Daddy Giraffe is a Dad of five who suffers from a Personality Disorder. He’s bravely written about his experiences for Calm Man to help others who might be feeling the same way.
Ever since I can remember, I have had this looming in the background, certain signs like a fast-paced switching of moods and taking the voices I heard as my conscience taking over.
Over a period of time it was getting more frequent and I felt like I was losing control. That, coupled with the fact that I had just become a daddy, made me realise it was time for some professional help after hiding my illness for so long.
I went to my local GP who referred me to the Mental Health Team for an assessment and after two years of appointments, tests and going from person to person I finally had the diagnosis of Personality Disorder.
Personality Disorder can come in many different forms and mine happens to be the mixture of Bipolar and Schizophrenia. Now that the doctors had figured out what it is at least they now know what they are dealing with and can get me on the right medication also to see the right specialists.
The route to get myself better has been multi-layered.
The first way was to find the right medication to suit my disorder and to balance out the chemicals in my brain. I was given a mixture of mood stabilisers and medication to help me focus my thoughts and not be so erratic this would enable me to function not only through the day, but to sleep at night without tossing and turning, so I wake up well rested and not exhausted.
The second part is through Mindfulness, this is where sometimes we lose touch with our surroundings and stop noticing the world around us because we are too focused on ourselves and our thoughts.
Mindfulness means getting in touch with and reconnecting with our senses such as sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. The theory surrounding it is that by becoming more in touch of our senses, it helps us get more in touch with the world, our surroundings and ourselves.
Once we get more in touch with the world around us we can take a step back as can assess our own thoughts and feelings, making this easier to identify patterns and triggers in our behaviour. From there, we can then train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and when we are starting to lose control of the situation. We can then put in place techniques such as breathing exercises or focusing on our surroundings.
If I could offer advice to anyone in my situation or suffering the same sort of things, I would firstly say seek help as soon as you notice you’re having mental health problems.
Mental Health isn’t something to be ashamed of, it doesn’t make you any less of a person for seeking out help and finally be open to learning new things and techniques, because they do work, but you have to be committed to it and want to get better.
If you are concerned that you might be suffering from a personality disorder or any other mental health issue consult your GP as soon as possible.
These free helplines are there to help when you’re feeling down or desperate. Unless it says otherwise, they’re open 24 hours a day, every day.
Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm
Text 07786 209697
The Silver Line – for older people
Call 0800 4 70 80 90