It’s true. I suffer with mental Health problems … And I’m ok with it. 

I am a patient with diagnosed PTSD.  I am a patient with diagnosed Depression. I am a patient with diagnosed Anxiety.  I am a patient diagnosed with Complex Grief We all know how the world

  • I am a patient with diagnosed PTSD. 
  • I am a patient with diagnosed Depression.
  • I am a patient with diagnosed Anxiety. 
  • I am a patient diagnosed with Complex Grief
We all know how the world likes to label things, so If you want to put me in a box and label it with something, I am a mental health patient.

This week is mental health awareness week, so let’s have a chat.
I am pretty sure that every one of you knows someone with some type of mental health problem, statistics show that 1 in 4 people will have a problem in their lifetime , pretty high that figure isn’t it? 
Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, OCD, PTSD, Bi-Polar, eating problems, personality disorders , self harm …
Re-read that list that I’ve just listed, you’ve just thought of someone haven’t you? See, it’s that close, mental health is so much more closer to most people than they think. 
I have mental health problems because I lost my daughter, because I put her in someone else’s care and she never came home, because I saw my daughter before anyone told me that she had passed away, because I am grieving, because I feel guilt … Because we lost our daughter, our baby. 
People develop mental health problems for so many reasons, no one’s stories will ever be the same … They might be similar, but never the same. Suffering comes from
grief, from money worries, abuse,  losing your job or home, addiction problems, the list is endless and there so many different mental health problems out there, no one ever knows what they may suffer from, you don’t get to pick or choose. I thought I was strong, I was, until my daughter passed and then I was broken, I was weak; at least I thought I was. Looking back now, I can see why I would have thought I was weak, why I thought I was broken. I can see why I thought it would be easier to not even be here, why I thought it would be better to end my life. 
I wasn’t diagnosed properly in the beginning, I was told I was suffering “normal grief” – whatever that is. But they were wrong. Luckily Dan saw it, he saw me and he knew something wasn’t right. We were both suffering with grief because we had lost our daughter and Dan could see that I was so much different than him, he knew that it wasn’t just a “mum” thing – it was more serious than we were told. Very quickly I was back at the doctors and being referred to a what I can only described as an amazing Psychologist at Wythenshawe hospital, whom assessed me properly, I was diagnosed with Severe PTSD, Anxiety, Depression and Complex Grief Issues – so a little bit more than again, those silly words “normal grief” ( for the record, I don’t believe there is normal grief,certainly not for someone who has lost a child) As well as the initial private counselling that we had 25 sessions of after Millie passed, I have also had 33 sessions of an hour and a half to 2 hours with my Psychologist in around 18 months , for those of you that don’t know what that figure is, it’s a lot of treatment, the average amount of sessions for PTSD is around 12 , that’s a comparative for you. But it’s not just that, it’s all the work I have had to put in on top of all the “in-house” therapy – it didn’t stop when I walked out of the hospital every week, that was just the beginning, I had to ( and still have to ) work hard at every minute of every day. Some days are harder than others, some days I still feel as though it would be easier not be here. 
I am sitting here now thinking about how easy it would have been to just do it, to commit suicide and be with my daughter. I remember waking up one night and saying to Dan I needed to clear all the pills off my bedside table ( sleeping tablets & anti-depressants ) because it was too easy to wake up from a bad dream where I woke up crying and feel that most horrendous pain all over again, it would have been too easy in a split second to take those pills – that is how quick it could have been over. The amount of times that I have had to stay away from windows, from ledges, anything high because the urge was just sometimes too much to want to throw myself over and be done with all the agony I was suffering from and then there was the time when I nearly ended all in front of a bus … that was the turning point, that’s why I knew something was more wrong with me than the professionals had said, that’s when Dan pushed me to get help and took me back to the doctors … That was the biggest step I needed to take, I needed the help, I wanted the help.
That’s it for tonight guys … Every day for the rest of the week because it is “mental health awareness week” I’ll blog a little bit more about my mental health journey … You’ll get more of an insight than I’ve ever told before
And just in case you are wondering, I know I’m not weak, I can see that now. I know that I am stronger than I have ever been before.
Time to send that text to your friend who might be feeling a bit down at the moment, or that friend you saw a couple of weeks ago that didn’t quite just seem right or seemed that little but quieter than usual. They will appreciate it, I promise , just say “hi” and ask them how they are … They’ll tell you if they want to …
Joanne x

0 thoughts on “It’s true. I suffer with mental Health problems … And I’m ok with it. 

  1. Hi Joanne, you are so incredibly brave to talk so openly. I relate to everything you have written above but my trauma was completely different.
    I have horrendous flashbacks and wake crying, scared, unable to breathe properly.
    After nearly a year of being on waiting lists, I finally have the specific counselling I think I need. I’m ready to do this. I’d been pushed from pillar to post and it took me being at absolute rock bottom for somebody (professional) to take notice.

    I read everything you write because I think ‘If you can do it, so can I’. You’re my inspiration 😊 You inspire me to ‘stick with it’ and work through all the hard parts because it will get better.

    I’ve found help in Mindfulness and ensure I go to follow-up classes in Manchester and Wythenshawe every month, just to keep in touch with everything I’ve learnt during an 8 week course.

