How did you know something was going wrong for you?
Other people didn’t really notice at first. I didn’t often appear like I was outwardly struggling, even though I was. Because it often seemed like I had it together; I was working, I was studying, I was independent.
So what was really going on underneath it all?
I had a quarter-life crisis. I had a dysfunctional family life, parents who didn’t believe that I needed help or that there was something wrong, and my sister attempted to take her own life, which impacted me severely.
That must have been so hard for you.
Yeah, plus I was having physical health problems – chronic pain, chronic migraines, allergies, which meant I had to use a lot of medication and see lots of different specialists. I was then diagnosed with anxiety, depression and ADHD.
How did that all make you feel?
My journey is like everyone else’s I think: complicated and certainly not linear. And I managed okay for a while, but as things accumulated and got worse and worse… Everything sort of went downhill.
What kind of things helped you to stay safe?
I had a wonderful psychologist who I see weekly and a psychiatrist who monitored me pretty closely and who I felt I was able to go to and say that things were not good.
Was that helpful?
My psychiatrist recommended that I complete an inpatient program for two weeks, which I’d describe as the circuit-breaker that I needed to get me out of the rut of not sleeping, having no energy, or normalcy. It helped me regain control.
And how are you doing now?
My journey continues and has had lots of different twists and turns along the way and it has been tough, but it helps to have those support options in place.