Borderline Personality Disorder,  DBT,  Suicide

I was suicidal. I needed help.

A year after her initial diagnosis, Mattocks was finally given dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) which was “the first treatment that genuinely helped.”

An insight into youth mental health services: ‘I was suicidal. I needed help’

The health select committee has found ‘serious and deeply engrained problems’ in mental health services for young people

At age 14, Nikki Mattocks began to hear voices in her head that drove her to self-harm. Plagued with suicidal thoughts, she sought help from her school and GP, but she was not immediately referred to a mental health professional. The next six months, before she was diagnosed, was a blur of suicide attempts and trips to the accident and emergency unit, sometimes as often as twice a week.

“I went to A&E millions of times,” said Mattocks, who is now 17 and studying psychology and sociology at Coulsdon sixth form college in Surrey. “I was incredibly suicidal. They would turn me away and I would go home and I would hurt myself and I would go back again.”

Eventually, she was assessed by Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder and depressive disorder. She was provided with a psychologist once a week. It wasn’t enough, she said. “When you are in that place, you don’t know what you need. I just needed more help.”

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