A few simple tips

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since joining this site I have had the privilege of reading so many posts that people have written opening themselves up and discussing their illness often in the hope of receiving support or answer. I must admit that I have been surprised by the diversity, people of all ages and from so many backgrounds but all sharing that common bond that unites us all, mental illness.

for those that find this site looking for help and support if offer the following few tips:

1) speak to your GP about your feelings, they will be understanding and can point you in the right direction. It will also help you start to unburden your self as just knowing you have spoken to someone will help. Remember doctors are used to hearing stories like yours so while it may be difficult try to open up. It will also get you into 'the system' mental illness can be a long journey so the sooner you get medical help the sooner the ball can start rolling, remember the NHS is over stretched and waiting lists can be long so don't expect to be cured in a week.

2) your doctor may prescribe you medication, most likely an anti-depressant from the SSRI group. These are common for anxiety and depression. These medications can take several weeks to take effect and I do mean 2-8 weeks so don't expect to pop one in your mouth and the world to become all sunshine and smiles. In fact you will most likely feel worse, while the good effect of the medication takes time the side effects don't hang about and many, many people quite taking them after only a few days because of the way they make them feel. Most people are used to taking paracetamol where one minute they are in pain, pop a pill and half hour later no pain. But these medications do work and also remember they are often prescribed on the information given, the more honest you are the more information your GP has to get you on the right medication. In time your medication may change and SSRI are upped every few weeks to get you on the right dose, so please don't think that if your given 20mg you can just pop 60mg to spread things up, you will not help yourself one bit.

3) so your already feeling like hell and your going to take medication likely to make you feel worse, painting a lovely picture am I not. But all is not lost and here is where forums such as this come in. Reaching out and asking questions, telling your story or just venting are what this site is here for. Everyone has suffered here in some way and understand, they may not be able to offer you medical help like the doctors but they can give something as great as medicine, support and love, understanding and friendship. It also gives you the opportunity to give support to others which can be very therapeutic .

4) self-help, that's right you are on a journey, you have to walk it. If you can't be bothered you will sit where you are and will not progress, in fact you will just get worse. So get your boots on and help yourself, relaxation techniques, meditation, mindfulness, yoga and exercise will help you so very much. CBT, self-hypnosis and goal setting are also great tools. Writing a journal or diary will allow you to get your feelings out and once on the page they are released but serve as a reminder to you in time to come. It will also help you when it comes to knowing what are your root causes (often you will see patterns in your writing they can give you something to talk to your GP about.

5) friends and family, many of us hide our problems especially from them, and the thought of telling them that you think your losing your mind is never pleasant but you will need their support and even if they don't understand, they will still know that your actions are no just you being selfish or moody but the result of your condition.

6) don't you dare feel shame, if you had diabetes you sure as hell wouldn't so don't dare think that because your problem is in your mind it's a bad thing. The brain is the most complex part of the body and still not truly understood so just because your illness is not visible does not make it any less worthy. One of the biggest problems facing mental health care is ignorance and we must not add to this by staying quiet.

7) finally and most importantly of all you must stay strong, eat, exercise, and find your inner strength, it is there trust me. We only get one life and our illness often makes it hard to smile but smile we must, each step on the road may not be easy but each and every one is important so we must try to hold our spirits high and believe in ourselves.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    great words david  i am struggling so bad at the moment well to be honest the last 8 months to be exact , i am currently coming down of 2 meds venlaxafine and queitiapine so i can try a new med , it has been a living hell and the depression and anxiety are unbearable , but some times we have to remember these points ,to help our selves but it isnt easy 

     

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    • Posted

      Terry, you are not alone and anything I can do to help you I will. We need to get your anxiety back under control and while I can help guide you, you need to do the work. As I said above medication is a tool and so are self help therapies. I don't know what you have tried but I would start with a journal and continuing to help those on here. This will give you focus and a sense of purpose. I favour sitting meditation as it helps me to learn control in a relaxed way, if your interested the book zen mind, beginners mind is a great read, but takes some reading lol. Stay in touch and stay strong

      David

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    • Posted

      thankyou david for your kind words ,at the moment i am finding it very hard to do anything very emotional and tired , depression and anxiety have really got a grip not sure if its a return or the fact i have droped my meds but will try and look and some sort of reading
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  • Posted

    I don't know what to say except thank you. I'm currently going to school and my attention is on that. I have attention deficit disorder and diagnosed bipolar. School is proving to make my mind work really hard. I'm taking stratera for it but it needs to be increased. I could tell my school I have ADD and get additional assistance but I just refuse to. I will give into my illnesses a little but I'm one of those who feels I have to put in a lot of the effort. I'm stubborn :-). I'm also a single mom and honestly, I am not sure how I'm doing it all but I keep on keeping on. I take it one day at a time but it truly is unpredictable how I will feel each day. I have come a long way because of wonderful people like you, medication, and me. I still have a way to go and my mental illness will be there forever. I just refuse to let my illnesse define me or tell me what I can and can't do. Not sure if thats a good thing or not :-). Well, I'm surprised I wrote this much because I've been so overwhelmed with school, It's been difficult to put thoughts down. Anywho, I just wanted to once again thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement.

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    • Posted

      Justbeingme,

      it is one thing to be proud but do not be to proud to take any help that is on offer. If you can get extra help in school it will help you get better grades and trust me when I say that will be a benifit in the future. Don't take the help because you are to proud or ashamed and your grades may suffer and you make future life harder. There is so little help for those with mental health you need to grab anything and everything you can. And as you have the gift of a child you need to be there for the little one for a long time. And that child will need you, so the more help you get, the better you can provide for the little one. You are amazing, strong and talented and are already an inspiration to other in the way that even so young you cope.

      thank you for your kind words but I should thank you for showing such strength

      David

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    • Posted

      Hello David and thank you! You are right but I've seen and have been treated differently because of my mental challenges. I have lots of pride and although I've learned to let go a bit, it was survival for me for as long as I can remember to have pride and work hard to have anything. My life was not an easy one and I was a certain way to survive and trying to be a good mom. Habits are hard to break but I'm working on changing a little at a time. I don't live in the past anymore but have tried to learn from my mistakes. I'll never forget but I've let go. It took many years to let go though. Like you, I want to help people which is why I'm going to school. I know that you are right and part of changing how people see mental illness is for people like us to speak up and set an example for others. I will get there as it's ultimately my goal...to help others. Thank you for the compliments but you are strong David! You are making a difference here and you've made a difference with me. I will notify my school of my ADD. Thank you!
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