I have… BIPOLAR

How can I go from being motivated, driven and determined one minute to drained, tired and depressed the next? One word Bipolar! Yep that awful mental illness that won’t leave me alone!

I have days where everything is vivid heightened and I am literally on top of the world and no-one can bring me down.
I have days where I will spend every single penny on things I don’t need twice.
I have days where I will speak 100 miles per hour.
I have days where I am the life and soul of the party.
I have days where I won’t eat.
I have days where I won’t drink.
I have days where I won’t take my tablets unless pushed.
I have nights where I will not sleep.
I have nights where I stay awake noting all of my great ideas.
I have days where I am paranoid and psychotic and am convinced that things are happening even though they aren’t.

I have days where everything seems dark and grey even if it is sunny outside.
I have days where there is no colour at all just flat line emotions.
I have days where I am anxious and won’t leave the house.
I have days where I won’t get out of bed.
I have days where I don’t get dressed.
I have days where it is a struggle to wash.
I have days where I will eat everything.
I have days where I want to be totally alone.
I have days where all I can think of is self harm.
I have days where I don’t want to live on this earth anymore.

I have good days where I am “normal” “stable” and “in touch with reality.
I have good days where I am able to go outside.
I have good days where I can control it.
I have good days where I can battle it.
I have good days where I am myself.

I go to therapy.
I take anti depressants.
I take anti psychotics.
I take mood stabilisers.

I have Bipolar.

It’s what I battle against.

It’s part of who I am but it doesn’t define me.

Coping with Chronic Illness and Anxiety

Hi,

I haven’t posted in a while but I have been crazily busy! Planning a trip to Vegas next year!!

But getting back on subject I have also been busy creating documents for people in my area to help them when they have been recently diagnosed or are living with a chronic illness. I have also created a document featuring on coping with anxiety and would love anyone’s opinions or suggestions on these!

So please please comment and help me help others by clicking on the documents below and giving them a read!

Coping with Anxiety
Coping with Chronic Illness

Look forward to hearing from you all!

 

xx

Man’s (or Women’s) Best Friend – How a Puppy Transformed my Recovery

In April 2015 I lost my beloved English Beagle Chester who sadly had to be put down due to ligament problems. He was 12 when he passed so I had him from the age of 9. As an animal lover we were really close especially when I started to become ill. He would follow me everywhere and would even bark when I was seizuring to inform people. When he passed I had just returned home from hospital following the stroke and I was heartbroken. He wasn’t there to make me smile and he wasn’t there just to cuddle when I was feeling down or unable to do anything due to illness. I honestly felt lost.

As a family (I live with my Mum, Aunt and younger Sister) we decided that we wasn’t going to have another puppy/dog in our life as I was not well and everyone else was working except my Nan and Grandad; and it wouldn’t be fair for us to expect them to help look after a dog.

As time went on and my bipolar, depression and anxiety grew stronger and more unbearable each day both my Mum and Aunt (when talking to a Crisis Nurse) decided that maybe it would be a good idea to add a new addition to our family. A puppy meant I would have other responsibilities apart from myself which meant that I had to try to get out into the community to walk him and get out of my bed to feed, play and train him!

So in November of last year my fiancé bought me Archie, a cross between a poodle and a chihuahua, who totally changed my life for the better.

Instead of staying in bed locked away from people I would help train, feed and play with Archie and whilst I was in deep depression he would always seem to make everyday a bit brighter by cuddling. With the help of Archie and my family it meant that I grew the confidence to talk to people (as everyone would come up to him for a quick cuddle) and allowed me to slowly gain confidence leaving my house on my own away from my family.

Day by day my confidence grew and grew and I didn’t feel anxious with Archie by my side which meant I could stop taking Lorazepam. All of my time was dedicated on Archie which mean I wasn’t concentrated on my illness and from then on  my recovery from mental illness started and bloomed. From being stuck inside afraid to go out to being able to go out with my family and then gradually being able to take Archie for walks on my own and now being able to go and travel by bus on my own and talking to people. I have  now even started volunteering for Mind.

