Tara was diagnosed with depression in her teens and she also developed what she described as cannabis-induced psychosis. She started using cannabis and other drugs at thirteen. At that
age she got involved in a bad and abusive relationship with someone older than her.
Tara was diagnosed with depression in her teens and she also developed what she described as cannabis induced psychosis. She started using cannabis and other drugs at thirteen. At that age she got involved in a bad and abusive relationship with someone older than her. Her boyfriend introduced her to drugs and within a week of being in that relationship Tara was exposed to cocaine, ecstasy and she started smoking cannabis. She said that she tried almost everything except heroin. Her main reason for doing drugs was her boyfriend and his new group of older friends. Her then boyfriend was a drug addict and expected her to do drugs. She increasingly felt under pressure to take them.
Before she met her boyfriend Tara described herself as ‘lonely’. She hardly had any friends and at school she was bullied because of her weight. So, when an older boy showed interest in her she was ecstatic’. He used to meet her at lunch break and they would smoke a joint together before she went back to the classroom. Tara lived with her mum, who did not suspect the extent of Tara’s drug use or the violent nature of her then boyfriend. She used to tell her mum that she was staying with friends for the weekend and when coming home with bruises and a black eye, she used to say that she’dhad a fight with one of her friends.
At fifteen Tara finally managed to free herself from that relationship and she stopped doing drugs, but she says that she was emotionally scarred by her experiences. She doesn’t think she got the help she needed from health professionals. At age thirteen she would have liked more support and kindness from them. Her mental health began to improve after she stopped using cannabis but when she was sixteen/seventeen, she started to smoke a lot of cannabis again and she started to feel depressed again (See ‘drugs and mental health’).
Tara says that when growing up she didn’t have a close relationship with her mother and that she has never been able to open up and talk to her about close personal issues, but since the birth of her child, her mother has been very supportive.
Tara no longer takes any illegal drugs and says that shehas grown up and developed ways of dealing with her problems that aren’t harmful to her or to others. If she feels getting depressed she will go to her GP and talk to her. She took antidepressants for a while but she prefers to avoid chemical treatments and feels a talk with someone who is sympathetic helps her best now.
When she was pregnant with her son,Platform 51(previously called YWCA)put her in contact with a counsellor who Tara liked and felt comfortable with. The counsellor helped Tarato talk about her feelings and emotions. She wants very much for her experience to help other young people who may find themselves in a similar situation to hers when she was thirteen.