Back to the Drs

6 years later and here I sit in the waiting room at the Drs ready to ask for some help again. This time I have not met this particular GP so have no bond or relationship with him or her.

It’s all getting too much, the insomnia, the self doubt, the feelings of hurting, emotions getting best of me. So here I go again albeit in a much better position than all those years again. The last 12 months really have taken their toll on my mental health and maybe I’m guilty of trying too hard, too long and bottling up my feelings about what I’ve been through.

I have my holiday next week to look forward to, so this visit to Drs and probably prescription of antidepressants will come in the nick of time. I need to get away from reality for a bit and thats why I’m jumping on a plane and (hopefully) leaving all this shit behind me.

I’m sick of feeling unloveable, second best and unwanted. I am worthy of more and I am determined that this will be a temporary solution just to allow me to get my head in a better place.

I can’t and won’t allow anyone to send me back to my darkest days but right now I’m just to exhausted to do it by myself.

As I have said countless times…. asking for help in a sign of strength not weakness.

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Asking For Help – Eventually

Okay I will admit it, I am pretty fucked up at the moment, and by pretty fucked up I mean REALLY REALLY fucked.

Denial of how bad things are in mooseland has reached breaking point and “fake it till you make it” just does not work for me so grudgingly I went to the Dr today. Garry made an intervention on behalf of moose if you will….

So what exactly is wrong?

in simple terms – FUCK KNOWS..

I am in a mess if truth be told and hiding has become a specialty, hiding away in bed from the world outside, barely setting foot outside the flat, still I guess in someways it can be seen as progress that I am actually sleeping in the bed and not the sofa… I am averaging about 18 hours a day in bed at the moment not all sleeping, lots of frankly bizarre dreams which wake me up a lot. It is unusual that I remember my dreams as it is but lately some of them are just insane. The theme of them has changed recently but not for the better! Before they were constantly about Sheryl, now they all revolve around me being alone with no where to turn. I would love to describe them fully but to be honest they freak me out a bit..

I am tired of fighting constantly, fighting to keep going forwards when I feel like I am in reverse. It feels like I am in a boxing fight with my hands tied behind my back and my energy levels are at an all time low.

It seems the harder I try to move on with life and fight the worse things get!

On top of this is a few revealing insights that have been given me to, all meant in the right way yet devastating in the truth that lies within them

I do try to be a good person and to help others, but is there really a hidden agenda behind my willingness to do this?

Do I really just help others because I want them to notice that I need help?

Do I really push people away to see who comes back? if this is the case how many times can I keep doing it before I end up with nothing and no one?

I know I am desperate for therapy and help but its still not forthcoming from the mental health team. It is nearly 2 years since I was referred to them and in all this time I have had 2 appointments. One was a 30 minute chat with a cpn who simple said I was not bipolar – I still have my doubts about that! and the other was with a psychologist in November who said I would hear from them “soon”. Thankfully my dr is writing to them today to try and chase this up as she can see that I would benefit from therapy and that I am getting worse and not better.

Is the only way to get help for mental health problems to access them via  A and E? thankfully I am not considering a visit there anytime soon but how long is soon for fucks sake.

I need help and I need it sooner rather than later

and worryingly this is just the tip of the iceberg…..for now lets hope doubling up my medication will have some effect or have I just become immune to them now as well….

 

 

 

Help! I think I have Depression…

Of all the messages I have received from people since starting this blog the thing that is asked most to me is the question of whether that person has depression. This stems from recognising a lot of themselves in my posts and it is great that people feel confident enough in me to reach out and ask for my advice. It is not as easy as you think contacting a complete stranger and asking for help, you just don’t know how that person will respond. Will they ignore your message, or dismiss you out of hand? so kudos to everyone who has ever sent me a message, I hope in my own way I have helped…

So what do you do if you think you have depression?

Believe it or not the fact that you have asked yourself that question is the first and hardest part of your journey. It is all to easy to simply dismiss the issue and put it down to sadness, but when you are feeling low for days/weeks/months on end with no change then that should be the warning sign you need to consider depression as the cause.

Depression is one of those things that will not go away if you ignore it! (a bit like me!)

What next?

