How do you approach depression with a GP?

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hey guys, 

I've never posted on a forum before, let alone about something so personal but here we go anyway, hopefully it'll help. 

I've been struggling an awful lot with life, I spend all day lying in bed because facing the world seems so difficult, I never go in to Uni anymore and my grades have gone downhill - which is a massive shame especially as I am in my third and final year. I isolate myself from all my friends and housemates, I feel so low all of the time and I have been self harming because - even though this may sound odd - self harm is the only thing I seem to do that feels productive (even though I am aware it isn't). 

I know why I feel this way, I was raped in November and although I convinced myself that I would be perfectly fine after a few weeks, I'm really not. I have finally come to a point where I want to seek help from my GP but I have absolutely no idea how to start the conversation - do I discuss the abuse first, the self harm, the depression and how would I even lead into that conversation? 

All I know is that I want to move forward but the thought of seeing my gp is terrifying me. I did once open up to a friend of mine about what was going on but I felt absolutely no relief whatsoever, instead I felt ashamed and embarrassed for opening up even though this friend was lovely about everything. Will seeing my gp help or will I just end up running out of there screaming?

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  • Posted

    Hi Fee25,

    You have been incredibly brave coming on to this site seeking help. And, also, very brave to understand that self harming is not as productive as you thought it may have been....

    I strongly advise you to see your GP as a: it is private & confidential so will go no further and b: if he/she is worth their salt they will give you the advise and help you desperately need! If your GP is a male and you feel better with a female one then just ask to see one. I'm sure receptionists get requests like that all the time.

    The fact you were raped seems to me as though this is a major factor as to why you are so depressed and no wonder! What a terrible ordeal to go through!

    I urge you to see your GP and keep us all posted!

    Good luck and we're all rooting for you!

    Zoe x

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the support and kind words Zoe! 

      Luckily my GP is female and she's really lovely so I'm sure she will be a help when I pluck up the courage to go!

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear of your hurt Fee...

    Advice: Cut and paste what you shared on here. Print it and hand it to your GP. He/She will take it from there.

    Alternatively, find someone you trust (family member/friend/whoever) ...confide in them and get them to accompany you to GP ..A. to give some moral support and B. to advocate/be a voice for you.

    These are just two potentially viable options. Other members will nodoubt share their thoughts to.

    You take care!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice Karl, it has been helpful actually having my thoughts written out so taking something written in with me may be a big help!
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  • Posted

    Hi Fee,

    I recommend calling the Samaritans 08457 90 90 90.

    Putting down your thoughts on a forum like this is frightening step but it is a step forward. Calling someone who is trained to help you speak to them and get some great anonymous advise is the next step.

    They can help you take the next steps and work up to face to face talks with your GP.

    I really wish you all the best and please keep us updated. Your amazing and brave for wanting to seek help.

    Xxx

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  • Posted

    So sorry to hear about all of this.

    You've taken a big step by posting here. My experience of GPs with this sort of thing is good. Get yourself an appointment as soon as possible but tell yourself that you only need to tell them what you are comfortable with. Don't feel overwhelmed that you have to go into any more detail than you want to. If you click with them then tell them everything but only at your own pace.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hello Fee,  I am so sorry to hear of your pain, coming here is great for support and encouragement as we care about others.  Your GP is the first step and you could either write a note saying i self harm and i am depressed because i was raped, and need help. If you can say it do it that way.  I am sure your GP will be very understanding.  

    I wish you the best on the road to recovery.  Speak here anytime for support.

    Elizabeth.  

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  • Posted

    Oh sweetie. (((hugs))) You are so strong and so brave to post this on here and to ask for help. May I ask if you spoke to anyone from Rape Crisis at the time? If you didn't, that may help. The best advice I could give you has already been given. Print out your original post. Your doctor will take it from there. I wish you all the luck in the world.x
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  • Posted

    Hello,

    You've had some excellent advice already on this forum, and well done you for posting in the first place.

    You have suffered a terrible ordeal and I am so sorry for all you've been through.

    I think everybody is right, your GP should definitely be your first stop.

    If I was you I would take some quiet, alone time and write down everything you are feeling or experiencing as a result of what happened to you, such as the self harm. Any troubles sleeping or eating or any differences you've noticed in how you think, feel or act, write them down. When you go to see your GP either give them this list or use it as a prompt sheet to make sure you give them the full picture.

    They are likely to ask you what you think might have triggered these feelings, which you have identified as being the rape. In my experience, a lot of medical professionals will start referring to this as your "trauma".

    It is perfectly acceptable for you to go into as much or as little detail about it as you feel comfortable with, and your GP will expect this. You can say what happened to you but that you don't want to go into any further detail about it at this time and they will be very understanding of this.

