Mental Health Friday #25

Mental Health Friday #25

IMG_5107.JPG

Today’s story was sent in by Ian, touching briefly about his experience in Psych ward and there after,

It’s been a looong time since I was in hospital, the last time. Since then, thanks to government cuts, they’ve closed the psych ward where I had become so regular, I think that I could have earned airmiles from it. That makes me feel weird thinking about that. Places where we were, parts of our lives that no one knows about.

Sometimes I jokingly talk about my time “on ward” in small, self-deprecating anecdotes.
‘I didn’t get to take a phone inside, in my day’ or ‘If I had said that on the ward, they would drug me up’.

No one gets the humour.

There are still some songs that I cannot listen to, even after all of these years. Not that I don’t love them – but because they come balled up with feelings that I know I might not be able to slow down once they start rolling.

Psychosis, Manic Depression, Major Depression, Borderline, Morbid Ideation – these are terms that sometimes crop up on the radio, and every time they talk about them, it makes me want to groan. The people they talk about are either axe-murderers of somehow brilliantly gifted celebrities. I am neither.

Madness did not give me special insights into the world, it did not make me violent, and it did not make me quirky-and-brilliant(TM). It just made me broken, and stuck.

I still take medication, sometimes – although none of it ever seems to work. I take it as a precaution rather than a cure. God don’t let me become like that again, I pray.

And after it all, after my twenties thrown away – literally in the loony bin – where am I now? Am I better? Healed? I’m still stumbling and wondering what happened.


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com

Mental Health Friday #13

Mental Health Friday #13

image

I just recently read an article on Jezebel titled “A Toast to All the Brave Kids Who Broke Up with Their Toxic Moms” which really hit home for me. I know this isn’t like my typical happy, upbeat posts; but it’s something I’ve dealt with since I can remember and I know I’m not alone.

I love my Mother to the end of this Earth, that will never change. But it’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. Growing up, my sisters and I have had to deal with what the article referred to as a “broken woman”. Many terrible things have happened to my Mother, which I won’t go into detail about. But the most impactful was the loss of my brother when he was 2 (in ’89). I hadn’t been born yet, in fact my mother hadn’t even met my Father yet (my two sisters and brother have a different Father). I’ve always wished I was alive to meet my brother, but at the same time I’m not sure how I would have handled his death. My Mom’s addiction developed shortly after.

In the late 90’s, she started attending a methadone clinic to attempt getting off the drugs she was abusing. If you’re not familiar with methadone, it’s a medication usually used to relieve severe pain. But it’s also used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in people who are addicted to opiates. Little did everyone know that this would be a new addiction in itself.

Obviously I was never told anything about this when I was younger, but I remember being able to notice some of the side effects of the methadone. The most noticeable being extreme drowsiness. I can remember around the ages of 7-10 I would go to her house every Friday to stay for the weekend. I’d be sitting with her at the kitchen table trying to tell her all the things I did in school that day and she’d be hunched over, passed out. I didn’t think too much of it as a child, I just thought “Oh, Mommy’s really tired”. However, I did think it was strange that she would start to fall asleep immediately after I would shake her and wake her up. It got progressively worse as I got older. When I was around 12, my grandfather passed away (my Mother’s Father). We all loved him very much, but my Mother especially. She fell into an even deeper depression after this and along with being extremely tired from the methadone, she never got out of bed, she was barely eating, and just didn’t take care of herself in general.

I have limited memories of actually doing things and spending quality time with her. Instead, I watched her wither away from being a beautiful, energetic woman to a lifeless shell of that woman. I was always so envious of other girls my age growing up who had good relationships with their Mothers. In my early teens, I sort of resented her for choosing a life of drugs over the possible relationships she could have had with her three girls. As an adult now, I just had to accept that she is so lost in her own depression and addiction, that she doesn’t even realize what she’s sacrificed. Those childhood years are something that we won’t get back, and neither will she. I don’t hate her, I don’t think I ever could. I’m just disappointed in a way.

