#MentalHealthAwarnessWeek

My experience.

My name’s Eleni.

I’ve never lived in a broken home, I’ve never struggled financially, never lost more than one person I’ve loved… I’ve never even broken a bone.

When I was studying for my A-Level’s, I started fighting a battle. The most vivid memory I have is sitting on the end of my bed crying into the crook of my mum’s arm. She’d cry with me. I felt weak, though I was loved. Helpless, though I was supported by my family. I lost friends, my best friend, and I didn’t know why.

My next vivid memory is speaking to my GP, I begged her to help me. I remember her asking questions about things like suicide, self-harm… she was ticking some boxes on a paper survey and leaving some blank. 

I researched about medication online, but when I asked her she seemed reluctant. This is when I experienced another ‘episode’. Eventually she gave me a prescription and I began my course of Citalopram - Citalopram is an antidepressant drug which increases the levels of serotonin in your brain. As a teenage girl, I didn’t really ‘get’ this, but couldn’t see anything else that was going to help me move forward. 

The first thing I noticed when taking the drug is that I lost weight. For a time, whether it was placebo or not, I began to feel ‘better’ (Losing weight was a bonus for me as well, I’ve always struggled with my weight so I was okay about this) 

I want to stress the other side-effects of the medication, I often felt physically sick at the start of the course, and I found it hard to sleep.

It helped short-term. 

The reality of coming off my antidepressants didn’t actually kick in until a good year later. I struggled with an eating disorder, I became obsessive with food, body image and experienced frequent anxiety attacks. Here we go again, I thought. 

You know, I’ve always heard people say ‘you’re lucky you’re not living in a third world country’ or ‘you have limbs, some people don’t. Some people have debilitating diseases and you don’t.’

And bloody hell, that’s so true. But depression is something that can be so destructive, you feel like you have nothing at all to live for anymore. 

I’d look in the mirror at myself and wonder how anyone could ever want to know me. I didn’t know what the answer was…

That’s when communication healed me. That’s when people healed me. 

Through university I was lucky enough to meet some of the most wonderful friends, I then met my boyfriend who introduced me to books on productivity and personal development, and I'm also a part of a supportive health community on Instagram.

I've shared my story with very few people, but one of them sat me down one day and helped me to focus on the good. 

My point is: Talk. 

For every 10 people who don’t want to listen to you, there will be one who will. Please, please don’t hold it in.

And today?

I’ve found my purpose in helping people, I’ve recently started doing charity work and re-kindling relationships with old friends, as well as taking any and every opportunity to make new ones. I’m going to go into #MentalHealthAwarnessWeek headstrong and stand with each and every other person who’s sharing their story. It’s not taboo anymore. 

I’m no means happy with myself 100%, who is? I’ve got a long way to go and I’ve cried every so often, but I don’t cry every night anymore. And that feels like a hell of a feat.

Honestly, writing about myself is the hardest thing, some people will probably raise eyebrows, but it’s not an ego thing. If this helps one person, I'd be thrilled.

#MentalHealthAwarnessWeek isn’t just about sharing stories, it’s about helping others to become more aware of mental health issues. I hope I’m helping by doing my bit. Let’s do this together. 





4 comments

  1. Well done girl! Very brave, you should be so proud of yourself. I'm proud of you for writing this! Tom H xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are an inspiration and you will have helped more than one person. Very proud of you xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. So well expressed Eleni - the darkness, and the light, of depression. You are clearly such a talented and gifted young lady, and much loved by those you care about. I wish you every success and all of the 'light' that life can bring you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Super. There may be thousands of mini yous out there looking for a lifeline. Glad you found one.

    ReplyDelete

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig