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The Life I Chose
balgill

I had suffered with low mood, depression and anxiety on and off over the past decade. It was brought on with conflict in family, emotional abuse, substance misuse and a terrible work life balance. I had a breakdown in January 2016, which I can only describe as the most frightening thing which has ever happened in my life. I literally lost my family life, job, financial security and the ability to live with my children as my wife separated from me. My nearest and dearest could not understand what I was going through and at one point I was sectioned and put in a mental hospital and then discharged a few days later as it was clear to the experts that I was suffering a reaction to stress rather than being a risk to the public or myself. I was really disappointed with how the system treated me and I am still suffering with PTSD now. Although I had worked hard, been honest and a good citizen I felt as though the system failed me and I remember having a panic attack in the police cell which I think when they seen me reacting abnormally was the reason why I was sectioned.

I have started writing my own blog www.fightingmydemons.org to try and share my experience and also to help bring me some inner peace. I really appreciate the work of SANE as it so important to end the taboo around mental illness. Through sound medical and professional advice, a lot of exercise (particularly long runs in the countryside) and good family support to be able to share my feelings I have been able to recover and really feel reborn. I want to contribute and help others and just want to say that no one should be afraid to put the hand up and ask for help. I was ashamed as an Asian man as mental illness is not even a conversation you could have in the Asian community as it would just be laughed off as weakness and even classed as being possessed in some quarters. I feel now I have a voice and I am not afraid to speak up in defence of those who suffer.

I don't know if it will affect my future career prospects as I am being so vocal about what occurred to me but it makes a change and helps others in to be open then I am happy to let it be. Please support this organisation and don't be afraid ask for help. The more we talk about it then the better the support will become. My blog is www.fightingmydemons.org if you want to know more about my story. I have also included some poetry and mini videos which I have helped me in my lifestyle changes. Expression of your feelings is very important for recovery as you may be supressing your one true self for a number of reasons and this can cause sadness.