So for the past few months on and off (technically 8 weeks but they weren’t consecutive) I saw a counsellor from Mind. For those who don’t know, Mind is a great mental health charity dedicated to helping those in need (I shall be posting links to find them below). Very briefly I shall give you the story leading up to this, as it will help you understand why I’m writing about it.
A while before I started counselling, I had gone to the doctors about Depression and Anxiety. This was something I had never considered doing when I was younger, I never really thought I could have Depression. Anxiety yes, it was always obvious… But Depression? Say it ain’t so?! I’m the funny one who helps others? Well it turns out that’s exactly what I had. As hard as it was to accept, it eventually sunk in. Soon after I started to become more aware of my moods and my triggers, something that wasn’t fun because I was Depressed quite often and being fully aware of that made me feel worse.
At the time I was seeing a careers advisor with a group called Springboard. This person advised me to contact Mind, so I said I would think about it… I never got in touch with them. I didn’t need help did I? It wasn’t too long before it got worse. I was a wreck and couldn’t cope. I asked my advisor to refer me on my behalf, knowing full well that if left in my hands, I would do all I could to avoid the help I knew I needed.
The time came to go to my first counselling session. A few of my peers (who know I’m talking about them) assured me I’d be okay, that I had no need to worry. I went in with a positive attitude and a smile, quickly warming up to my counsellor. I shall not be listing any names here due to safeguarding. It works two ways, I won’t disclose anything confidential either.
Fast forward to about halfway, things took a dark turn. I was struggling more than ever and needed the medicine. It felt degrading having to be on something to fix my brain, it felt isolated and like I wasn’t normal. I now know how other people in my situation (or worse) feel. It took some time but I got used to them. Luckily I only needed them for about 3 weeks until I felt levelled out, making me very fortunate as opposed to circumstances for others. Some people take stronger pills and more pills, more often. I do sympathise with you and I know they suck. I’m sure if anyone out there on pills is reading this, you also know deep down that despite them sucking, they are great and do wonders for your brain. I do recommend them, but only if you need them.
Got sidetracked there, but it doesn’t matter. So eventually I did come off the pills and I felt great. My scores on the recovery star improved and I felt more confident. More importantly, I could feel again. I knew when I was feeling actual happiness and sadness, feelings I had long forgotten.
At this point I should probably explain the things I did to improve my mental health, how the counsellor helped me. The problem with that is, I can’t remember. Most of it I apparently did without realising. Besides, everybody has different experiences. All I can say is keeping a positive attitude and accepting help is the best thing you can do.
Another thing I would like to mention, is something I saw on Facebook. When I get bored I tend to scroll through videos, seeing things I’d never normally search for. I came across a video of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was talking about accepting help. He said you can call him the worlds greatest bodybuilder, The Terminator, even the guy who defeated the Predator. But don’t EVER call him a self made man. He got where he is now, by accepting help from others. There is no shame in asking for and accepting help, it’s what makes us stronger.
Anyway I think this would be a opportune time to abruptly end. I’m still struggling, I’ll never be 100% and that is okay. I know how to get to that 100% and how to cope. I have come out of this a better person. If you ever need help, Mind are the people to talk to. You can find them here at https://www.mind.org.uk, as well as the following below for Mind UK & Mind Wales.
15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 4BQ
T: 020 8519 2122, F: 020 8522 1725
3rd Floor, Castlebridge 4, Castlebridge,
5-19 Cowbridge Road East,
Cardiff CF11 9AB
T: 029 2039 5123