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.
Hello my name is Louise. I’m from the West Yorkshire City of Wakefield and i currently live there too.
I was medically diagnosed in 2014 with depression and anxiety although at the moment i’m not taking any kind of medication.
I didn’t even realise I was depressed until the day I went into work. I started crying and all i could hear was voices loud around me and i couldn’t think straight. I still don’t know how I got home that day and all I did was cry and cry; when I got home and my mum booked me into the doctors where they diagnosed me and gave me medication.
Looking back i’d been a ticking time bomb. I hadn’t grieved for my father properly and had just got on with life. I was piggy in the middle for falling out of friends. I was overworking myself at work and i was looking for a relationship but all the men i’d date would only be after one thing or thought i looked thinner in my photos and it just chipped away at me. I was partying all weekend, surviving on little food and sleep and it had all come to a head.
At the moment the depression side of things is subdued as i have a lot of good things going on but the anxiety part is always here manifesting itself when it wants.
I constantly think people don’t like me as much as other people even though logically i know it doesn’t matter. My stomach turns in knots and i feel sick when things are planned out of my comfort zone ie just going to the pub with friends. I’m constantly hoping they cancel so it will be out of my hands and if they don’t i’m agitated and panicky right up until we go.
None of my friends realise the battle i go through with myself to go out. My husband is from a close knit family yet i constantly make excuses not to go to functions as i cant bear the thought of people judging me and making small talk although deep down i know i’m been irrational.
My anxiety makes me over think conversations, relationships and friendships. I just want my head to stop!
I channel my anxiety through anger and loathing myself.
If i’m feeling anxious about something (at the moment its driving somewhere new ) I pick fault with my husband and start an argument; when he retaliates I get nasty and vile ( never physically violent though) as it makes me feel like the person I deserve to be. I know i’m being horrid yet I still continue and then i’ll hate myself for been such a nasty and negative person. I want to be nice but I just find it hard to be.
I managed my depression by drinking and spending huge amounts of money I didn’t have on crap which has now left me in debt so I could make myself feel better at the time. I’d get a mini high when the item arrived but then worry what i’d spent; that was 4 years ago and i’m still paying for it but now I can see it wasn’t something my logic mind would do, it was the illness.
If I’m having what I call a ‘good luck’ day where everything is going well, I’m chirpy and happy and will talk to my husband about how I am and he will reassure me that everything’s ok and he knows its ‘not me’. I find i’m happy when I have things planned like days out or a nice meal and I feel like i’m getting somewhere in life. I then write a chapter of the book i’m working on where the character is how i would love to see myself.
I was referred to counselling on two occasions but panicked about going so I never took the opportunity.
I struck up a friendship with someone I used to see at the pub who was going through something similar. He would take me places like the supermarket as, at the time, I was then too afraid to go and he would tell me how he was feeling so that was the therapy that got me through as well as meeting my husband who was patient and kind.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it helps people know they are not alone.