Me and My Mental Health Story

Hi... I'm Chloe, I'm 18 years old and I'm from the UK

I used to love playing football and multiple sports. I say used too... When I was 13 or 14, everything changed for me, but life went on as normal. Well from the outside it would have seemed normal, but for me, it was far from it.

Mental Health is something that is extremely stigmatised in the UK and across the world. This is my ongoing battle with mental health and what my experience of being in the UK mental health system is like. Everyone's experiences are different... but here's my story.

**TRIGGER WARNING**

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9. Me and My Visual and Auditory Hallucinations

I started to hear voices when I was 16. They just randomly start and that's it... they don't stop. At first, they'd only say things like "You're worthless", "No one likes you", "Nobody wants you around" etc etc. But since then, over the last two years, they have got worse... a lot worse. I can't tell the difference between what's reality and what's not.  I noticed a change in them after a few months when they start to bring self harm and suicide into what they were saying. They would tell me to hurt myself, and if I didn't do that, they would then proceed to tell me to kill myself, including the method, how, and when. More recently, within the last couple of months, they have been telling me to harm and kill other people. I hate hurting people, that's for certain, but the voices keep convincing me that people are out to get me, and are going to hurt me so therefore I need to hurt them before they hurt me.  

When ever I bring the voices up, everyone has always said "It's your anxiety" and "They're only thoughts, they're not voices, they're in your head", but they're not. They come from around me, as if there are people shouting things at me from across the street. It's not all in my head and that's one thing I am sure about.

The visual hallucinations have only been happening recently. They don't seem to happen as often as I hear voices (at least 4 days a week) but I'm scared they will get worse. So far, I've only had a couple of hallucinations which involve people with weapons - like I'll see someone stand across the street holding a knife or a gun and pointing it at me, but a few minutes later they've gone. I don't really know how to explain what it's like, people don't really understand it. 

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