I still take tablets and I still have a long way to go but without Archie by my side and to distract me I know that I probably wouldn’t have made as quick of a recovery on my own.

Thanks to Archie I am stronger than I have ever been and he really is a man’s/women’s best friend!

I know it is not always possible to have a puppy but it can be helpful taking a friend’s/families dog for a walk or volunteering at a local dog centre or even taking part in a dog walking group. Alternately you might find that having any other type of pet or taking part in a group that you are interested in will really promote your recovery.

 

The Power of the Semicolon

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So what is the whole Semicolon thing about?

A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. That author is you and the sentence is your life.

The idea of writing a semicolon on your wrist was founded by Amy Bleuel who created The Semicolon Project. Amy states on her website that after overcoming many obstacles in her life including bullying, rejection, suicide, self-injury, addiction, abuse and even rape, Amy has found strength and a love for others. Amy struggled with mental illness for 20+ years and has experienced many stigmas associated with it. She now shares her stories around the nation giving hope to others struggling with mental illness.

The Semicolon Project states that

By writing a semicolon on your wrist, you are making a promise to yourself that it is ok to reach out and seek for help… stand up for you or anyone you know who has depression, anxiety, has self harmed or has contemplated suicide and help our peers, our friends and our family know that we speak up for them and that we stand up against Mental Health and the stigma that’s attached to it.

I personally love this idea as not only does it promote and encourage discussion about mental illness in a subtle way it also is a symbol of hope (for those that have a semi colon tattoo) and for some people before acting on suicide, self-harm, addiction, abuse and so on it gives them a chance to think about it and sometimes avoid it all together or at least discuss it.

Is the Semicolon just related to Mental Health?

No, some people also have the tattoo or relate it to signify their IBD (Crohn’s/Ulcerative Colitis) journey. Some people suffering from IBD have to have some or the whole part of their bowels removed. For example people with Ulcerative Colitis  have to have their large colon removed and use their small colon as their main colon. Some have Stomas (where a part of the small colon is outside their stomach and attached to a bag) and some have JPouches (where a pouch is created by their small bowel but unlike a stoma their colons remain inside). Surgery is not always needed but sometimes is needed in severe and life threatening cases.

So in short people who have had to have surgery may have this tattoo to spread awareness of inflammatory bowel disease and tell people that they survived.

If you ever spot someone who has a Semi Colon tattoo it is worth asking them the meaning behind it as people have them to represent their struggles in life and to promote awareness of both mental and physical health.

;

 

Bipolar – The Battle

I wrote this post about 3 months ago but was never really able to post it – I don’t know why it just happened. But I now want to post it so here you go:

One thing I have learned this week is to not drink energy drinks as they seem to push me on a bit of a high and I wasn’t able to sleep and then I came crashing down and felt shit!

My Mum has gone back to work this week (she has been off for a while now – I’m sure I mentioned in my recent post – if not I apologise) and it has been a real struggle as I have to motivate myself and I have been struggling, although I managed to get the bus today which was a massive achievement! Although now I am feeling really down and as I have had to sort my medication for the week out I have felt like taking it all and let it just take me away! The only thing stopping me is thinking of my family and fiancé and what it would do to them! So as I am writing this I am trying to listen to some upbeat music and have an elastic band wrapped around my wrist pinging it as much as I can (this does not give the same feeling that I am craving!)

Thinking of calling my care co-ordinator (although I have only just started seeing her) or my family because that it what I am told to do but they can’t stop me feeling like this no matter what they say. If they came round it wouldn’t change the way I am feeling! I wish there was something that would just get rid of this feeling. I was fine on the bus and when I came home but then I started sorting tablets and I don’t know everything just felt a bit worse and I started thinking of the bus journey and worried what people thought with me flicking the wristband with my earphones in not making eye contact. I know my family won’t understand I say that it was fine and that I am coping – I guess it looks like I am to some extent – but i’m not and my mum can’t afford anymore time off work and it would make me feel even more useless! I know I have just got to fight through it.

