I cannot take this tiredness any longer / modern labeling mental health and the impact this has on the insight of various issues. (Another entry where I really open up).

I have had enough of this constant tiredness. I feel zapped of energy all the time. I had blood tests so I am hoping that something shows up because I am having to make excuses to either go home or miss things due to being constantly exhausted. I don’t want to have to keep doing that because any opportunities I may secure in the future won’t last if I am too tired to either go or have to keep going home to sleep. I am getting no housework done. I definitely need to do a lot of cleaning tomorrow as it looks shameful. It will literally take an hour at the most but being tired makes it feel like a huge job. I’m on my Gym day tomorrow. I’m going to have to do the stuff around the flat first before going there because I know that is going to use energy and then I won’t get around to it again. I know what I am like when I’m tired. I will just go to bed after getting home and the flat will end up a mess. I’ve been ignoring health problems and it’s most likely my own fault that I’ve ended up exhausted. I believe in at least attempting to work through it. That is how I was brought up. Even if I have to have time off of college I manage to catch up with everyone else. I’ve recently done that because last week I just felt so weak and tearful (to the point where I’d just end up in tears at the slightest things… hormones).

I’m glad that my monthly has behaved itself this month. That is an issue that seems to be sorting itself out. It could have been stress related because since starting the new medication I’m a lot more chilled (despite the weight gain annoying me). I don’t feel so wound up now. I felt myself get more and more stressed to the point where I was just constantly on edge before I mentioned it to the GP. I was still very tired then but kept waking up during the night. Sometimes it was down to nightmares and sometimes I’d just wake up not having any reason. I was so wound up and stressed over everything that I wasn’t having a full nights sleep. I still have PTSD type nightmares about things in my past and that is always going to be one of those things. I’ve been through one thing after another and that has had a huge effect on me. I want others to realise that I may act a bit odd sometimes due to those experiences, however, I do not wish for another label. It never used to have a name and others just saw a person traumatised by their past experiences. There is absolutely no need to label every mental affect life has on people. Personality disorders can be caused by negative life experiences. Those affected by those were seen as those left with horrible negative parts of their personalities or a bitterness that prevented them being happy, it was not classed as disordered type thinking.

It isn’t a positive thing that we attach labels to these things because we know so much more about our thinking processes nowadays. This is due to many studies by Psychologists and Psychiatrists over the years.  We now know that there is no ‘normal’ thinking pattern. We all see things differently. For example – A closed minded person and an open minded person see the same case study on autism or something like that. The autistic behaviours displayed in the video in front of them could be viewed very differently by both of those people. The narrow-minded person may think that they are odd and are weird. Whereas, the open-minded person may seem fascinated by how the behaviour differs from the norm. Then there is self-harming and eating disorders which are very widely misunderstood. They can both be potentially fatal conditions. The perception that someone with a severe eating disorder will visibly underweight leads to a lot of those with those conditions not getting the help. The physical effects it is having on the person is unable to be seen. There have been many cases where those with the condition but undiagnosed have passed away suddenly because no one knew they were practically starving themselves or making themselves sick after meals for so long. 

I had a friend that I met in a mental health unit as a teenager after I was sent away. She had Anorexia and they were in my unit because they were being assessed for an Autistic Spectrum Condition. I was only 19 due to being the youngest in the adult unit. She was in their early 20s. All of us around her could see that she was still built like a child. However, she saw herself as fat and her perception of the perfect female body was a skinny model type image. We had group therapy sessions in there and had to point out which we thought was the healthy image. The rest of us that didn’t have an eating disorder chose the curvier image. I saw her clothes in the washroom one day and they were aged 10 – 12 years old. She eventually refused to eat and was under observation (1 to 1) constantly because they knew she was making herself sick. She was moved to a specialist eating disorder hospital. I was told updates on her because the staff knew we had been friends on the unit. She had to be sectioned again because she was refusing to be tube fed and by that time it was too late. She had an eating disorder since she was about 12 years old. She had never had periods because they didn’t happen due to the eating disorder. It’s sad when I think that she would have only been about mid-twenties when she passed away. It is so young and I know that she had that huge battle due to not being able to see her true size. That battle had been her life for over 10 years. She had been in and out of units up and down the country for a while before I met her. It’s horrible when the condition is at it’s most severe. She tore her clothes up and just sat there saying absolutely nothing. The person I’d hung about with, the one that cheered me up because she was always smiley and high spirited just wasn’t there anymore. I hope that where ever she is now, that she finally feels at peace with herself and free from the thoughts that tormented her in life. We had gelled because most of those in the hospital were more Autistic and I couldn’t relate to them.

I moved out of the unit soon after she had gone so I wasn’t on my own for long.  That is when I moved into residential care down south. I did get to know others but they were all more Autistic than me. I actually got mistaken for their carer when we went down the local pub. I kind of mothered them because I felt that it was only right to look after them while we were out as my disability wasn’t so noticeable. I grew up as a carer for my Dad, so it’s a role that I just automatically took on. There weren’t such things as respite offered to children caring for their parents like there is nowadays. Unfortunately, my Dad passed away in 2010 after a long progressive illness. I miss him, but I find comfort in knowing that he isn’t suffering anymore. He wouldn’t have got better. He would either have stayed at a level where he was reliant on oxygen and couldn’t go anywhere or, in the worse case scenario, a COPD death is where the person’s lungs fill up with fluid and they drown (there’s nothing that doctors can do for them). It’s a horrible death and my Dad was spared from that. He died of heart failure so he wouldn’t have suffered. He got up early before my Mum and fell asleep in the armchair watching his trains program. He’d gone by the time he was found.

It was weird because the morning of his death I felt something. But it wasn’t bad. It was a sense of relief and I felt relaxed. I had no idea that my Dad had passed away until later when the home manager and my key worker came to tell me. I was taken to my parents home by my key worker later that day. After I got back when it was all over I had to finish off my college course because I was just about to complete my BTEC national in media production at that time. He never got to see me complete it, he died in February and I was due to complete that in June that year. I got my results in August of that year.  I just threw myself into working on various things. I have never been the type to grieve. I may need to do it, but I find it difficult showing others how I feel. I’d rather just throw myself into something and wait until I’m through the grieving stage.