In my last post I opened up about my struggles with depression and anxiety over the past couple of years. Depression and anxiety is something that many of us experience at some point in our life in varying degrees. 1 in 4 will suffer with depression and whilst many overcome their issues, lots don’t. How people cope with them is what’s particularly challenging. Aside from trauma and other specific issues general pressures are also triggers that can increase anxiety. Especially when social media is thrown in to the mix (the number of under 18’s being admitted has increased).
Mental health issues don’t stop at anxiety and depression either. There are so many types of mental health problems (like anger, self-esteem and stress) that aren’t psychiatric diagnosis’s but like a circle, they can lead to mental health problems and mental health problems can lead to them.
I’ve had friends take their own life and others attempt to and I believe that if spoken about more, it’ll become less of a taboo. I wanted today’s post to be a little different and as part of my focus on wellbeing, I wanted to talk about the importance of therapy. I’m ‘lucky’ in the sense that for me there was a clear link between what caused me to become depressed so I could tailor my therapy accordingly but it’s worth looking at what’s available.
finding the right therapy.
Be patient, research & look at options
Therapy doesn’t work over-night. It requires attention, patience and work from the patient. I was in such a rush to feel better that I’d get frustrated when I didn’t feel ‘OK’. Know that the time it takes each person to get better will differ. It took me a year and a half of counselling before I looked at other routes and it’s only now that I feel confident I’ve the right combination of reading, medication and talking therapy to end my depression.
Although looking into different therapies may not sound like the most exciting thing when you’re suffering, it’s definitely worth trying to find the motivation. I became really interested in EDMR when speaking to my psychologist and it’s something that’s definitely helped me move forward in leaps and bounds during my recovery. When I found the right combination of therapy that worked for me, it felt liberating to finally start seeing glimpses of my old self.
Understand the jargon
CBT, Experiential, Psychoanalysis… they’re big words but don’t have to be daunting. Do your research on each before finding a specialist in each field. Normally a specific type of mental health problem ( post traumatic stress disorder or post natal depression for instance) will have a common field of practice/specialist.
Where to ask for help
There’s so much to be said about visiting your local GP. I’m lucky that in my area I often get to see the same doctor. So she’s more au fait with my situation. GP’s can refer you to the right help you need. There are also some really great books written by doctors that have helped me. Dr Chatterjee’s 4 Pillar Plan and dear Chloe Brotheridge’s ‘The Anxiety Solution’ are both really good. Mind.org.uk is another great resource for mental health.
A combination therapy of talking, reading and medication can be uncomfortable at first. It took me two and a half years of being recommended anti-depressants before I finally decided to actually take them. Initially I felt so uncomfortable at the prospect of taking tablets. I was one of those people who thought I could just tell myself to be fine. But now that I understand how they work, I kick myself for not taking them sooner. They’ve not only relieved me of the super low days but they’ve taken the edge off while I carry on solving the root of my problem with EDMR therapy and talking/reading. Creating new habits may also be uncomfortable at first but well worth it in the long run. For instance walking to a new library, visiting a new shopping centre or going to a different park. Get out and about and get yourself out of the rut.
Please treat this as food for thought. As always if anyone wants to get in touch please drop me a line. I’m not a specialist, just a girl with a lot of reading, research and a therapy patient.