Although I am anxious going out I am also anxious about being indoors! Yesterday the window cleaner came round and I felt so trapped and scared and had to take some medication to calm me down I was that bad! I can’t accept parcels and if anyone knocks on the door I just hide! And when I decide to get some air I just have to listen to music and avoid any contact! But according to the Mental Health Nurses I am coping!

Yeah because life has never been better – Joke!

Sorry for ranting and I have been really trying to stay strong (like my motto) but sometimes I just can’t – thanks Bipolar! Part of me prays that I will go on a high and feel great but that will just upset my family and since having that feeling even when I felt “normal” it didn’t feel as great especially since I have just been having constant mood swings since I was 16.

Funny as I was typing this my sister called to check on me and she told me I sound upset and she was worried and was going to leave work and come home. I just said I am fine and the bus journey just made me feel tired – but is this true? – no! But what do you say?

 

Just another melt down

Today started and I felt great. My Fiance was back from working away for a week and I have landed a volunteer role with Mind and start training on Monday. My life seemed to be getting back on track. But then the postman come and I received a letter from DVLA saying I cannot drive due to psychiatric illness and that I can only consider driving again if I have to be stable for 3 months but the thing is I have been and whilst they were examining my claim they wrote to the psychiatrist (who I have seen once when I was feeling down). They made the decision not to provide me with a licence and told me to contact my GP for a letter stating I was ok to drive and they will reconsider (so fingers cross).

I felt so down about this this morning and had to battle to stop it getting the better of me. I nearly had a total melt down but I only had a tiny one. At first I was crying and couldn’t talk to anyone and then I managed to talk but was still crying and then my family around me said I have to snap out of it if I want to drive so instead of dealing with it like I have in the past (breaking down and not able to cope for a couple of days every time bad news hits me) I went out to the cinema with my Fiance and tried not to think about it. It has been a struggle all day to try and fight the bipolar thoughts in my head but I am dealing with it (kinda).

My health physically hasn’t been great either today. My stomach is hurting (and I am praying that my Inflammatory Bowel Disease doesn’t flare), my head is pounding and my heart is still racing when I stand (I am waiting for tests to confirm what is wrong). I feel so in between moods right now.

That’s all I can write at the minute but I will keep you updated and I pray that everything will work out.

x

World IBD Day 2016!

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It’s World IBD Day today! So let’s raise awareness for this awful disease and find out what it is like to live with.

For people who don’t know what Inflammatory Bowel Disease is it is referred to as IBD and Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, affecting more than 300,000 people in the UK.

Yet it is largely a hidden disease, and one that causes stigma, fear and isolation – it’s thought that many people with the condition go undiagnosed and suffer in silence.

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I personally have been living with this disease for 3 years and as I have mentioned before it has been a journey to say the least. From blood transfusions to endoscopies and infusions to the start of my experience with steroids and everything in between it has definitely been a struggle to say the least.

I have lost time with the amount of admissions to hospital I have had and the amount of doctors I have seen! But luckily I have a fantastic consultant who I have 100% faith in and can honestly say I can trust him with my life. Unlike so many others I also have IBD nurses available and they have been amazing. They are only a phone call away and have helped me so many times with medication and assessments and have visited me on the ward. They have given me advice and have given me the knowledge at the start on how to manage this disease and what to expect. My journey would have been so much harder without their support and honestly believe that every person with IBD should have access to a specialist nurse and so I 100% support Crohn’s and Colitis Campaign – More IBD Nurses – Better Care

Across the UK, at least 100,000 people with Crohn’s and Colitis don’t have access to a Specialist IBD Nurse and 63% of IBD services in the UK don’t have enough Specialist Nurses to meet the needs of everyone affected.  – See more at: crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

