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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

My Story so far

M

Mad Chick

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Messages
27
Location
guildford, surrey
Hi
I'm Mad Chick. My depression all started when I had my daughter 23 years ago, although I was pretty depressed when my father died when I was 14.
I suffered with post-natal depression after she was born. I was put on Amitryptaline and sent home to get on with it. The only way I coped was to lose vast amounts of weight-14stone down to 9 stone in 6 months- because I didn't have control of anything else!!!
When my son was born two and three quarter years later I had v v bad PND again and when he was 4 weeks old I lost the plot completely and was put on more anti-depressants. These just made me feel so so sleepy that it was dangerous for me to drive etc. NO counselling was offered at this stage, just go home and get on with your baby.
By the time my son was 3 things were so bad I was admitted on to an acute unit, and spent the next year and a half there. My longest period on the ward with just weekends at home was 6 months.
During that time I had every drug under the sun to try and make me better, very little helped. In the end I also had 3 lots of 6 ECT treatments. They were terrifying, but strangely enough they may have helped although I have no idea how or why and they are pretty awful even in this day and age.
I tried to take my life while in hospital and failed, but only because my husband found me where I had hidden in a local park and got me to hospital in time.
My life was a total ruin and yet I had 2 beautiful little children at home waiting for their Mummy to come home.
In the end I came home-I was given a choice, either go home, however awful you feel or go onto a long-stay ward and stay there indeffinatly.
I came home and attended a day treatment center. At first I was at the center every day, and I couldnt drive cos of the meds, but gradually I dropped to 3 times a week and then once.
It took a long long time to get where I am now. No quick fixes, No magic wands, just hard work, exercise, meds(up till a few months ago-I'm now off all meds) and love from my family, and belief in myself. I had no self esteem after being so ill.
The drugs all made me gain vast amounts of weight and when I left the acute unit in 1992 I was 17 stone!!! I have managed to lose weight but with NO HELP FROM THE NHS AT ALL!!! No one was interested in giving me any help with weight loss from that day to this and its been all down to me that I've lost weight.
I now hold down a job, look after my family, help my husband farm and live an ok life, but its like being an alcoholic, are you ever better? truly better? I dont know. But I can hope.:)
 
S

saltybabel

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
4
It sounds like you have come a long way on your journey to be in the headspace you are currently in. Not easy - its strange because M/H services are now using the word "recovery" everywhere. But most of the services still dont get "it" right - after reading your post, i was reminded of something Helen Glover or Pat Deegan wrote - it was about how for most people, the journey of recovery happens despite the services and what they provide, rather than because of the services (and the damage they do).
For you, it seems, recovery includes hope. Pat Deegan talks about how people that are not in a place to begin recovery (in a place of despair) are "waiting for hope" and i really liked that when i read it.
But even though i liked it, it didnt really relate to me so much. What i like about the whole idea of recovery is that its a unique journey for everyone, so there are no hard and fast rules about what it actually is or must be.
I have "lost the plot" on a number of occasions, (and besides the drug induced psychoses) each time it has been because i hoped too much. I have found for me that when it comes to all the day to day living stuff, saying to myself "i dont care, it really doesnt matter" takes a great deal of my pressure and extreme depression away. I think of myself as an optimistic pessimist - expect the least, be happy with anything more!
It was good to read your story!
 
lal10

lal10

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Messages
133
Location
Cheshire
I can't say well done enough times to you for getting through what you have Mad chick!!

It's amazing how there is so much talk about help and support but when you really need it it never seems to be available or to actually work!

I do whole heartedly agree with saltybabel as recovery is so unique to the individual, my complementary therapies degree includes pathology modules and so I'm more than aware of the diagnostic tools used with patients and how treatments are decided upon and unfortunately, unless you are lucky enough to have a GP who thinks for themselves, it's a 'ticking the boxes' game in regards to diagnosis and a 'one fits all' approach to treatment.

I've been up and down for years and I can honestly say that each time I've come back up it has had nothing to do with any type of support or treatment offered to me. I'm on a real downer at the moment and yet again have been fobbed off with the same medication that has not worked in the past. I found counselling a benefit but it also scared the hell out of me as it made me realise that I was worse than I thought!! So what happens then, I just deal with the fact I'm made worse by a realisation of this?? I've tried so many possible 'treatments' and self help but sometimes things just get better by themselves and other times what worked before has no effect and vice versa. Mental health issues need to be more of a focus for the NHS and the old 'what suits one suits everyone' mentality needs scrapping and the needs of the individual must be made a priority in each case. 10 minute appointments with your GP go no where to addressing such complex issues and counselling is great but it's the GP who needs to hear the in depth concerns we have not someone who, and I don't mean to be rude to counsellors they have helped me so much, can do nothing more than listen.

Again I must say well done Mad Chick!! I'm glad you shared your story with us and hope that you have many happy years to come!!

Much love x
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,006
Location
London
:) Just wanted to add my voice of support, Mad Chick, and thanks for posting.

Also to agree with saltybabel that, as your story illustrates, recovery often happens despite the mental health services, rather than because of them, and also with lal10 - that the "the old 'what suits one suits everyone' mentality needs scrapping", and our individual needs/experience should be a priority.

Ever onwards...
 
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M

Mad Chick

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Messages
27
Location
guildford, surrey
Hi and Thanks
Thanks so much for your replies, it really means a lot because in the normal walk of life you hardly ever get recognition for the fact that you 'stayed alive' as opposed to choosing to end it all. That's the hardest choice, choosing to go on, but I'm very glad I did despite sometimes having major hiccups.
 

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