rapidly and became so destructive to myself and those around me. Since then I have been through a lot of trauma, two family deaths and many forms of abuse including bullying.
Seeking help for mental health issues
I have tried over the years to seek help, and I was often told I needed CBT but was never offered any and couldn’t afford to go private. At 18 I was put on my first anti depressant, which didn’t work for me. I got angry and tired and I ended up in hospital after taking an overdose of my medication. The worst experience I had lead me to having a fear of ever asking for help again. I had tried a few short term therapy sessions, though I didn’t find them helpful as they just opened wounds without closing them. It was all short term. Due to the trauma I have been through I needed something long term but no one was willing to help me.
At 19 I was prescribed an anti anxiety drug, which had little or no effect on me. Without any support alongside the medication, I had a massive relapse and had to quit my job. At 21, after being out of work for a while, I decided to get help and I was given my third and current anti depressant. It has helped in the sense of stopping my suicidal thoughts for the most part, though its been less effective in the last few months.
Mental health medication and therapy
I have been seeing my doctor regularly now and I am slowly learning how to cope. CBT and Trauma support will be given to me over the next few months. I now have an extra type of antidepressant to help me out of a crisis that I recently experienced. I have been let down for so many years and not received the help I needed. When I came clean about my feelings and pushed for support, I received it. It was in no way easy but for the first time I feel like I have a chance to be in control of my mind and to live a more functional life.
Marriage and pets have helped me
I am now married and live in my own home with my husband, my dog and cat. I am generally content. My dog helps me and gives me a purpose and cheers me up when I cry. My husband is supportive and, though he doesn’t understand mental health that well, he supports me and loves me and never expects me to change or do things for him. Trust and respect go a long way in recovery. Being in my own home has released me from a very toxic environment. Because of this I have fewer panic attacks and destructive habits. It’s shocking how much better you feel when you learn to remove toxicity from your life and only allow respect and dignity in.
On a day to day basis, I have found that writing helps me and acts as a form of therapy. This allows me to keep productive and unpack my thoughts. I also have a trampoline in my living room, I use this for exercise. I always feel like you can’t be unhappy when you’re bouncing around. At night I like to use lavender oil as the smell calms me. I wear an eye mask to cut out light and a night light due to me being scared of the dark. Calming music, or an audio book help me to get to sleep.
Recovery is difficult with ups and downs. If you try and want to get better, you will do it. There are so many options out there, though the best way to start is by learning to speak about your feelings and let out the pent up emotions.
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