 

Knowing where to start …

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So… I have been out of work for a couple of years (due to illness 😦 )and am hoping to get back into work soonish but there is a couple of problems…. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO :/ I won’t be able to return to full time work and can’t afford to be on part time work (even though I would love to) because all my hospital appointments are like having a part time job! I have around 5 consultants and on top of this have mental health assessments, blood tests, scans and it takes me 30mins to refill my medication every week. Without a diary I honestly don’t know how I would cope! Secondly I HAVE BEEN OUT OF WORK SO LONG MY CHANCES OF GETTING THE JOB I AM APPLYING FOR IS LESS THAN AVERAGE!

I feel kind of trapped as I can’t wait to get back into work and don’t want my gap of employment getting any bigger yet at the same time I don’t want to let the company down with all the appointments I have to attend and have to leave!

So I feel I have 2 options:

  1. Try working from home and setting up a business – I have some ideas that I think could really work!
  2. Try working and disclose about having to attend appointments (I know my chances of getting the job would be slimmer compared to other people – but you never know! I guess it’s all about staying positive as I know mentally I can do it and I can deal with knock backs!)

I want a job that I am really passionate about but can’t afford to start a full time job if my body isn’t ready and it’s still recovering so my job search is even more limited. If I push my body too hard then I will be back to square one again. BUT I AM SO MENTALLY READY!

I have to remember that I still have a lot of targets to reach before I am back to full health and it’s all about taking the little steps and enjoying reaching your targets as you achieve each and every one because at the end of the day your the boss of your own mind and only you know your limits and what you want to achieve! You should never give up or let anyone discourage you! Fight for what you want to achieve and enjoy the process along the way!

Sorry…

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while a lot has been happening! I don’t even know where to start!

First I have finally got rid of all my anxiety and feel stronger and more successful than ever and feel the best I have felt in years! It has been hard work and has required a lot of support and dedication but I am happy to be at this stage!

So how did I do it? Firstly I took all the support and advice that I could from family and the mental and physical health teams. I have an amazing psychotherapist group that I look forward to attending every Friday and have learnt that there is more to life than comparing yourself to over people. Everyone in their lives go through different things and have different goals so it is important to remember that not everyone is the same and just because someone else is in a place that you want to be doesn’t mean you should feel down about it you will get there soon with hard work and dedication and you should remember that they might not have been through what you have been through and those experiences make you stronger and more determined than ever! They might also be feeling the same about other people! Everyone has different dreams and what’s right for one person might not be right for another!

Secondly I make sure I follow the advice of my specialists and ask all the questions that I have. From that advice I then have been adapting my lifestyle to suit my conditions and it has worked wonders! Some examples have been changing my sleeping pattern to make sure I get enough sleep, adapting the time I take certain medications, taking on a little challenge everyday, sticking to routine (routine is really important to my mental health) so I keep a personalised planner (I am quite forgetful!) and record everything I need to do that week and plan what days I am doing them and try to stick to it as much as possible!

I have also learnt to not think of what could happen in the future. For example I was taken to A&E on Sunday with shortness of breath and a rapid heart beat. The doctors told me all of the possible causes and said that they would run tests and some of them was pretty scary but this time instead of really worrying and getting myself worked up I waited for the results and would deal with them as they came. Fortunately it wasn’t anything major. I just have to take steroids again for a while and taper slowly as due to the amount of time I have been on them and because the dose of them have been high my body has not been producing the steroids naturally.

