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M

Morrigan

New member
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Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
2
Hi,

I am new and hope to find some support here, or just know that I'm not alone. Because believing that no one else understands what you feel and why makes it so much harder.

I am married and have 5 children. I have suffered from mental health problems all my life (I realise now, though I did not for many years understand why I was different). Starting with a claustrophobic upbringing where I was not allowed to have friends or do anything at all without my father's permission, I was never allowed out after school. This created major problems when I was forced to begin social contact after my father died when I was 17 and I left school shortly after. I could never handle talking to people and felt extremely stupid and worthless because I did not understand how to relate to people or how the world worked outside of home.

Now I'm 35, after living a very isolated and depressed life in a remote part of Scotland for 10 years, we chose to move further South (still in Scotland). I was then determined to turn my life around. I had not worked for 10 years (I had only stuggled through 2 jobs for about a year before that) and could not get a job any more (I was again looking for work as our youngest child was about to start school) because I had no up to date skills or enough experience in any previous job.

I therefore decided to make the huge leap of returning to college. Last year I was at a college fairly nearby, my husband drove me to and from there (I have never learned to drive) and after desperately struggling through more panic attacks anxiety and depression for the first three months, I even started to make some friends. The panic attacks have been the most difficult to deal with, no one else understands the terror that you feel. I can be doing anything, even sitting reading, when my chest tightens and my heart thumps. I eventually completed that year, with the best work in the class (I was on an art portfolio preparation course, the only thing I have ever been able to do well is draw) and four offers of placements on either HND or Degree courses to continue my studies.

I accepted an offer on a HND course in Glasgow and began last August. I am still stuggling through it. I find it extremely stressful having to travel the 15 miles to college and feel terrified when I get there. Though for the life of me I have tried to reason with myself, I am still having panic attacks when I go or sometimes on the way home. I cannot understand why I was so afraid to go but now I know that every day that I travel, I am frightened of having panic attacks or palpitations and of course this makes it happen. So I am now at the point where I am missing many days of college because I am afraid to leave the house to travel.

So far I have been handing in all the work expected of me as well as coming home to 5 children and a worried husband. I want to finish this course, what can I do, please can anyone advise me? I haven't spoken to anyone at college about this as I am worried about what they will say. Does anyone else have a similar problem?

Morrigan
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Morrigan - give yourself credit for what you are doing. You've had a difficult childhood (which you survived) and raised 5 children and you are doing something good for yourself in spite of panic attacks. I respect and admire your tenacity and courage. Learn some breathing exercises to help control the panic when it happens. I sit quietly if I can and concentrate on the smallest sensation of the breath as it goes up my nose and hits the back of my throat. I then concentrate on the sensation of the breath as it leaves my mouth, noting temperature and the way it makes my nose and mouth feel. A couple of minutes of that sort of intense concentration and I soon feel more able to cope. You are so welcome here - come back soon! :welcome:
 
Fedup

Fedup

Well-known member
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Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
1,937
Hello and :welcome:

Welldone you on coming as far as you have :clap:
You say you have made some friend's ............. could you maybe travel with them so you have company and some distraction ?!
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
1,149
Location
W2
Morrigan, you've done fantastic!!!!!!!! It's not the same, but I also suffered from anxiety after long periods in hospital, it's a long old road to feel comfortable in social environments, and even then the worries can race around your head, even tho no body else might notice. I've just finished 5 years of study. I did a prep course for a year, except mine was a diploma in Social Anthropology, then went on to do four years (in my fourth atm) following a BSc in Anthropology. There were times when I was sure I wouldn't complete, but as my college knew from day 1 about my condition they were very understanding. The days I felt i couldn't face college I emailed the tutors and made sure I kept up to date with work and reading; in your case I'm sure you'd be able to do your artwork at home during hard periods. There should be a disability advisor at your college. Have you claimed DSA (Disable Student's allowance)? You should as the college will be advised what sort of adjustments they can make to enable your time to pass easier. There is no doubt that your college will be understanding, they want to see you succeed. There is no doubt in my mind you should get your college up to speed on your condition, and then you need to plod along getting your work done in time for deadlines, taking each year at a time, and onward toward graduation.

I can assure you that doing the course, having the safe space of the college and the friends you will meet will help bring you out of yourself, whether it be on the canvas or in a corner of the canteen with colleagues (y)
 
M

Morrigan

New member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
2
thank you for your replies

Thank you for all your replies. I have no-one to travel with as the few friends I did make were at the college I attended last year, not the college I am at now.

I was unaware of disable student's allowance. How do I prove to the college that I have a problem? I will speak to them and let them know what is wrong, I just hope they do see it as a serious problem and not as an excuse for not bothering to turn up (though I have handed in all my work on time, it's not as if I'm not making the effort).

Sometimes I get very upset and angry with myself for being unable to cope with everyday situations, when others are able to do so much.

Morrigan
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Don't get angry with yourself for being unable to cope and remember that you are doing a whole lot better than the other people because you are achieving things in spite of your problems - how good would the others be with your courage and sticking power? Don't measure yourself against them, it's not and even measurement. Be proud of what you do - I'm proud of what I do and I know the people I get to work alongside are proud of me too. :tea:
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
1,149
Location
W2
Here is a link with details; I even this you may be able to apply online...

Disabled Students' Allowances

...I had to go to a centre for an assessment, which then informed my local borough.
 
D

Dollit

Guest
I've just spotted a typo on my last post - it should read "without your courage"

Sorry!
 
ralph1

ralph1

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
109
Location
plymouth,Devon
Hi,

I am new and hope to find some support here, or just know that I'm not alone. Because believing that no one else understands what you feel and why makes it so much harder.

