A few years back I was diagnosed with Cyclothymia and OCD. Before then I had been suffering since a teenager with depression.
Until my diagnosis by a psychiatrist, I did not have a clue how to manage my mental health. Despite having counselling, training in coping mechanisms, medication and reading so many self help books I felt I was only helping the writers by feeding their habit of writing self help books (I’m sure its an addiction that needs recognising. “get help”, self help writers).
Everyday I would wake up with a random personality. I felt I was living the life of the Mr Men in human form. “Today I’m Mr Paranoid and everything you say I will look into it way to much”. And the next day “I’m Mr Lonely with the world against me”. And the next day “I’m Mr Hyperactive. Can’t talk, must go shopping, then clean the house, then go cycling, then onto more cleaning”. Today “I’m Mr Grumpy. The world outside is far to people like”.
But even with all these different feelings one was the worst, Mr Bothered. I would wake up after 10 hours sleep and it wasn’t enough. My muscles are weak, my head feels cloudy and thoughts are racing around my head.
It wasn’t until 2013 that a few TV shows brought attention to a disorder called bipolar. As you do in the modern age of technology, instead of watching TV and enjoying the show you must also look up the cast and search for any random things you haven’t heard of while losing the story line. The symptoms of bipolar seemed quite similar to what I experience but mine were not quite as extreme.
Another year passed before I finally went to my GP to discuss my problems. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and set me on a journey to find out who the hell I was? Is my personality mostly the illness? Am I me or just a series of symptoms? What if I’m medicated and I don’t like who I become? Who is “the man in the mirror”? And should he change his ways?
I didn’t realise that admitting I may have other issues, not just depression, would be the start of a long road to becoming a new me, one that had to live with these mental health problems for the rest of my life. I realised this will impact my work, relationships, hopes and dreams.
This blog will let you join me on my journey of crazy thoughts, mad moments and at times… despair. I hope by sharing my mind with you, you will be able to better understand mental health even if you do not suffer from depression, bipolar or any of the other lovely quirks of the human brain!