Monthly Archives: April 2019

My Suicide Experience

This is a personal piece. Please be aware some content may be triggering. This post will mention suicide but no methods will be shared.

14 years ago today I tried to end my life for the first time. I was 15. I had already been showing signs of mental illness for a couple of years as I had begun self harming. This had been picked up by my head of year at school but nothing had been followed up and I had no support. My parents were not aware of any issues and would remain unaware for a further 5 years.

My first suicide attempt came about as a result of many different things that were happening at the time as well as my past. Everything was overwhelming and suicide felt like my only way out. The final straw came when someone I was at school with told me “why don’t you just kill yourself?”. It cemented my decision.

I was home alone when I tried to end my life. I felt isolated from everyone in my life and I couldn’t see a way of coping. I didn’t know that I was ill. Mental illness was nothing I had heard about before. It was definitely something that wasn’t talked about at school or at home. Also the safeguarding of children surrounding mental illness didn’t seem to be in place as at school when they had become aware of my difficulties with self harm nothing was reported. Could this of stopped my suicide attempt? Maybe.

Since my first attempt to take my own life, I have attempted to end my life many more times, but this first time stays with me more than others. It felt like the start of something that still plaques me until this day. On the anniversary of this day I have made further attempts to end my life. I have felt the dread around this date. It hits me every year. The consequences of my first attempt are far reaching.

If you are feeling suicidal then I know it is difficult to ask for help and I know it is not always forthcoming, even when you ask for it. But things have changed since my first attempt. There is more awareness and acceptance of mental health and mental illness. It is more acceptable to ask for help and discuss when you’re having problems. It’s not perfect but please know that you do not need to suffer alone. The Samaritans are available at all hours, every day in the UK and Ireland. If you are from another country then please look at the crisis contacts in the drop down menu at the top.

If you are concerned about someone who you think is suicidal please reach out to them. Let them know you are there and will support them. Also don’t be afraid to ask if they are suicidal. Asking the question will not put the idea in there head but may save a life.

An Open Letter To Instagram

Dear Instagram

I have recently been made aware that you are hiding the recent posts with mental health hashtags. I feel this is totally unacceptable on many levels.

I understand that you have done this in the name of safety, but in actual fact you are making things a lot less safe for those with these conditions. Social media by its nature is made to connect people and by eliminating these hashtags you are removing people’s ability to connect with others who have the same condition or who are going through the same thing. This creates a feeling that people are alone in their struggles and can’t see how other people deal with the condition. This could lead to more feelings of suicide and self harm as they try to cope alone.

Another issue I have with you removing these hashtags is that you are eliminating the chance of people sharing positivity among the mental health community. Many people who use these hashtags share uplifting quotes, ways they cope and general support and awareness. By stopping this you are leaving people with the negativity of the illnesses they endure.

Furthermore on researching this I found that it was still possible to use hashtags for physical illnesses. This shows blatant stigma towards those of us with a mental illness. Yes, mental illness sees people who have a symptom of suicidal ideation, but this can also be caused by people experiencing a physical illness. Mental health is important and equal to physical health.

If you want a truly safe community then your aim should be to moderate posts better rather than a blanket bam on mental health hashtags. Yes there may be individual posts that are damaging to those in a vulnerable state but your aim should be to target these posts and leave the useful and positive posts attached to the hashtag. This could help those who are unwell.

I hope you take this on board. You can contact me via the comments or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Picture from Pinterest

Unhelpful Things That Have Been Said To Me

This is a personal piece. Please be aware that some content may be triggering.

I’m currently in a state of crisis. I’ve been struggling with self harm and suicidal thoughts. I’ve been quite open about this on social media and had lots of supportive messages but there have also been some extremely unhelpful comments too. Here are a few.

“Everyone feels like this some days, it will be better tomorrow” – A well meaning comment I know but for those who have a chronic mental illness it feels like you are downplaying what we are feeling and going through. Often tomorrow won’t be a better day. In fact it could be ten times worse. This makes us feel like we are doing something wrong to still be in this pit of despair. Also not everyone goes through what we are going through. A lot of people will experience similar things but what each person feels is unique to them. While there may be some comfort in knowing we are not alone, pretending everyone has experienced it just makes us feel like we are not coping as well as others do.

