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Daisy first began to experience mental illness after an encounter with a spirit healer at Glastonbury Festival, when she was 21-years-old.

She now considers herself to be 80 per cent recovered, and attributes this to not only hospital treatment and medication, but also to her own understanding of mental health and different models of treatment.

Daisy explained: “After meeting the spirit healer, I started to have negative experiences and was given a diagnosis of psychosis.

“I had hospital treatment and was given medication; I didn’t like the mental health system at this time as I felt it was too psychiatric focused.

“Since the recovery model has been introduced, and I’ve had the opportunity to work as an expert by experience with ²gether, working with the system has helped me to better understand it.

“My work as an expert by experience helped me to consolidate my own experiences and also aided my recovery. I went in to help services develop, and this also resulted in helping my own recovery.

“I’d say I’m 80 per cent recovered and am both thriving and surviving.

“For a long time, I was in survival mode – I called it zombie apocalypse mode – and this was my baseline.

“I came out the other side, into the recovery phase and started thriving.

“There are so many people working in the trust who inspire me and they give me hope. Hope is huge. It can make or break your recovery.

“I have experienced stigma and discrimination in the past, but I have also experienced a lot of support and understanding. I am a whole person, not just my illness.

“If people are having a bad day or a tough time, I would give them the advice my grandma gave me: give yourself a treat. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but treat yourself; look after yourself.

“If you are worried that you or someone you know is experiencing mental illness, don’t panic. Help and support is out there.”

Daisy has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder.

Help and support

Our Let’s Talk service can offer help and support if you are suffering with PTSD, please visit www.talkghc.nhs.uk for more information. You can refer yourself to Let’s Talk or you can ask your GP to refer you.

If you think you may have bipolar disorder, you should visit your GP who will be able to help you further. If your GP agrees, they will refer you to our services so you can be assessed and given help and support. For further information about bipolar disorder, please visit ghc.nhs.uk/conditions/bipolar-disorder.