When I was 13 I started feeling down a lot and suffered with self-harm. My early life was hard and I had a lot of family problems. It made it worse that I didn’t understand what I was going through. My family knew I had been acting strange but had it in their heads that it was ‘just my hormones’.
After almost a year my sister noticed there was more to it than that, and she saw the unhealthy way I was dealing with it. She booked me an appointment at my local GP and she helped me to speak to him about what I was going through. He diagnosed me with depression and anxiety and made a referral to CAMHS in hope that I’d get help. Unfortunately, the waiting list was long and they weren’t able to see me.
My school work and attendance began to be affected and the school referred me for counselling, however there was a waiting list for this too and by this point my mood had started to improve a bit, so half way through my second counselling session I was told that I no longer needed help and that I was ‘over it’. For a while I believed this, until the smallest things started to bring me right back to where I began. I felt like this for almost a year and being told I was okay, when I didn’t feel it, made my anxiety much worse.
I tried to fight urges and just get on with life, and for a while it worked. But it wasn’t long until everything started to get on top of me and most days just dropping a pencil would set me into either rage or tears. Finding it hard to be at home I was mostly living on my sister’s sofa. I became suicidal and I convinced myself that no one cared, and it wouldn’t make a difference to their lives if I was to disappear. I did nothing to stop it, I had no way of telling myself to stop and being told I was fine meant I felt like I was just attention-seeking so I didn’t tell anyone. Instead I began drinking excessively most weekends and getting myself into a state.
I was lying to my family and falling out with my mum more often. I got caught on one occasion and the disappointment my family felt made me feel so ashamed. Getting so drunk I forgot my problems seemed to help, but then I realised the shame and regret afterwards just made it worse. One night my friends and I were camping and having a drink, everyone was already drunk by the time I had put up my tent so I drank quickly and mixed drinks in an attempt to catch up. All of a sudden everything was a blur. The police were called and everyone was in a hurry to leave. My friends left me and I was in a mess, extremely intoxicated. I had to pack up a tent and gather my things in a state of panic and drunkenness. I packed the last bottle of vodka and left. That night I came close to ending my own life. Luckily, a very dear friend stopped me. I called my mum and sister and told them what had occurred. They both spoke to me and helped me calm down. I told my mum everything I had been going through and finally told her about my self-harming, we came to understand each other and she made me realise why I needed to live because no matter how much we argue, or how much of a nightmare I was, she still loved me.
I saw my GP again and I was put on anti-depressants. I was later referred to Hear Our Voice and after a short waiting time I met my youth worker. I don’t know where I would be without the help and support I have had, and am currently having. The last few months I have had only a few set-backs, but have always got back on my feet. I know now that I can talk to those around me and I don’t keep things in. My youth worker introduced me to the CAMHS Young People’s board and I’ve met some great people. I am getting involved and having my say and playing my part in helping others like me. It does get better – you just have to let people in. There’s help out there, and no matter how much you believe nobody cares, there’s always someone that does.