Treatment for your mental illness may be medication and/or some form of talk support or therapy. It could be in the form of group counselling or one-one with a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse or a CBT counsellor.
It is very important that you talk about your mental health. Get it out in the open. If you keep it bottled up, things seem so much worse.
Here are some ways to find talk support:
Once you have seen your GP you should get a referral to some form of therapist, counsellor, or psychiatrist. You may need to push for a quicker appointment if you feel you need it.
Once you get to see someone, it’s important that you are entirely honest with them about your thoughts and feelings. You’re never going to see them again once you’re well so it’s easier to open up to a stranger who will not judge you or take offence at anything you say.
If you really don’t gel with that person after a few appointments, ask if you can be referred to someone else.
“Over the years I saw another psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, a psychiatric nurse, a CBT counsellor and a different GP and found them so helpful and understanding.”
It really is a case of finding someone you’re comfortable with. Once you find the right person it works.
CLOSE FRIENDS & FAMILY
It’s so important to tell your friends and family when you feel ill. Keeping quiet just delays recovery. I’m my own worst enemy here as I still try and hide my depressive episodes. The dark thoughts always make me feel like I am a nuisance to everyone. Of course, that’s not the case at all.
Even if you don’t want to fully open up to them, please just say “I’m not doing so well at the moment”.
BLOGS, FORUMS & SUPPORT GROUPS
This is a really good way to get help as you will come across people who know exactly what you’re going through. Whether you are reading or talking you will find someone else in the same position as you. Often people can just say one thing and it will instantly click with you – like a lightbulb moment.
You realise that you’re not just going crazy, you are experiencing a symptom of an illness and someone else finally understands exactly what you are feeling.
You might be better off limiting your social media use, but if you want to announce that you’re a sufferer on Facebook, do it! It is often easier to tell people in one fell swoop rather than face to face.
It can be such a huge release. You will be surprised at how many people will be kind. Then take it to PM with a couple of people who can give you the type of support you need.
An anonymous conversation can be so much easier. They now offer an email service as well as phone service. Yes, I did ring them on a couple of occasions when I was at my worst and they were brilliant. There was no rush and they just listened and asked useful questions.
“They were just there at a time I felt I could not speak to anyone else.”
TALK SUPPORT WORKS
Even now I find talking and hearing about others’ experiences comforting, even though the stories are sad. Often it’s because I would never have thought in a million years that they were a sufferer. They appear so together, happy, funny, etc. And yes, they say that’s how they see me too.
It seems we all wear masks to cover up the battleground that’s going on in our heads. But it just shows that there is life with depression. We can live a successful, enjoyable life. It might just be a little tough at times.
I know there are lots of people who will never accept or understand mental illness but talking is helpful and raises awareness. I don’t worry now what those people think. I don’t choose to have these thoughts, I can’t control them, but they are part of me.
I hope it will come through in this blog the importance of talk support – admitting and saying exactly how you feel no matter how ridiculous it sounds. It’s not easy. If you find you’re not quite ready to talk to others, try keeping a diary and write down all your thoughts and fears. This may also be useful for medical appointments as the professionals may be able to pinpoint a pattern.
SELF HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH TIPS
SEE PART 1 FOR LINKS TO PROFESSIONAL & CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS
Do you find it easy to tell people when you’re feeling ill?
Do you tell people that you have a mental illness?
If you haven’t told anyone perhaps sharing one of these blogs could be a way to introduce how you’re feeling.