12/2/18 #SameHere Hero: Alice Kidney

Today’s #SameHere🤙 story is Alice Kidney from London (you can see her pic in the Tube :).


This story focuses on an interesting piece to the mental health pie – complications from what we believe arise from PTSD mostly, called disassociation & derealization. Alice does a great job below of explaining the feelings – almost out of body & surreal-like symptoms the avg person has only seen thru special effects in movies. Unfortunately, I’m all too familiar with them from my own PTSD.


What I’m so proud of, & inspired by, however, is how Alice admits she’s still very much a work in progress & still in the throes of healing, but that said, she’s already begun building a platform to help others & is sharing her story here. Because ppl with complex MH complications have pretty surreal experiences like disassociation/derealization, she’s giving them a place – a “zine” (short for magazine) called: the MENTAL-zine to express their feelings, thoughts, expressions, emotions – through writing, art & other forms of expression. Check out her newly formed insta page, so you can get updates as she launches this inspiring project!


“I’m still not that comfortable sharing details of the major traumas I experienced. I don’t think I have fully come to terms with a lot of what happened. Everyone faces difficulties in varying degrees, & some are better at coping.


Abuse + addiction was at the center of my most recent story, but due to this experience, my perception of reality has changed irrevocably. I have vivid flashbacks, night terrors, panic attacks, psychotic episodes, but the worst of it is the dissociation. It feels like I am in a dream, everything moves in slow motion, is distorted & HD. How crazy & eternally fascinating our minds are!


I was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder (derealisation) about a year ago. It’s closely linked with PTSD, as has been suggested in my case. I experience episodes every day, sometimes for hours. It usually affects my ability to function ‘normally.’ However, over the last year, I’ve started to accept my symptoms & have learned to adapt.


The first day I had an episode it was so distressing, I checked myself into A&E. I then had blood tests, saw EMT specialists, opticians, numerous GPs, an MRI… Eventually, I saw a psychiatrist who helped me find some answers.


Writing, talking + finding perspective have helped me. I realized there was very little to almost no help available to me due to the nature of my condition/access to effective treatments. So I decided I’d create my own form of help – for myself & others. I’ve started a zine called MENTAL. Its a platform to share experiences + highlight some of the brilliance created in light of & in spite of complicated minds. We’ve got some unbelievable contributors that have kindly shared their work. We have to help each other. There must be a dialogue knowledge-exchange to enhance funding & research in mental health disorders.


People try to sympathize, & generally, they want to help. But mental health complications are so unbelievably subjective + it’s very difficult to empathize. But generally people have been kind when I’ve shared my #SameHere🤙Story ~ when they are cold & insensitive, I try not to worry.”


(If you believe in our movement -that sharing these stories will help open the world up to being more supportive of just how many of deal w MH challenges, please consider adding: “#SameHere🤙” to ur profile bio.)

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