A story by Michael, Across the UK
What challenge does this story focus on?
My story is about mental health and feeling good enough. I have struggled with (and still struggle with) Severe depression, severe anxiety, Paranoia, Sleeping difficulties, eating difficulties, hallucinations (both visual and auditory) amongst some other things.
How has this challenge affected you?
Hugely, as obviously I still struggle and have severe disorders and issues. These struggles have affected my daily life drastically, things such as crossing the road can be a challenge to me now due to my suicidal tendencies, basic day to day things can be almost debilitating as the depression and anxiety takes over.
What has or is helping you to move forward with this challenge?
As I am under 18, I am currently in service for CAMHS, and CBT which is a type of therapy along with some medication. I create music to help with coping with my difficulties, I take inspiration from people like Nick Drake as they were able to really convey their difficulties in music. At the moment I do nothing but Acoustic guitar stuff, primarily folk finger picking which I do myself and script myself. A great coping strategy I have found is especially when suffering from urges, 1 2 3 inhale 1 2 3 exhale. That and in more extreme circumstances chewing on Ice can help as I find it distracts and resets my body.
What have you learnt as a result of this challenge?
Although my difficulties are still extremely present and can still take control over me, my music helps me express something I can’t say in words. Listening to music also does the same, a way of expression that no amount of words could summarise, a pain that simply can’t be spoken. (See above for some of the coping strategies I use).
How do you use this learning in your life now?
I use breathing methods nearly every day as my issues are quite extreme, heavy exercise can really help some people (personally not me) but a lot of work with music (DJing and music making for me) really is a good way to distract and let out some of those pent up emotions, the main thing I have learnt is no matter how hard it gets, there’s always a tomorrow, as long as I get there, there is a chance for it to improve.
What positive message would you like the reader to go away with?
You’re never alone, you’re loved and cared for and you can always reach out to those around you.