Dealing with a difficult mental illness diagnosis…getting personal

 ** POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING**

This is for sure, going to be one of the hardest post I will ever publish. Even as I type right now, I’m not sure I’ll have the cahones to. But, nevertheless, she persisted!

I have been dealing with mental illness for as long as I can remember, to be honest. As a child, as a teenager, early adulthood, now – It never really completely goes away. I’m not going to sit here and preach about how my childhood broke me..it didn’t. I loved growing up on the farm. I was well fed, well-loved, and happy most of the time. I AM going to say this: There are a number of situations I was put in as a child (and as an adult) that have ultimately rendered me mentally unhealthy. Mental illness is also genetic and runs in my family. So, I’m not playing some kind of blame game and not holding myself accountable. My recovery is just that, mine. My responsibility.

When I was 20, after having my first baby, I really started noticing the decline. Chalking it up to postpartum depression, I just pushed through. As a new mom I spent my days obsessing over my beautiful baby. All my time and energy went into him. I didn’t notice my own health was being so neglected. Maybe I was hiding from it, distracting myself. Two years apart, I had my second baby boy. I was so overwhelmed with love at this point. There was no way I was depressed. I was married with two amazing children. Blessed. Sure, there were dark days, even weeks, but I was happy. Five children (and several more traumatic events) later… I was in very bad shape. Instead of taking control of my demons I let them just fester and build and manifest severe emotional distress. Please don’t do this!!! Get help as soon as a problem arises.

When I finally mustered up enough courage to get help, it was almost too late. Therapy became my saving grace; for a while. All of those traumatic events needed to be talked about though. Talking about them raised a lot of scary emotions. Emotions I couldn’t deal with. This is where it gets hard for me to talk about. I won’t go into great detail about what happened next. I was in ICU for..four days maybe. It was a huge blur. I’m not proud of what I did by any means. At that time though, I thought that was the only choice. I couldn’t get away from the demons. I am not in any way, shape or form condoning suicide or self-harm. If you any of these feelings please get help. Call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 or go to Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

Over the years my diagnoses have changed like Illinois weather! I have had numerous therapist, counselors, psychiatrists, therapy groups..and let’s not even talk about how many medications I’ve been subjected to. The amount of time and energy (and $) I’ve spent on my mental health is unreal. But, I’ve come to learn that my mental wellness has to be at the very top of my priority list! Now, before you start speculating.. “but you have kids”..”that’s selfish”….hear me out! My priority IN LIFE are my kids, most definitely! My DAILY priority though ..keeping myself afloat so I can take care of my kids and my business to the best of my ability.

This post is already longer than I planned so, onto my lovely diagnoses! You already know I suffer from depression. I have come to terms with this and I have the proper knowledge and tools to combat it. Anxiety! Anxiety is the root of all evil. I know everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their  life, but, some people (me..ugh) have extreme cases! So extreme that it can cause physical symptoms. Very scary ones. Which leads me to PNES, Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures. What’s PNES. This is one of the big ones ladies and gents! This diagnosis changed my life forever. The stigma around this is insanely real and hurtful. In short form, this is a  psychological seizure disorder stemming from decades (literally) of trauma. When my body says, “you can’t handle this right now”…it shuts down in the form of seizures. Sometimes they come unexpectedly and sometimes I can feel them coming on. I’m terrified to go places alone. If I were to have a seizure in public where no one was educated about PNES I could be in serious danger. They don’t know I don’t have epilepsy. They don’t know that they can’t give me the most common medication for seizures because it has the reverse effect and will send me into violent seizure episodes. They don’t know not to touch me or move me. It’s so incredibly scary to think and worry about this constantly. This is my need for a service dog. You can donate to my campaign for a service dog here.  Sharing it would also be of massive help!  XOXO. I literally just want to be able to go shopping alone. As you can tell I will be living with this for the rest of my life. What a drag!! Onto PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The evil little lucifer on your shoulder. “How about we trigger you into a panic over the color yellow while you’re at Bonkers having a blast with your kids”! It completely and totally F@*#s you almost every single day of your life. My PTSD sets off the PNES and anxiety. Deadly combination. BPD. Borderline Personality Disorder. What’s BPD. This is a new one for me. My new psych doc recently threw this gem at me. I’m not comfortable with this diagnosis. Not uncomfortable in like an, I don’t think I have this, sort of way. More like, uncomfortable;e because I can relate to it, ALL OF IT! Uncomfortable with the sheer name of it. Totally ashamed and terrified. More damn stigma!!! It’s going to take me a while to settle in with this one.

As you can tell, I’m a work in progress. But, I come equipped with a fully loaded arsenal of resources, information and help. Even if this post only helps one single person, It’s a huge WIN in my book!!!

Never forget that your mental health is just as important as your physical health! XOXO

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Adele Marie

    Hi Loretta, we are very similar as to our diagnosis. I have BPD, I also have FND, functional neurological disorder, plus dyspraxia, I also suffer from non-epileptic seizures, they are horrible and I get stressed in public. Last time I had one in front of my psychiatrist. You’re not alone on this one if you need to talk.

    Liked by 1 person

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