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When I Was Told I Wasn't 'Getting Any Better' After Completing Mental Health Treatment

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“You aren’t getting any better.”

I’m not better. I haven’t gotten any better. How could that be?

You see, I have been struggling with mental illness for quite some time. I have been diagnosed with anxiety, major depression, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the past year and a half, I have attempted suicide seven times, spent four days in the ICU, been hospitalized 12 times, been in residential treatment twice, tried almost every single antidepressant and mood stabilizer available, saw half a dozen therapists and tried CBT and DBT therapy.

Phew. I still feel like I left something out.

I thought August was the turning point for me. I attempted suicide for the seventh time, my most serious attempt, and I came incredibly close to losing my life. Once I was released from the ICU and completed my 10-day stint at the psychiatric hospital, I was referred to a residential facility eight hours from where I live. My psychiatrist specifically told me if I did not go, “I would not be alive much longer.” So I went, and I spent a little over two months there, until I was told I was not getting any better. I wasn’t progressing. The treatment wasn’t working.

So I went home. I left feeling so defeated and discouraged. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t getting better, why nothing was working for me. And considering this was just yesterday, I still don’t. I often wonder if I am simply “one of those people” who never recover. Who succumb to mental illness. Because God, what a tormenter it is.

However, I know there is still hope for me, just as there is hope for you.

There has to be more to my life, to this life, than my illness. There is a big, beautiful world out there, and I want to see it. I want to experience it. I want to really, truly experience it. Going through life in a deep fog, feeling more dead than alive is not a way to live, and it is not something I would ever wish on anyone. As hopeless as I felt leaving treatment today, I know there is a warrior in me, a warrior who is not going to stop fighting and who is not going to give up. I will take what I learned these past two months in treatment and apply it to the rest of my life.

Have hope always.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Originally published: November 17, 2016
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