Continuing from my previous How My Mental Health Problems Began I wanted to answer some questions about my mental health in the form of a Q and A as it’ll be an easier read. I was hesitant to put this post up as I didn’t think anyone would want to read it but here goes.
What mental health problems do you suffer from?
I have anxiety and depression.
When did it start?
I was around 12-13 years old when I first started having symptoms of anxiety and depression. If you want an in depth read of how it began click here.
Did you seek any help?
When things got really bad the school arranged for me to see a councilor from CAMHS that would come to school and have one to one sessions with me. Unfortunately as soon as I turned 16 the help stopped.
What about since?
Leaving school and being away from the toxic environment helped a lot and allowed me to get out of the worst of it and get better on my own. A couple of years ago I had another bad episode which spurred me to go to the doctors and seek help again.
Are you on any medication?
Yes, I currently take Venlaflex but working on reducing the dosage as the higher amount is no longer necessary. I was on Sertraline before this but it wasn’t right for me.
Other than medication what else do you do to alleviate your depression?
When I sought help at 23 my doctor put me on a waiting list to have 6 sessions with a psychologist having Cognitive Behavioral Therapy where I practiced mindful thinking and was taught to focus on the positive things in my life. Listing what you’re grateful for is a good example of this. I also go to the gym regularly which releases endorphins.
What things do you like to do to relax/ improve your mood?
Play with daughter, watch tv, go cinema, do some shopping, browse the internet and play games. Taking your mind off things can help in gaining some perspective.
How often would you have good and bad days?
At the moment things are going well, my mood has stabilised and my bad days are far and few in between. If I had to count I’d say roughly 5 days out of the month I will feel especially low.
Do you have any triggers?
Being in a crowded place can really set off my anxiety, I’ve been known to have panic attacks in public. Also scrolling through social media can be harmful sometimes. I often compare myself to others and when I see everyone doing so well and being happy, it causes me to feel bad about myself. I know to come off when I start to feel a sinking feeling in my chest and I never stay on for longer than 10 minutes.
If you you could say something to someone going through the same thing, what would it be?
I’d tell them as hard as it is to believe, you aren’t always going to feel like this and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t give up hope.
Those are all the questions I’m going to answer for now. A part 2 may be coming soon. For more information or to seek help from CAMHS, I’ve left a link below. I hope this post was helpful. Thanks for reading XOXO.