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Hi. My name is Falum Gibson. I grew up in the Canadian foster care system. At the age of twelve years old, I was apprehended from my family and moved to a foster home. This was when my world first came crumbling down.
Understating the obvious, foster care was hard. Moving in with people I did not know, going to a new school, living in a new city, making new friends - these were all major changes I had to face. The situation started to go downhill.
At the age of thirteen, I began having recurring thoughts of hurting myself, and even ending my life. I did not understand why and I kept much of these dark desires private. I was in for the battle of a lifetime.
On top of all of this, I was diagnosed with a condition called Cerebral Palsy (CP) shortly after birth. The most simplistic definition of CP states that it is a group of movement disorders which impacts the quality of fine motor function in the individual. The symptoms can range from mild, moderate, to severe. During the beginning of my days in foster care, I was told I had to go for major hip surgery.
'Great!,' I thought, 'one more thing to add to the growing mountains of problems I was facing.' A major surgery. Hardly any friends. A new city. And, I was being locked away with some weird strangers that could have been selected by way of a lottery system for all I know. Just what I needed.
Needless to say, I began developing depression. I would begin crying at the slightest of sad moments, and the next moment, I would be highly irritable. I can not count how many times I destroyed valuables in a rage, or pushed away individuals who truly cared for my overall health and wellbeing.
I was a completely different Falum than what anyone previously knew, it's as if the mental illness completely consumed me.
At fourteen, I had my first psychiatric hospital admission. The doctor started me on a low dose of an antidepressant and discharged me after a week of observation. I heard words like 'major depression' and 'mood instability,' which was really the gateway to a much larger issue.
Earlier I divulged that my name is Falum. Except, most days, I have no clue who I am or who I aspire to be. I experience fits of utter rage and periods of utter devastation. I get really attached to people, and then I cut off all contact. It quickly becomes a lonely world. So, I self-mutilate often, and engage in destructive behaviours when my depression is in full force. I impulsively hurt others - and become but a mere shell of who I once thought I was.
I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder - a severe mental disorder that causes intense mood swings from sad, to happy, to suicidal, in a matter of moments. They do not know for certain what causes this disorder, but they speculate that childhood trauma is a major factor in the development of it. Broken from my past - I continue to presently endure the full effects of borderline personality.
In November of 2017, I was admitted to the psychiatric ward for a three week period. Doctors finally put me on a mood stabilizer that works to control the symptoms of this debilitating disorder.
Due to experiencing eight years of chronic suicidality, severe depressive symptoms and intense mood swings, I requested to be referred to an inpatient psychiatric facility. They denied my request - so, I sit here writing this to you today. The idea of this page is to push governments, of all levels, in Canada, to work together and create a mental health system that works for everyone.
Use the hashtag #FalumsFight on all your social media platforms to make a better mental health system for all.