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Staying With Family Can Be a Nightmare, Especially When You’re Mentally Ill and Don’t Have a Choice


I began writing in April 2018 when worsening symptoms of PTSD and depression stopped me working as an ED nurse. Writing is therapy.

One day I found myself the other side of a six hour drive, safe and sound with famiy

Today I would like to discuss the, at times uncomfortable, situation that is me staying with my grandparents as a result of my poor mental health. It’s very difficult to know that you need support when you have a desperate will to be well enough to be independent recovering on my own in my own home. Of course there’s positive and negatives to both sides, complicated by my mental health.

I came to stay with my grandparents earlier this year when my mental health first started to feel like I was no longer able to keep myself safe from myself. My grandparents brought me up since it all went awry with my parents so it was a natural albeit almost automatic decision for me.

Due to worsening PTSD, anxiety and depression I left my full time job as a trainee minor injuries practitioner thinking it would make my life easier but I was very wrong about that. Therefore I had lots of time during the day to not go out, not eat, ignore my phone, not sleep and sink deeper and deeper into a depression which meant I just didn’t trust myself not to make a very final decision.

Then all of a sudden, I was driving up the A1 on a six hour drive from my beautiful apartment by the sea in Cornwall to the house I grew up in. My pad is a few minutes from the beach/the sea, the town centre, train station and bus station so it’s perfect for so many reasons. I have filled it with my pretty little things too, lots of calming house plants, guitars on the lounge wall and a piano in my bedroom. Despite loving my home and having my incredibly supportive best mate, I think deep down I just knew I’d be safe there and the pressure to earn would be slightly less too. I certainly didn’t think it would be for weeks, never mind months.

Within a month of my arrival, my grandparents and a few close friends were so shocked my how unwell I’d become, they all were pushing me to see a local GP. I was really reluctant was did it anyway. They immediately contacted the crisis team and I saw a nurse every day and a doctor every few weeks who started medication and gave 100% effort to prevent me being was admitted but it happened anyway.


It was decided I would be discharged to my grandparents and I was surprised how much I needed them

On discharge, everyone was fairly persistent that I should return to my grandparents place for after care which at the time sounded like an awful idea but in the first week I could see why I needed to be there.

Basic things I was really surprised that I needed help with after being discharged:

- Remembering medication

- Remembering to eat

- Going to bed

- Getting out of bed

- Making and attending appointments

- Not forgetting plans with friends

I’m reminded gently every day about most or all of these which is amazing and a huge credit to my grandma.

Getting on all the time is tough

On the other hand, I’ve lived away from their home nearly ten years ago and have lived on my own two years in my beautiful home by the sea in Cornwall after living in a hostel for six months. Also when considering how much I had struggled with my mental health, I had been isolated so I really had become really used to my own company and my own company alone. So just being around people was really strange at first and still is a bit.

Then here I am following instructions and relying on someone for the first time in a really long time. I had my issues with privacy and space since I lived here years ago, people not knocking on doors and someone checking through my things whilst I was in hospital. Plus all the other annoying little things that just happens when people live together.


This only works with trust and respect

Fundamentally, underneath it all we do have a good relationship which really is standing the test of time whilst I’m staying here and being dependant on them.

In recent weeks I have been looking at making solo trip back home and I am considering how I might manage the drive. It’s so exciting to about living independent for the first time in almost a year but at the same time I am really nervous and I keep coming up with potential problems rather than being positive and problem solving as much as I try.

Mainly it would a holiday for me, some time to myself, some time to think and do my thing and a test if I can look after myself at all.


Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 03, 2019:

Cool and take a chance. Crappola it may go all south. Dig into it. Give her a shot. Maintain your return plan. You can do it girl.