Lets talk about Suicidal Thoughts *Potential Trigger*
10 August 2018
Hello! It’s been a while since I last wrote a post; shocking I know! I do apologise for this! Since October last year, I’ve been busy with university, coping with my mental health, focusing on my music, spending as much time as I could with my loved ones, doing more volunteering and media related things and so much more!
This post isn’t really going to be what I’ve been up to though. That will probably come in due course, but for now I want to talk about something different. The purpose of this section of blogs is to talk about mental health, and that is what I’m about to do.
*HOWEVER PLEASE BE AWARE THIS COULD BE A TRIGGER.*
Back in April 2018, I found myself in a terrible situation which I’ve never found myself in before. I just came back from my Easter break when, BAM, my mental health decided it didn’t want to be kind. I’ve had my mental health illness what feels like my whole life, but never in my life had I ever had my mental health attack me that badly. Writing this has brought tears to my eyes; thinking back to then… I don’t ever want to be in that position again. It wasn’t like anything bad happened during the Easter break to make my mental health attack me. Sometimes mental health illness needs no reason to attack you. You could be having the most positive days ever and suddenly you could feel crippling depression. This is practically what happened to me. The only thing I could think off which caused my agro was university.
I’ve been told countless of times that I’m a workaholic, and like getting things done way before time. Workload at university was never really an issue. However, this time I left an assignment too late/ too close to my exam and suddenly everything felt like it was ripping apart. I had to sort out everything about my exam which shouldn’t have necessarily been my job to do. I had to re-organise my band for my exam (decide who I would be playing with) because my lecturer decided to put me in a band with 4 singers who I’ve never met before (I didn’t even know they were on my course), and a bassist who refused to help. As well as this, I had to organise what songs we were doing and organise rehearsal times (which is my job). I did everything practically on my own. I thank my boyfriend for standing in for me as a bassist; but despite his help; everything just became a big grey cloud full with thunder and lightning. I couldn’t breathe because of the amount of stress I was under and I can honestly say I’ve never been under that amount of stress in all of my life. My head felt like it was splitting, my voices were loud and horrible, the hallucinations were attacking me so much that I saw a hallucination every minute, and my depression became worse than it had ever become before. Yes I’ve gone through these motions before, but what was different was the suicidal thoughts I kept having. I kept hallucinating that I was going to kill myself. I’ve always been someone who self-harmed, but never in my life have I ever contemplated suicide. Yet suddenly I somehow was. I could see myself walking into my kitchen and hurting myself so badly that I die. Or, I would visualise myself crossing the road as a car was coming. These weren’t just visions, but something I strongly wanted to do. I tried my best to keep away from the kitchen and I tried my best to remain focused when crossing the road, but it was difficult. Even when I look back to April now, I didn’t take as much care as I normally would when crossing the road; and being somewhere like Cardiff where the roads are busy, I am lucky I didn’t get hit. Although at the time I wanted that to happen.
I should probably state, there is a huge stigma about suicide, and suicidal thoughts. Many think, “You’re just attention seeking,” or tell you to “stop being ridiculous.” But trust me, we aren’t attention seeking, and unless you’ve been in that situation, you shouldn’t judge or call us ridiculous. According to the Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2017, “In 2015 there were 6,639 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.” Suicide/Suicidal thoughts are a big deal.
So how did I managed to pull through? With lots of help and support from the people around me. I broke down a good few times during this period; my boyfriend hugged me, comforted me and allowed me to talk to him. He suggested I send a text to my university’s mental health mentor. I did, and suddenly I was guided to messaging my mental health adviser who I saw within a week. I broke down in front of her; in the hour appointment I don’t think I actually stopped crying. But she helped me and talked to me, and reminded me it was okay to not feel okay. She suggested I saw a GP immediately to have a look into my medication. I did as I was advised. And as you can probably guess, I broke down in tears again in front of my nurse practitioner. She didn’t even batter-an-eyelid and immediately increased my medication. Which I’m glad about. People say being on medication is a sign of weakness. But it honestly isn’t. Medication works for some people, maybe not for others; but for me, the increase of antidepressants was just what I needed to help me keep the dark thoughts at bay. Since then, I’ve been seeing my university’s mental health adviser every two or three weeks to keep an eye on me. She’s been absolutely wonderful in listening and understanding.
My medication is still on it’s higher dosage, but I’m happy with that, it’s helping to keep me calm. I’m keeping myself distracted by doing the things I love; writing music, reading, travelling etc.
I also have overwhelming support from my family and boyfriend where I don’t know where I’d be without them!
For those who may be in a similar situation, there are people out there who can help you. A list of places/people you can go to are: