In 2002, my life was pretty difficult I had a mortgage, I had lost my job due to ill-health and life was a struggle. I was married and my ex-husband was working hard to make ends meet.
We were both under a lot of stress I felt guilty for being ill and started to notice little things happening to me. I was losing weight and noticed that my sleep was erratic I was waking up at 2am in the morning and my mood was low at first, I thought it was just a bit of stress, but as the weeks went by, I started to feel worse. I was constantly agitated and felt really anxious. I went to see my doctor and she said I was depressed and she put me on medication. It made me worse, my anxiety went through the roof and I was so unwell I had to go and stay with my parents as I could not be left alone and my husband had to work. I felt detached from reality and felt like I was just existing the weeks went into months I was put on loads of different medications but none of them worked.
I was referred to a psychiatrist and told I had depressive disorder and anxiety, and the weeks and years ahead I was given different diagnosis’s some I cannot even remember as there have been so many. I had different types of therapy and psychology but nothing really made a difference. A few years later I was seen by a new psychiatrist and he prescribed a new medication which actually started to work, and I started to feel better, my marriage had broken up by this time and I was with someone else. I started to feel normal again and was stable for a while.
In 2007 I was bullied in my job. I was managing a refuge for women fleeing domestic abuse, it was a truly awful time I was unfairly dismissed and ended up having a breakdown. This made me really ill again, the depression and anxiety were back and I was how I was before could not be left alone having panic attacks and feeling really low and suicidal. I was in the system again and things were as they were before, it took ages until my dad took matters further it was around this time, I said to dad I think I am bipolar. I said I feel really wired up and keep spending money and my mood is up and down.
My dad went back to the mental health team and asked for a second opinion, I was so happy when I got to see my original psychiatrist, he assessed me and agreed that I did have bipolar and put me on a new medication I started to get stable again. I now have to manage my illness and know the triggers if I am under stress, I can become ill. I was put on a mood on track course for people with bipolar it was interesting and I learned about my condition and ways to manage it. It has not been an easy time but at least, in the end, I got the correct diagnosis and know what my triggers are.
The important thing is to never give up hope. x
Claudette is a passionate campaigner and activist for mental health stigma and domestic abuse. She believes that everyone should be treated equally regardless of their disability or gender. She has diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, endometriosis, Chronic Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia. Claudette has a certificate in Management studies. Her interests include beauty, makeup, animals politics, current affairs, and social networking.