I was pleased that it wasn’t something sinister but unfortunately I wasn’t taken seriously by A&E doctors when they couldn’t find anything wrong in my bloods or other scans (they didn’t think to check my steroid level). I was sent home and had an outpatient appointment yesterday where I was treated by another doctor who didn’t take me seriously either. She saw that I was unable to breath properly upon standing and that my chest hurt because it was racing (my heart beat went up to 116 when standing and didn’t go down until I rested. My blood pressure also dropped when I stood and only went back to normal when I laid down) and she asked me “What’s wrong with you now?” which would normally make me cry and feel really down and a burden to people but this time I didn’t I felt angry and frustrated but I didn’t feel like a burden or ashamed as I knew something was wrong medically and I shouldn’t be treated that way. Luckily I saw another doctor who was a specialist in Rheumotology and she knew pretty much straight away what was wrong and she sat down and explained everything and got in contact with my Rheumotologist to update them and decide which dose to give me. So the moral of the story is that you might have to go through some scary things and worries but you should deal with each problem as it comes and not worry about what might happen as it might turn out to be nothing and you could make yourself feel ill by worrying. Even if it does turn out to be something the chances are you will be able to get the right support to help you through. Obviously this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t worry about anything as to worry a little is NORMAL! and some worrying is important as otherwise you might not seek advice of a specialist if you didn’t think it was something to be over concerned about. It’s just over worrying that should be avoided!

Anyway, before I keep talking I promise to keep posting more often!

xx

 

Bipolar and Me

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As it is Mental Health Week I thought that I would discuss a little about my experience living with Bipolar. As you probably already know I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in October of last year but I have been experiencing symptoms since I was 16.

It all started when I finished my GCSEs and started college. I decided to stop going to lessons and stop doing homework (this might not sound unusual but at school I was an A* Student who would be ashamed if she ever got a detention!). I also became aggressive at times to my boyfriend who was attending the same college if he didn’t agree with me. I even hit him once (or maybe twice :/) and made a huge scene by doing so because I believed (at the time) that I was always right and everyone else was always wrong. I was close to getting thrown out at the time but decided to leave and become an apprentice.

This decision was made because I went into a deep depression and needed counselling again (I had been a couple of sessions from the age of 13). I stopped talking to friends and completely isolated myself. I had self harmed, felt worthless and hopeless and had lost all my confidence. I started counselling but didn’t mention what had happened at college as I didn’t see it as a problem and nobody had told me that it was. I was just feeling really really low and almost suicidal. This lasted a while until there came a point that I felt I didn’t need counselling as I was fine, more confident and felt happy and excited for the future and able to cope with anything, so I applied for an apprenticeship position and got the job!

I seemed to be doing well during my apprenticeship as I was bubbly and my confidence was really high. I would complete tasks simultaneously and felt that the NVQ work was way beneath me (I completed the NVQ work so quickly that I had finished all the units within a month – even though the course was 12 months – and the assessor was receiving my work faster than she could mark it! But this wasn’t a bad thing I just thought it was because I was more intelligent than the course and was pleased that it let me get on with other jobs (although they felt beneath most of the time too). I also started spending a lot and would spend almost all my wage on something. I mainly bought stuff for my boyfriend and family (especially my sister). I would buy her a brand new ipod and have it engraved and specially wrapped even if there wasn’t an occasion and when she broke it (by accident!) I would just replace it. I would come home with something almost every couple of weeks. Sometimes I would even come home with clothes that I had just picked up without even looking at the price or knowing how much money I actually had.

After my apprenticeship finished I started working full time for a different company. Whilst working I became even more distracted and would try to complete all the jobs I had that day at the same time and sometimes my mind would race and I would file my work away without even knowing where I had put it. I would spend money even more excessively and completely wipe my bank account out on expensive gifts, dinner out, clothes that didn’t even fit. I would have bought the item before the thought had even entered my mind no matter what the price. I even had my card declined a couple of times and would get really agitated and annoyed!

