When the struggle is brushing unbearable, part 2

Reason to go on: External Pressures Urged by family and school I applied for a place at Uni and even my psychiatrist thought university would ‘do me good’. One day I was on a hospital ward in Essex, the next I was being driven to the digs in Glasgow someone had arranged for me.Two more days and I was at Strathclyde Uni getting my student card. I went to lectures, tutorials, the cafeteria, the library – alone. I rarely spoke except to answer direct questions.By January I was in a Glasgow hospital, being treated with Largactil syrup (given for psychoses like schizophrenia, psychotic depression), and having ECT. University had hurled me into a maelstrom with no safety line and three months on I was back home, and back in our local hospital. Over the next two and a half years, driven by wanting cash and my family’s belief that I needed help to get a ‘normal life’, I went for

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When the struggle is brushing unbearable …

what makes us go on? Fear? External pressures? Money? Guilt? Bloody-mindedness? Survival? While the answer will depend on the person and the situation, the bottom line is – we have to.The luxury of ‘not having to’ is so often dependent on also having the luxuries of autonomy and choice that most of us cannot conceive.   My own history is certainly not unique, neither within the mental health nor the autistic communities. It is also not a tale of woe, but one of survival. Reason to go on: Fear When I turned five the permanence of home was replaced by the impermanence of going to Primary School and I had bouts of feeling “all irritable” as I called it, having no other words to describe the enormity of it. I have learned since that this can be central to childhood depression and I now think that it may also relate to autism. Whatever you name it, I believe that the

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