To all my Family and Friends,
I am writing this article from much inspiration from my photographer and good friend @KelJDavies who has given me so much courage to speak out about my mental illnesses ‘the invisible illness’ and help raise awareness about them in society and amongst all my family and friends.
I think society is very much in the dark about mental illness, everytime it is talked about, mentioned or an applicant has put their mental illness on a application form for a job they automatically think that they are either biopolar or schizophrenia of which these disorders cause the individual to be very unpredictable and hard to understand, these conditions are the extreme cases of mental health illness and do not stand for all individuals that state they have a mental health illness, like physical illnesses there are many variations of a disability and different variations of how serious the condition is. When an employer sees an applicant with a mental health condition on an application form compared to a ‘healthy person’ they rather have the healthy person as an employee without even looking at the qualifications and experience that applicant with a mental illness has relating to the job and label them as unable to work!
Looking at me and knowing me would you label me as unable to work?
It is not the individuals fault that they have a mental health illness, the same it isn’t the individuals fault if they have a physical ability but for society a mental illness is harder to get your head around as they can not see what the matter is. Most if not all mental illness is caused byTRAUMA-Trauma caused by physical abuse, mental abuse, threats, war, a car accident, a loved one passing away tragically and many more incidents of trauma; In MY CASE my mental health conditions/illnesses were caused by my biological father who severly abused me as a child(long term child abuse), through all the stress of getting away from him and all the severe bullying through school and college.
I was severly mentally abused as a child which because i was a child, at the age where everything that is said to you sinks in like a sponge, all the negative feelings, stress, bullying, the feeling of being worthless, the arguements, the threats, phobias, fears….everything sunk in and has remain stuck!
I have worked through some of my phobias and fears but as you can imagine it is very hard to fight what has been stuck in your head and what you thought was right for all your life.
After the constant bullying in school, after feeling suicidal so much i hated myself and started harming myself i went to a doctor for help…..
they predicted a chemical inbalance (which is the cause for endogenous depression) but i was never diagnosed, after 3 more years of bullying in college, i went to the doctors again and thankfully went to a doctor who specialises in mental health and i was diagnosed with:
INTENTIONAL SELF HARM AND
COMPLEX PTSD– Complex PTSD, is needed to describe the symptoms of long-term trauma, the types of trauma associated with complex PTSD is long term trauma, in these situations the ‘victim’ is usually held in a state of captivity physically, emotionally and is under the control of the perpetrator and unable to get away from the danger. An individual who has experienced a prolonged period of chronic vicitimazation and being in total control of by another who suffers with complex ptsd suffers with the following symptoms:
- Emotional Regulation. May include persistent sadness, suicidal thoughts, explosive anger, or inhibited anger.
- Consciousness. Includes forgetting traumatic events, reliving traumatic events, or having episodes in which one feels detached from one’s mental processes or body (dissociation).
- Self-Perception. May include helplessness, shame, guilt, stigma, and a sense of being completely different from other human beings.
- Distorted Perceptions of the Perpetrator. Examples include attributing total power to the perpetrator, becoming preoccupied with the relationship to the perpetrator, or preoccupied with revenge.
- Relations with Others. Examples include isolation, distrust, or a repeated search for a rescuer.
- One’s System of Meanings. May include a loss of sustaining faith or a sense of hopelessness and despair.
ENDOGENOUS DEPRESSION-Endogenous depression is referred as a biological depression caused by chemical imbalances in a person’s brain are responsible for causing this depression. This depression tends to have a direct impact on the life style of the individual. In many cases endogenous depression tends to come out of nowhere and because of its genetic component this depression is passed on by individuals to their children but what makes this depression worse or causes it to become more of a problem is if it is worsened by long term trauma which can cause a number of complications.
Endogenous depression may be mild to severe dependent on each particular case and the symptoms may also be varying. Those individuals suffering from this condition may isolate themselves from the society. Such individuals also have problems in concentrating and may feel restless. Fatigue is also one of the common symptoms associated with this condition and many people suffering from this condition also do not have any interest in pleasurable activities or find it difficult to motivate themselves to get involved in activities that they enjoy.
Endogenous depression can also result in individuals not performing well at the work place and sufferers may also exhibit suicidal tendencies. Those suffering from this condition may also experience anger or irritation without a reason. This depression can be treated and a special treatment plan needs to be drawn up. Depending on the symptoms, their duration and severity of the symptoms a treatment plan can be identified.
It is important for those suffering from endogenous depression to follow a good diet and also exercise regularly. Consumption of alcohol should be restricted and it is also advisable for those suffering from this condition to actively participate in social activities. Meditation and deep breathing exercises can also help in providing relief from the symptoms associated with this condition.
INTENTIONAL SELF HARM & ANXIETY ISSUES- Deliberate self harm is often caused by emotional trauma and is not about the the inflicting of physical pain but the cessation of emotional pain. Deliberate self harm is very hard for people to get there heads around as they do not understand why there is an increasing amount of adolescents and adults in the UK doing this. Deliberate self-harm is a term that covers a wide range of behaviours some of which are directly related to suicide and some that are not. This is a relatively common behaviour that is little understood. The individual inflicts themselves with self harm due to painful emotional pain which they feel that they can not contain along with a lot of anger related to their feelings or trauma which along with being angry with themselves causes them to take it out on themselves to save harming anyone else.
Anxiety issues/disorders is not just the feeling of being anxious or nervous when you have an important meeting, a job interview or its your first day at school, people with anxiety issues are constantly fighting with the feeling of being anxious no matter what they do, but it is worsened by situations that relate to their trauma or being in any situation they do not have any control over or being in an environment or with people they do not know. This anxiety can cause symptoms like shaking, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, heart palpertations, stomach upset, diziness, fatigue, headaches, tension, insomnia and the feeling of being fightened and threatened as well as panic attacks and anxiety attacks.
My disabilities do indeed make it difficult for me to work and study but they do not stop me, which i have proved to a lot of people, even with these mental illnesses i have not turned to drugs or drink like many other individuals with mental disabilities do, i passed high school with A’S B’S and C’s and passed my college course of BTEC Business Studies Level 3 with D*D*D* which is equivalent to 3 A levels. I have also had a job, completed 45 hours of voluntary work and been offered a place within University!
So after knowing this am i incapable or working????
I used to be ashamed of my disability and embarrassed by it everytime i had to explain it to an employee, a doctor or a teacher, but from now on I AM NOT!
I have nothing to be ashamed of, i have this illness through no fault of my own and i have proved that i am a ‘healthy’ human being with the same capabilities as everyone else and i am tired of the predjudice and being judged for my conditions, society needs to change, they should not make me feel ashamed to put my disability on application forms afraid that i won’t get the job, i shouldnt have to hide it, by law they should accommodate to me and look at my application on the sole basis of my qualifications and experience meeting the job criteria or people should judge me as ‘sensitive’ and start speaking to me as a child so as not to upset my feelings!
I am a normal person with mental illnesses, believe it or not 1 in 3 people in the UK have mental illnesses so why are the government and society so in the dark about it? Everyone with mental illnesses and without, we need to stand up and raise awareness of mental illness to make them realise that it is a serious illness, one that needs to be researched about, we need support and protection in the workplace and in education to prevent bullying and prejudice and discrimination when applying for jobs or whilst being in a job!
Will you help me do this friends and my dear family?
Please share this with everyone you know and help me with this cause.
Thank you very much for reading and i welcome any comments or discussions relating to your thoughts on the subject.