Disclaimer: Apologies in advance if you are offended by anything said in this interview. The goal is to shed some light into the lives of those who suffer, therefore nothing in this interview has been removed.
First of all, tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Emalie Clarkson. I’m 21 years old, I live in Hull, England and I am sadly unemployed at the moment.
Tell me a bit about your mental health?
I have suffered from anxiety and depression since my step-grandfather’s death in 2009, but I wasn’t diagnosed until 2017 after having my first panic attack and going through a very dark stage.
How has this affected your life?
It has made me very scared. With every day I wake up, some nights I can be enjoying every moment of the day and then suddenly feel tired and sad, like I need to cry. Sometimes it can go as far as me wanting to hurt myself or even others around me. I have alot of trouble with every day situations such as cooking, cleaning the house etc. Another thing that affects me alot is that I get very angry or frustrated which then can lead me to take it all out on people who really don’t deserve it. Because of this I can have panic attacks which then drains everything from me.
How are your relationships with the people around you? Do they understand what you’re going through?
I don’t get along with some of my family, simply because they are some of the reasons why I am this way. I have a small amount of friends too but thankfully now the people I hold dear to me do understand now and help where they can. It wasn’t always like that sadly but there are some people out there who think I am lying about it or that I have the “perfect life”, and some people I know just think that my bad days are just me being lazy, which isn’t the case at all because I want to be active and go to work. I want to be “normal” but when I try, I just go one step forward and a thousand steps back.
Do you have any specific coping mechanisms?
I love gaming RPGs (role playing games) mostly, being able to live a fantasy life, and letting out my frustrations out on things within the game makes me at peace. I also watch a few YouTubers, mostly Jacksepticeye, Dan and Phil and Yogscast Lewis and Simon. I really dont know what I would have done without watching them with my best friend for 11 years. Other than that and watching some TV programmes/movies, I dont have other means except holding it all in, which I dont actually mean to do. I used to have to be that way in 2009 and it’s now a natural thing to do, especially around new people.
What does the future hold for you?
I don’t really know to be honest. I’ve already started the journey to getting better, so I hope in the future I do get better. I would love to get out there and work to accomplish my life dreams, which it to have a family at some point and to have the job I would love, which is to specialise in wolves. I know to some it may seem much, but if I can get even half the way there and no further, that is enough for me. So for now I will just see what fate brings my way, and all the while try to keep smiling as I have done from the very beginning.
Finally, anything you’d like to say to others in similar situations?
I’m not going to sugar coat the situation. It is very very difficult and it hits people in so many different ways, so don’t think that you are suffering alone because even though their symptoms are not the same, doesn’t mean they are not suffering like you. Also I know alot of my generation went through a stage in growing up, where SOME people were making out that they had things like depression etc. just so people would give them attention. Because of that, people of that generation find it hard to open up about their true feelings because they’re scared to get tied to the same brush, when they’re actually suffering (I certainly was one of those people). So I just want to say to the people who feel that they suffer from any mental illness, don’t be scared. What they did was stupid, but now times have changed so much. Doctors have a better understanding of who is honest and who isn’t, so take advantage of that and also take advantage of your friends. If they are true friend then they will support you throughout it all, don’t be like me and push out everyone from your life, because you may not get as lucky as I did and you may lose the one person who understands you and would have been your saviour.
Thank you for your time.
Below I am going to leave a link listing all the main mental health websites around the world, as well as a link with all the international suicide prevention hotlines.
Remember if you aren’t sure where to go or who to talk to, you can call 999, 911 or your equivalent.
Mental Health Websites:
Suicide Hotlines Worldwide: