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'I see the angel and the devil': Teenager shares her reality of mental health

PUBLISHED: 13:12 14 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:13 14 September 2019

Leanne Gibbs has been detailing her struggle with mental ill health through her two blogs. Picture: Contributed by Leanne Gibbs

Leanne Gibbs has been detailing her struggle with mental ill health through her two blogs. Picture: Contributed by Leanne Gibbs

Archant

A young woman has spoken of her harrowing experience with depression, attempted suicide and psychotic episodes to show the stark reality of mental ill health.

Since last year, Leanne Gibbs has been detailing her struggle with mental ill health through her two blogs Storms Don't Last Forever and Mental Health Blog 2.

The 19-year-old talks about her experiences with various medications and mental health services, hallucinations and voices as well as recollections of her stints in hospital.

Miss Gibbs, who lives in Lowestoft, started the blog to share her battle and quash stigmas of the mental health.

She said: "I decided to do something for May mental health awareness month. I thought it would be a great to spread awareness of mental health."

The teenager said her battle began in her final year of school.

"I was coming home from school just locking myself away in my bedroom from everyone, not going out socialising like I use to," she said.

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At that point, she said she started self-harming and spiralled out of control, until her friends and family intervened and sought professional help.

"It wasn't a healthy way of coping and at this point I started to hear voices as well as suicidal thoughts.

"The voices can be nice one day and then another day they can be horrid and very demanding. I hear just over three voices I don't recognise them, but I see two of them - the angel and the devil," she said.

The teenager said she shared her personal experiences, such as hearing voices and having psychotic break downs, because many people are not comfortable to talk about it.

"I wanted to show people who are experiencing hearing voices, to tell them it's okay, to talk about it - it's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about."

Now, Miss Gibbs runs an online mental health support group as well as a positivity Facebook page named The Storms Don't Last Forever.

"My advice for individuals who are going through the similar mental health conditions such as hallucinations or suicidal thoughts is please, please reach out to a friend, a family member or a professional."

The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.

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