3 Things That Happened After I Got A Diagnosis

3 Things That Happened After I Got A Diagnosis

I briefly mentioned this in my birthday post, but I’ve recently been struggling to come to terms with a diagnosis. So many of you have been really lovely and helpful. It’s been a great reminder that I’m not alone and I really apprecriate that. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to speak candidly about all this.

For years now, I have struggled with my mental health. I have always known something isn’t quite right, but I never thought to get any help. I don’t know whether it’s fear, stigma, my persona, or my upbringing, but I thought I didn’t deserve help. As somebody who is strong-minded and high-functioning, I’ve always been taught to get on with things. The thought that there are people worse off than me has stopped me from seeking help for a long time.

Although this thought is still at the back of my mind, I recently decided to try do something about it. What led to this? I think I’m growing up and becoming more self-aware. Things haven’t gotten worse, I’m just more aware of signs and real sick of this horrible cycle I find myself in.

So, I went to see a doctor. I said some things I haven’t really said out loud before and I broke down. I left feeling really vulnerable, but ultimately it was a step I needed to take. They recommended me to a local ‘wellbeing service’ and I found myself on a waiting list for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

It was there I was met with a diagnosis. Here are three things that have happened since then:

“Feel my body shutting down, I don’t wanna hear a sound” – Clean Bandit, Marina and the Diamonds

I felt a bit broken

I didn’t realise it at the time, but a diagnosis was something I definitely needed. Like I said, I have struggled for ages and not really known what is wrong with me. I suspected I suffered from anxiety and I was right. However, depression was thrown into the mix too. I think this is the part I struggled with the most. Suddenly, these feelings and cycles I experience had a name. They seemed more real and even more scarier. I felt really broken and it was a lot to process. Anxiety and depression is a horrendous mix, I guess I just felt really overwhelmed by it all.

A lot of things started to make sense

Past behaviours, little habits, why I find myself doing particular things, all these things started to make more sense. I didn’t even realise I experienced physical symptoms until I spoke to a therapist. It’s been kind of awful realising that my teen angst was more than just angst. I think when we’re younger our struggles are ruled out by hormones. Clarity is bittersweet; it made me feel stupid, unheard and also blown my mind a couple of times. It’s definitely a process.

A diagnosis has helped me accept myself

Although this is a new and scary thing, I think ultimately knowledge is power. I keep getting really overwhelmed by the fact that this is just my life now. It’s not something I can cure, but it’s something I can certainly try to manage. Coming to this realisation is helping me accept myself and also serves as a reminder to be kinder to myself.

In terms of other mental health bloggers and tweeters out there, I realise I’m pretty ‘behind’. I realise this may be something you have read before or something you already know, but I wanted to write it anyway. It’s a process and definitely one that is teaching me a lot.

 

Photography by Kaye Ford
www.fordtography.co.uk

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17 Comments

  1. July 19, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    Again, thank you for writing about this Tara, I can imagine it’s not been easy and I really do hope the help you’re now being offered is giving you some relief and comfort. Like I said in my last comment on your birthday post, I can’t know exactly what you’re going through as we’re all different and experience things differently, but I’ve been in a similar position myself and have been met with difficulties in getting the right support, due to my age as I was around 16-17 when I first started experiencing issues around anxiety and depression and stress related illnesses so of course, as you mentioned above, it gets ruled out as hormonal changes, as opposed to the environmental situation being explored at the time too. I’ve also recently been met with a separate diagnosis of something more physical/biochemical that could have impacted on those other mental symptoms which now makes a lot more sense, and I’m hoping that as we move forward, mental and physical health are going to be seen as more mutually exclusive and that the support will reach those who need it. This post was really important for me to read at this point in my life too and I really do hope you’re doing OK lovely. – Tasha

  2. July 19, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    When I was diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression, and especially when I had CBT, a lot of things started to make sense for me too. My family home was a toxic place growing up and teachers and counsellors at school made me believe that it was normal. CBT showed me that it wasn’t and just having someone agree with me that what I went through wasn’t normal helped me enormously.

