WELCOME TO WEEK 2 OF MY HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERIES. THIS EVENING I’M JOINED BY A WONDERFUL BLOGGER FRIEND – hANNAH FROM lITTLE tHOUGHTS bLOG– WHO’S TALKING ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE OF GAINING HELP FOR HER MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLES.
TRIGGER WARNING: THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS DETAILS OF DEPRESSION. PLEASE BE MINDFUL BEFORE CONTINUING.
What mental health issues have you sought help for?
What help have you sought?
At the time I didn’t really know what kind of help was available so I went to my doctor. He recommended seeing a therapist, which I did for six weeks. After that I was given an antidepressant called Sertraline but didn’t get on well with it. You can find out about that here if you want to. Because of my reaction to the medication I decided that I didn’t want to try any other types of antidepressant, so faced it alone.
What was your experience of this help? (Were people nice/helpful? Did you experience any side effects?)
I had some nasty side effects from the medication which is why I stopped taking it. The post above sums it up really but in a nutshell I felt extremely nauseous the whole time, I didn’t eat, my fingers tingled, I’d wake up at ridiculous times in the morning every day, suicidal thoughts. I went back to my doctor and told him that I wouldn’t take it anymore and he said I’d had a bad reaction to Sertraline and asked if I’d like to try something else – I said no.
Some people were really helpful, and some people really weren’t. I think that due to the lack of education and awareness around mental illness people think that you can literally just ‘snap out of it’ or ‘pull yourself together’ and change your mood in seconds. It doesn’t work like that. People think that having depression just means that you’re sad. Having depression doesn’t just mean that you’re sad. Yes, I had days and nights of just crying the whole time – you could argue I was sad – but what about the rest? What about the questioning your purpose and having no self confidence or self worth? What about not wanting to be alive anymore? What about the total lack of motivation? Insomnia? Total lack of hope? I wouldn’t describe it as sadness, I’d describe it as totally losing who you are.
Do you feel the help has made a difference?
I think therapy probably did, yes. It was helpful all the time I was going, but when it stopped I massively dropped again and you can’t go back for six weeks after being discharged. It was during that six week period that I was given antidepressants and as much as it was a really horrible experience that I’ll always remember, it gave me a slightly different outlook. I didn’t want to be like that anymore, so it gave me a little bit of motivation back.
Would you advise people to seek help?
Definitely. Accept any help that is offered to you. To be honest, you will probably get to a point where you’re willing to accept any help that is offered – I know I did. Talking therapy is a great way of tackling the cause of your mental illness (not that there always is one) and don’t be afraid of your therapist! It’s their job to help you. I had the most lovely lady called Peggy who was so helpful to me and gave me what I needed at that time. I’m not saying you’ll be cured for life because you won’t, but it’s a great start. I’d encourage anybody to make that first step.