11th Feature Story: Casey’s Story regarding Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa.

Note: This may be a trigger for some

My name is Casey Imageand I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa.

My troubles really came to a peak when I was 13 years old. I self-harmed every day (cutting, bruising, biting, burning) and thought of suicide daily. I was depressed all the time but for no real reason. I couldn’t handle being outside because I felt as if everyone was judging me. My appetite, interest and purpose began to fall. I fell into a slump of sleeping 16 hours a day and watching TV the rest of the time. I simply had no energy or interest in life. This made me mad, so I would break down regularly. School wasn’t an option, I couldn’t let people see me like this! Life became so difficult even getting out of bed in the morning was a challenge, I wanted to die. When I went to my first day of high school I ended up breaking down in my vice-principal’s office because of the major stress, depression and anxiety that I felt when I was around my peers. I was then sent for therapy and regular psychiatry appointments, but that wasn’t enough. Two weeks into my treatment I attempted suicide. I was put in the hospital for physical treatment and then was put in the psych ward for my suicidal ideation. This, I am sad to say was the beginning of a trend. For the next year I attempted suicide 7 times and was in the hospital for more than 4 months at a time until they put me in a long treatment facility that was supposed to be for 6 months. I discharged myself against medical advice a month later. I would make up for the missed months later.

When I turned 14, I was put into a school for adolescents with mental health problems. You spend 6 hours a day doing treatment and sleep at home. This was going really well until I attempted suicide for the 8th time and was sent back to the hospital. The trend continued for a couple more months.

When I turned 15 the trend suddenly came to an end. I went weeks without self-harming and suicide was simply not on my mind. I made friends, had a great relationship with my family and was getting the highest grades I have ever made in school. Life was amazing, until I remembered I promised to kill myself at 16.

On my 16th birthday I attempted suicide and was put back in the hospital. The trend then continued but with the twist of an eating disorder. Since I was in hospital all the time I couldn’t exactly exercise, I was put on medications that made me gain weight and quit my one love and obsession, rep soccer. I felt fat, my self-confidence plummeted and I developed Bulimia. A decrease of 20 pounds later I found myself in treatment for eating disorders. After fainting multiple times I was put in the hospital regularly for observation and force feeding.

My 16th year is when things changed.

I started to turn myself around and wanted to prove to myself that I was worth something so I put my full attention into curing myself of depression. I worked on booklets, used multiple coping strategies and challenged myself to do things I didn’t want to. I accepted treatment and most of all accepted that something needed to change, and that something was me. One year later I find myself perfectly fine and even happy.

I won’t lie to you, I am not perfect, I fall sometimes but always remember that I am enough and I pick myself up again.

I am proud to say that my 17th birthday is coming in two weeks and I have no plans but to spend the day with my loved ones and to smile. Smile bigger than ever before because I am enough and I am worth it.

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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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