This month I’m looking to change things up a bit. I’ve talked a lot on this blog about my own experiences of mental health difficulties in the hope of inspiring others to do the same, to show there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I know how I feel but what about others? Throughout this month I’ll be talking to people who have their own experiences of mental health problems, physical health difficulties and who knows what, I’ll see where it takes me.
I ask the questions and my contributors give me their answers which will be unedited. Today is Jade’s experience of both anxiety and depression. Please check her out over at https://jadealicexxo.wixsite.com/jadealicexxo
If anyone would like to be a contributor please get in touch via the contact page. If you’re affected by anything that may come up in these posts please scroll to the bottom for relevant support information. Above all please respect people’s honesty and enjoy!
Can you tell me a bit about what was going on for you leading up to you experiencing anxiety and depression?
I first experienced anxiety when my Nan died in 2001, I was only a small child but old enough to know what was going on. My Nan was my rock, and losing her triggered a whole lot of everything at once. My parents made the right decision and got me bereavement support from a councillor who then diagnosed me with anxiety. This was a scary time for me not only because I had lost the person who I was closest too but also because I was feeling symptoms that I never knew existed! I later on got diagnosed with depression as throughout school I was bullied excessively.
What does having anxiety and depression mean to you?
Having anxiety and depression has given me a whole knew outlook on life, I’ve felt things that I never knew (before diagnosis) the human body was capable of, and all though these symptoms are powerful and extremely scary they are also fascinating to me. It’s given me the strength and knowledge I need to know when I am having an anxiety attack or depressive episode to then try and overcome it.
What have you found helps or doesn’t help?
I have tried counselling, CBT, antidepressants, elastic band round the wrist for distraction, art therapy to name a few. But at the moment I am on antidepressants which are working for me after CBT triggered a lot of stuff but in a way CBT also helped me get over my fear of driving again. All the stuff I have listed has personally helped me even though some may have triggered me.
What was your experience of accessing mental health services or support?
My GP was extremely caring and accepting of my needs and gave me the right information and action plan I needed to have in place. She sent a referral to the mental health services but as everyone knows the mental health teams in the UK are extremely over capacity and take a while for you to be seen by them. The medication I am on is working extremely well for me at the moment.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone experiencing something similar?
One piece of advice I would give anyone would be to seek help if you haven’t already, it’s extremely hard to do it alone and you’ll be surprised at how understanding the doctor could be unless you get the minority of the bunch that aren’t very nice but still don’t let that put you off of getting help. You’re loved!
Is there anything good about having anxiety or low mood?
The only good thing I would say for me personally is that it has shown me the amount of strength I am willing to produce when it’s needed, I have surprised myself by pulling myself back out of some episodes that others thought I may never recover from. Other than that I don’t see any good thing about having it.
Does having anxiety and depression effect how you see yourself or how others see you?
I now do believe that anxiety is apart of me, especially after my most recent episode it has definitely embedded itself within me. It has effected my last relationship, I was going through a very tough and testing time with my anxiety and depression, he couldn’t understand why I couldn’t leave the house despite having anxiety himself and wondered why I couldn’t see him and eventually left me because he saw it as a problem said some horrible stuff to me about it and myself, I also found out that while I was going through this he had cheated on me and is currently with the girl he cheated on me with. I am now in a happy relationship with someone who cares about my mental wellbeing and does everything he can to help me. I’m also in a good place mentally with the help of medication and I am really glad that I got the help when I did. It’s the hardest first step accepting that you need to get help but once it’s done it’s a big sigh of relief on your behalf. Just remember you’re loved, people care for you and you care for you.
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