    Thank you for speaking out, you are doing so well on your ongoing journey.
    My thoughts are with you,
    Hayley x

    1. Hi Hayley,
      I am glad to hear that you are getting the help that you need, I too have been seen at Wythenshawe and I think they are fab there, they have helped me so much. I too study and use Mindfulness , I couldn’t have got through this horrendous time without that but you really do have to work hard at it and keep going. Good Luck with your journey and please continue to speak out about it to help others. Joanne x

  2. Joanne, you describe your journey so well, I can feel your pain (obviously I can’t, I’ve not been in your shoes), you write such detailed thoughts, you are amazing and do so much to help others. You really are an inspiration x

  3. Joanne, your words are so touching spoken from your heart and you are so selfless doing this in order to help others. No-one can fully understand your pain but we can imagine it is the worst thing anyone could experience. You are brave, strong and resilient in your fight to carry on. You are an inspiration, support and role model to others in their fight through mental illness and suffering, as you know having someone to relate to, who can identify with your own suffering is paramount in an individual’s survival. I love it that baby Leo has helped you see a future and given you a new focus in your recovery. You have a sparkle back in your eyes, that are filled with love for your baby. I’m so glad that Leo has come along and given you and Dan the love, the cuddles and a new purpose in life. Onwards and upwards as they say, and carry on with your running because that in itself is rewarding and a big accomplishment with a new baby! Lots of love and a big hug off me xxxxxx

  4. You are an amazing strong woman !! You have faced the biggest loss & the worst grief & sadness that any mother should not have to experience . You are a strong person because you accepted the help & managed to realise your suicadal thoughts .you are a strong person because you allowed your husband to help you .. The list is endless as to why you are such a strong person . At times it must be exhausting for you but you are doing it & pushing forward .Now Your beautiful son will give you the well deserved joy & happiness to help you heal 😘

  5. Going through a really bad patch at this time , need yr words more than ever ,I have depression and anxiety and have had panic attacks, for the last few years , due to things I can’t speak about for legal reason . Your words and strength help me,there have been times I have wanted the easy way out no pain no thoughts no feelings but I’ve chosen the hardest route to fight and get better, yours hit home for me as I’m not the person I was she has gone she is changed but it doesn’t mean the new me can’t be happy can’t be well it’s just honing to take a lot to get there, thank you every women needs a best friend with yr warmth and strength and Love x

    1. Hi Sharon,
      So sorry to hear that you are going through a bad patch at the moment, you will come out of the other side, I have, you will too, massive hugs to you and I hope today is a better day than yesterday. x

  6. i read your posts and can emphasise with your thoughts and feelings. We lost our son 11 years ago, he was 32 and if I hadnt had a daughter I would have gone with hm. People look at you and think you are ok, if only they knew. Enjoy your beautiful Leo take a day at a time x

    1. Hi Jackie,
      So sorry to hear about the loss of your son. I look back now and I genuinely have no idea how we got through this without having another child, because we didn’t just lose Millie, we lost our whole family life. I am so glad that you had your daughter to get you through it, our Leo has changed so much for us and we cherish every single moment that we get with him x

  7. Joanne, I read this and then see pictures of you with Baby Leo and its shows what a difference the treatment has made for you. I Know things will never be the same without Millie but my goodness she’d be looking down feeling incredibly proud of how far you have come. I too suffer PTSD from a near death experience giving birth to my Daughter in 2013. I sought advice from my GP who referred me to a psychologist who commenced CBT therapy. After 6 sessions my Husband noticed that it was not working for me. It left me drained and fearing the rest of the week and as the following Monday approached I was in a state of panic and dread about the next appointment, so I ceased my own treatment. I’m now in a kind of ‘stuck in the moment’ sort of place, feeling like I’ve neither progressed or regressed and feel at a bit of a loss. GP just wants to throw medication at me and I’m not a believer in popping a pill can make you better. I just feel stuck.

    1. Hi Anna,

      I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I too struggled with seeing my psychologist at the beginning and there was so many times when I just went and sat there and cried. There were so many times that I came home, dreaded that next appointment and never wanted to go back. When I started CBT, I was so tired, drained and emotionally all the over the place, I just wanted to stop – but I didn’t , I pushed myself to carry on going as I knew it was the only thing that was going to change my life at that point. I had spent months and months on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets to block out the pain, but I knew that I did not want to spend the rest of my life on them ( personal choice ) – so I knew that I had to stick at it and no matter how painful it was during and after the sessions , I kept going back and I truly believe that is why I am where I am today in my life.
      If you could even consider going back, I would recommend it but I completely understand if you don’t want to, it is completely your own choice and always should be, Good Luck with whichever help you choose x

  8. Joanne, my heart goes out to you. I’ve suffered with depression virtually all my life – I’m now 68 – and it’s only recently I’ve told friends they have been amazed because you always try to put a brave face on. I’ve followed yours and Dan’s story and my admiration for you both is unbelievable. Your recent pictures of you and Leo are beautiful, and at long last your eyes are smiling. Keep on with your running, it does help, I’ve started walking 5-7 miles which really helps me. Millie would be so proud of you and Dan and would mother Leo. Take care you truly are an inspiration. xxx

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