Anyone who has a family member or friend who is an addict, I can relate. You want to help them so badly to create a better life for themselves. You want them to realize that drugs aren’t an acceptable coping mechanism for their problems, that there are other options. But like I said before, you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. They have to want it for themselves. You can’t sacrifice your own happiness and wear yourself down in hopes of “fixing” them. As painful as it is, you have to let it be if they are not willing to change. All you can do is create a better future for yourself. I know I have the power to be the Mother that mine wasn’t, for my own children in the future.

This week’s story was sent in by Amber who blogs at What Makes Me Amber.wordpress.com where she blogs about health, wellness, (yummy) recipes and Life in general.


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com . For more information, visit this post.

IMAGE CREDIT: HealthyPlace.com.

Mental Health Friday #11

Mental Health Friday #11

image

People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are often thought of as manipulative, self harming attention seekers. Their lives are a mess … they aren’t able to function like normal human beings. Nobody would ever give them a job …

But, in reality, we really aren’t like that.

I was diagnosed with BPD last year. On 4th July 2014 I received a copy of a letter sent to my GP.

“Amelia is a 20 year old university student who lives at home with her parents.

Diagnosis: Borderline Personality Disorder with mood instability, self harm, atypical eating disorder, low self esteem, dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, and feelings of emptiness. Her mood is dysthymic and varies frequently.”

A week later I received another letter discharging me from the care of the Mental Health Services. Apparently there was nothing they could do for me.

The bottom fell out of my world. How could a psychiatrist label my personality as disordered?! How could they ditch me a week later? I have spent the last year trying to understand this big, scary, stigmatised disorder.

BPD is completely different for everyone. There are nine symptoms, and to be diagnosed you must fit at least 5 … so there are lots and lots of different combinations! Every day I understand it a little more, and for me it is a disorder of extremes.

I completely love my diagnosis and completely hate it in equal measures. Half of my life is so dark that I can barely drag myself out of bed. The other half is bigger, brighter, and more beautiful than you can imagine.

I can flip between the two in a heartbeat. Everything is black or white. I love you or I hate you.

I self harm. I have attempted suicide. I dissociate. I panic. I am impulsive. I can get angry. I am terrified of being abandoned. I don’t really know who I am. I have periods of feeling nothing at all. Everything is very very intense.

But I am human.

Having BPD doesn’t stop me doing stuff that ‘normal’ people do. Most people who meet me would have no idea that I have ever seen a psychiatrist, let alone been stamped with a diagnosis.

Believe it or not, I have a job. And I am a manager! Last week I went to a fancy works-do, and although I was struggling on the inside, nobody pointed or laughed or realised that I was any different to anyone else. Next week I am meeting with the CEO of the business. Again, it will be hard for me, but I will get the job done just as well as anyone else. I can be the ultimate professional.

My GP was so shocked that I have a serious mental health condition and a full time job that she jumped up and declared that I must be cured! She was so over-joyed that she immediately cancelled all of my mental health referrals (the sight would have been quite amusing if I hadn’t been so furious!).

Having BPD does not make me weak, incapable, stupid, dangerous, or a liability.

So many medical professionals have seen my diagnosis and treated me like an injured puppy. A crazy injured puppy. They have looked at me with pity in their eyes.

I hate that. I am a human being. I am not crazy.

One of the most empowering and helpful things for me recently has been starting my blog. Suddenly a whole new world has been opened up to me. I am getting to chat to other people with BPD and am privileged enough to read their stories. I am able to speak out about my day-to -day issues in a community where I’m not being judged. Finally, I am beginning to understand that I’m not alone!

I desperately want the stigma that comes with BPD to be broken down. I want it to be accepted that people can have a serious mental illness, and really struggle with it, but that doesn’t make them any less of a person. We aren’t all crazy dangerous monsters.

