asking for help 101
Asking for help:
If you feel that you need to seek help for the issue that you have it's the first step to recovery. I found that once I spoke about the issues I had to my partner I felt much better as I didn't feel alone and in turn I knew that there was something going on and I needed help. You could start off by talking to your parents about the problem or even a friend, write a list of whats going on with you and give it to them. There is nothing to be embarrassed about! The next step is getting yourself to the GP, you can go on your own or with someone, it's up to you because you are the one in control! Again write a list about what's going on and give it to them, being prepared is key here as sometimes when you are put on the spot your mind goes blank and you want them to have a clear understanding!
Once you have spoken to your GP and they think you could benefit from treatment you will be referred. It is scary and worrying but so worth it as it can change your life. After about a week you will get a letter from who you have been refereed to and you will have to give them a call to arrange a date and time for them to call and asses you. This is nothing to worry about! They are not judging you they just want to make sure you get the right person and the right treatment. You will do some questionnaires over the phone with them normally how your issue has been affecting you over the past two weeks. They will then book you in for your first treatment!
What treatment is offered:
The NHS offers many amazing treatments for mental health. I have had CBT and I will be having EMDR in the future. It all depends what is going on with you. You will be given the treatment that is right for you and the person who will be helping you will give you a clear understanding of what will happen. Mind have all of the therapy's listed and what they do and help with here.
While you wait:
Sometimes there is a wait for treatment which can be very hard if you are in a bad place, I waited for a treatment for nine months but it was worth it. While you wait keep in touch with your GP, your family and friends. You could contact the Samaritans they are there 24/7 seven days a week, you can call, email, write and even visit them. They are honestly amazing people who all volunteer. I have emailed them a few times when I was really down and they perked me up and gave me that extra support while I waited for treatment. It's 100% confidential and you don't even have to tell them your name.
What happens when you go for treatment:
When you first start treatment you will meet the person who will be helping you and your first session will be helping them understand what is happening with you and what you want from the treatment. They are always so kind and understanding. You will have everything explained to you and they will help you and you will again do a few more questionnaires. You will then start your journey to recovery! How long you will go for is up to the person you are seeing as everyone is different.
The person you are seeing or your doctor may think you could benefit from medication. This can be scary as there are many horror stories online. It really is down to you if you want to but try and be open minded. I have been on anti depressants for two years now and I haven't looked back. It's finding the right one for you. If you want to give them a try don't be ashamed or feel like you have failed, so many people have to take these and it doesn't mean anything bad about you. They can take up to two months to start working and some can take as little as two weeks.
Dealing with side effects:
All medication comes with a side effects but when your feeling ill in your head you don't need to feel worse! It's all about finding a balance. Side effects normally go after a few months so sticking with it is key. The person who prescribed them will check up with you every month to keep an eye on this and will help you along the way. Some people feel that anti depressants make them feel "zombie" like. Changing the time you take the pill makes all the difference, taking it in the early evening will make you tired when you are due to go to bed. Upping or lowering the dose can help or trying a new pill.
While you wait or if you don't feel treatment is right for you there are many self help things out there to give you a hand. One of the best things is mindfulness which is proven to help with anxiety. If you go for CBT you will be taught this but you can teach yourself as well using books, cd's and apps. The Headspace app is amazing at teaching your self to relax, grounding and letting go of worry. It costs only £4.99 a month, completely worth it in my opinion! Mindfulness for beginners by Jon Kabat Zinn is a amazing CD that I have myself and it talks you through everything and is very easy to understand. Just doing quick google search on Mindfulness will lead you to many amazing self help guides.