The support I receive since I first came to West Sussex Mind in late 2019 is invaluable and keeps me from becoming ill again. I have bipolar disorder which makes people swing from depressive symptoms to manic episodes.
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, I currently have regular phone calls in place of my face-to-face meetings with Tim Smith, one of the recovery workers at the Littlehampton support hub in Maltravers Drive.
West Sussex Mind is my security blanket. I ask Tim if he thinks I am becoming ill again and it is very reassuring, knowing he is keeping an eye on how I am.
For myself, like many people, it is especially important now, during lockdown, that Mind is available to talk to as someone impartial, rather than family or friends. Otherwise you don’t want to be a burden and so you bottle it all up.
I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was married in 1994. The illness made me lose all my inhibitions and lose touch with reality.
I find that changes in life situations can trigger an episode for me and I am worried at the moment because my daughter is expecting a baby. I manage my depressive swings but I am often sectioned and hospitalised for the manic episodes. Having bipolar disorder means I can become a danger to myself because of the hallucinations.
I know that it is dreadful for the family and friends around me while I am having a manic episode but for me – I am having a great time! I will think I have built a time machine and that time travel is possible.
I have been well for about seven years now and Mind’s support is essential. Once the lockdown measures have eased, I am looking forward to returning to the Littlehampton hub and to going to the art group there which I have also found very supportive. Thank you, West Sussex Mind!
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