We're very proud to share people's personal experiences of mental health problems. We try and cover a range of topics related to mental health, in the hope that the stories resonate with other supporters, or people in need of support, and that they provide some practical tips, or just reassurance, that others can take away.
Emma wrote about not realising she had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and how the diagnosis helped her to make sense of the thoughts she'd been having since childhood.
"I didn’t know I had this illness. It’s been with me for 26 years, and I didn’t see it until I was 25. That’s the thing, many mental disorders are hidden illnesses, hidden even from ourselves. It all seems obvious in hindsight, and what a relief to understand now." Read more of Emma's story here.
"When this guilt washes over me it tries to tell me ‘I shouldn’t be doing this right now’, ‘I should be doing this right now’ or ‘you should be this person’ due it being more ‘acceptable’. The way I deal with it now is by not reacting to self-critical thoughts, but instead thinking; I am able to start to see what’s happening and why I am feeling this way."
Nadia blogged about her journey of being diagnosed with EUPD (also known as BPD), learning coping techniques, and helping others to find their own coping strategies by volunteering, speaking, and teaching. Read more of Nadia's story here.
It took Eleanor almost 30 years to get a diagnosis, but once she found out what PMDD was, everything made sense.
"It was a huge relief to talk to a doctor who understood what I was going through, and who knew how to help me. Previously, the medical profession had failed to make any connection between my hormones and my mental health, or dismissed them as just ‘women’s problems’." Read more of Eleanor's story here.
Meg has written a letter to her depression.
"The more you made me feel this way, the more I've learnt to appreciate the little things. I've seen that, by living my life the best I can while having you dragging at my ankles, I am doing one the strongest and bravest things I can ever do. That getting up on those days when all I want is to hide myself under my duvet and wait for the storm to pass is one heck of a massive victory." Read the full letter here.
"You. Can’t. Leave. These were the three words everyone was saying to me, but the three words I did not understand. I hadn’t hurt anyone, I hadn’t broken the law, I was preaching about happiness, so why had I being imprisoned?"
Dan was sectioned under the Mental Health Act while experiencing psychosis. Read more of his story here.
When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information - about a condition, treatment options, or practical issues - is vital. Visit our information pages to find out more.
Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.