This is where I come in handy! if you click PHQ9_depression you will find a questionnaire that is used by your GP to assess whether you are depressed and if so to what extent. Answer the questions with complete honesty and work out your score. Depending on that score you speak to your GP as soon as possible.

When I first saw my GP about depression I was in the early 20s!

Talk to my GP? <Shudders>

Whilst I appreciate how difficult this can be for people what you need to remember is that they have heard it all before from other patients. They will not judge you any differently for opening up about this nor will they call the men in white coats to take you away!

Most GP’s will be kind and understanding about it, i say most because the wife was once told she wasn’t depressed but “suffering from the stress of life”!! but the majority will help you and determine whether you need to be prescribed anything. Some surgeries even have GP’s who specalise in Mental Health so you could ask to see them if you do not want to see your normal doctor ask at the reception where they can advise you.

Whilst you are meeting your GP remember to tell them everything, holding things back from them because you feel embarrassed or ashamed will not help you get better. Tell yourself that they have heard or seen worse and let it out! I cried like a baby when I finally spoke to my GP, it was a feeling of relief to not have to hold it in anymore and knowing that there was actually something wrong with me! I no longer had to hide my condition, I was just pleased I wasn’t going mad like I thought at one point!

Antidepressants? good or bad?

I can only speak as I find and for me antidepressants have been good! I did suffer from a side effect from the first ones I was put on but after speaking to my doctor I simply changed them onto ones that work just fine.  I notice if I do not take my tablets like I am supposed to, which indicates they do the job as far as helping me goes.

Take them if prescribed and talk to your GP about any concerns you have!

Talking about depression?

Telling your friends/ partner / family is a difficult decision with all the stigma attached BUT in my experience it is better to be open about your condition especially to those affected by you on a daily basis. Not only does it help you by not having to hide it, they will be able to offer you support. Well some people will and others not so much but then the ignorance of others is not your fault (my great-uncle for example is in his 80’s and does not believe in depression!), those who matter will be there for you in the long run.

As far as I am concerned the more people we have talking about depression, especially men, the better. I would love it to become an everyday topic of conversation instead of the taboo subject it currently is.

Talking about it will actually benefit you! Believe me when I tell you that sharing your thoughts and issues will make it easier for your recovery. This blog is an example of how much talking about depression will help! It was the best decision I ever made to start sharing my battle with other because things do not sit on my mind and weight my down, I blog about it and it is off my chest and that improves my state of mind!

If you are not sure about the benefits of writing how about doing a guest post for me to see how cathartic it can be!

If all else fails you can always contact me but remember that I am a sufferer of depression and not a medical professional and I will always direct you to see a doctor! but I will always answer any questions as best I can!

So there you have it! looks nice and easy doesn’t it?

I know it isn’t easy but think how much better you could feel if you take that all important first step. After the first step the rest gets easier because you will be getting stronger for acknowledging the issue!

ASKING FOR HELP IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH NOT WEAKNESS!

and may I be the first to wish you the best of luck on your journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help Me!

Two of the hardest words to say in the world, forget the difficulty of “I Love You” that is a piece of cake compared to having to say “Help Me”.

Why is it so hard though?

It appears that having to ask for help is considered as a sign of weakness – as far as I am concerned the opposite is true. Admitting you need help shows a tremendous amount of strength and courage.

Asking for help shows that you know that there is something wrong that needs fixing and you cannot do it by yourself. The weakness is living in denial, refusing to accept that there is a problem and ignoring everything connected to the problem.

The question is why do we consider asking for help to be a sign of weakness? or why do we struggle to ask for help?

Fear of rejection is a main reason judging by what I have seen on the internet.

I am one of the lucky ones to have a wonderfully supportive wife who is there for me no matter what. I saddens me when I read that people have asked for help only to be  told “snap out of it” and the usual bollocks that people with no understanding of mental health illnesses.

The sad thing is that usually it is family members who we most feel able to turn to and more often than not they appear to be the least helpful people to ask for help. Certainly in my own experience I can rely on my online friends for support a lot more than my family.

Naturally we also do not ask for help because we feel that others do not understand what we are going through but then this depends on the sort of help we need.

