Mental health illness can happen to anyone, it doesn’t discriminate. Whether it’s from past trauma, grief, divorce, losing your job or a genetic condition. No one chooses to suffer from mental health, but what we can choose is to talk about it and seek help when needed.
I have past trauma that I tried suppressing for the past few years, to pretend I was a different person to the one that was affected 11 years ago and by doing so I uncovered PTSD. About 6-months ago I started to get really paranoid that everyone wanted to kill me, it got to the point that I would hallucinate and believe people were standing over my bed.
My story was a very public one, one that entailed thousands of death threats and abuse and back then I believed that I did deserve to die. But I love life now so I’m experiencing the same trauma but from a different angle, I don’t want to die. One day I got so paranoid that I went into a state of psychosis and that’s when I knew something was wrong with me . . . Something different.
Salt Recovery were a client of mine at the time, so I rang them and was admitted the following morning. I was able to access my superannuation to fund my stay and treatment. It was a stay of ups and downs and realisations. There was a scare at one point resulting in ending up in hospital with a suspected heart attack with high blood pressure and chest pain, thankfully everything was ok, and it was just the emotions of stress and fear.
Once you understand what’s going on and why you are feeling certain ways, it’s a huge relief that you can start your treatment and move forward. For me, I see my breakdown as a positive because I was feeling the way I was because I wanted to live . . . I was paranoid of death. PTSD is a tricky beast but it’s manageable, for me I just needed to get rid of my shame and guilt and own my story . . . To not be afraid to share my story.
I know my story helps others, so it’s not something I’m going to hide anymore. I shared my story with 9Honey and some of the photos are confronting but it’s important to diminish the stigma.
We get one chance at this life, if you are experiencing mental health illness, not feeling quite right or have burnout. Do what you need to do to get help, put yourself first and please don’t ever feel ashamed for saying “I need help.”
Written by Mel Greig.