My name is Nameer Shah, I am 32 years old and was born in Manchester. My family originate from Kashmir in Pakistan. Kashmir is a beautiful place and a lot of Pakistanis in the UK are from there. The history of Kashmir is interesting, Pakistan and India both claim it as part of their own territory and they have fought wars over it.
I have two brothers and two sisters who are all married and lead their own lives. I have lived in Bury for my whole life and have suffered with Bipolar Disorder for 15 years. I can recall memories from my early childhood and school days and how I started smoking at the age of nine.
My family have supported me through hard times but I rarely see them now. I am in regular contact with my mum who also suffers from mental illness.
“My main hobby is building computers, I love creating my own systems and upgrading my PC”
Many years ago, I have worked at a takeaway, a warehouse and at a bank. I am a hard worker and used to enjoy it, but at the moment I am unemployed. I would love to eventually get a well paid job. My girlfriend is called A, she is nine years older than me, we have a beautiful cat and I stay at her house every weekend. I met her while in a psychiatric hospital; she also suffers with mental illness.
My main hobby is building computers, I love creating my own systems and upgrading my PC. I developed this interest in Pakistan after visiting an internet cafe. The owner of the cafe started teaching me about computers and sparked my curiosity. I developed a love for computers ever since.
I also like collecting posters and photos of family. The walls in my room are plastered with posters of the Inbetweeners, Red Dwarf and Tupac.
Restrained and Injected
My mental health issues started at the age of 17 when I had grandiose ideas and was paranoid about people and started carrying weapons. I ended up being sectioned and stayed in hospital for a year. I was in a PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) for eight months and an acute ward for four months. I had some good times in hospital and met some decent people.
On the PICU I met a non-Muslim guy who was eager to carry out the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, I found it funny at the time. Unfortunately, during my stay at the PICU I was restrained many times and injected. It wasn’t a nice experience. I was young and naive and tried unsuccessfully to fight the system. I eventually settled down and started to co-operate with the nursing team.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, due to which, my mood is sometimes high or low for months on end, thankfully medicine does help. Bipolar disorder is characterised by mood swings, these can range from extreme highs to extreme lows.
I live in supported accommodation at the moment and have befriended other residents. I have met some great people in hospital who I am still in contact with.
Two Years in Rehab
Because of the frequency of my admissions, doctors decided I needed to be at a rehabilitation unit. I was recently discharged from the unit after spending more than two years there. I have been hospitalised numerous times and spent about nine years in hospital altogether.
Medication helps to control my symptoms and I am very well at the moment. To stay well I will do regular exercise and stay away from drugs. I will look after myself, shower regularly and wear clean clothes.
The best thing in my life is social media; I receive thousands of views on Facebook and Twitter as I upload a lot of videos. I hope to stay out of hospital and live a productive life. Thanks for reading my story, I hope you were educated and informed by it.