‘A TALENTED AND CREATIVE YOUNG LADY’

When people meet me, they often say that I look like a very happy and lovely young woman. However, what they do not realise is that I expend a huge amount of energy just trying to be normal. The truth is that I have immense trouble existing in the world. Sometimes people notice that I ‘disappear’ for days or weeks, but I never talk about what actually goes on during these times. I tend to gloss it over with vague excuses, mainly out of fear of judgement, because I know that full disclosure of the truth would reveal a side of me that others do not know exist or may find uncomfortable.

I want to open up more, to try to help make the world a better place through sharing my experiences of mental health. So far I feel I have made little impact or difference in this way, but I vow to carry on and do as much as I can while I have the time. I feel like I can no longer afford to hold back while mental health continues to be a topic riddled with misunderstanding and misconceptions, causing sadness, pain, suffering – and tragically, even fatalities – to many individuals and families.

These quotes are all taken from my medical records dating back over ten years. They might seem dark and sad, but more than anything I hope they also show that it is possible to keep going and find the strength to endure whatever difficulties come our way. For I am still here, grateful to be alive – and I will count my sand timer down to the very last grain.


‘GEORGIA APPEARS TO PRESENT WITH COMPLEX MENTAL HEALTH DIFFICULTIES’

‘DEVELOPED AN EATING DISORDER AT THE AGE 13’

‘ANOREXIA NERVOSA’

‘BULIMIA NERVOSA’

‘INDUCED VOMITING PROVIDES HER WITH A MEANS OF COPING WITH DIFFICULT EMOTIONS’

‘COMPULSIVE BINGE EATING’

‘INCREASINGLY ISOLATED’

‘ORTHOREXIA’

‘SPECIALISTS RECOMMENDED A HOSPITAL ADMISSION’

‘CLINICAL DEPRESSION’

‘PROMINENT OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE SYMPTOMS’

‘NEEDS A HIGHLY STRUCTURED ROUTINE’

‘SHE HAS FIXATIONS ABOUT HER APPEARANCE AND PARTS OF HERSELF SHE CONSIDERS UNSIGHTLY’

‘EATING DISORDER OTHERWISE UNSPECIFIED’

‘SHE HAS SCARS FROM WHERE SHE USED TO CUT HERSELF BUT HAS NOT DONE SO FOR SEVERAL YEARS’

‘RISK TO SELF: MODERATE. FLEETING SUICIDAL THOUGHTS. CONSIDERED HANGING HERSELF FROM BANISTER AT HOME AND HAS WRITTEN NOTES TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

‘DESCRIBED SECONDARY SCHOOL AS “HELLISH”’

‘VERY CRITICAL OF HERSELF’

‘DISPLAYS CHARACTERISTICS ALONG THE AUTISTIC SPECTRUM’

‘NOT RECEIVED ANY SUPPORT’

‘SHE HAS HAD LOW SELF-ESTEEM AND APPEARANCE CONCERNS FOR AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER’

‘SUICIDAL IDEATION’

‘SAID SHE FELT SHE HAD COME TO A NATURAL END’

‘BIPOLAR DISORDER’

‘WENT TO HANG HERSELF BUT DIDN’T BECAUSE OF HER FAMILY’

‘ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL FOR AN OVERDOSE’

‘OBSESSIVE THOUGHTS’

‘BELIEVES SHE IS DISEASED INSIDE’

‘HAS FIXED PLANS TO KILL HERSELF’

‘ENDORSED THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WITH THE MAXIMAL SCORE OF 3: SADNESS; HOPELESSNESS; LOSING INTEREST IN OTHER PEOPLE; FATIGUE’

‘DEPRESSION WITH PSYCHOTIC SYMPTOMS’

‘HISTORY OF PERSECUTORY VOICES TO HARM HER’

‘SOCIAL ANXIETY’

‘MULTIPLE OCCASIONS LED TO REPORTS OF MISSING PERSONS TO POLICE’

‘ACUTE RELAPSE’

‘ENJOYS ROUTINE AND IS UNABLE TO MAKE SPONTANEOUS PLANS’

‘HAS ALWAYS FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO MAKE FRIENDS. SHE HAS TENDED TO RELY ON CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH A FEW PEOPLE’

‘BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER’

‘SHE FEELS HER EXPERIENCE OF LIFE IS THAT SHE IS “LOST INSIDE A WAVE”, WITH BRIEF REPRIEVES OF “COMING UP FOR AIR”’

‘ENJOYS SOCIALISING ALTHOUGH EXPLAINS AFTER AN HOUR BEING IN THE COMPANY OF FRIENDS FINDS IT DIFFICULT TO CONTINUE CONVERSATIONS AND WISHES TO SEEK TIME ALONE’

‘PERIODS OF HYPOMANIA WITH RACING THOUGHTS, EXCESSIVE ENERGY LEVELS, AND REPORTS OF COLOURS AND OTHER SENSES BECOMING MORE INTENSE’

‘REPORTS FEELING DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY’

‘DOES NOT FEEL HUMAN’

‘VIVID AND DISTURBING DREAMS’

‘THE LAST SIX MONTHS OF FEELING DISCONNECTED APPEAR TO BE A NEW COLLECTION OF SYMPTOMS FOR GEORGIA THAT FOLLOW A YEAR OF CYCLING HYPOMANIA AND DEPRESSION WITH STRONG URGES TO END HER LIFE’

‘INCREASINGLY UNSTABLE MOOD FLUCTUATIONS’

SHE LAST UPDATED THESE NOTES A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO HOWEVER EXPRESSES A CURRENT STRONG DESIRE TO LIVE AND IS HOPEFUL TO PURSUE CREATIVE PROJECTS TO RAISE AWARENESS AND HELP OTHERS WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS’

————

END NOTES:

‘PREVIOUS MEDICATIONS: SEVERAL DIFFERENT PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATIONS INCLUDING RISPERIDONE, OLANZAPINE, ARIPRIPRAZOLE, FLUPENTIXOL, SETRALINE, CITALOPRAM, LAMOTRIGINE, DIAZEPAM, ZOPICLONE, AGLOMELATINE, QUETIAPINE’

‘SPEECH: ARTICULATE, INTELLIGENT AND ABLE TO EXPRESS HERSELF. DEMONSTRATES HIGH LEVEL OF SELF-AWARENESS AND GOOD INSIGHT INTO HER SYMPTOMS’

‘APPEARANCE AND BEHAVIOUR: YOUNG LADY, PLEASANT AND ENGAGING IN THE INTERVIEW’

‘GEORGIA’S GOAL IS TO ACHIEVE SOME STABILITY IN HER MENTAL HEALTH’

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