We all have a mental health and suffering from a mental health problem such as depression can happen to anyone. Most often we suffer alone for years or without even realising what’s going on. I was diagnosed with depression (later PTSD too) and memory loss just a few years ago but I firmly now believe that I have been for many years.
During that first appointment when it became clear that I have mental health issues, I was straightaway offered the choice between medication and therapy. Admittedly, it shocked me at how quickly it was given. I’m not sure why, but I fully expected some sort of fight or at least waiting period. I thought it was going to be much more of a ‘prove it’ situation with my doctor first. But that was far from the truth, we simply had a chat about how I was feeling and had been for quite some time and it progressed from there.
I think that says a lot about how I viewed mental health and how a lot of others do too. We are always ready for a fight to prove that we are unwell. Maybe we feel we don’t “look depressed enough” or people will think we’re just being silly… I went along to that first appointment ready for eye rolling and getting palmed off.
After being on medication for quite some time, it just wasn’t working how it should. So, we spent some time adjusting my dose before my GP asked me again about therapy. I agreed to go along to an appointment, which I understood to be an hour’s chat to get an idea of what I’m suffering with before offering me the correct method of therapy.
I walked out of that appointment with a diagnosis of PTSD.
Shortly after, I kind of fell out of the system as I never heard back again. I really should make that call to follow up on what’s going on, but I’ve been putting it off for almost a year now and it’s only getting harder.
But what’s stopping me?
I hate asking for help, but I think that’s something which often comes with having mental health problems. Asking for help is usually the hardest part and it never goes away, but we always need it. My need for some form of help is almost daily so why would I ask? Who wants to be bothered, right?
I used to be sceptical about how therapy would help me. I used to see it as just chatting to someone and how the hell is that going to help me exactly? I can chat to my partner or someone else if I wanted. But that’s the point… I don’t!
Of course, a therapist isn’t going to have a magic wand and be able to offer me all the wisdom I need to suddenly feel better and get on with my life. In reality, yes therapy is just talking but it’s also kind of more than that. A therapist is there to help you find your own answers and to make you think about how you’re feeling or have been for perhaps many years. During my therapy sessions, just by talking, I have discovered that there are connections to how I think, what’s happened or how I feel which allow me to make sense of my feelings a bit more, which has helped massively.
While therapy isn’t for everyone, anyone who is in need of help, it is well worth a shot. What have you got to lose? Often it’s much easier talking everything through with someone who doesn’t know you because, and I can only talk for myself, but I feel like I’ll be less judged.