Today’s contributor is Amelia who blogs at Borderlineamelia.wordpress.com . She blogs about surviving the diagnosis of Borderline personality disorder one day at a time.


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com . For more information, visit  this post.

IMAGE CREDIT: HealthyPlace.com.      

Mental Health Friday #24

Mental Health Friday #24

IMG_4107.JPG

I had a pretty good childhood until around the age of six, that was when I was raped for the first time. I was a kid, I didn’t tell anyone and I didn’t know how to handle the trauma. I turned to smoking at that young age. We had a security guard in the estate and he introduced me to it. The assault didn’t stop at the age of six and by the time I turned ten, I’d been raped two more times by different men. 

We moved from that area to a different state, but I was already hooked to smoking (I went on to smoke for about ten years); maybe it was a coping mechanism for me.
I was ten. I knew I was depressed and became suicidal as well. I tried to kill myself but didn’t go through with it; I guess, despite it all, a part of me wanted to live.

When I got into grade 10, I had a really bad time there, which forced me to look within myself. I realised, my life was a mess but I wanted to be better; I felt that I could do better. I overheard my parents talking about a colleague of theirs who was a psychiatrist, so, I stole his contacts and called him. We talked on the phone and he fixed an appointment for me. All of these, I did, without the knowledge of my parents.

I was diagnosed with depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He put me on medications but I never took them; Compliance to medication is not my strong suit.
Still, I kept on seeing him once every week. It was liberating, talking about everything without feeling like everything that happened was my fault, the rapes were my fault. I was fortunate to have a great psychiatrist.

My parents didn’t know I was seeing their colleague as my Psychiatrist, and so, one time, we met in public and my parents introduced me to him as their daughter. We exchanged greetings and he pretended he didn’t know me. I loved that he did.

I kept on seeing him secretly until I graduated from high school, I never went back after that. (I’ve been thinking a lot about going back now ). Although now, I can say that I learnt what I need to do for myself and how to take care of my mental health.

Still, I have so much anger bottled up inside about our attitude towards mental illness, molestation, child abuse and just things like these- I mean it is right there, happening before our eyes, but we just don’t see it. People think that if you are depressed or traumatised, there’s this somber image you fit into- but I wasn’t. I was the noisy bubbly child, the people pleaser and did not fit into “that image” at all. We are so self absorbed that we never pick up on the little things.

I find it brave of people who put a face to their mental illnesses and the trauma they’ve experienced.
So, this is it, my story. The journey of a child victim to an adult survivor and warrior.


This week’s Mental Health story is about someone who requested to remain anonymous and I respect that. Thank you very much for sharing the story of your bravery and for reminding us once again- Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault.

To everyone who showed up every friday to read these personal stories of our journey with mental, thank you very much for supporting this; with your stories and your emails and your likes and comments and shares. It is a blessing.

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’d love to have you. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com.

 

Mental Health Friday #19

Mental Health Friday #19

image

The cop came back into the living room where I was sitting, nursing my two and a half month old daughter. “The boy didn’t make it,” he said. “Ma’am, I need you to come with me.” I handed my baby girl over to her dad as I got up from the couch to obey the officer.

His words drifted through my foggy mind as I told myself, this is all just a bad nightmare— I will wake up soon. With no socks or shoes on my feet, I silently followed the officer out of my house not knowing that would be the last time I would ever exit that front door. Yet, I felt an unusual calm and peace enter my heart as I sensed that this was “my path” or “my destiny.”
Little did I realize my journey would lead me into years of torment and pain when the truth finally came crashing through my delusional head….
*****

I once had a previous life where I attended college full-time, studying business management. I held on tight to a 3.9gpa as I managed to make mostly straight A’s in my classes. I was officially divorced from the abusive “sperm-donor” of my happy little boy who seemed content without a man in the house. I smoked marijuana on a regular basis to help me with my terrible mood swings as well as to help me focus on my homework (which I started to find hard to concentrate on while sober).

