Friday, 12 May 2017

Mental Illness

There is much in the news about mental health, with frequent reminders about about how many of us will suffer from stress-related illnesses and this is the key word - illness. When my anxiety is bad I feel ill. I am on medication but it doesn't help very much and sometimes feels like I'm actually on a placebo as it has so little effect. While there seem to be countless anti-depressants, there are very few options for those of us struggling to control feelings of anxiety and the temptation is to self-medicate with alcohol which of course is not recommended.

I did see my GP earlier in the year and he referred me on to the Mental Health team but the only thing they could offer me, after a telephone appointment, was a series of lectures on stress control. At the end of the last session we were told that we should now have the tools necessary to become our own therapists and we were all discharged from the service. Great. Six lectures where me and a dozen or so others just sat there and listened - there was no interaction, no discussion - and at the end, that's it. You're on your own. 

I do understand that we have to take some responsibility for our own health, be that healthy eating, taking exercise, not drinking too much, but I don't feel qualified to be my own therapist.

So the anxiety gets worse. First thing in the morning I often seem to have thoughts about ending it all but these thoughts pass once I'm up and doing. It's horrible feeling like that, but it's just part of the illness. 

A friend tells me he has had treatment from a hypnotherapist which has helped to control his feelings of anxiety so maybe I'll give that a go. I can't really afford to pay for private treatment but at least it's something else to try.