Individuals with mental health needs aren’t scary, we’re just general, everyday people like you

19 March 2014

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Andrew, who regularly blogs for Recovery Stars, shares his experience of depression

When my depression started I began to get mood swings and became argumentative with people. My boss told me that I had to resign or be sacked. I resigned, then went home and tried to hang myself. I was found a few days later, still alive.

I didn’t plan to hang myself, it was a spur of the moment thing, a cry for help. Back then I was a really reserved person and couldn’t tell people my problems. I just bottled them all up until I couldn’t take any more.

After this I was taken to hospital and sectioned, before being transferred to a private hospital. The second hospital had group therapy sessions on topics like anxiety, self-esteem and emotions which all helped. I was there for three weeks before being moved to the third hospital. It was totally different here. There wasn’t anything designed for people with mental health needs. There were group reading sessions, pampering activities (not ideal for a bloke!) and craft sessions – none of which really addressed anyone’s issues. I didn’t have any freedom either and had to be accompanied everywhere. I was glad to leave.

I’ve now moved into a supported living home that’s run by Milestones Trust. Since leaving hospital there have been a lot more downs than ups, but I’m feeling a lot more positive now. I live with five other people and get support with everyday activities from two support workers. All of my housemates have mental health needs too so they understand how I feel.

My main support networks are my housemates, my support workers and the couple of friends who’ve visited. I had a lot of friends before I was hospitalised but only two people have visited me since. Everyone seems to be afraid of those little words “mental health”. Individuals with mental health needs aren’t scary, we’re just general, everyday people like you.

Andrew regularly blogs for Recovery Stars, Milestones Trust’s mental health blog. Milestones Trust supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and dementia.