Cat was diagnosed with depression when she was 14, as a result of severe physical and mental bullying in school. During her teenage years Cat attempted suicide several times and was finally referred for counselling which helped her. When Cat was 19, her drink was spiked in a nightclub. This incident has left Cat with both mental and physical effects she still battles with daily. After years of struggle with the NHS, she’s decided in the end to go privately for counselling and appropriate support
Cat was diagnosed with depression at 14, as a result of years of severe physical and mental bullying in school. Cat says her school were aware of the bullying but didn’t intervene adequately. Cat was also self-harming, she stopped eating properly and things got so bad she attempted suicide. After this, she was referred to a psychiatrist and prescribed antidepressants.
Cat says she missed her whole childhoo as she was either being bullied, or bunking lessons to avoid the bullying or going to see the psychiatrist. She never saw a psychologist which she says would have made a huge difference to her and prevented a lot of problems building up. During her teenage years, Cat attempted suicide several times. She was finally referred for CBT when she turned 18 – this was a turning poin for her. Cat got on brilliantly with her counsellor and she started gaining weight. She was discharged in late 2004 and was the happiest girl aliv.
In early 2005, everything changed for Cat. On a night out in town with her friends, her drink was spiked. That night turned into living hel; Cat ended up in A&E, having a life threatening seizure and lost all memory of the night. It was only 8 months later that she was suggested by an expert that her drink might have been spiked that night. The mental and physical consequences of the drink spiking have been extreme for Cat. She either walks with a stick or uses a wheelchair and has to wear a spinal brace, she is incontinent and suffers from epileptic seizures which also affect her speech. She’s been cared for fulltime by her family. Her social life has been destroyed and many of her friends disappeared. She now suffers from depression and panic attacks.
The biggest struggle for Cat has been getting appropriate help and support from the local services. She’s had to wait for years to be assessed and her family still haven’t received any family counselling. She has a great social worker who supports her but she says for everything she and her family have had to fight for themselves. Cat says the postcode lottery means that if she lived a few miles down the road, she;d have a complete different access to help in mental health and social services.
After years of struggle with the public health care, Cat’s decided to go down the private route. She says it’s killed her financiall but even the first sessions of CBT have made a huge difference to her mental wellbeing. Cat is active in raising awareness of drink spiking so that other people know to be more aware of the long term risks. She says she’s finally on the right roa, even though she feels it will be a long one.