You can call me Pandora, should you wish to assign a name to me. If you’re new here, then I am pleased to make your acquaintance 🙂
This blog is about my experiences with various mental illnesses, and my (attempted?) recovery from at least some of them. I started it in May 2009 with the intent of trying to spot patterns and triggers, but it’s morphed into something much more than that – it’s a living, breathing (well, almost) record of some of the most difficult periods of my life, and how I’ve shocked myself in managing to come out of them alive.
When I was 13 or so, I was diagnosed with major clinical depression, which was later complimented (!) with a side order of anxiety (general? Social? Both?). I’ve been in and out of mental health systems (NHS, private and voluntary) multiple times since then, and I’m in my late 20s now.
At the age of 25, as well as serious depression and anxiety, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder with psychotic and dissociative features, with a possible differential diagnosis of bipolar disorder, type II. However, in 2011 – under a different psychiatrist, and with some input from a CPN – it was determined that either I’d recovered (my view) from borderline personality disorder, or that I never had it in the first place. Instead, my primary diagnosis is bipolar affective disorder, type I, with psychotic features (upgraded to type I due, I suspect, to my experiences of dysphoric mania. Unfortunately I’ve never had the thrill of a euphoric one). I also have a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting primarily from child sex abuse.
Despite seeing some improvement in my psychological condition in parts of 2011, I know that I am not (and probably will never be) free entirely of some sort of mental health difficulties. I still can’t work, as to do so I need to be assured that any period of stability is going to be long-term, and as of this writing (July 2011), it is far from that. I have periods of hopefulness, and alternately times of great existential pessimism. Sometimes they coincide with ‘episodes’, and sometimes they don’t.
I’ve been through a lot of therapy, and (as of late-2011) I’m intending to go through at least six months more. The process, coupled with the right medication, has helped me a lot, but there is a long way to go.
A few things that require my attention here:
Nothing on this blog is concise, especially my reviews of therapy sessions. My aim in going into such anal detail has always been entirely personal; this blog is essentially a diary for my own benefit, and I want to remember nuances and dialogue wherever possible. However, to my surprise, it seems that some people actually enjoy my endless rambling. Maybe you will too, and maybe you won’t – either way, I appreciate your visit 🙂
I swear a lot. I am also endlessly guilty of crass hyperbole, gutter humour and even criticism of (my) mentalism. I need it to be known, though, that of course I have absolutely no prejudice whatsoever against anyone with a mental illness. It’s simply in my nature to self-deprecate and rail against political correctness (lefty as I may well be these days). Sadly mental illnesses are still highly stigmatised in society, and even though I’m routinely guilty of making self-directed off-the-cuff remarks, I do try to help break down bigotry as much as I can. I am, essentially, a fairly normal woman, living with something much more normal than many people acknowledge. I hope the blog demonstrates that, at least a little. Whatever the case, I am not ashamed of having mental health problems.
This blog is only written anonymously to protect those discussed herein. Because I come from an abusive background – child sexual abuse, the product of a domestically violent marriage, psychological trauma thanks to some dick of a boyfriend, paternal neglect, yadda yadda, blah blah – the personnel concerned, most of whom are still alive, require the protection that only anonymity provides. I have been accused of hiding behind the cloak of the internet due to feeling shameful of my situation, or not having the courage of conviction, or whatever – but none of this is true. I can’t make you believe me, of course; I can only reassert that the simple truth is that I need to protect my friends and relatives.
This page is deliberately fairly vague and dispassionate, probably because I think most people who will want to read this blog will already have found their way here and don’t need to read endless reams of bollocks. However, if you’d like to read the original, more in-depth (and probably out-of-date), ‘About’ analysis, click here.
If you’d like to know more about the woman behind the writer, check this out.
I do not exist in a bubble, much as I sometimes might like to, and thus often write about those that exist in my social group. You can read details on my life’s ensemble of characters here.
And if you get sick of me (“oh yes!”), head over to This Week in Mentalists, the best place to connect to mental health blogging and media coverage. As its Editor, it is indeed another baby of mine, but it’s written collaboratively so you can escape me easily 🙂
Anyroad up, folks, thank you for reading. Please do comment on any post or page – I love hearing from readers. Bye for now!