Anthony has been using services from Community Options for a number of years. He asked us to share his story to inspire hope in others that there is a good life to be had after a mental health diagnosis.
“I became unwell at 19 years of age when attending college. I began hearing voices. The doctor diagnosed mental health and I was prescribed medication. At this time I was approaching modelling agencies for work. I found a lot of closed doors. They did not want to know due to my mental health. Society dealt me a savage blow. This felt very depressing.
At school I always struggled. I found out I had dyslexia but at the time. It was difficult to view myself positively with such negative messages.
My strong faith and positive attitude helped me through these tough times. I always look to find ways to move forward. I want to challenge people’s perceptions of mental health. We all have mental health and people should not judge. There is more to me than mental Health and this is the key message I want to share with others to challenge their thinking.
Here are some interesting facts about me:
- I have a very good memory and love to learn languages especially French and can speak this fluently.
- I take pride in my appearance and love to wear nice, well tailored clothes in bright colours which are well coordinated. I love dazzling white socks and polished shoes.
- I can make clothes and once made a bright lime suite.
- I love shopping for clothes.
- I take care of my health and eat a balanced diet and remain active
- I love taking part in sports such as Frisbee, table tennis, volley ball or basket ball.
- I am very sociable and have a lot of friends.
- I am always open to new experiences.
- I really care about others
In 5 years time:
- I’d like to be living in Brighton near the sea.
- I’d like a busy social life with lots of friends
- I’d like to be modelling & designing my own clothes
- I’d like to have made a difference for people who hear voices offering support and guidance
I have lived with voices for years and have learnt to manage them. The support staff at Community Options have always believed in me, offered me good guidance and advice. They see me for who I am and not just my mental health needs. They have supported me to manage the challenges I experience and move forward with my life. I am currently being supported to fulfil my ambition to model. I am now at a stage where I have the confidence to help others who hear voices and offer support to help them to move on with their lives. Community Options are supporting me to be more involved in training staff to have a better understanding of how to support people who hear voices. I am also considering developing a support group for other’s whop hear voices so we can come together and support each other. I would like to challenge people’s perceptions of mental health
There is more to me than mental health….”