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How a Skiing Accident Has Affected My Mental and Physical Health

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Below the age of 12, everything seemed perfect. I had an amazing relationship with my family, I did well in school, I was healthy both physically and mentally.

• What is PTSD?

At 13 I had a skiing accident. This proceeded to change the course of my teenage years. This accident caused both my physical and mental health to deteriorate, leading to multiple hospital admissions, appointments, tests and treatments. I have been unable to live a normal teenage life due to this and have missed out on several experiences.

Sometimes I feel trapped as a 12-year-old, unable to recall many experiences I had other than hospital related ones from this age. This had led me to recreating experiences that I believe I would of had as a 19-year-old and often these do not conform to societies standards of what is appropriate for certain ages. It is hard. Looking at my life I have the physical appearance of a 19-year-old, the mind of a 12-year-old and the physical symptoms of a elderly person.

I find the 12-year-old cowering in the background overwhelmed by the activities of my current age. Clubbing, drinking, university, all situations inappropriate for young children just entering their teenage years. I find the elderly part of me in pain, stiff joints, unable to drink as much as the young friends around them. Struggling for days after.

From my physical health issues I spent a lot of my teenage years in hospital, and unfortunately I still spend a lot of time there. But this meant I missed a lot of school, socializing with my peers, and ultimately I missed growing up. I think I had to grow up very fast in some cases – including me managing my own complex medical condition, maturing to cope with the large amounts of medical professionals I was seeing and coping with the traumatic tests that I was experiencing. This caused the other parts of me to hid away and stop maturing altogether. Having some parts very mature to cope with my medical life and some very immature parts who have been to scared to come out and mature.

I have only recently discovered these different parts of me. But having discovered them it has meant that I am able to look after each of the different parts, looking out for them in different situations and allowing the 12-year-old to mature to my actual age without it becoming too overwhelmed and looking after my body physically so I do not feel older than I actually am.

Getty Image by Wavebreakmedia

Originally published: July 4, 2018
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