    I’d known for years that I had anxiety but the depression diagnosis broke me a little, I’d spent so long deciding that my health and disability weren’t affecting me so having to come to terms with the fact that they were was tough. Eventually breaking a little bit helped me though, I managed to rebuild and I think mentally I needed that. I needed to break a little.

    I really hope CBT helps you Tara x

    Shona | www.shonalouise.com

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 19, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      I like that way of thinking! I do feel like my meltdown was necessary too.

  3. July 19, 2017 / 1:35 pm

    I was diagnosed when I was 15, twenty years ago now, and acceptance and acknowledgement counts for a LOT. I’ve been on and off medications and in and out of my local mental health pathways for years, but what’s been more valuable than anything else has been being public about my struggles with friends and family, having a supportive partner, and being mindful about my thoughts and feelings. None of that happened until I was about 33, not really. So it is super that you are already on the journey. Well done, it isn’t easy!

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 19, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Wow! That’s really interesting to hear, thank you for sharing. I kind of feel like it’s better I’ve been diagnosed now, but do wonder if it would have helped me as a teen.

  4. July 19, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    I can totally relate to this, as I have anxiety and depression among other diagnoses. It can be really hard when you’re given a diagnosis because suddenly everything you brushed off before is now very real, very significant, it has a name and a presence. But it’s also empowering – because now you know what you’re dealing with. Now you can get help. Thank you for sharing this with your readers, I’m all for bloggers talking about mental health openly! xx

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 19, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      Yeah, I think we have the tendency to brush these things off & it deffo got a bit more real.

  5. July 20, 2017 / 10:45 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this personal journey. I’ve had my struggles on and off with mental health for a while and still haven’t seen anyone about it. It seems during my hardest moments I’m the most afraid of getting help, and it’s only now that I’m *better* (or at least on an upswing) that I’m considering it, though now I feel like I don’t really *need* it anymore.

    I really appreciate you sharing this and hope CBT is working for you.

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 20, 2017 / 10:55 am

      I was really scared of getting help too, but honestly it’s done wonders for me! I hope things improve for you soon.

  6. July 20, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    I’m so sorry you’ve been suffering for such a long time but glad you’ve taken the steps to get the support for your diagnosis. Sometimes it takes saying it out loud to someone for us to realise that we do need help. Sending love your way xxx

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 20, 2017 / 6:35 pm

      It really does! Thank you <3

  7. July 23, 2017 / 10:01 pm

    It’s absolutely a process, and I find it interesting to read how getting a diagnosis affected other people. For me it was a relief more than anything I think. Like suddenly so much was explained & I could say to people “I’m not snobby or rude, I have anxiety” or “sorry I’ve been quiet for a bit, my depression is kicking in.”
    It’s such an individual thing, how you deal with a diagnosis. I’m glad that in the long run it’s helped you accept yourself though.

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 24, 2017 / 1:43 am

      Relief is definitely something that came later for me.

  8. July 24, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    This was exactly how I felt when I spoke to my doctor and got referred to counselling, understanding my anxiety has made me so much more aware and able to understand why I act in certain ways. My CBT therapy was amazing and has totally changed my outlook on things! I know have breaks with counselling and only go back if I start to struggle again, but have found meditation, yoga and blogging a great sense of “counselling” for me! So glad youve written this post!! Ox

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 24, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      I didn’t realise how much ‘understanding’ it would help, you know!

  9. July 29, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    You are not behind! Everyone processes things at their own pace <3

    I think you are incredible for posting such raw, honest thoughts. I wish I could do that. I struggle to articulate my thoughts on my own mental health. I wish I could be more open sometimes and let people know how I'm feeling and that I struggle, a lot. I wish I didn't still feel too scared to write more about the abuse I suffered when I was a teen and how it caused C-PTSD. I still get scared that they will find me online, and IRL and hurt me again. Not something I usually admit, thank you for writing this post and helping me be a bit more vulnerable <3

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 30, 2017 / 12:57 pm

      <3

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