for better mental health

Understanding PTSD

Thursday, 30 July 2015 Annabelle

Mind fundraiser Annabelle, who also shares her story with supporters via email today, blogs about how Mind's information helped her see past her trauma.

A year ago, I went through a traumatic experience that would shape who I am today. I’m not going to tell you about those events. I’m not ready. But I am going to tell you about the journey I’ve been on this past year.  

"After the trauma, people would tell me to get over it, to just move on with my life. I wanted to be able to."

Ever since I was a child, I would get anxious about big things like exam results or moving away from home. But now, just leaving my bedroom to shower or brush my teeth became so hard. Something wasn’t right. 

I descended into a downward spiral of depression, severe anxiety and eventually started to have suicidal feelings. I could not get the trauma out of my head and couldn’t see how I would ever get over it. Unfortunately, things were so bad that I made a few attempts to take my own life.  

After my last unsuccessful attempt, I saw a psychiatrist. Whilst I was waiting for a diagnosis, they pointed me in the direction of Mind to read up on some of the different illnesses. Trawling through the website, it was so reassuring to read about other people’s experiences. Seeing that others had also suffered as a result of trauma helped me to feel confident that I wasn’t just being “too sensitive” as so many people had said. 

The information on Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was incredible. Reading it through, I instantly knew it was me. I’d suffer severe flashbacks, have horrific night terrors and often go into a deep state of depression. Without that information page, I would have never known what PTSD was and it reassured me that everyone deals with trauma in different ways. 

Once I was diagnosed with PTSD, my family contacted Mind’s Infoline to seek advice on how they could support me. They were so helpful and reassured my family that there is help out there for them as well as me. They read the page on how friends and family can help, helping them to learn about what I was going through and the best ways to support me. 

Luckily, I am on a healthy road to recovery – talking therapies, hypnotherapy and medication are a great combination for myself. I’ve met my partner who’s offered great support, helping me to overcome the fear I had that I wouldn’t ever find someone who would accept me along with my mental health issues. 

To thank Mind for all their help, I ran the Manchester 10k this year and in a few weeks, I am taking part in a skydive for them. I still go back to their website for support, such as when I came across the Personal Independence Payment. Nobody would have ever told me about it, but online guides gave me the confidence to apply for it. 

When it felt like I would never get over my trauma, Mind’s information helped me to see a brighter future.

"Other peoples’ stories helped me realise that I wasn’t alone."

Having the right information at the right time was so important. It gave me clarity, control and hope.

Read about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

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