Wednesday, 9 February 2011

It Gets Better...

I just want to let you know that I wrote this a while ago when in a very low mood – I’m ok now, and I don’t want you to worry. I’m blogging it for all the people I know who have mental health problems.

“I was diagnosed (incorrectly) eight years ago with depression. I was at University, I was struggling. I was put onto anti-depressants, on a threat of hospitalisation and I started to feel better. Amazing in fact. I dropped 2 stone and started smiling again. But soon enough I was back to my lowest feeling suicidal and very depressed. This depressive period lasted a long while, around 8-9 months during which time my body failed me and I was hospitalised with a hernia.

Fast forward to 2006 and I started working for my Local Authority.

From the start I was bullied incessantly. My depression got worse and it affected my work. I was called “unenthusiastic” by a team leader who couldn’t understand why I spent all day yawning (after 3 straight night’s of little or no sleep). I was micro-managed, subjected to weekly reviews with a panel of managers who kept a tally on every behaviour I displayed. I thought I wasn’t cut out for the politics of working in an office. Had I been feeling better, I might have complained, or raised a grievance, but as it was, I did nothing. Returning to my psychiatrist who asked me to fill in a mood chart, I was finally diagnosed correctly.

Bipolar Disorder

My thoughts were scattered and my mood swings unbearable. I was put on medication, which I willingly took and I started to feel more positive and happy.

I finally had the confidence to seek therapy, leave my job and start a teacher training degree which I passed. Although I had a few bumps along the way, I managed to get through it thanks to very supportive tutors and mentors… But that’s what they do isn’t it? They are there to be supportive, that’s why they’re teachers – I’m the same.

After I completed my degree, I couldn’t find a job, and I needed cash fast, so I applied for a job at Reed and was placed in a fantastic position in a company who shall remain nameless. As soon as I started work I disclosed my condition. It seemed foolish not to, besides I still had a few weeks of therapy left. I worked hard, came off my medication under the guidance of my doctors and started enjoying life.

But that little spectre never goes away does it? Look at Stephen Fry – He appears stable, he is witty and clever. But in 1995 he essentially quit his job after one day during a Bipolar Episode (actually he left the theatre and didn’t return for four days).”

The paranoia is the worst. I worry about meetings that go on between team leaders which have nothing to do with me. I’m no longer medicated and I’ve started to notice my triggers, but when I see a movie set on a psychiatric ward, or read “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, when I read Stephen Fry’s hyper tweets or watch him being rapid an interesting on QI I’m reminded that "there but by the grace of God go I."

So to all my Bipolar friends, all my Depressed friends, all my Borderline Personality Disorder friends… We face more challenges than we’d care to disclose – but remember, we need to be there for each other – don’t let it get the best of you and don’t let those dark thoughts stop you seeing the light.

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