Then a few years later, during my senior year of college, I became pregnant again with my daughter. I was excited and filled with joy at the opportunity to raise two children as a single parent. My daughter’s father was a good man that kids naturally seemed to flock to. My son adored him and in spite of our cultural differences, he accepted me and my son as family.

He helped me when he could; however, with his mother being in her late 70’s, he lived with her in an apartment across town to take care of her. As a result, we never officially “lived together” and this arrangement worked perfectly with my increasingly introverted self.

Then came the day that I started speaking in tongues (and no, I wasn’t at some radical church at the time). I was home alone with my two children. I also had an “internal interpreter” who could understand just what I was saying. I went to the bathroom to use the facilities and then I started to shout out a name. I heard my son saying “What?”
This happened about three times until my son opened the bathroom door and said, “What?” again.
“In the name of Jesus you shall flee!” I shouted at him from the toilet in English.
My son replied: “Goodbye.” Then he shut the bathroom door.

Once I got done in the bathroom, I went to check on my son. He was in his room holding a little ball. He told me,
“Mama, I tried to hit that boy with the ball, but he flew out the window.”
I knew then that a demon was trying to attack my son. Yet, I had a sense of knowing that this moth that was flying around in his room was actually that demon which transformed and it would be dead soon.

The very next morning, as I was nursing my daughter on the couch, my son came out of his room with the dead moth in his hand. So I “knew” the demon was gone… This initial experience along with my son’s statement and behavior started my trip into what most would call a very delusional and psychotic journey.
The command hallucinations held me like a puppet on strings for about a week doing various things to rid the demon from my son as I thought the voice in my head was God telling me what to do. For example, I started fasting and eating nothing, just drinking water. Read more

Mental Health Friday #23

Mental Health Friday #23

IMG_0215

I’ve always been quite an anxious child. When I was young, if my parents would tell me they would be back at 8 or whatever, at 8.02 I am already panicked that they’ve been in a car crash.

When I was in about year 9 my anxiety got a lot worse, I was in a toxic friend group which worsened it over time without me realising. At the start of year 10, things got bad. I was at a point where I would come home from school everyday crying. After a lot of crying, I numbed out which I was so happy about.

Roughly 6 months after the ordeal with my mates, I decided to go and see a counsellor. I’m not sure what prompted it, I just decided to. I was then diagnosed with depression and anxiety, although my counsellor didn’t really understand it as I was always so happy and laughing (which is just my default I guess. Everyone assumes because someone tells jokes and laughs that they are happy, but it can be quite the opposite). The fact that a lot of people didn’t believe I was suffering made it worse I think, it’s still something I suffer with.

I remember one of my mates told me once “I’m probably more depressed than you because you don’t cry”. A big myth about mental illness is that you’re in your room crying 24/7, but that’s far from the truth. Over the year (year 11, I think it was at this point), my depression kept getting worse and there were many nights where I contemplated suicide and even wrote notes on some nights. I am not sure why my depression was so bad, I had a great life. Another thing about mental illness- it can just happen, nothing bad needs to have happened.

I got put on anti depressants which helped me a lot. Then in September, I was raped (you can read my post on that to find out more) and because I was so numbed out on the anti depressants, it didn’t really affect me. In January when it did affect me and I told my counsellor, they told me ‘that explained everything’. But in my opinion, I was just depressed because of how my brain was working, not because of the rape. Read more

Mental Health Friday: #1

Mental Health Friday: #1

image

I was first diagnosed with Early Onset Bipolar Disorder when I was five years old. At that time, my mother did not accept the diagnosis and moved forward with no help. At the age of 23, after I had my first child, I was diagnosed again. I did not accept my diagnosis at that time. At the age of 31, I was once again diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, ADHD and PTSD. I accepted my diagnosis’ and went for treatment.

