After sharing my health sorry so far and while I am awaiting diagnosis I am very honoured to be hosting blog posts from other bloggers about heath conditions they or their loved ones face everyday
Today on my Health Story Series is the lovely Natalie who writes over on her blog The Waitress, The Chef & Our Brood.
You can also find Natalie here:
Living With Mental Health Issues
If I really think back then I guess my mental health problems started when I was about 15. I didn’t have the easiest of upbringings and I think it maybe contributed to it all.
I started to not be in control of my thoughts or feelings, but as a teenage girl I never really paid attention to any of it and assumed every other girl was going through it.
I got to 17 and that is when it all hit me and I went into self destruct mode, I started drinking, going out all weekend etc. I eventually met my eldest daughters dad and settled down for a while and my thoughts were never a problem, until I turned 21 and had my daughter. I was diagnosed with PND. This was the first time that I had ever spoken to a doctor about how I felt and I hated it. I felt like I was failing as a mum, that I was so lucky to have my daughter, however instead I was breaking down in tears at the smallest of things and not wanting to do anything. Eventually with the help of tablets and my small support network from my family I got over it.
Fast forward a year later and I had left my eldest daughters dad and started a new relationship. It wasn’t easy on the beginning and I ended up being frog marched to the doctor by my new partners step mum, because I had completely broken and becoming a huge mess. My doctor put me back on antidepressants and referred me for counselling.
This has been the cycle now for the past 7 years. I take my tablets and then come off of them for a few months while things are good and then I crumble again.
When I first realised the severity of my depression I was so embarrassed to talk about it, after all I had a family, a home, a daughter, friends etc. There were people a lot worse off than me and they were doing perfectly fine. How could it be that I needed tablets to help me cope with life.
I felt awful as a person, I was in a constant battle with myself. It really was like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. One would tell me I was a terrible mother for not wanting to do things with my children, for snapping at my husband, for not speaking to friends and family for days on end. The angel would be telling me that I had the ability to get through it all and that I wasn’t a bad person, that I was poorly and had to take one day at a time, that it didn’t matter if I needed to take tablets to help me cope.
Once I realised that I wasn’t this bad person I had made myself feel like, if I needed tablets then so be it. I began being open about my depression and talking freely about how I was feeling. My closet friends and family started to understand me better and learnt the signs of when maybe it was time to get my backside back to the doctors.
I’m not afraid to admit now that at my worst I wouldn’t get dressed or have a bath for days. I would sit in my pyjamas and just stare into space. I really didn’t have any thoughts or feelings, I was completely numb. I shut myself away from everybody, even my husband. Anybody who was my support network were pushed further away, when in actual fact I should have been keeping them close.
I talk so much now about my mental health, whether that be on my blog, social media or just to my friends in general. I still don’t think it’s a subject that is talked enough about. Many people are still really wary when somebody mentions mental health. When I talk to people about me they seem really shocked that I suffer. I try to explain that it’s an imbalance of chemicals and that I just need the tablets to make the levels right again, you can see that they are just agreeing and tell me they understand when they clearly don’t.
I wish more people would come forward and talk about mental health issues so that it doesn’t stay a subject that people have a little understanding of. Just think about the amount of people who you walk past each day, I bet you all the tea in China that a good 70% of them will have suffered with some form of mental health issues of some sort.
I know of 4 people just off the top of my head who suffer, yet to talk to them you wouldn’t have a clue.
Thank you so much Natalie for being so open and honest about what living with mental health issues means for you.
Why not pop over and see what else Natalie is writing about over on her blog The Waitress, The Chef & Our Brood.