Behind Brandon's Mind

     I’ve dealt with mental illness my entire life. It came about through a toxic household when I was a child. I grew up within isolation and just keeping everything to myself. Thoughts of running away and attempts at suicide were just a regular day in the life of me as an adolescent. Throughout the years, they kind of faded away as my social life along with my life at home became better. But as much as they faded away, they never really disappeared. I just became so good at hiding it and keeping it to myself that my life just became accustomed to it; in short, my life just worked around these thoughts. However, as much as I try to contain them, the trauma never really disappeared. In fact, they shaped me as an individual today and how I think and react to situations. I still regularly go through episodes of overthinking that lead to breaking down and/or suicidal attempts. Pills became a regular part of my life. I have countless cases of almost overdosing on medication and constantly taking double, if not triple the recommended dosage just to get some sleep. Flash forward to today, I’ve seen a therapist for the last 3 years. From originally diagnosed with OCD, anxiety and depression to a now more recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.

The funny thing is, to regular people, they would never expect me to have mental illnesses. None of my close friends would have known about it if I didn’t tell them. The issue with having BPD is that we often times get lost within our own identity. I can’t determine whether my thoughts are my own or just a defence mechanism that I developed to help me get over the situation at hand. I’ve become so lost within myself that I actually don’t know who my true self is. In short, I’m basically going through an identity crisis.

The message I really want to get across is that mental illness is extremely invisible. You wouldn’t be able to tell if someone around you has it and the severity of it. To all those reading this, reach out to your closest people. For someone suffering with mental illness, the support that we get from those around us are more important than you might think. Often times, just a simple message from a close friend to ask how you’re doing or if you need any help is enough to brighten my day.

 

Brandon S.

Mississauga, Ontario

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