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Mental Health: Together, We Can Win This Fight

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I’m a 21-year-old woman from Canada and I was adopted at age one and a half. I’ve struggled literally all my life from infant years to this day. I was in sick children’s hospital fighting for my life at a young age. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when I was young. I was put in a special needs class because I was three years younger than my actual age; I was so behind.

Due to being in a special needs classroom, I endured many years of both physical and verbal abuse. I was called ‘retarded’ because I was in a special needs class. I was a very smart young person, however for reasons beyond my control I was sick and mentally and intellectually slow. I couldn’t talk properly, in addition, I underwent many sessions with professionals to help me with my speech. I also went through numerous brain scans and other tests.

The professionals had thought I was deaf, but I wasn’t, I just couldn’t talk when I should have been able too. I also couldn’t move on my own when I should have been able to. I was severely malnourished due to neglect from my biological mother.

This neglect has contributed to my mental health diagnosis and I was told I would never succeed in life. I was told I would never graduate high school. I was also told I would be nothing in life. As you can see, I am somebody 0 even though some days it’s hard to believe it. High school was extremely difficult, however I graduated with a diploma in class 2017.

I had always had challenges with my mental health, however my life turned for the worse in 2016 when I lost the most important person in my life to suicide. My city ( Woodstock, Ontario) had a ‘suicide contagion‘ in 2016, when many young people died by suicide – my partner being one of those who lost their fight. My partner and I had both been struggling with severe mental illness, though at the time we did not know what we were battling against.

All we knew was that we fought day and night to stay alive. We both were involved in dangerous things such as drugs, and self-harm. We had both hoped to kill the pain we dealt with each day. Others see us as happy people, but we were the total opposite.

Two weeks prior to my partner’s tragic loss, she had been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder.

I’ve had four serious involuntary psychiatric hospitalisations due to suicide attempts. After many years of fighting and struggling, just this past summer during my last hospitalisation I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

I thought once I had answers, my life would be better and I would be able to heal and such. I found out the hard way that’s not what would happen. I still struggle with suicidal thoughts daily. I still struggle with hallucinations. I still battle dissociation. I found myself back into using marijuana. My medications weren’t working, and I wasn’t getting nowhere with the psychiatrists to discuss the medications, so I turned to drugs again…

It’s been months since my last discharge. I was doing great there for a while, but like always I crashed. My illness is getting worse again. I have a really hard time talking about what I’m going through, though somehow I’ve been doing better at reaching out for help. I can’t talk to my friends about how I’m feeling or anything. I find it extremely difficult to reach out for help because of the way I was raised, but slowly and surely I am making progress.

Each day is a struggle, I am not going to lie to you. Life does get worse before it gets better. You will run into people who will hurt you and use you. The one thing I have been learning about is setting healthy boundaries.

I am slowly learning to be assertive with my needs. I have been broke because I thought I was being nice by helping others, when in fact they were lying straight to my face and using me, and when I put my foot down, they tried covering their tracks by yet again lying to my face hoping that I would fall for it again.

I am a mental health advocate and blogger. I blog about my journey with mental illness in the hopes that I can help at least one person during their storm. I firmly believe that if we all work together, and support each other, we can all find happiness, love, and most importantly hope.


Image credit: Freepik

Emily Thorn struggles with serious mental illnesses. According to statistics, she is at high risk of suicide. Though Emma strongly acknowledges this, she is determined to get better. 

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