If you’ve looked back through this blog or been reading it for a while you’ll be aware that I suffered from mental health problems from the age of fourteen. My teenage years were overshadowed by mental health problems.
Sometimes I look back and I feel regret and longing. I wish that I could go back and live those years of my life like everyone else. I think about how amazing it would be to live without having to think about working or making money or the big, scary, adult world.
I see teenagers portrayed everywhere and I feel an incredible longing to be one of them again, (technically I still am but we’ll gloss over that) I feel regret for the person who I was.
I can understand that the feelings that I’m having aren’t logical.
I know that puberty was nasty- seriously, it was nasty. It involved spots, rough periods, unnatural amounts of sweat and constantly sore boobs… not to mention the mood swings.
I don’t want to go through that again.
But I still feel like I wasted years of my life.
I have to remind myself that those years made me who I am now, that they taught me invaluable lessons and at the end of the day I couldn’t have changed what happened to me. I had depression, it wasn’t a choice.
However that doesn’t mean that I don’t wonder if there was anything I could have done differently. I wish that they’d given me medication. Maybe if they had then I’d be writing about the evils of giving medication to teenagers with mental health problems… but maybe I’d have been given the chance to be normal.
We don’t know what we would have done, or who we would have become if things in our pasts had turned out differently. We can only live the lives that we’ve been given… but that won’t ever stop us from wondering.
I think that the wondering is the thing that makes us human. The treatment that I received was having an appointment every week where I would talk about my week to a counsellor. That was it- there was no specific, therapeutic approach- nobody diagnosed me, nobody talked about treatments options.
I went through my teenage years with undiagnosed depression. Years and years of my life were spent in a living hell, it felt like every minute physically hurt.
The problems that I had as a teenager came back last winter. As I was now an adult I went to see my GP, he diagnosed me with depression and offered me medication which I accepted. I blogged about my experiences with medication and came to the conclusion that medication did help me, but the side affects that I experienced eventually led me to stop taking it.
I think that if I’d have been given medication to get me out of the mental trap that I was in and then been offered therapy I would have improved a great deal. I would have had the chance to escape years of mental health problems.
Instead I got an hour a week with an incompetent counsellor who made me talk about my week.
The older I get and the more perspective I gain the angrier I become about CAMHS and my treatment. Studying psychology and talking to other health professionals has helped to open my eyes even more.
’til next time,