Sarah, 18, Birmingham, UK

I’ve suffered with my mental health throughout my teen and after a long battle and numerous suicide attempts, we all agreed the safest option would be an admission on a psychiatric unit. October last year, at the age of 17, I ended up in a adult inpatient unit. This is where I got a further diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. I’d never heard of borderline personality disorder  before and in a weird way, when I read into it, the diagnosis gave me some sort of comfort ; it helped me to understand why my emotions and impulsivity were always so heightened and gave me the validation I needed.  

However, this didn’t make living with mental illness any easier. It’s very hard to understand ourselves never mind trying to tell others how we feel. It feels as if our brains never shut off, obsessing over every little detail, one minute you feel really motivated and ready to conquer anything then the next you could be feeling so low and suicidal, it’s like a rollercoaster up and down constantly and i can only describe it as battling my own mind in a war zone. From a young age I’ve found keeping relationships difficult and get attached and rely on individuals a lot and on the bad days that usually ends with me pushing people away. However, I’m so grateful to have an amazing team of family, friends and teachers around me, who have stuck by me through hospital, home life, sixth form and still continue to help me day in day out.  

Mental health in general needs a lot more awareness, especially mental illnesses such as Borderline personality disorder. It’s extremely complicated and sadly there’s a lot of stigma attached to it. We aren’t manipulative. We aren’t attention seeking. We aren’t bad people. We just want someone to support us and tell us things will be ok. For anyone struggling with any mental illness things do get better and you aren’t alone in this fight. It won’t be easy but it’s worth it. I never thought I’d be alive for my 18th birthday, never mind spend my 18th birthday with a load of strangers on a pysch ward, but I did, and I’m grateful to still be alive and continue to fight not only for myself but for those suffering to. To anyone reading this things may be tough right now, but you will get through it. There’s always someone out there to listen so please don’t suffer in silence, hold onto hope because things do and will get better ! 

Since coming out of hospital, I wanted to channel my passion of helping others and raising awareness on mental health by doing something big. November 19th 2020, not only will mark a year since I was in hospital, but I will be trekking the Sahara desert for 5 days with my Dad and Godfather to raise money for mental health charity MIND.

You can follow Sarah on her instagram and donate for her desert trek here.


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