Through my life, there have been great losses and broken relationships due to the stigma of mental illness. It amazes me when I come to realize how destructive ignorance can be. I wish the people in my life had been educated at least enough to know that mental illness, like any physical illness, is not a choice. It is not a moral issue. It has absolutely nothing to do with values and integrity. Mental illness does not mean less than.

There is so much brilliance hidden in people who are disregarded because of a diagnosis. So much courage, fortitude, loyalty and love. The creativity is endless. Just like anyone else, we are leaders, followers, teachers, friends, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters. We are parents who love our children and children who love our parents. We are human beings.

What I would really like to see, is a way for people to appreciate the value of a person with a mental illness. Just like everyone else, we each have gifts to give the world. Great gifts and it seems such a waste to throw away such assets, based on ignorant assumptions. Over the past fifteen years, I have struggled to accept, understand and become compliant with my diagnosis. Bi-Polar to me is not a bad thing anymore. I know what it means in my life and those around me and I know what I have to do to manage it. Read more

Mental Health Friday #4

Mental Health Friday #4

 image

Have you ever felt like you were at the end of your rope? You just couldn’t take it anymore. You didn’t want to talk to anyone, be around anyone, and even form your brain to think about anyone. All you could think about was the extreme feelings of sadness you felt about yourself and your life. You experienced something that brought you down soooo low, you never thought you would be able to come out of it. Two years ago that was me. With the death of my mother and the ending of my long term relationship; those thoughts ran through my mind every day and night.

Heart racing. Shortness of breath. Tears beginning to well up in my eyes. Body feeling numb…every 3 to 4 hours the cycle happens all over again. I lay there trying to control myself, counting back and forth from 1-50… “1..2..3..4..5…….50…49..48..47..46”, praying that I will soon fall back asleep. Crying my eyes out sometimes because I can’t. When I finally wake up in the morning, the feelings I have are no better. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get up. This little voice in my head keeps telling me, “It’s not worth it. You’re just. Not. Worth. It.”

The moment when I realized that I believed that “little voice in my head”, is when I knew something was wrong with me. It wasn’t until one horrible day that I was forced to do something about it. The devil saw fit to ease his way in my thoughts and it went downhill from there. As I walked down Alcoa Road one Friday evening, I began to have thoughts that I’ve never had before. I was tired. Tired of crying, tired of hurting, tired of feeling alone. I started really thinking about the most painless way to end this all. Again, I. Was. Tired. My life was no longer important to me and I began to speak so much negativity over myself while devising a plan in my head. In the middle of all of that, I recieved a phone call from one of my sorority sisters. After ignoring the phone call 3 times I finally answered.

“Hello”
“Hey Bridge. What’s going on? Are you ok? I was just calling to check on you.”
“Yes, I’m fine”
“Bridge, you don’t sound fine. Are you ok?”
*hangs up phone*

I turned my phone off and cried my heart out for 15 minutes. Thoughts still pounding at my soul. Called her back and told her, “No. No, I’m not ok.” I ended up telling her everything that happened. All of the thoughts that were running through my head and how I felt inside. She told me to go to the doctor, but I refused. I worked at a psychiatric hospital and no one was about to call me crazy. I wasn’t having it. But after all of her begging and pleading I made an appointment and went to see the therapist and psychiatrist the next day. Read more

Mental Health Friday #21

Mental Health Friday #21

image

I never thought I needed help, even during my darkest moments. To me, it was no one else’s business and I could take care of myself as I saw fit. The problem is, when you’re cutting up your body and someone finds out, it soon becomes everyone’s business.

I started feeling depressed and harming myself when I was 10 years old (I’m 22 now) and although I didn’t have any real identification for what I was feeling, I knew it wasn’t something that everyone dealt with. I kept it a secret until I got to high school but as my stress levels rose, so did the frequency of my cutting. It was both a freeing and a damning sensation but I couldn’t get enough of it. I had my reasons, depending on the day. Sometimes it was because I felt completely numb and other times I felt that I needed to be punished for some trivial matter which really wasn’t my fault at all. It was a release of all my anger, frustration, and pain. It gave me something tangible to focus on and to be involved with.