“I’ve heard camomile tea is calming” – This was said to me by someone with a mental illness and again I know they meant well. The problem is camomile tea is not going to solve suicidal thoughts. My mental illness is much more complicated than that. If it was as simple as that I wouldn’t repeatedly fall into crisis.

“Have faith in God” – I have nothing against anyone who believes in God or follows a religion. That is great for you and if it helps you to feel better than I am pleased for you. However please don’t try to make me believe in God or have a faith. There may be a number of reasons someone doesn’t have a faith and even if they do it can not always help them when dealing with a mental illness. It is not a crisis of faith that causes mental illness.

“There’s plenty to do that could take your mind off things” – I know that keeping busy can be useful to distract from the distressing thoughts but I had been doing hours of distraction and keeping busy when this was said to me. I felt like I couldn’t do anymore and even when I was busy the thoughts were still there. Also sometimes it is not possible to just keep going. Having a mental illness can be so exhausting in itself that doing something else is just impossible. Distraction also only works for so long. Eventually your thoughts will catch up with you if you don’t deal with them.

Those are just what have been said to me this time round in crisis. There have been many more that I have experienced over the course of having had a mental illness.

If you have had some unhelpful things said to you and feel you would like to share, feel free to use the comments or Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Picture from Pinterest

Angry Again

This is a personal piece. Please be aware some content may be triggering.

I’m angry. I can feel it pulsating below the surface. I want to explode. I want to hit out and destroy the world around me. I want to hurt everyone. I want to destroy myself.

I hate how anger makes me feel but it seems to take over my head. I push it down and down until I can hold it down no more. I feel it throughout my body. In my chest, my throat, my arms, everywhere.

Normally I turn the anger inwards. I self harm because it feels safer than releasing my anger into the world. It seems too dangerous. I don’t feel I can control it.

I have seen anger since I was small. To me it was always something dangerous because it caused people to hit out. It led to hurt and pain. It scared me. It made me decide I would never show my anger. I didn’t want to be like people around me. I didn’t want to hurt others.

Now I feel anger and the fear it causes as it wells up in me is overwhelming. Sometimes it escapes. Sometimes I don’t care because the anger is all encompassing and I can’t deal with it anymore. Then I lash out. I hate myself for doing that. I hate the person it makes me. I hate feeling out of control.

This are just some of my thoughts from when I was angry. I struggle to find ways to deal with my anger. To share your thoughts around this subject feel free to use the comments or Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Picture from Pinterest

Why A BPD Diagnosis Can Be Helpful

Recently I have seen a lot of people rubbishing the BPD diagnosis and saying that it would be better if people were not given the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD or EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder)). I can see why this has been said because of the amount of stigma surrounding the diagnosis but for me I can see value still in the diagnosis of BPD.

Having a diagnosis of BPD is not easy and for me it took a long time to accept it. I was very anti the diagnosis to begin with and so I have seen this from both points of view. I hated it to begin with. I seriously thought the diagnosis was the end of the world. But now I can see some advantages to have the diagnosis written down.

One of the main advantages of having a diagnosis is that it opens doors to treatment and ways to make things easier. There is therapy that can help deal with the specific symptoms of BPD. It helps us to work on the areas where we most struggle.

Another advantage of the diagnosis is that it gives an explanation to our behaviour. It’s not an excuse, but it does help people understand why we may be acting the way we are. This is also useful to ourselves. We may wonder why we are struggling so much in a particular area and having a diagnosis can help us identify why.

Also an advantage of having a BPD diagnosis is that we can reach out to others who are living with the condition. It can make us feel understood and less of an outsider if we have others around us who are going through similar things. We can only find others if we know what we are looking for. Diagnosis gives us that.

A further advantage of a BPD diagnosis is that it can help us identify our strengths as well as our downfalls. It can make us see the good in ourselves if the positives are explained to us. There are many things that we excel at because of our diagnosis.

These are my ideas for why I’m not necessarily pleased I have the diagnosis but why I think it’s useful. If you have any ideas why you believe your diagnosis, particularly a BPD diagnosis, is useful feel free to share in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Picture from Pinterest originally used by The Mighty