‘I am proof there is life after mental illness’ - Woman’s inspiring letter selected for book on recovery
- Credit: NSFT
A mental health peer support worker who has battled depression and anxiety for more than three decades has written an inspirational message of hope.
Ceinwen Fidler, from Norwich, has contributed a heart-felt letter to The Recovery Letters, a book which features submissions written by people recovering from depression addressed to those who are currently suffering with a mental health condition.
Addressed to 'Dear you', their aim is to provide hope and support to those experiencing difficulties and act as a testament that recovery is possible.
Ceinwen wrote her letter following a challenging period in 2013, and credits it with helping her better understand what she was experiencing. She now hopes that others in a similar situation will also find it useful.
She said: 'When I wrote the letter, I had been very depressed and ill for around a year. It was one of the worse periods I have ever been through. I found that talking to people who had been through similar things really helped me, and hope that the letter will do the same for someone else.'
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Ceinwen first fell ill with depression and anxiety in her late teens, but did not receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder until some 20 years later. As part of the illness, she has periods of hypomania – or extreme highs – followed by episodes of severe depression and anxiety interspersed with panic attacks.
Her letter touches on these low periods, but also goes onto focus heavily on her recovery, during which she received help from close friends, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's (NSFT) crisis and community teams and a support worker with lived experience who she says made a big difference.
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Ceinwen can now recognise her triggers and warning signs and manages her mental health better, and is able to take action to prevent a relapse of her condition.
She has used her experience to help others through her role as a peer support worker with NSFT's North West Central Adult Community Mental Health Team for the last three years. She said: 'I am proof there is life after mental illness. My message to others would be you are not alone. It is okay to feel bad – you are still a worthy person, you are unique and your life can improve, just like mine has.'
You can read Ceinwen's letter by at www.therecoveryletters.com