    The only other thing I'd be aware of is the GP may ask if you reported the rape or not. I don't know whether you did or you didn't but its worth being aware they may ask you about this. They won't judge you or coerce you if you didn't report it so try not to worry about that, but they may signpost you to people who specialise in women/men who have gone through the same ordeal as you.

    Most importantly know that this is your GPs job, they are here to help you, and I'm sure will be able to give you some support that you greatly need right now.

    On a side note, the GP can also help with university. If you feel you can't go in at all have you thought about perhaps leaving and restarting the third year in September? I'm not sure if it is an option for you but it's what I did and I'm glad of it! Alternatively, your university, if made aware of your depression (they do not need to know what triggered it) have a duty to help you.

    You may be able to register as a disabled student, which entitles you to further help and support such as travelling to uni, if you find this traumatic, specialist equipment such as dictaphones if you're having trouble concentrating and also, counselling.

    There is a great deal of help and support on offer out there, first stop just has to be your GP. And remember you can post anytime on here as well.

    Good luck with everything, best wishes, xx

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for the kind and supportive words it really means a lot, and thank you for the advice I will definitely be using it!

    I have spoken to a friend of mine, the one I originally told about what was going on and he is going to come with me to the gp - I don't think I want him in the room when I'm talking but to have somebody outside and waiting with me will help I think. 

    I want to see my home gp as she is the one I feel the most comfortable talking to, but unfortunately I'm in Uni for the duration of May so it won't be until June that I see her, on the plus side this gives me lots of time to plan what to say. I'll definitely be writing everything out, even if it is just to get it straight in my own head!

    Arwen1972 I didn't speak to rape crisis, I did go to my sexual health clinic and was put on PEP and given vaccinations and such, they informed me about local centres that would help me but, with a mixture of being scared and feeling like everything is my own fault I couldn't bring myself to contact any of these places. 

     

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    • Posted

      (((hugs))) I wish I could take you to talk to someone. That would be such a help. All of those feelings that are tumbling around in your head need to be worked through. You could try phoning someone to avoid a face to face scenario.
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    • Posted

      Hey Arwen, you are right they do need to be worked through, if only talking it through wasn't so scary! But that's a really good idea, maybe being able to say the words out loud would be a big step forward.
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    • Posted

      I wrote everything down. All the feelings of guilt, fewer, pain, feeling dirty inside, all of it. Then I rolled up the paper, taped it shut, went into my back garden and burned it. As I watched the smoke curling up into the sky, I let all the feelings go and be blown away on the wind. It helped.x
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    • Posted

      Glad that helped you, it may be something that I should try, I definitely think it would be helpful to write down all of the thoughts and feelings in my head, even if it is just to get it straight in my own mind! x
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  • Posted

    I can't really add anything as the advice above is great.  When I first saw my GP, I sat down and said, "I can't handle this anxiety and depression anymore, I need help."  Another time I had so much to get out that I wrote it in a letter and gave it to my GP who was quite happy to sit there and read it.  I regularly see two female GP's as I don't feel comfortable talking to a male about my anxiety and depression.  

    It's been a few days since your post, how are you going?

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    • Posted

      Hi SkyeBeth, thank you for your reply and support it means a lot - everybody has definitely given great advice and I'm very thankful. That's quite interesting, which do you think worked better, may I ask? Was it easier to make a statement and let them ask you questions or to hand the paper over and wait whilst they read? 

      If I'm being totally honest not good - but, this week has included a huge University module hand in, which is difficult for anyone, let alone when you barely have the motivation to go downstairs and cook dinner! But I'm going to my GP back home to register next week so I'm slowly moving forward.

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    • Posted

      Just take one day at a time, that is all you can do.  When I was at university I allocated certain hours of the day to work on my thesis and the hours outside of that were mine to relax and do what I wanted, otherwise you just feel consumed by study.  

      With the GP I guess it depends if I have a lot to get of my chest or not, but I always recommend at least bringing notes in point form as a reference so you don't forget anything important.

      Just always remember you are not alone.  Anytime you are down just hop onto this forum and chat with others, or if you don't feel up to that just reading other people's experiences and courage seems to lift me up.

      To me you sound like an articulate, intelligent, strong woman who has a lot to look forward to.  

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    • Posted

      Very true, that's a very good way to work, unfortunately I procrastinated, spent hours knowing that I should do some work but didn't and now it's too late! But, there's nothing that I can do about it now. 

      Yes, it definitely sounds handy to have notes/prompts, I think I will definitely write what I am feeling/thinking down so that I at least get it straight in my own head, this should help when I see the GP. It's good to hear your advice, thank you for sharing - it's a tough subject for everyone. I didn't think these forums would be too helpful but they do in fact make a big difference. smile

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