My Early Experiences With Mental Health

United States
January 3, 2016 4:56pm CST
Hello I'm Bernie and I am a person with Dysthymia. This is how my mental health story began to my recollection. While I was not diagnosed officially until late in adulthood (in my mid 40's), I knew something was not quite right long before that. I did not seek help until I had worked in the field of Social Work for over 10 years (sometime in early 2000's). The depression goes back to when I was 5. That year I was witness to my older brother being hit by a car which resulted in his death. Over the years I watched as several cousins succumbed to Suicide, an outcome of some Mental Health Issues. It was not until sometime after 2000 that I sought help, first being diagnosed with Dysthymia and soon after with ADHD. Both were first realized by me and when I could no longer 'maintain' the secret I sought help. Long before the diagnosis I suffered from bouts with suicidal thoughts. I had plans and had everything mapped out, but always found a way to avoid completing the actions. School was hard for me as I got older and I managed to graduate from High School despite several very poor grades I was near the bottom of my class but there were people below me. I look back at those days and am thankful that I never followed through. I had friends but not many. I was one of those 'nerds' who while being 'smart' according to some was not able to do well when in class. Today I am far different and hope that by sharing some things in the days ahead I can change the thought that Mental Illness is something to make fun of by some people. What are your questions for me? I am open to writing about any topic you would like to ask me.
7 people like this
4 responses
@jaboUK (52859)
• United Kingdom
3 Jan 16
Ok, I could look it up, but to save me the bother - what is dysthymia? You did say to ask.
3 people like this
• United States
3 Jan 16
@jaboUK dysthymia is Chronic Depression which lasts at least one year at a time in children and 2 years at a time for adults Today it is simply referred to as Chronic Depression. My first bout was before diagnosis and started when I was about 5. I could cover the feelings up so others would not catch on, but it lasted until about 13 I had a few weeks of improvement and then back to that state until about 20. After that it was pretty much always there.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (52859)
• United Kingdom
4 Jan 16
@Berniezeitler Oh my goodness Bernie, that must have been so hard for you. The family tragedies must have made things so much worse.
1 person likes this
@Missmwngi (9607)
• Nairobi, Kenya
3 Jan 16
You are such a strong person to have made through
2 people like this
• United States
3 Jan 16
@Missmwngi I am weak. It is God who is strong. He has a plan for me and thus I am here until He decides othewise.
2 people like this
@Missmwngi (9607)
• Nairobi, Kenya
3 Jan 16
@Berniezeitler All praise to Him
2 people like this
• United States
5 Jan 16
Thank you for sharing. Mental illness is so misunderstood.
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@Susan2015 (20004)
• United States
5 Jan 16
@FibroGoddess Yes it sure can be.
2 people like this
@jstory07 (64186)
• Roseburg, Oregon
4 Jan 16
It is very nice of you to share. I understand because of a friend that I went to high school with. He was hearing voices and his parents would do nothing. My dad took him to social service and they got him the help that he needed and his parents would not accept the way that he was.
2 people like this
@Susan2015 (20004)
• United States
5 Jan 16
@jstory07 Sometimes people just need a little help.
1 person likes this