Meg's story


I feel more like myself again... I've been back at work full-time for over six months now and enjoying all the things I used to enjoy before I got ill.

How it all started

I first became ill around 2006 when I was at university. Like lots of people developing mental health problems for the first time, I didn't really understand what was happening to me. Instead of acknowledging how I was feeling I tried to bury everything, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol almost every day and doing anything I could to stop myself thinking about how I was feeling.

Eventually, things came to a head and I was seen by a doctor who prescribed anti-depressants and told me to try and lead a healthier lifestyle. Unsurprisingly, for a stubborn and headstrong teenager, I thought he was wrong, completely ignored all his advice and continued just as before.

I remember believing that no-one could possibly understand how I was feeling, that I must be the only person in the world who had ever experienced such intense emotions.

I resolved to deal with the situation myself, alone. Somehow, I got through the next couple of years, eventually graduating from University before moving to London. My mental health continued to roller-coaster for the next ten years but I eventually accepted help, started my medication again and began the process of embarking on a healthier lifestyle.


I thought, finally, everything was going to be fine. I'd eventually listened to what people had been telling me for years and stopped self-medicating, started talking and accepted what had happened wasn't my fault. Then, everything went wrong. I was having a really difficult time at work, dealing with the break-up of a significant relationship, struggling with my sexuality and began to self-harm.

Things went from bad to worse and eventually I was signed off work.

I was referred to a psychiatrist who suggested a number of diagnoses, and a number of different medications. Together we decided on a mood-stabiliser and I left, clutching my prescription and hoping for the best.

Two weeks passed and nothing changed so I headed back to my Psychiatrist’s office and she suggested another medication. This one didn't seem to work either, nor did the next two that I tried. Eventually I went back for an emergency appointment after a particularly awful weekend, this time with my mum. She helped me explain to my Psychiatrist that if we didn't find something that worked soon, I faced the very real prospect of losing my job – which by then felt like the only thing holding my life together. My psychiatrist talked to me about how I was feeling, asked my mum to leave us to it, and suggested I speak to the crisis team. Determined to avoid this at all costs, I agreed to try anti-psychotics. She told me she believed they'd work, but that I should be prepared for some side-effects.

I don't remember much about my first couple of weeks on the new drugs.

I know I spent most of the time either asleep or eating, or thinking about being asleep or eating. I found everything a huge effort – I could hardly get through a chapter of a book or an episode of Gossip Girl without accidentally falling asleep – but eventually I began to feel awake enough to see a friend for lunch or take the dogs for a walk.

My parents helped a lot, even seemingly little things like making me a huge mug of coffee in the morning to help wake me up made a really big difference.

Slowly, I began to feel better.

I could begin to talk about how I felt without being emotionally overwhelmed. I could go to Pilates without worrying that I'd start to cry in the middle of the class – I began to feel more relaxed and less emotionally charged all the time. I was indescribably hungry and always tired, but more like myself again. Slowly, everything got better.

I've been back at work full-time for over six months now – and with support from a new boss I'm doing more than ever. I've moved to a new flat in London with my partner, started enjoying my hobbies again and even got back to exercising (as long as there's cake afterwards).

Anti-psychotics probably aren't for everyone – but without them I don't know where I'd be. I don't even know if I'd be here. I'm hoping to be able to taper them off soon, but if it doesn't work and I need to stay on them, that's ok too – after all, I find it much easier to be relaxed about things these days...

Want to tell your story?

If you want to tell your story please email the membership team. We can't guarantee that we'll be able to publish everything that we're sent but we'll do our best to include as many as we can.

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z


Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> Find out more

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today