Suzanna is 26 and studies foreign languages at university. She’s experienced an eating disorder and depression since about the age of 16. For Suzanna, having an excellent psychotherapist and psychiatrist, finding the right medication and keeping active have helped her to now be stable and be able to look forward to the future. (White British)
Suzanna is 26 and studies foreign languages at university. She says her problems with eating started around the age of 16, when she was in a highly pressurised all girls; boarding school. She started gradually watching her eating, not eating properly and loosing weight. In Sixth Form, things started to get worse and Suzanna’s mum made her go to the GP. She was referred to a private eating disorder unit, which according to Suzanna, was again a very competitive and pressurised environment.
Suzanna went to college to do her A-levels and then moved to university. In her first year, Suzanna started to feel rather depressed and not wanting to leave her house for a while. She says she’s always been a perfectionist and at Uni, there was a lot of pressure to do well. The new GP who Suzanna went to see was very unhelpful and she ended up finding a private psychiatrist. She was diagnosed with bipolar II thought Suzanna says her moods are mainly the lows. She decided to take a year out of her studies to get a bit of a break.
When she got back, things were brillian for Suzanna for a while. However, she started feeling depressed again and after she fell ill again she spent some time in both NHS-run and private hospitals. Suzanna has found the private units much more comfortable and safer environments, and the staff more respectful.
Finding the right medication has been a long journey for Suzanna, but she says now she’s on the right combination which has helped her be more stable and able to carry on with her course. People running her course have been very supportive and understanding of Suzanna’s situation and been very flexible when she’s not been feeling well to do some of the course work.
Now Suzanna says Now I can see a future, which is a really healthy sig. She sees both a psychotherapist and psychiatrist regularly and finds both types of treatment extremely important to maintaining her well-being and to prevent possible relapses. Suzanna says that going for a run or a walk, doing yoga and just distracting herself by reading have been really useful ways to cope. Also processing the causes of her problems has been really importan to Suzanna, and helped her rationalise things and focus on avoiding any triggers.