Eventually a friend that I trusted pressured me into admitting what was going on but I figured life would continue on as normal, at least my version of it, and it did… Until the day I got called into the counseling office. I knew immediately what had happened and my worst fear had been confirmed. The school knew about my cutting and called my parents. From that day on it became an even more difficult battle with my depression. My parents didn’t understand, my friends didn’t really understand, and eventually it became too much and I gave into the blackness inside my soul. That’s how I ended up in the hospital the first time.

Once I got out about a week later, it seemed that everyone in school had some sort of theory and the bullying I had previously experienced soon doubled based upon the idea that I was the “crazy” girl. My cutting got even worse, to the point where I tried hurting myself underneath the cafeteria table at lunch time. How desperate… How addicted do you have to be for that? I was in a dangerous place and soon enough, I was admitted to the hospital again for 2 weeks this time. Luckily, I had some friends who stuck by me and that’s what kept me sane and safe once I got back to school where the bullying tripled.

High school was extremely hard for me and I constantly felt as though I was at the bottom of a deep black hole that just kept slowly crumbling down around me, bringing me further and further into darkness. Once I got into college, things improved for a little but I soon stopped going to classes and couldn’t bring myself to care that I was failing. After multiple panic attacks and one really bad cut, I knew I needed to move back home andwork harder on my wellbeing. The feeling of utter hopelessness is something that cannot even be described. I was lucky to have found a therapist I adored and was put into group therapy with two leaders I absolutely loved. My parents took the time to learn more about my conditions and began to understand me more and work with me in more helpful ways.

Recovery hasn’t been easy. It took years for me to have more good days than bad, and I even managed to quit cutting for 2 and ½ years (I did mess up once a couple months ago during a horrible fight with my boyfriend but no one is perfect). It is a battle still. I won’t say that everything is peachy all the time, but I know now that things can be okay and that they can get better. I try to look at the little things because they are always there, you just need to find them. The darkness still hovers around me sometimes and I know that I may fight this for the rest of my life, but I know the good outweighs the bad, now. If I had ended my life when I tried to those times, there is so much I never would have experienced and I always remind myself of that. You can do it too. If I can and many others can make it through, then I know you can too. There is always a reason and there is always hope. You just need to find it.
With hope and love,
Clare


This week’s story was submitted by Clare of DestroyedRazors.com. She was diagnosed with Major Depression, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder while simultaneously fighting an addiction to self-harm. As her tag line says, Her blog is For fighters, survivors, addicts, loners, the hopeless, the hopeful and all those in between.

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’d love to have you. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com. Facebook page: Words of a random. Image credit: HealthyPlace.com

Mental Health Friday #15

Mental Health Friday #15

image

When the psychiatrist first told me I had paranoid schizophrenia, she started it off with, “I have some bad news.” I have heard my diagnosis described as, “Every parent’s worst nightmare” and many other almost fatalistic phrases.

How are you supposed to feel about yourself when people describe something that is so much a part of you as awful, terrible, tragic, or sad? Living with paranoid schizophrenia is not for the weak, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world either. Those of us with a mental illness know that suicide is the worst thing, because in the case of suicide everyone loses and the illness is the victor. Suicide should be every parent’s worst nightmare, not schizophrenia.

Unlike suicide, there is hope with schizophrenia. I have symptoms every day, but I live a good life. I worked most of my adult life as a social worker, a library assistant, and a marketing director. I am happily married to the love of my life, and I am currently enrolled in a certificate program for writing at UCLA. I am an aunt to some wonderful young women and men. I am a sister to all five of my brothers. I am an only daughter to my parents, and I am a niece, cousin, and friend to many people. Does that sound like “a parent’s worst nightmare?” No, it doesn’t and it isn’t.

Read more