Gooood morning folks! Now, if you follow me or my blog you’ll know I am super open about my mental health problems and I’m a huge advocate for mental health awareness, ending the stigma and educating people on the symptoms and options for mental health problems. I don’t think you can ever talk about mental health too much, there’s always someone willing to learn or who needs to learn. I found The Mental Health tag on Anxiously, Me blog and instantly wanted to do it myself. Please go and check out Anxiously Me’s post here as well.
What is your mental health issue?
I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
Do you have medication and/or therapy?
I have never taken medication, even though I was prescribed it once. I had CBT on the NHS and then saw a private counsellor for over a year. I don’t any more but she’s always there to have the one off appointment with if I need it.
What therapy/medication have you tried and have any worked for you?
Well CBT didn’t really do anything for me. The only way this really helped was getting me out of the house occasionally and doing something which scared me. Which is obviously important but on a whole, the therapy itself didn’t help .My private counsellor was more “talking therapy”. She didn’t get me to fill out any graphs or charts . She set me small, manageable goals, talked about my problems and went deeper into why they manifested. This helped massively for me.
How long have you had problems for?
I was diagnosed with anxiety in 2012 so around 5 years now.
Do your family/friends know?
My closest friends and family do. I don’t know to what extent my extended family knows but to be honest, I don’t really care. If they know, they know.
Does this affect your work and daily living?
Yes, massively. I struggle leaving the house on my own. But if I’m out with other people, I’m absolutely fine. I struggled with a job because it was making me so anxious and I also had to quit a college course and placement because it was stressing me out too much. Luckily, I made the most of the situation and started my own business so I now work from home. But I’m not ruling out getting a part-time job as well.
What makes you feel calm?
Reading, watching YouTube, drinking water, having my mum around, yoga.
What do you do in crisis?
If I’m having an anxiety attack, which is rarely anymore, I prefer to be alone. Having no music or TV on and being as still and quiet as possible and focusing on my breathing. I like the 7/11 technique (7 counts in, 11 counts out). I also use Bach’s Rescue Remedy spray if I need t and take Kalms tablets daily to keep the edge off.
What advice would you give to others suffering?
First and foremost get help. Doctor, therapist, family member, calling the Samaritans. Anything. Just get help. It’s scary but it’ll help and will feel like a huge weight off of your shoulders. Also, don’t let one little set back stop you in your stride. We all have set backs because life isn’t going to be perfect all the time. Forget about it and move on. Don’t dwell. Find a “safe haven” as well. Something to do or a place to go when you feel really bad.
What makes you smile?
Books, blogging, my best friend, my dog, my parents, yoga, a nice meal, a warm bath, a clear night sky, an interesting documentary, feeling productive.
Describe your mental health issue in 5 words –
Frustrating, improving, challenging, annoying and unrealistic.