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Young, Sick and Invisible

My illness has shaped me,
But it does not define me.

Guest Post: 'Bread's Story'


My name is Bread, I’m 35 and a bisexual, non binary mum from Wales. I have a son who’s 18 months old and my wife is the stay at home mum. I work four days a week in a pharmacy, do freelance writing work and blog at Queer Little Family. I suffer from depression and anxiety, social phobia and Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD means I suffer from mood swings, unstable relationships with people among other things. The anxiety causes panic attacks and the depression usually means some days I struggle to even manage to get up. I don’t like to leave the house if I cna help it though it’s much better than it was.

Before I was diagnosed I loved to read. I missed being able to basically inhale books like I did when I was a teenager. The depression and anxiety have really sapped my concentration. Reading and writing online isn’t so bad because I can do several things at once but books are a little difficult sometimes. I am still able to work. I wasn’t able to work for a long time, and when I did work at it’s worse, I would work for six months, then take six weeks off sick when it got too much to cope and I would attempt suicide.

I’d say I first developed it around sixteen. I was always shy but hyper as a teenager, then the depression really set in around 17. A lot was going on around that age and I slipped through the cracks at school and started self harming at nineteen and that’s when I first went to the GP.

Bread and her son

The depression, anxiety and social phobia was diagnosed by the GP but never really made a difference to my life or what help I got. He referred me onto mental health services but I really had to fight with them to get any sort of therapy and to see a consultant psychiartrist. The diagnosis of BPD i got by a psych at therapy and to be honest it really made a difference. It helped me finally give a name to some of the stuff going on in my head that couldn’t really just be attributed to just depression and anxiety.

I searched the internet looking for help. I was a member a self harm forum that helped a lot from the age of 19. I blogged about it too, and still do. I’m a member of several groups on facebook. Panic attacks are regular and come and go in intensity. I have medication for the physical symptoms of them as they can be really distracting. The depression slows me down and I stopped enjoying things. I stop playing video games and the blog gets a little neglected, things like that.

I’ve written about the anxiety before and how it feels. A bit like being punched in the chest, and then having my lungs chained up and squeezed. The depression makes me slower – to move, the feel, to want to do anything. Panic attacks can last an hour or all day. The depression takes at least a couple of days to shift. Sometimes longer.

I’ve learnt not to push myself to ‘feel better’ and ride through them. I talk to my wife about how I’m feeling and she helps me through it until I do feel better. I’ve found that to be more effective. Not quite embracing it but accepting the depression. It’s not the same with the panic attacks I’ve yet to find something that works for me. I’m not sure what my main triggers are. Change is a big one. Money problems always set me off. My dad being drunk. Things that have been problems for years that still set me off.

I take Seroxat 60mg daily and Propanol 40mg when I need to. They work to a point. The seroxat was the most effective of the ones I’d tried so i’ve stuck with it all this time. I also took Tegretol too for the mood swings but came off that a year ago when I realised I didn’t need them anymore. I’ve tried Prozac (didn’t touch the sides), citalopram (didn’t do a thing except give me nightmares) and a few others I can’t remember.

14. What is your biggest tip for those who suffer from the same illness/illness’s as you ..?

Fight for treatment. Or get an advocate – family, friend, whoever, to fight for for you to get the treatment you need. Don’t push yourself too hard, be yourself, even at your worst.

Insomnia phase

15. How has your illness/illness’s impacted your life ..? (Positively and negatively)

It’s been hard to hold down a full time job. I haven’t worked full time in about a decade and even then I would work for six months, my health getting worse and worse and then I would try to kill myself, take six weeks off sick and do it all over again. Right now I work four days a week and recently had to give up a promotion because the stress was causing a relapse and I’ve been well for over six years now. I also struggle to make and maintain friendships. I’m married to one friend and have a best friend of over a decade but few other friends. Acquaintances and work mates.

16. What has it stopped you doing ..?

I don’t like going out. At all. It was worse, I would cancel a lot of plans. My son, wife and work have been good motivators in getting me out of the house but to be honest I wouldn’t go outside if I didn’t have too. It’s prevented me from getting a degree too. I’ve tried three times and quit three times because I couldn’t handle stress or the anxiety.

18. How do you stay positive ..? - what has your illness/illness’s allowed you to do or become (positive) for example have you become more understanding ..? You might have stopped work but learnt to spread awareness ..?

I blog and use my scars and my words to teach the people around me about mental health and to accept it. I’m as honest as possible on my blog and always have been because none of this is pretty but I am definitely not alone in any of this. And I want everyone else to know that too.

19. What is your hope for the future ..?

To write more and go out more. Maybe make some more friends. I want to join another writing group and maybe start writing groups for children.

My social media and links

Blog – Queer Little Family -

Twitter – queerxfamily

Fb –

Insta –

- Medicines described in this blog are prescribed to this individual by their Doctor. Always consult your Doctor about what is best for your needs before taking any medication -

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