I am married and have 5 children. I have suffered from mental health problems all my life (I realise now, though I did not for many years understand why I was different). Starting with a claustrophobic upbringing where I was not allowed to have friends or do anything at all without my father's permission, I was never allowed out after school. This created major problems when I was forced to begin social contact after my father died when I was 17 and I left school shortly after. I could never handle talking to people and felt extremely stupid and worthless because I did not understand how to relate to people or how the world worked outside of home.

Now I'm 35, after living a very isolated and depressed life in a remote part of Scotland for 10 years, we chose to move further South (still in Scotland). I was then determined to turn my life around. I had not worked for 10 years (I had only stuggled through 2 jobs for about a year before that) and could not get a job any more (I was again looking for work as our youngest child was about to start school) because I had no up to date skills or enough experience in any previous job.

I therefore decided to make the huge leap of returning to college. Last year I was at a college fairly nearby, my husband drove me to and from there (I have never learned to drive) and after desperately struggling through more panic attacks anxiety and depression for the first three months, I even started to make some friends. The panic attacks have been the most difficult to deal with, no one else understands the terror that you feel. I can be doing anything, even sitting reading, when my chest tightens and my heart thumps. I eventually completed that year, with the best work in the class (I was on an art portfolio preparation course, the only thing I have ever been able to do well is draw) and four offers of placements on either HND or Degree courses to continue my studies.

I accepted an offer on a HND course in Glasgow and began last August. I am still stuggling through it. I find it extremely stressful having to travel the 15 miles to college and feel terrified when I get there. Though for the life of me I have tried to reason with myself, I am still having panic attacks when I go or sometimes on the way home. I cannot understand why I was so afraid to go but now I know that every day that I travel, I am frightened of having panic attacks or palpitations and of course this makes it happen. So I am now at the point where I am missing many days of college because I am afraid to leave the house to travel.

So far I have been handing in all the work expected of me as well as coming home to 5 children and a worried husband. I want to finish this course, what can I do, please can anyone advise me? I haven't spoken to anyone at college about this as I am worried about what they will say. Does anyone else have a similar problem?

Morrigan

Hi Morrigan
You have not said whether you are under the care or treatment of the MH services, if so they will be able to state your disability claim. :hug:

If your not then you shold be talking with someone about your past lifes experiences, they are obvously having an impact on your life :welcome:
 
sandybob

sandybob

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Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
558
Location
south east london
hi morrigan ..

I suffer from panic attacks less now than i did , but thats cos i've taking the easy option and mostly avoided "scarey" situations..

so well done to you for getting so far. :flowers:

i understand the "panicking about panicking" thing ..

i have to break my scarey journeys down into smaller chunks ...
'ok, i'm just gonna walk to the end of the path '

' i'll just get down to the traffic lights'

'i might as well cross the road while im here'

'well the train station is just there, i'll go and wait on the platform for a bit'

'theres a train due soon, i'll wait for a while'

generally , before i know it i'm on the train and on the journey :)
 
Erme

Erme

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
60
Location
On me spaceship
Even if you can't get the DSA make use of the other college services. I'm at Abdn Uni doing an Access Course and my course coordinator knows ALL about my disability and she's fab. I have counselling once a week (free from Uni) and my counsellor will email me outwith these times. (like she emailed me over the holidays and like when I was struggling with sibling issues and she was fab and I managed to let go of my stupid sibling (y) - partially via her email support and the email support of an ex support worker) and also they have anxiety worksheets @ counselling that I've only partially worked through. :). But they look good. I can maybe upload them sometime or scan them and email them to you if you'd like? I don't know. I don't think they're copyrighted. I would have to check.

Also the receptionist is WONDERFUL. My age and like every so often makes home bakes. Everyone needs cake on prescription! (well a lot of us do).

I have tried making friends more this year than last. But it really does depend on your class mates. Last year I had hardly any friends. (like about 1). This year I have more. Go to social stuff you don't have to committ to regularly. So what? This year I got banned from the Uni Tory party for getting manic on lemonade @ their meetings. But I go to the Fair Trade Cafe on Wednesday cos it's a light cheap lunch pre class and I really enjoy that - even if I'm not a vegan hippy ;). And I've made some friends there. I also have a friend from last term's class who has her probs but is wonderful. And we often meet for coffee and things after class. She understands because she also lives on her own.

And I didn't tell you about the young chap last term who decided one day on our break to tell us about his 'novel' self harm, whereby he was experimenting with self tattooing and tattooed his manhood purple and then put the letters MI (missippi apparently) on there as well. I chose not to tell my psych that one LOL. But I thought - hey the guy's nuts - I was so embarrassed when he told me that.

Sorry to ramble.

I take omega 3 fish oil every day to help with concentration (it's not expensive. Try Zipvit or simply supplments online or get it when it's on offer @ holland and barratt) and that also helps my skin (have cracking skin for a 30 a day smoker - all to the fish oil) and I also have breaks when I need them in class and exam provision which really helps. Nowt worse than having a panic in class and not being able to get out for 10 mins. You can get that from college you know.

You know what....this course may take you ages but you CAN do it. i believe in you. But get the support your need from college and we're here for you.

:grouphug:
 
T

The crazy Yorkshireman!!

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Founding Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
10
Location
Retford
Welcom Morrigan

:welcome:Morrigan

Give yourself a big pat on the back for having the courage to attend college AND suceed in what you're doing.

You are not alone. We are here!! Chat all you want and even do what I do.......ramble on........LOL!!

Nobody said that the course would be easy but many don't appreciate how much more difficult it is for people like us. Unless you suffer with it I believe that even the most knowledgeable mental health worker does not fully appreciate the difficulties. I tire of the number of people who think they understand my problems when clearly they don't.

Crack on and achieve what you set out to achieve.
 
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