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I’m pretty open about the fact that I’ve suffered from mental health issues in the past. I think a lot of people assume that these issues were brought on by that fact that I’m transgender, but that’s really not the case. I’ve struggled in a number of different areas of my life, but none of them have really been related to my transition.
My childhood was quite normal. My Mam would tell you that I was a very happy, bright baby. But when I got older, I began to notice that I had a sort of rage inside me. It usually became clear when I was having arguments with my sisters or my family, but it honestly terrified me.
I now know that I had extreme issues around anger management, but at the time I was so confused about my inability to react “normally” to situations that annoyed me. For a long time I was really embarrassed to talk about my anger management issues but I don’t know why that was. I don’t think I could have controlled my anger anymore than anyone who suffers from other mental illnesses can control their symptoms.
Because I didn’t deal with these anger issues, I ended up getting in some quite serious trouble at school. This prompted me to begin attending counselling where I very quickly worked through this illness..
I’ve battled small bouts of depression on occasion. It’s never been very serious and because I’m quite self-aware, I have the tools to work through it. I’m very lucky in that respect and I’m completely aware that there may come a day that I can’t work through it on my own. I can only hope that if that does happen, I’ll seek the appropriate medical help.
I’ve battled an eating disorder since I was about 14. I used to regularly starve myself for a number of different unexplainable reasons. I’ve never had a very healthy mindset when it comes to food and I’ve found myself really unable to eat as recently as two or three weeks ago. That scared me because I really thought I was over those issues but I’m starting to realise that mental issues don’t really go away.
I certainly think when it comes to my mental health, the best form of defense is preparation. This means that I try to be as aware as possible of where my mind is and I try to take the right steps to prevent a mental health crisis. However, sometimes I just can’t help it.
Just a month ago, I found myself in a serious mental health crisis at a time that I really should have been my happiest. But through going easy on myself and being open with the people around me, I managed to work through it and right now, I’m back in a really really good place.
In the coming episodes I’ll be discussing how I maintain my mental health in the most honest way I can. This is because I have a lot to say on this topic and I really do believe that it’s so important to be aware of your mental health.