Tiffany's mental health problems started from a very young age, it was many years before she sought out help to begin her recovery. She writes about why mental health research means an 'unmeasurable' amount to her.
When I was young I knew that something wasn’t right.
Sitting in class I’d get a flush of fear. This usually resulted in me in tears, which people assumed was for no reason.
To tell the truth I thought this too, I didn’t understand why I felt this way – and didn’t know anyone else that did.
I hid it from everyone hoping that I would grow out of it or it would go away.
Then six years ago, when I had just turned 18, my father passed away and these feelings were triggered again. My whole world turned to darkness from this point, I turned to alcohol thinking I could numb the grief by going out all the time, surrounding myself with strangers that didn’t really care for me – and pushing away others that did.
This affected my jobs as I couldn’t stick anything out, and I was arguing with family at home and letting people down all the time because I was hungover.
I was ready to give up on the world and myself, I could see my family getting on with their lives and didn’t understand why I wasn’t, was I just a burden to everyone? I wanted to give them one less thing to worry about... Me.
Throughout this time there was a small voice in my head telling me this isn’t right and I shouldn’t be acting this way.
It wasn’t until a few years passed I realised that voice was actually my best friend refusing to let me fall deeper. I finally heard her, I remember my mind just stopping as she told me how I could get help and that we’d do it together and we did.
She sat by my side in the waiting room of the doctors, held my hand as I burst into tears in front of the doctor, she spoke the words that I couldn’t get out.
I felt like there was hope again. I got prescribed antidepressants and was referred to counselling.
I attended my first session of counselling which was like an assessment to see how many sessions were needed and after this I was told there was a three month wait until my sessions began.
This news scared me, I was so fearful of what would happen in that time, was I strong enough to stay afloat? I didn’t think I was but I had friends and family that supported me every step of the way. In those 3 months of waiting I managed to get a stable job and I enrolled at the Open University.
It’s been nearly 3 years since I first got help, since then I’ve passed my first module and I’m currently working through the second, I have started up my own charity in honour of my father that focuses on helping those who suffer with a mental health condition as in my area there isn’t much option for help.
The value of research into mental health is unmeasurable, it brings hope to people for a brighter future, it creates courage for people to stand up and share their stories, it gives people faith that there is help.
Last updated: 12 April 2017
Join the movement
Add your voice to demand progress for young people facing mental illness
Thanks for signing up to support us
Thanks for adding your voice to demand progress for young people facing mental illness. We'll be in touch with more ways you can get involved.