Both my daughter and I have had serious mental health problems in the past and I’m delighted to say that we’ve both come through the other side.
Mine started 7 years ago, whilst building my business. I was working long hours and under a lot of pressure and stress which eventually took it’s toll on both my physical and mental health. After a number of years working day and night, I slipped into psychosis and became very frightened, desperate and scared. I knew something was desperately wrong and that I was having a breakdown of sorts but didn’t know what was wrong or that I would ever get better.
Despite visiting my doctor and psychiatrists, no-one picked up how I was until it was almost too late. After seven months of unbearable suffering, I attempted suicide. Luckily it didn’t work and I was assessed and deemed unwell enough to go to a psychiatric hospital. Although this was the last place I wanted to be, it actually saved my life. In time with the right treatment, medication and support I got better and made a full recovery.
After 3 months in hospital I was back home with my daughter and life was better than it had ever been. Until one night, out of the blue, my young daughter attempted suicide. It transpired she was experiencing PTSD and other mental health struggles as a result of what she had seen me go through a year earlier. Luckily she too survived but I was so worried about her.
On the surface she had seemed to cope so well throughout my ordeal, but the poor girl was suffering. As with me, once she had hit a crisis point there was loads of help and support and in time, she too made a full recovery.
It’s very worrying though that you seem to have to hit crisis point in order to get into the system and get the treatment and support needed to make a recovery. She is now 17, has passed her driving test and is going to uni next year. Like me, she has emerged through the other side brighter and stronger than ever, but we need to spread our message of hope to others in despair. You can get better and you won’t always feel how you do now.
Mental illness in children is at all time high and we need education, funding and awareness to help this desperate situation. I hope our stories inspire others to seek help and stay strong.