Saturday, February 27, 2010

Minds at Risk

Today I watched Insight, a discussion show on SBS that talks about current issues. This week's subject was "Minds at Risk" - about the failings in the Mental Health system in Australia. A really interesting topic and those interested should check it out here.

What touched me personally was the story of a girl with DID. Her symptoms showed differently to mine and she had a hard time getting help and proper diagnoses. I was really lucky that I found a psychologist who listened and took the time to recognise what I was going through.

My troubles really started showing in year 12, my grandmother had just died and I was supposed to be preparing for my HSC which was to take place in about 2 months. I became serverly depressed, I was flooded with memories I didnt understand. I was tired all the time and had no energy. When I did get sleep it was filled with nightmares. I had sucidal thoughts. I also couldnt handle being around people and I pushed away my friends. For which I am truely sorry.

The week my HSC finished my parents moved to the country and I moved with them. I didnt have a license and couldnt get around. I felt clostraphobic and had nothing to do to keep me distracted in such a small town. Then in the first week of Feburary I was in Sydney visiting friends, long story short, I was in the situation where I had to catch  a train by myself. Two men got on the train at the next station. I dont think I am ready to go into what happened next but I am sure you can have a good guess.

When I got back home to my parents I was a complete mess, but I couldnt confide in them. My Mum while an amazing mother; who raised me from age 6 to 13 (when she remarried) by herself with no finacial support; lives by the idea of pretending everything is ok and keep going no matter what. I didnt believe she could understand why I was falling completely apart.

So I moved out and got myself a position as a live-in Nanny looking after four children, two girls aged 4 and 6 years, and two boys aged 8 and 10 years. It was an amazing year and they touched my life in so many ways. The job kept me busy - being up at 6:30 in the morning and putting them to bed at 8pm, keeping up with four active kids for 14 hours is tiring - partcularly when you have to walk everywhere. I rarely had the time or the energy to remember my problems.

But you can only hide for so long and by the end of the year the nightmares where back and the memories were worse than before. I didnt know what was real and what wasnt. I left that job and moved in with my boyfriend's mother. Started studying part time at TAFE. This is when I started to lose time.

I suppose you are wondering how someone can "lose" time. I would be somewhere doing something and then it was like I blinked and the next thing I was somewhere else and an hour had past and I had no recollection of what had happened.

As time went on I lost more time. My boyfriend met some of my alts - often at the worst times like when we were having sex. He was really good about it though and a huge support. He was the first person who suggested DID. He had a huge interest in the human mind and had read about it. But at the time I wasn't ready to accept it. I didnt want to even know about it. It scared me so much

As time went on I started uni, my boyfriend and I broke up, though we are still friends. But I was also still losing time and it was getting worse. I was doing 5 subjects at uni and I started to break down. I couldnt handle it. One of my lecturers noticed I was struggling and set me up with the uni councellor. I didnt mention the loss of time but I did tell her about the nightmares, the depression and the memories. She told me that she wanted me to see someone who had more experience. She gave me the number of a local woman's health centre where a psychologist volunteered who was a specialist in trauma.

It took me a year to trust her enough to tell her about the losing time, about my alts. I had this fear that if I told anyone they would lock me up in a mental hospital. That terrified me. But she was really good about it and diagnosed me with DID.

I didnt plan to go into all of this stuff tonight, but once I started it all came flooding out. Maybe it will help someone realise that there are people out there who want to help. Who can help.


Telstaar said...

Sorry, I hope I'm not scaring you but I want to be upfront about thoughts so you're not stressing about what I'm thinking etc either...

It was really brave of you to share this post and I'm really thankful you did. It gives me (someone very new to this blog) a bit of insight into your background.

I hope to "get to know" you a little bit overtime.


Post a Comment