I suffered with depression, anxiety and PTSD from a young age, this led to me self-harming and having suicidal thoughts, and I continue to struggle with my mental health today. Having so many mental health problems when I was younger was exhausting, I missed so many days of school and college because I literally couldn’t get out of bed.
However, eventually I managed to drag myself out of the dark hole I was in, with a mixture of will power, medication, therapy, loved ones and support from friends and local youth projects. I am now firmly in recovery and doing well at university. I want to use this opportunity to share some of the things I found helped me to feel better about myself and start to manage my mental health.
One majorly important step, which I always say to other young people, is not to stay in your room feeling sorry for yourself. After joining a local project for young people with mental health problems, making friends and then meeting my partner, I found myself actually going out to places and doing things and although my wallet and bank card took a beating because of it, I had a lot more fun and this really helped me to put myself on the road to recovery, I became determined to get better. Even getting a bus to town and window shopping or doing anything to keep me busy helped me feel better about myself and took me out of my head.
On the subject of keeping busy, having a job can also really help. A job that you find enjoyable or even just a rubbish part time job can get you out of the house and help you earn that little bit of money to do more things that you enjoy and make you happy. Don’t ever let a mental health problem get in the way of getting a job! Your mental illness wants you to stay in your room and not do anything with your life, once you get past that, recovery becomes just that little bit easier.
The other thing that really helped me was going to CAMHS and getting professional support. Therapy and medication may seem scary, but they can be a very helpful aid alongside willpower and the support of family and friends, see our CAMHS film to find out more about what to expect.
Lastly try and stay positive, keep smiling and remember – things will get better.
For more real-life stories from young people see Young Minds and The Site (trigger warning).