I also started taking risks with my health as I had started having symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease about a month before I started my new job and my mum took me to the out of hours doctor (I was in the process of changing doctors at the time) who told me I had gastroenteritis and that it should calm down soon. Even though I was in pain I still went to work and strongly believed that not even the pain could beat me as I was the best. It got to the point where I would get off the train and walk to work (towards the end sometimes I was sick on the way), get to the office building and be feeling like I was about to faint – as I was extremely anaemic at the time – but because I felt that I was capable of anything I would use the stairs instead of the lift. I would quickly go to the toilet when needed (up to 10 times a day at best) and sometimes go and be sick and then return to doing the multiple jobs I was doing. It wasn’t until I started feeling depressed again that I was taken to hospital and diagnosed with IBD and given blood transfusions because I was so anaemic (I probably should have used the lift!).

Once I was discharged I went back to work for a little bit but then I had to be readmitted and became really depressed once again. This time I was sent to therapy and started on Sertraline to help with the depression. I attended the appointments with my Grandad but then later on I attended by myself (because I could drive) and after a couple of sessions I didn’t go back as I believed I didn’t need to because I was feeling really great again and on top of everything so I told my family that the therapy had finished and that I was ok.

I then had more admissions for my other health problems (which you probably already know) and in between this period I would have times where I was crying my eyes out and feeling so low and times where I felt invisible and would be smiling all the time. Sometimes even when I was having investigations I would try and reject the use of sedation or local anaesthetic but the doctors told me that I did need this to have the investigation done then on other times I would be refusing to have the investigation done altogether.

I became so depressed in August last year that I was in the ward shouting and begging the doctors to kill me and was trying to suffocate myself with the pillow. I saw my neurologist who started me on 10mg Citalopram to help me cope.

In October my speech started getting really fast, I was thinking that I could conquer the world and that no one was better than me. I became aggressive and thought that I could solve the worlds problems by myself. I didn’t sleep, hardly ate or drank and had so much energy that I would pace around the room.

One night I decided that I needed to go driving again (even though I couldn’t because I was diagnosed with epilepsy) so I got my car keys and my Aunt, Mum and Sister came running down the stairs to try and stop me. As they had taken the keys away from me I decided that I wanted to go walking. My aunt was trying to stop me but I was aggressive and started hitting her until she moved out the way. I then began walking the streets at 2am in the morning with my mum in the car trying to get me home, my grandad searching for me and my aunt and sister walking bare foot with me and everytime they came close I would push them away. I wouldn’t even stop to see if a car was coming. I walked for ages until a couple of my mums friends (one is a paramedic – luckily) came and managed to get me safely to their house where I calmed a little and managed to eventually go home.

The next night I grabbed my Boyfriend’s car keys and tried driving again but the same thing happened and my family and boyfriend stopped me. I became so strong trying to get away that they tried to keep me inside until eventually I was on the floor sobbing thinking there was nothing wrong with me and my family were trying to make out that I was. However, I started posting on Facebook for someone to come and save me as my family were making out there was something wrong with me. A paramedic was called and the police arrived as well for safety. I was taken to A&E and started screaming in and out of the waiting room, throwing my phone, demanding that there was nothing wrong with me and my family were making it all up as I was better than them. The triage nurse called me in for a blood test to see what medication I had taken as they thought I might have overdosed on something. They had to call security as I was screaming at her not to touch me as hadn’t listened and was beneath me and even said to her “Why do I have to listen to someone like you! You don’t know half of what I know! I can change the world!”. My Sister managed to calm me down a little somehow and I had the blood test done to prove I was right! (Which I was in this instance). I saw a A&E Doctor who sent me home as I didn’t have any other “organic problem” – which I guess means physical problem – and that my family should leave me and that the worst case would be that I get picked up by the police.

My family didn’t know what to do so they took me home and my mum was calling as many people as she knew to get me help. She called my neurologist who suggested I go back to A&E and see a mental health nurse to be assessed. It took a lot of persuading from everyone and I decided to go at first to prove there was nothing wrong. They referred me to Crisis Team to be monitored daily with a phone call in the evening and prescribed Lorazepam to calm me down.

Things didn’t go well with Crisis Team when I was shouting at them for ages saying that there was nothing wrong and that people just didn’t want me to be happy.