Sometimes just offering a friendly ear is the best help you can offer someone. Usually we already know the solution to our problems but just getting them off our chests and hearing a different perspective can make a difference.

I found an interesting webpage on asking for help and why we think its a sign of weakness here and here are some words of wisdom taken from there

  • You may feel that you’re totally independent and don’t need any help, or that any person offering you help may be doubting your ability to remain independent. You might have been raised to be especially independent or felt independent from an early age as a result of circumstances, such as irresponsible parents resulting in a need to “raise yourself”.
  • You may be frightened of rejection or you may have a tendendency to perfectionism; both motivations can cause you to avoid accepting help for fear of failing or being seen as a failure.
  • You may have had a much harder life than others and had to work harder than others you see around you now, or you may simply feel yourself far more independent. Consequently, you might feel that people not handling their own affairs is a sign of inferiority or incompetence.
  • You might feel vulnerable. Perhaps somebody let you down in the past and you swore never to let that happen again, and spun a cocoon of self-reliance as your chief defense. Not wanting to show your perceived vulnerability can cause you to refrain from asking for help.
  • You may feel that your experience of the insecurity that flows through life (such as through experiencing a difficult illness or other challenging problem) is something that you have coped with alone despite wishing you’d had help, and, in turn, you might wish others get over their own insecurities the same way that you were obliged to do.

Make sense don’t they but personally speaking the best decision I made was seeking help, even when I am having a bad time I know there are 2 or 3 people who I can turn to instantly.

But what if your the person who someone has come to for help? do you know what to do or say? do you think you can help a fellow sufferer without making yourself ill in the process?

I mix with lots of people on twitter and facebook who have mental health illnesses and one thing I have found is how supportive of each other we all are but there is support and there is help and for me there is a big difference between the two things.

In an emergency would you ask someone for help? or more importantly would you accept help if it was offered?

Is it a case of not knowing where the right help is available? eg the Samaritans?

Where do you stand on asking for help? is it a no no?

For me if anyone comes to me for help the first thing I do is remind them how much strength it took to ask in the first place!

anyway on the subject of “Help” enjoy this classic song clip – not the Beatles version but one done by bananarama with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders from comic relief in 1989 i think

 

Embarrassing Things I Can Share to Help Others

The issue of why people don’t talk to their GPs, especially men, is one that I would love to address.

Why would we rather hide things than speak to someone who can help us and address the issues at hand?

Is it the embarrassment factor that holds us back? Doctors have seen plenty and I would imagine they are pretty unshockable when it comes to health matters.

As someone who pledged to be open and honest about my depression and related illnesses here is a list of things that I have seen my Dr about recently that would be embarrassing to others.

These are not embarrassing to me because I have done them but believe me at the time it was

1) Telling the Dr about how often I have “accidents” from IBS.

Talking about #2 is never an easy subject to bring up. Trust me it is easier to talk about than telling people that you shit yourself a lot!

For a lighthearted look at “poop” watch this video

 

 

2) Erection problems

Ok stop giggling yes i said erection

 

The biggest and most difficult issue for a man to talk about – especially to a male Dr!

But alas I had to make an appointment and tell the Dr that the meds he had prescribed me had sent “Garry Senior” into hibernation*

I would rather stand in the center circle of a packed wembley stadium and announce I had soiled myself than have to speak to another person about problems with my manhood!

But I did it because I needed to.

3) Finding a lump on my left testicle

Probably even more embarrassing because this involved actual prodding and touching! Not just by the Dr but by the specialist and eventually the surgical team who had to remove the lump, which turned out to be a cyst.

It has left a nice scar but I decided for the sake of your eyes not to upload a picture 😀

 

4) Explaining that I wanted to kill myself

 

Embarrassing because men are meant to be the strong ones aren’t we? what a load of phooey! Best thing I ever done was admit how bad things had become for me.

 

Why am I sharing these with you?

It is because if I can have the strength to speak to my Dr about these things then why can’t someone like you?

I am no different to any other person out there, if you need help go and ask for it. It will not come and find you.

I can assure you that your Dr has seen it or heard it all before!

Remember asking for help is a sign of strength not a sign of weakness and it could be the best thing you have ever done and be the start of the recovery you was desperate for.

* Garry senior is not his real name. 😀