I have a plethora of first hand knowledge in regard to mental illness (specifically Borderline, Bipolar, social and situational anxiety, panic attacks, ADD, PTSD, depression, and occasional psychotic and masochistic episodes. I am also a lesbian, and much of my abuse and trauma is a direct result of being homosexual. Due to placement in a Residential Treatment Facility for a year and a half as a teen, I have gained a great deal of psychiatric knowledge by observing others and taking note of treatments and medications. I am also a recovering heroin addict, and have been clean for eight months after a year of using intravenously.
I also have first hand knowledge of the trauma associated with homelessness, drug dealing, prostitution, and deal with PTSD in response to abduction and rape over a three day period.
I have struggled with masochistic behaviors and suicidal thoughts and attempts since the age of 15, and still have to consciously restrain from either biting my lip (I bite it until almost all the skin is gone from the lower lip. I have, over the years, actually sucked out all of the balls of flesh inside the inner lip. My lip is made up nearly entirely of scar tissue, ) cutting, burning, picking, and other such activities that mutilate oneself.
While I do not have a degree in psychology, I am extremely well versed in nearly all areas of the system (I've been in the ward 13 times to date, )and I hope that with this knowledge I've gained through both my own error and the error of those who were once my family and friends, I can help those who are struggling as well.