But it didn’t end there I then decided to storm out one day when my family were questioning me on things like – “If you are the smartest person in the world why was you admitted to hospital and not treat yourself!” – Honestly I couldn’t answer but at the time I was really rude and aggressive. I decided to get on the bus and ended up shopping. I became really paranoid and called my mum asking her “Why she had hired people to come and hurt me?” and asking “Why was Grandad following me?”. I became so convinced that people were out to get me because they wanted me dead because I was a threat to them that my mum had removed herself from the house when I got home and my boyfriend came round to try and give me more lorazepam to calm me down. He managed this and decided to take me for a drive to calm me down. When we got back to my house I would’t get out of the car. I wouldn’t eat anything, wouldn’t drink anything and wouldn’t take my medication. I wouldn’t even drink from a bottle that I could have bought myself as I thought that this was already posioned. My mum called her friend round (the one who had helped me before) and called the Crisis Team who said that I would have to be admitted to the Mental Health Unit. I talked to them on the phone and they said I should go there because no one can hurt me there and I will be safer.

I arrived at the Mental Health Unit where I was assessed and seen by a few different Psychiatrists and Mental Health Nurses who explained to me why I was feeling this way and that it is due to Bipolar. They increased a medication I was already on for epilepsy and that was a good mood stabiliser (Sodium Valporate) and stopped the Citalopram. I was discharged after a couple of days and placed with the Crisis Team again.

This was fine for a little while but then I started experiencing a mixed state – where I was feeling really low but was also experiencing some of the manic symptoms as well. I started believing there was nothing wrong with me again and the Psychiatrist that visited spent 2 hours at my home convincing me that it is just due to an illness and I will feel better. I was started on Quetiapine XL and this eased it a little until I started hearing voices in my head who convinced me that my boyfriend and sister where sleeping together behind my back and where laughing at me. Even though deep down I knew this wasn’t true I couldn’t stop believing it and was in floods of tears. I went running out of the house and walked to the park where I sat and cried. Eventually I agreed to return home and my medication was increased.

I started therapy and started to stabilise so my mum was able to go back to work and the Crisis Team were able to discharge me to First Response. However, this didn’t happen as I didn’t hear from First Response and as it was Christmas there wasn’t a therapy session. I became depressed again and reverted back to self harm and very low mood and no motivation.

I tried calling First Response but they couldn’t help me as I didn’t have a referral and as I had been discharged from Crisis they couldn’t help either, so my mum took me to my GP who sent me back to Crisis.

I was with Crisis until beginning of February when they discharged me to First Response. During my time with them they started me on Sertraline and I was under Occupational Therapy to help with social anxiety. I was seen by a care co-ordinator at First Response but they left so I am now awaiting another care co-ordinator who will hopefully be permanent and provide the help and structure I need.

I have become somewhat better than I have been but currently everyday is a battle. I wake up in the morning and don’t want to get out of bed or I have thoughts of self harm and have to push myself not to do it (I try thinking of my family and boyfriend as much as possible). I may be in the bath and think that it might just be easier to go but I push through it. “Normal everyday” tasks are harder as they leave me tired at the end of the day and I have to mentally prepare myself to do them. The best way I can think to describe it is there is me on one side and bipolar on the other and they are both fighting to take over and what ever one is stronger at the time wins.

I know this is still new to me and I am still learning different ways to cope but if you ever see or know someone that is suffering with any type of mental illness from depression to bipolar and everything in between it is important to remember that they are facing the constant battle between who they are and there illness and there illness doesn’t define who they are. They just need you to recognise that they might not want to talk that day and it is nothing personal they are just having “one of those days”.

http---www.pixteller.com-pdata-t-l-313400

The best way I can think to describe Bipolar is there is me on one side and bipolar on the other and they are both fighting to take over and what ever one is stronger at the time wins.

 

 

For more information about mental illness contact:

www.mind.org.uk

www.bipolaruk.org