Not sure how to take that first step

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi all,

I'm 26 and I've been experiencing depression for the entirety of my adult life to the extent where I spent a long period of time just assuming that it was an inherent part of my personality. For the most part i've just sort of put up with it as best I can, but there are definitely times when I fall so hard it feels like i'll never get up again.

I initially made the first appointment with my doctor to discuss my mental health problems almost ten years ago, but I got scared and cancelled at the last minute. I felt really awkward and embarrassed just at the thought of having to discuss something so personal even when I know the doctor is a trained professional.

Since then there have been a few times when i've considered getting help, the most recent time was a year ago when I was visiting the doctors regarding something else and I briefly mentioned to him at the end of the appointment that i'd been "feeling a bit down lately" and he told me to make another appointment so that we could have a proper discussion. Again, I made the appointment. Again, I cancelled at the last minute.

The thing is, over the last few weeks or so it's gotten so bad that it's affecting my job performance incredibly. I've been making all of these tiny mistakes recently, which lead up to me making one huge mistake last week and if this carries on I'm genuinely going to lose my job over it. It's actually killing me right now having to work up the energy just to get out of bed, let alone make it through an entire day at work without messing up, and when I do mess up it makes me feel even more worthless.

I just feel so overwhelmed at the idea of getting any real help, not only do I feel awkward having to have that particular conversation with my doctor but then it's the waiting around for a referral. The waiting around is what really ruins it for me because it gives me way too much time to chicken out of it and convince myself that i'll be fine.

I hate this...i'm freaking out so much about having to go in to work tomorrow. I don't know realistically how much longer I can carry on. It would be such a great help if any of you could share your stories of how you spoke about this sort of thing with your doctor and what the process was like afterwards.

Thanks in advance, have a great day.

 

1 like, 10 replies

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi you have taken the first step already in coming on here so well done.  Now you need to take the second step as you have found your depression isn't going to go away on it's own.  Some peoples does but many won't. 

    My advice is to pick a doctor you feel comfortable with - I don't know if you are male or female but I am female and picked a nice woman doctor because I felt it would be less awkward.   Fortunately she was lovely and when I blurted out how I felt she took me seriously.  

    There are a couple of things which might help you to take that second step.  One is do you have anyone you could take with you who could explain to the doctor,  and second why don't you write down how you feel etc.  and just hand it to the doctor?   A number on here have done that and were more comfortable with it.

    I know how hard it is but at the end of the day you need to go and get treatment,  after all if you broke your leg you would wouldn't you?  You are obviously not going to get better with it.   It is much better than continually feeling depressed and unable to cope and certainly far better than losing your job. 

    Bite the bullet and go for it.  Stay with us on here and we will give you all the help and support we can.   Ok?  Let me know how you get on please.  Love Bev x

     

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    • Posted

      Hi, first of all thank you very much for taking the time to reply. It means a lot to me.

      I am female too and would definitely feel more comfortable talking to another female about this. I don't really have anyone I would consider taking to the doctors with me. There are literally people i've known for 15 years who have never seen me cry, i'm not big on public displays of emotion and i'd feel a bit weird admitting something like this to anyone I know in real life because it would seem ridiculously out of character.

      May I ask what the process was after you spoke to your doctor? Like, how long was the wait afterwards for you to see someone to talk to? I've heard it is a ridiculously long wait.

       

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    • Posted

      You are welcome love.  Been there done that and even got the proverbial T-shirt smile 

      I said go for a female doctor as I think they are more likely to be understanding though I am sure many male doctors are as well.  The first doctor I went to was a man who not only didn't diagnose me but called me an 'Uptight person'  and sent me away with a flea in my ear.  There are some doctors who don't get mental health problems but most do these days. 

      It took me 4 more months of suffering to get up the courage to go back and this time saw a lovely woman doctor who was fantastic.   I think how long you wait is down a lot to where you live but generally the wait can be long - it took me 6 months to see a counsellor.   Unfortunatly mental health is seriously underfunded and seen as the poor man of health,  hence the delays.  But you might be offered anti-depressants which should help our mood though it is often trial and error to see what works  But the main thing you will be getting treatment which can be a relief anyway. 

      If you can afford private counselling I say go for it as this would be a lot quicker.  Good luck and go for it.   Hugs  Bev xx

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    • Posted

      Whoa, i'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience the first time you saw a doctor. The first doctor I mentioned it to was a bit blase about it as well, although he told me to make another appointment to go and see him, I sort of got the sense that he wouldn't take it seriously at all and that's another reason why I managed to convince myself to try and pull through on my own.

      Yeah, i've definitely noticed that while researching mental health - about the lack of funding it's really troubling sad.

      Glad to hear that your second experience was positive, and hope you're getting the help you need now. x!

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  • Posted

    Hi there, thank you for sharing your story and you're making progress just by writing in this forum. The best thing I did was go to my GP and get the care and treatment I need. Been three months since seeing my doctor and although I haven't improved very much I am receiving great care. It's the only way to get better. I'm on Sertraline and receiving therapy although this has stopped for a while till I'm out of the crisis I'm currently in. Go see a doctor and you'll realise they're very understanding and there to help. I realise it's hard at first to make that first appointment but it's worth it. Good luck to you and best wishes!
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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you for your response. I'm happy to hear you're receiving decent care and hope that you'll improve in time. Also, thanks for the reassurances, it means a lot and makes me feel a little more positive about seeking help...it just seems like a very long and difficult process.
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  • Posted

    Hello, 

    Firstly thank you for posting. I found what you said really resonated with me. I'm also 26, female and I've been struggling with depression for the past 10 years or so. 

    As many have posted before me you've taken the first step by coming on here. I really do recommend taking to someone or having a diary, or just recording you're thoughts. Getting them out of your head really does help. Its helped me keep my head above water.

    I've been on antidepressants now for 6 years, and whislt I don't like the fact that I need to take pill every morning to stop me bursting into tears when I make a spelling error, its helped me alot. I'm now doing thearpy, and slowly getting better.

    I similarly thought that my depression and being a fixer was a part of my personality but my theapist made a really good anlogy last week:These thought habits are like scaffolding, they were built up to help the house (your personality) but now have completely obscured it.  So I'm working on taking the scaffolding down. I dont know if that works for you, but I found it useful so I thought I share it. 

    Its all about baby steps (it really really is), you've taken the first one- which is great. But maybe the doctor step is too much for you right now, so try reading around the topic, or starting a diary/verbalising it to your mirror... 

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    • Posted

      Hi, wow thank you very much for your reply it meant a lot to me especially today.

      It's nice to hear that i'm not alone in that mindset and that analogy actually makes a whole lot of sense so thank you a lot for sharing it with me. It's a scary thought finding out who you really are without those nasty thought habits huh?

      I'm glad to hear about your progress under the right treatment - I'm not entirely sure how well i'll respond to therapy if it comes down to that. I'm not great at the whole expressing my feelings thing, and I get the impression I'll end up sabotaging myself by making light of my own situation through awkwardness.

      You might be right about the doctor step but I'm going to try it out anyway and see how it goes. I have an appointment set up for today...and usually I would have cancelled by now so i'm taking that as a positive for now. I still have two hours to go. Yikes.

      Have a nice day

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