Monday, May 29, 2006

My Story (with happy ending!!!!)

I have just submitted this article to

I am 28 years old; I have an undergraduate degree and a post graduate degree. I have a good career that pays well and allows me to be independent. I get to do some travelling for business.

All my life I have suffered from social anxiety, I was an extremely shy child and speaking to my psychiatrist recently we believe I suffered from selective mutism. My social phobia went undiagnosed until recently.

I was first diagnosed with depression nearly five years ago. Since then I have tried several anti-depressants, which offered me some relief. I believe the underlying cause of the depression was the social anxiety.

I first started having symptoms of depression around puberty. This went undiagnosed until I was 23 as the social phobia prevented me seeking help even after I realised I was ill.

Things came to a head last year when I could no longer cope. A friend called 999 because I was threatening suicide. He rang me and all I could do was scream. I had not hurt my self but I could no longer cope with all the stuff going on in my head.

I still did not get the help I needed for another few days. The police took me to my doctor who prescribed anti-depressants (again!). I was also assigned a social worker. Over the next week I was prescribed strong sleeping tablets and valium. Neither of these helped.

A few weeks later I became psychotic and was admitted to hospital. I had not slept for over a week. I spent 5 days in an NHS hospital. My antidepressants/ anti anxiety drugs were stopped and I was put on Anti Psychotics. After I started to gain control again I asked to see a psychiatrist privately as the NHS psychiatrist would not see me for another week. I got myself transferred to a private hospital where I spent another three weeks.

During this time I nearly lost my job (luckily thanks to my supervisor and manager realising I was going through a rough time I was talked out of resigning and offered a career break instead). I lost the place I was living in.

It took me a few months to rebuild my life and get my independence back. Loosing my independence had triggered several panic attacks.

I returned to work part time after about four months off. That was about 6 months ago.

I now have a new lease of life. I am being treated for Social Anxiety and Bipolar Disorder. I have also received some cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Social Anxiety is my biggest battle. I have suffered from this all my life and have become an expert in avoidance.

I so want to make friends, I love people and I hate being on my own. I am making really good progress and I have my own blogg, which I have been writing for just over a month now.

I have suffered in silence most of my life - When I kept getting diagnosed with depression and prescribed more drugs I said I thought I had social phobia but my GP would not take it seriously. It has taken me years and been so difficult to get any help! I want to share my experience in the hope that it may help others.

1 comment:

Raine said...

Annie how are you feeling?? I see a sudden surge in blogging. Are you maybe feeling a bit manic??? You've never said if you are bi-polar one or two. I think its great that you are sharing with us and I want for you to continue but I urge you to take a moment and be aware of how you feel also. Respond back and let me know how you are ok??