In this blog, I am going to be talking about my experiences of living in foster care and being a former care experienced person while suffering and living with a mental health diagnosis.
From my experience of being a foster child and care leaver, being in care while having a mental health diagnosis can sometimes feel like you are never going to be yourself and never going to be independent, as a lot of the time for the first few weeks of being in care, all I got was people checking on me and taking me too and from therapy session with the ‘ Child and adolescent mental health services’ (CAMHS).
While being in care and being taken to therapy all the time by my foster carer and having them sit in on a lot of my therapy sessions, it did make me feel uneasy and feel like I did not have control of my recovery, as there was a lot of things that was going on with me that I did not want certain people knowing, and as my foster carer was looking after me, I felt very uneasy for her to know what was going on with me.
This however was not the case for all the time, as once I started feeling combatable being around my foster carer and even talking about my issues with my carer being there, I was able to be more open, but the one thing that did make me feel that I was not trusted was the fact that my carer had to administer my antidepressants every morning to me and was not allowed to trust me to do it myself.
This made me feel extremely upset as even though I had a tough time with my mental health and took drastic action when coming down to taking medication, it made me feel that I was not allowed to start getting better on my own terms and that I had everything taken away from me. This was really upsetting as I was at a time in my life, that I needed to start learning how to defend for myself, but to have this taken away from me and knowing that I could not be trusted really hurt.
However, this was not for long, as when I turned seventeen, I was allowed to be trusted to take my own medication and attend therapy on my own. Knowing at this time of my life that I started getting trust again really boosted my courage as it felt that I was over the worst time of my life. even though I was still suffering with mental health and receiving therapy for my bad thoughts and mental health, it allowed me to start feeling that I could get my life back on track a lot quicker.
During the final year of me being in my foster placement, a lot of things to do with my life and my mental health started becoming more bearable as not only was I able to talk about the troubles I was feeling more openly, but it was also because I was not hiding anything anymore, it was like the person who was struggling with all the emotions and troubled thoughts was a distant memory.
So, some advice for care experienced people who might be struggling with their mental health while being in care. It will be extremely hard letting people in and talking to people, but always try and talk to someone about how you are feeling, even if it is a close friend or tutor or even a school or college teacher.
Once you start talking about what is making you feel the way you are, the stronger you can take control of your recovery, because even if it means you need to be placed on medication and see a therapist or have someone making choices for you for a while, it will get better, and you will feel a lot stronger for it. The more you hide how you are feeling and try to deal with it alone, the more you will struggle and get worse.
Always talk to someone you feel comfortable with and feel happy talking to as this will make you feel a lot better, if not at first it will over time…
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger