NIKKI Mattocks was simply six years previous when merciless bullies started taunting her calling her “fat” and “ugly”.
Over the years these taunts turned voices in her personal head, leaving her feeling nugatory and driving her to the brink of suicide.
From the age of simply six, Nikki Mattocks was affected by emotions of worthlessness
Nikki, who’s 21 and lives in Croydon, says years of bullying at college eroded her vanity and led her on a damaging path.
When she met her companion James* on the age of 14 by way of buddies, she noticed taking medicine as an escape from the psychological well being issues that had plagued her since childhood.
Quickly after they began going out James started to exert management over Nikki, appearing as if he “owned her”.
Over the subsequent two years, Nikki says James, who was 4 years older than her, would repeatedly punch and assault her, and even raped her a number of occasions.
Bullies tormented Nikki, telling her she was ugly
“I had a really low sense of self worth,” says Nikki, talking out in help of The Solar’s You are Not Alone marketing campaign.
“For years at college my classmates told me I used to be fats and ugly, so I noticed the truth that someone was in me was ok, even when he was abusing me.
“Now I know the way he treated me was wrong.”
In the summertime of 2013, James – who was Nikki’s first boyfriend – took a deadly coke overdose, one thing she says “pushed her over the edge” and led her to try suicide.
She stated the one approach classmates would come with her as in a recreation they referred to as ‘ugly’ chase – the place Nikki was made to chase them across the playground
“Even though it was a bad world, James was my world,” Nikki tells Solar On-line. “I simply thought: ‘I’ve had sufficient, I do not know what the purpose is anymore’.
“I took an overdose of painkillers and waited to die – however fortunately I vomited most of them up about ten minutes after taking them.
I had a very low sense of self value… Different youngsters would play kiss chase, however with me they’d play ‘ugly chase’, the place I ran after them in the playground and tried to catch them
“It was my remaining suicide try – earlier than then I might been self-harming repeatedly and had been admitted to a psychiatric ward 4 occasions for between two and 5 weeks per time.
“I took that final attempt as a sign that I’d tried to kill myself so many times and it hadn’t worked so perhaps I should be here after all.”
Now coaching to be a psychological well being nurse and utilizing her experiences to assist others, Nikki is backing The Solar’s You are Not Alone marketing campaign, which goals to encourage individuals to study the indicators of psychological well being issues, to assist cease individuals dropping their lives to suicide.
- 1 ‘I used to be singled out for the best way I appeared’
- 2 ‘Voices in my head told me I used to be disgusting and nugatory’
- 3 ‘I fell in with a nasty crowd and turned to medicine’
- 4 ‘Then the abuse began… he punched me and raped me’
- 5 ‘I attempted to kill myself… however received so frightened I told my dad’
- 6 ‘My breakthrough second was once I realised life may be good’
‘I used to be singled out for the best way I appeared’
As years of bullying took their toll, Nikki started to hear voices in her head, re-affirming the bullies’ merciless taunts
Her issues started on the age of six, when she told her mum she did not really feel like she match in anyplace and needed to die.
“I was singled out at school for the way I looked. Other kids would play kiss chase, but with me they’d play ‘ugly chase’, where I ran after them in the playground and tried to catch them,” she says.
“Although placing myself on the market like that was hurtful, it was the one method I might be a part of in. I might be referred to as ‘ugly’ and ‘fats’ from the second I walked in to faculty.
“It was so cruel and even though my parents tried to speak to my teachers about it, the bullying continued.”
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is misplaced – to suicide.
It does not discriminate, touching the lives of individuals in each nook of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and docs, actuality stars and footballers.
It is the most important killer of individuals underneath the age of 35, extra lethal than most cancers and automotive crashes. And males are 3 times extra doubtless to take their very own life than ladies.
But, it is not often spoken of, a taboo that threatens to proceed its lethal rampage until all of us cease and take discover, now.
That’s the reason The Solar has launched the You are Not Alone marketing campaign, to remind anybody dealing with a troublesome time, grappling with psychological sickness or feeling like there’s nowhere left to flip, that there’s hope.
The purpose is that by sharing sensible recommendation, elevating consciousness and breaking down the obstacles individuals face when speaking about their psychological well being, we will all do our bit to assist save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for assist once we want it, and pay attention out for others. You are Not Alone.
For an inventory of help providers obtainable, please see the The place To Get Assist field under.
Figuring out psychological well being issues ran in the household as Nikki’s grandmother suffered from schizophrenia, Nikki’s mum sought assist for her daughter from a youngsters’s psychological well being charity referred to as Place2Be.
“I saw a counsellor from the charity every Tuesday morning at 10am for an hour from the age of 6 to 11,” says Nikki.
“I might actually look ahead to it, as a result of these periods have been the one time I might really feel that anyone was listening to me.
“I’d usually do art while the counsellor would speak to me about how I felt – to me it was an hour of time where I could fully express myself.”
‘Voices in my head told me I used to be disgusting and nugatory’
Nikki began self-harming, scratching herself, slicing and burning her arms with cigarettes
Though her psychological well being slowly started to enhance, three years after these periods ended, Nikki began listening to voices telling her to hurt herself.
“At first it happened occasionally,” says Nikki. “I might hear the odd factor that may make me bounce, such because the sound of a scream.
“However over the subsequent few months it turned much more frequent and fixed. The voices would say issues to me comparable to ‘you are disgusting, you are nugatory, you need to self-harm or kill your self’.
“It acquired to some extent the place they have been unattainable to ignore.
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“I couldn’t see how I could do anything with my life while I heard voices constantly telling me these things.”
After going to the physician, she was referred to the NHS’s Baby and Adolescent Psychological Well being Providers (CAMHS) – however the ready record was so lengthy that by the point she was seen she had already reached all-time low.
Nikki tells Solar On-line she had began often self-harming, chopping and scratching herself and burning her arms with cigarettes, all the time sporting lengthy sleeves to attempt and cover what she was doing from her household.
The UK has the very best price of self-harm in Europe, with an estimated 400 in 100,000 self-harming. A research by the Youngsters’s Society in August this yr additionally discovered a fifth of youngsters aged 14 had self-harmed.
‘I fell in with a nasty crowd and turned to medicine’
After getting collectively together with her boyfriend James on the age of 14, Nikki began taking medicine and turned hooked on cocaine
After a couple of months of ready, on the age of 14 she was recognized with post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) and melancholy.
Nikki was additionally told she had “emerging personality disorder” – character issues aren’t recognized till maturity due to the truth that adolescence individuals’s personalities are nonetheless in a state of improvement.
After turning 18, this analysis modified to borderline character dysfunction, which causes signs reminiscent of excessive temper swings, impulsive and dangerous behaviours and suicidal ideas.
As a youngster, Nikki had additionally fallen in with a “bad crowd”, bunking off faculty to take cocaine purchased for her by James.
The pair took the drug each day and experimented with “anything else we could get our hands on”.
‘Then the abuse began… he punched me and raped me’
Nikki’s boyfriend started to abuse her, punching her regularly, even raping her a number of occasions
“Because he was buying me the coke, he would tell me he ‘owned me’ and ‘you’re mine’, but it was never in a nice, loving way,” she says.
“Then, he began hitting me lots, punching me and pushing me throughout arguments. A number of occasions, I did not really feel like I needed to have sex however he pressured himself on me, so I suffered sexual abuse too.
“As the connection turned worse so did my psychological well being. James was telling me I used to be nugatory, the voices in my head have been telling me I used to be nugatory and I did not actually have any true pals.
“I did not really feel I might speak to my household about it both.
Then, he began hitting me quite a bit, punching me and pushing me throughout arguments. A couple of occasions, I didn’t really feel like I needed to have sex however he pressured himself on me, so I suffered sexual abuse too
“Everywhere I turned it was as if the world was telling me I wasn’t good enough so I believed it – that’s why my mental health got to the state it did.”
Analysis suggests that ladies with psychological well being issues are extra possible to be domestically abused, with up to 60 per cent of females with a psychological well being drawback estimated to have skilled home violence sooner or later in their life.
Between the ages of 14 and 16, Nikki had 4 totally different inpatient admissions, one thing she says she discovered “really difficult”.
“At that age nobody talks about mental health, so to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital several times was very confusing to me,” she says.
“At school, there were a lot of rumours going around ‘she’s a psycho, she’s crazy, don’t talk to her’, which made everything worse.”
‘I attempted to kill myself… however received so frightened I told my dad’
After James took a deadly overdose, Nikki, aged 16, tried to take her life however panicked and told her dad after vomiting up the tablets
After James took a deadly overdose, Nikki tried suicide for the ultimate time on the age of 16, taking a number of painkillers.
“After a day, I got frightened and told my dad what I’d done even though I vomited the tablets up,” she says, “He took me to hospital and I used to be stored in for 24 hours – fortunately I hadn’t finished a lot bodily injury.
“I counted myself as being lucky to be alive.”
‘My breakthrough second was once I realised life may be good’
That was a turning level for Nikki – she began school and made shut pals for the primary time.
“I realised life could be good,” she says. “After a yr, I told my new buddies about my previous and they told me they have been sorry to hear what I might been via.
“The most important thing you can do for somebody who has gone through the kind of thing I’ve lived through is believe them, tell them they didn’t deserve it and they’re not alone.”
Nikki’s breakthrough second got here after she survived her suicide try and noticed that life may be good
Nikki is now coaching to be a psychological well being nurse and dedicates her time to making an attempt to assist others
She has since gone on to work in psychiatric hospitals as a healthcare assistant, and can also be learning to be a psychological well being nurse on the College of Surrey.
“I want to use my experiences to help others,” she says. “I’m going into faculties telling youngsters about my life and educating them about psychological well being.
“I always feel proud when a young person tells me after that my story has given them to courage to seek help.”
Nikki’s advocacy work has additionally been observed by the Royal Household, and she has met Princes William and Harry in addition to the Duchess of Cambridge a number of occasions.
She is captivated with encouraging different individuals to converse out about their psychological well being struggles
“They’ve taken the time to listen to me, and were really understanding,” she says. “I feel their openness about psychological well being has been essential too and has helped with altering individuals’s attitudes.
“However, we have a way to go. People still don’t understand more complex mental health conditions such as psychosis and personality disorders and we need to do more as a society to change that.”
Now single, Nikki has had a pair of different long-term relationships, however says her time with James has affected how she approaches them.
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“With my boyfriend after him, I used to be too scared to meet up with him with no pal for the primary few months, and I did not sleep with him a lot as I used to be nonetheless scared of sex – he ultimately broke up with me.
“I wrestle with self-confidence and worry I am going to get harm, however I’ve had remedy and I’m slowly getting higher.
“Once I was unwell, I simply noticed life as being darkish and accepted it. However slowly I’ve realised life might be good.
“I am human – I’ve good days and dangerous days, and it may be particularly arduous in the run up to Christmas because it’s supposed to be such a cheerful time, however my circumstances do not take a time off.
“But my work educating people has given me a purpose – it is great to know that what you’ve been through is something you can use to help others.”
WHERE TO GET HELP
In the event you, or anybody you realize, wants assist coping with psychological well being issues, the next organisations present help:
- Beat, www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk, 0808 801 0667
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.internet, 0800 585 858
- Heads Collectively, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Hector’s Home, www.hectorshouse.org.uk
- Thoughts, www.thoughts.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123