1 in 4 people in the UK experience some form of mental health problem in their life time.
Here we speak to friends and the community who have been brave enough to share their experiences with their own mental health. Thank you for helping our cause and helping us break the stigma around poor mental health’
Hi, my name is Paul and I live in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
My diagnosis is bipolar disorder/emotional unstable personality disorder. I am medicated for this and have been for about 11 years.
For my depression, my triggers are: my physical health, being unable to work, changes to my routine, and being unable to understand my own feelings.
For my anxiety, my triggers are: changes to my routine, when in a crowded or new place, financial situations, being around aggressive people, being around new people, being away from home, living with my partner and seeing people from the past who have upset me.
These things effect me in different ways. I feel very negative, experience anxiety attacks, I can become aggressive (mostly verbally), and I feel useless, like I am a burden. It can effect my speech – it causes me to stutter a lot. Anxiety also causes me to become very agitated and paranoid. In addition to this I not leave the house a lot.
I handle my triggered behaviours in different ways.
I used to take drugs such as cocaine and drink heavily where as now I hide away in the house, self harm and I have a tendency to be verbally abusive towards people who are trying to help me. Sometimes, I won’t eat or get dressed and don’t look after myself. My depression has also caused me to attempt suicide several times.
However, there are things i can do to positively handle my triggered behaviours. I remove myself from situations that cause anxiety. Talking about my triggers and feelings with people close to me helps; as a result they can recognise the signs and understand my behaviours. I try to leave the house (even if it’s just to go to the shop) and I am more accepting of help off certain people. Also, I don’t go anywhere that is new or crowded on my own, I make sure I go with someone I trust.
I have had both positive and negative experiences with mental health services.
First of all, I find that the crisis team are not very understanding and they blamed a lot of my problems on the fact that I have tattoos and piercings.
I have also been on a waiting list for counselling for 14 months and I am still yet to be seen unless I want to pay £30 an hour which I cannot afford. The Ellis centre was providing me with regular therapy, however there was a lack of funding so consequently this was stopped. I find that Scarborough has very limited mental health support.
My diagnosis came from the Ellis centre, who were very understanding of my lack of trust in people. They were consistent and supportive. I had a lot of CBT therapy that has given me the tools to be able to cope better with my triggers and negative behaviours and finally feel much more stable having these tools and being medicated.
You should never feel alone about your problems, there is help out there even if it seems impossible to find.
Thanks for reading!
The Fia Not campaign is a not for profit organisation that will provide support to those who aren’t getting the help they need through the current mental health service, by giving both practical and emotional support. They aim to provide support without judgement, signpost individuals to services that are available and act as advocate to said services.