My Name is John and I suffer from several Mental Illnesses. First off I'll say what they are, explain the definition of them, and my experiences with them. I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Episodes, Dysthymia, Isomnia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Agoraphobia.
I'm sure most of you understand what PTSD, MDD, and Insomnia are, but I have come across many who do not understand what Dysthymia is, and also misunderstand Agoraphobia. Let me explain.
Dysthymia is a low grade chronic depression that never goes away. I am always depressed, and the thoughts of suicide are always there. With psychotic episodes, I hear voices telling me to commit suicide and that things would be better off if I did.
I've known I have had "depression" since I was about eight or nine years old. My first attempt was at ten years old. I was set to ride my bicycle into a freezing lake, knowing that someone had fallen in that lake years before and died. Something stopped me, though I don't know yet what that something was.
Being diagnosed with Double Depression makes it hard to keep up with treatments and also makes it harder to treat, but I am slowly working on it.
My second attempt was at seventeen, the first time I actually tried to succeed at it. I did it by mixing Tia Maria, Whiskey, and Beer in about thirty minutes. I found out later, I didn't know it at the time, how lucky I was to survive that episode. The mixture was considered a suicide mix. I had just split with a girlfriend, was already suicidal, and at the point, I had had enough.
I didn't open up to people how I was feeling unless I was drinking. Where as most people drink to forget, I was doing so to remember.
The following year I had gotten married, and we had our only child. My child was six months old when my wife left me, with help from my own family. Based on lies, they thought a simple "I'm sorry" would be sufficent, when it wasn't. Rather than again talk about my feelings, for about six months, I was not sober. At the end of that episode, I almost died during a weekend binge. I drank half a bottle one night in fortyfive minutes, the other half, the next night, in thirty minutes.
After that, I had kept it under wraps, but I talked a bit more of how I felt, which helped, but I found no one was willing to listen, because of the stigma surrounding Mental Illness.
In 2009, My depression took a serious and violent turn, and became psychotic, When all at once, My mother died after battling Cancer for three years, I was informed that I was losing rights to my only child, I was about to lose my house, and shortly after lost my job, all in a domino effect, of sorts.
I ended up having a party to celebrate my mother's life with some friends, while drinking, the voices I was starting to hear, had taken control. I went into a bedroom and picked up a shotgun, with the intent on, yet again, attempting suicide. A friend saw me and called out to my room mate, who then gotten the firearm away from me. I, in turn, tried to fight him for it and was unable to retrieve the weapon.
The last time I tried, was the closest I had even been to dying. If I hadn't been with friends and sent to the emergecy room, I would have certainly died. I found out when I woke up, everything that happened. I had come into the hospital with a .225 blood alcohol level, high enough to shut my body down, I had also taken 80mg of a muscle relaxant, to stop my back pain. The mixture caused me to black out, being I drank enough to get that BAL in thirty to fortyfive minutes. I woke up two days later in Intensive Care Unit, strapped down to the bed, because my body was fighting the help people were trying to offer.
While a lot of people have some sort of insomnia, at some point in their life, the reason it is considered a illness for me is because I can remain awake for up to five days. The hardest thing I have learned about insomnia, when I was diagnosed with it, was after being awake for so long, you begin to hallucinate and can become delusional, and in turn, have flare ups involving my PTSD. I got the diagnosis, by going into a Mental Health Clinic because I thought I was Schizophrenic. Thankfully, that isn't the case.
I didn't know I had PTSD from being assualted several times, until 2012. The experiences with that have been variable. It's worse with my insomnia, when I'm awake for too long and start hallucinating. Because of this I have Agoraphobia which is anxiety disorder in which a person has attacks of intense fear and anxiety. There is also a fear of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available.
Like many others, I struggled alone with my illnesses, because of social fear and stigma attached to them. Now I'm more open about them, and in being so, slowly healing. Though I know, it will be a life long struggle, I understand with the few people who do understand, I can find an alternative route, rather than suicide.
I write this in hope it will help someone else with Mental Illness seek help, and for those, without, to understand we're not "crazy", "cursed", or anything else. I have problems like anyone else, I just simply respond differently. In the end, I have found myself to be stronger then some in over coming events, although it may take me a bit longer to do so. I know I can survive by taking life one day at a time, and enjoying my time with friends, because whether it be suicide or otherwise, my time is limited, and I don't wish to take for granted the awesome friendships I have or will have on this journey.