If you are struggling, please talk to someone!

Yesterday, I discussed medication we take when we are struggling with our mental health. Like I said yesterday, I believe talking therapies and medication can work together and they can work individually.

This blog is going to be looking at other ways to beat your demons…

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Sometimes, just talking to your doctor can help. Sometimes just talking to your friends and family can help. Sometimes you might need another person to talk to and that is absolutely okay! 

I promise you that the counsellors you see on TV are not real. They are not robots. are just as human as we are.

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As per usual, I will tell you about my experience because I feel it is important to know that however I appear to the public, I have still struggled in my life and asking for help only made me stronger.

When I was 14, I saw two counsellors. I saw the school counsellor, who bless her heart was not that much help. Then, I saw a company called Connexions. They were amazing. They really made me feel less alone. When I spoke about my self harm, they didn’t flinch or pull a face. They understood. I am so lucky to have had a great counsellor because if I didn’t, I’m not sure I would of continued with talking therapies.

But I did.

When I was 19, I needed help again. I had Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and my god, I was the worst ‘patient’. I missed so many appointments and never did my homework but when I finally pulled myself together and went, it changed my life. It made me really look at everything in my life and all my thought processes. I seemed to live by one thought that was destroying everything I did; “If I’m not the best, I’ll be a failure and I’ll be alone and no-one will love me”. I would constantly try and achieve but it was never good enough. I knew I could always do better. How exhausting! Constantly never feeling good enough and the only person making me feel like crap was me. So I changed my thoughts to “You can only try your best and whether you succeed or fail, the people who truly love you will be there no matter what”. That was a weight lifted off my shoulders. To this day, I think about my new thought every time I struggle with something. It really changed my life. One thought changed my life.

Now, I am 23 years old and I am receiving two types of talking therapy. I see a support worker at an alcohol and drugs misuse service in Brighton called Pavilions. I would possibly call it counselling although I’m not sure that is the right word. They are really supportive with my choice to be sober and they reinstall how much I am achieving and how great that is. Sometimes, you need to hear that from an outsider!

As well as this, I am having psychotherapy. Every week for an hour, I talk to someone and we work on things I may have suppressed. I know inside me there are emotions I am still yet to deal with so I have to dig deep in those sessions to really get the most out of it. I nearly didn’t go because I started to feel better again and thought I didn’t need it. But I’m glad I did. I love it. It helps me really clear my mind and feel in control of my life.

I know that I will probably face new demons in the future and that’s okay because there are so many wonderful resources out there who can support me if only I ask for it!

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Talking therapies that can help you…

A lot of mental health awareness advertisement is centred about speaking out and it’s there for a reason. Talking works. Sometimes when you verbalise something, it becomes real and you have to face it. It can be very scary but once you face your fears, nothing feels better.

There are soooo many different types of talking therapies for various mental health issues, you just have to find the right one!

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Let’s start with the most obvious…

Counselling

Counselling can usually be accessed through the NHS and can involve 6-12 sessions. It is great for people who are struggling with a current situation such as:

  • relationship issues
  • anger issues
  • bereavement
  • redundancy
  • and many more!

Sometimes, just talking to someone neutral and getting advice on what to do is enough to get you back on your feet.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

CBT helps you to think more positively about life and to change those unhealthy thought processes and behaviour patterns into positive ones! It looks at your current situations as well as your past situations and works towards a better future.

This normally involves setting a goal and working on through out the therapy which can last 6-12 sessions. CBT can also be available on the NHS.

CBT is particularly great for:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • phobias
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • some eating disorders

You can also use CBT online resources which are great!

Psychotherapy

Welcome to Freud… only joking.

Psychotherapy mainly looks at how you past has influenced your present and your present life choices. Psychotherapy is good if you have had recurring or long-term problems in your life.

You can have psychotherapy on the NHS as well as privately.

Psychotherapy can help those with:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • bordeline personality disorder (BPD)
  • long-term illnesses
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • eating disorders
  • drug misuse
  • other significant emotional problems

Mindfulness-based therapies

Mindfulness-based therapies help to work on your thoughts and feelings without becoming consumed and overwhelmed by them.

Techniques such as meditation, gentle yoga and mind-body exercises are involved to help individuals cope with stress.

It can also be combined with CBT!

Mindfulness-based therapies can help with:

  • depression
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • addiction

Living With A Dementia Patient

There are so many different types of talking therapies and some are really specific to your personal problem. Some may cost and some may be free. Some may take a long time and some may take a couple of weeks. But they are worth a try!

There is nothing weak about talking about your problems. If something is making your life hard, no matter how minor or silly it seems, it is a problem and a problem needs to be solved.

Counsellors, therapists, support workers etc are there to help you and support you on your journey forwards so do not fear them. If ever you are talking to a professional who you do not agree with or do not feel comfortable with, you are within your right to contact the service you are using and change who you see.

If you do not feel ready to see someone face-to-face and you just want to offload to someone, there are various helplines and websites you can use. You can either call the helpline for a chat or send them an email for advice. It can be really helpful to send an email if you don’t know how or aren’t ready to verbalise how you feel yet. You can also send texts and write letters and there are apps to download!

You can also develop some positive coping strategies. Write a song or a story. Do some colouring. Go for a run. Go to the gym. Start a blog. Keep a diary. Watch a film. Listen to music. Find things that help you cope positively!

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Here are some links to helplines:

0300 123 3393 – Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/

116 123 – Samaritans http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us

08444 775 774 – Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk

0844 967 4848 – No Panic www.nopanic.org.uk

0845 390 6232 – OCD Action www.ocdaction.org.uk

0845 120 3778 – OCD UK www.ocduk.org

0800 068 4141- Papyrus www.papyrus-uk.org

0300 5000 927 – Rethink Mental Illness www.rethink.org

0845 767 8000 – SANE www.sane.org.uk

0808 802 5544 – Young Minds www.youngminds.org.uk

Below is an NHS website link with more helplines, some of which are specific…

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/mental-health-helplines.aspx

 

 

 

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