Please welcome guest blogger Fiona, who actively blogs about her mental health experience to a captive audience at Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers. Her story is honest, refreshing, and inspiring. TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of self-harm and a suicide attempt (not graphic).
Eight years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and two years ago, I was given a further diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. I remember so clearly the day that the bpd label landed in my life. I’d seen my therapist a few days previously, and we’d agreed that after my psychiatrist appointment I’d give her a call to let her know what had been said. I’d been years in the public mental health service at this stage, and years trying and failing to get to grips with my extremes of emotion. We were dealing with the depression as best as we could (medication and ongoing therapy), but for every step forward I took there seemed to be three backwards.
During those 6 months, with no emotional support of any kind, depression came back with a vengeance, and by November last year I was signed out of work on sick leave (I’m yet to go back). We – my husband, family, friends and I – were hanging on by our fingernails. The promise of DBT was the only thing keeping me going. I was suicidal, self-harming, severely depressed and functioning at a bare minimum level. As I have two young kids this was incredibly difficult, and my general lack of ability to cope was starting to take a toll on my family.
I’ve been let down by our mental health services so many times over the years that I had never fully believed they would come through for me with something as huge as DBT. We spent a couple of days in shock, then started to consider alternatives. Private treatment wasn’t an option, it’s prohibitively expensive and we just do not have the means, particularly as I’m currently on unpaid sick leave. But the more we looked, the more we realised there was no alternative, we would have to find a way to make private therapy work.