For 28 years I believed that I had treatment-resistant bi-polar depression. I believed that there was something intrinsically wrong with me. I always believed that I was defective, weak, with a bio-chemical deficiency that couldn’t be cured or changed. That was what I had been told. I’d been assessed by numerous medical professionals, I’d seen general practitioners, psychiatrists and behavioural therapists, I’d undergone electro-convulsive treatment and I’d swallowed a great many prescribed drugs. The overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, shame and guilt always, at some point, returned.
In utter desperation, I tried to find a local practicing hypnotherapist. Frankly, you get to the stage where you will try pretty much anything if there is even the tiniest shred of hope that it may help you. I spoke to a woman who seemed professional enough yet kept questioning me about my childhood. I grew quite irritated with her. The issue was NOT my admittedly unusual, but nonetheless happy, childhood but my on-going, relentless depression. As I couldn’t seem to make her grasp this, she refused to give me an appointment.
Fast forward through the next month of ongoing difficulties at university and a disastrous stay with my sister and I was back in my tiny apartment, incredibly lonely and horrendously depressed. I have been aware for a long time that there is something very wrong with my relationship with my sister, but as she is the only family member I have in my life, I have always been desperate for any crumbs of affection from her. For the first time ever, someone else acknowledged how fearful I am of displeasing her, and that her behaviour is not okay.
I think it was this tiny validation that pushed me towards trying again to find a counsellor or someone, anyone, who might be able to help me. Something is not right with the way my sister and I interact. I started to question our unusual childhood and to look online for advice, support and suggestions. But most of all, for information. Lots and lots of information.
I found a private female counsellor and made an appointment to see her a week later. I have an extremely limited budget and it would be very difficult to find the money to pay for a private therapist. I mentioned my childhood circumstances and asked if she had had any experience in dealing with them previously. When she confirmed that she had, I thought I would attempt to expedite matters by writing a brief, factual account of my childhood and emailing it to her, so she would have some background before I attended my appointment.I had never written anything about my childhood before, I’d had no reason to, and no medical professional had ever asked me about it; but the self-help information for depression that I was reading online said it could be helpful.
An Account, my first blog post accessible on the right-hand sidebar, details what I wrote.