Best Treatment Option(s)? (Anxiety & Depression)

Posted , 6 users are following.

Just some background info: I’m a 17 year old guy, currently studying three of the hardest and most time-consuming subjects (Mathematics, Biology & Chemistry). I’m not particularly confident, I’ve always felt sorta outta place. 

I suffer with severe depression (I self-harm & have attempted suicide) and generalised anxiety disorder (I take days off of college because of it). I’ve explained to my GP the severity of the situation, and the absolute need for quick intervention before my life becomes too affected or, worse, before my life ceases to exist. 

However, I was met with the old ‘counselling is the best option’ stance from 3 different GPs. Granted, however, only one is aware of the severity. I understand their apprehension to prescribe medication, and also to put me on any CAHMS service because of the sheer pressure the services feel, but the counselling service, which is supplied by a local charity, has extensive waiting lists, with those with ‘best’ flexibility able to access the service after 6 months, while those who are on more firm schedules usually wait around a year. I have made a point of saying that this is simply not good enough. I am already taking successive days off of college, and have attempted suicide/self-harmed more frequently than ever. My education does not have a year it has, at best, a month before the deficits become irreparable in the time I have. But more than that, honestly, my life does not have a year.

I’m just wondering, is it still a acceptable for my GP to sit there and say ‘counselling is the ONLY option’ or should I be offered more immediate interventions, like medication, owing to the seriousness of the situation and the quite frankly huge need for more rapid intervention? 

Thank you for reading & the subsequent replies. 

1 like, 11 replies

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi callum151100

    We note from a recent post which you have made to our forum that you may be experiencing thoughts around self-harm. If we have misinterpreted your comments then we apologise for contacting you directly. But if you are having such thoughts then please note that you are not alone in this, and there are people out there that can help.

    If you are having these suicidal thoughts then we strongly recommend you speak to someone who may be able to help. The Samaritans offer a safe space where you can talk openly about what you are going through. They can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just be there to listen.

    Their contact details are on our patient information leaflet here:, which also offers lots of other advice on how you can access the help you may need.

    If you are having such thoughts then please do reach out to the team at the Samaritans (or the other people detailed in our leaflet) who will understand what you're going through and will be able to help.

    Kindest regards


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  • Posted

    Callum, first of all, your education is not irreparable. It might feel like that just now, but there are so many options. It doesn't have to be done the 'direct' route and it doesn't have to all be achieved now. I didn't take higher Chemistry at school and I scraped Biology but I ended up graduating at age 23 with a biotechnology degree. I even had to take a little time out of my degree year due to depression. So please don't despair. You have time and options on your side.

    Your mental well being is far more important than your education just now. That's where your priority should lie. If you need to take time out to get yourself well, then please look into that. Talk to the relevant people (parents, college) and see what you can work out. The college will not want to see you failing because of your mental health. They should be able to sit down and discuss your options with you. 

    Now onto CAMHS. To be honest they are not the best service and you are right about the horrendous waiting times. You are already 17 so it might be worth waiting to be referred to adult services. In the meantime, please go back to whichever GP you found to be most understanding, explain about the seriousness of your situation - you need to tell them everything, about all attempts and recent thoughts etc. You are old enough to be prescribed medication - take a parent if you can and push for help. I've found GPs to be reluctant too, so you need to keep pushing. If you feel like you are unable to keep yourself safe (not cutting - I mean your life) - tell them exactly that. It is on them to do something about that - they can't ignore someone who tells them that. 


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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply. 

      I did say about the self-harm, and even showed the scars. I was told to still ‘wait for the counselling’ and to ‘keep the wounds clean’. Which I found appalling. 

      My parents have tried pushing for more immediate intervention, the GP just got rather rude and told her I need to wait for the counselling, despite me being near the end of my tether. 

      I absolutely understand the apprehension to prescribe medication, especially due to my age. But seriously. I went through puberty early, I’m a matter of 7 months away from being 18. I’m sure that medication will not be as detrimental to me than a 14 year old already on the medication, yet somehow their apprehension is more important than the need for quicker intervention. rolleyes

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  • Posted

    Dear callum151100,

    I note that you mention seeing three GPs, but only telling one of them how sever the situation is. You also refer to self-harm and attempted suicide in the past. I would urge you, if you have not done so already, to explain to your GP the detail of your past suicide attempt. While it is absolutely true that availability of CAMHS services vary, if you have attempted suicide in the past and are experiencing regular suicidal thoughts now, you should qualify for an urgent CAMHS referral. Your GP may be wary of prescribing antidepressants because of recent guidelines which came into place highlighting risks as well as benefits of antidepressants in under 18s and recommending that they are only prescribed by a specialist psychiatric team. 

    Please do go back to your GP and explain all the background, so that you can get the help you need.

    Good luck


    The Patient team

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  • Posted

    Dear Callum,

    It really sounds like you need to see  specialist..A psychiatrist who knows the latest medication that could be helpful to you 

    Sometimes GP’s are not fully informed on the countless meds out there today!

    Good Luck to you!!

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, just want to give a general update: 

    I’ve contacted my local NHS Care Commission group, and the complaints manager has said she will get to the bottom of the situation regarding the waiting list for the counselling service. She also said she’ll raise the concerns I’ve made with my GP. Fat loada good I think it’ll do though — she’ll probably just come back with ‘there isn’t much we can do, you’ll just have to wait the six months.’ 

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  • Posted

    Ask him for effexor its a good antidepressant
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  • Posted


    If your really that desperate to seek help and your suicidal tell them your going to hurt people. This might not be the case with you but when they think your capable off hurting others that gets there attention fast. I know its not totally proper but your life is just as important to me as anyone else. If that's what it takes to get you the help you need now instead of six months or more it's well worth it. They aren't hearing your call for help. Your life matters.

    and they don't take suicide as a serious issue anymore I've noticed in my city, and we've lost people cause of it.

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  • Posted

    Hi callum151, don't ever think of suicide, its not the option for any problem.............try to face the things, if you feel like the things go worse then consult a psychologist, hypnotherapy will surely help you out...try to talk to your parents regarding your circumstances or the phases you are going through.....never give up.....try out hypnosis the best way to overcome your depression or your negative state of mind..., they advice you how you can deal with the

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  • Posted

    All of the different types of recognized anxiety disorders are characterized by the presence of clinically significant degrees of chronic anxiety. These disorders are very common in patients seen by primary care physicians. In the early 1990s, the National Comorbidity Survey5 indicated that the 1-year prevalence of all anxiety disorders in the general population was 17.2%, and the lifetime prevalence was 24.9%. 


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