The third post in our World Mental Health Day series has been written by Jemma from Mayflower Blogs.  Jemma is Mummy to her son and little daughter, her blog is family orientated and she often talks openly about current issues.
  • 1 IN 4 PEOPLE will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of the year.
  • WOMEN are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men, and about 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time.
  • DEPRESSION affects 1 in 10 older people. 
  • SUICIDE rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide and self harm, than British women, statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe.*


I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and mild depression just under a year ago. I was not offered medication, but had 6 sessions of telephone counselling, which at the time had a really positive effect on how I dealt with my issues and, even after the sessions were over, gave me the ability to continue what I’d been taught without the help of regular counsellors phone calls.
My anxiety and depression “triggers”, according to the counsellors, were my previous miscarriages (I had 3 recurrent losses between my 5 year old and 2 year old). They put it down to a type of stress disorder that people usually associate with people who’ve had bad accidents or fought in wars- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and miscarriage isn’t actually that common. When these are linked however, the outcome is most commonly anxiety and/or depression.
The symptoms I presented with, were, constant tiredness, it took me ages to go to sleep, when I was asleep I was woken really easily-then couldn’t go back to sleep, I either over-ate or didnt want to eat, and I was majorly over emotional.
I don’t feel as though I ever dealt with the fact I’d lost babies. I got on with trying to make the next one. Not grieving properly for what you’ve lost, creates a detrimental effect on the ability to deal with future issues. So, 3 years after my last miscarriage, I’m still grieving and the result from that-anxiety and depression. It’s a vicious circle that needs intervention from the get-go before it spirals out of control.

During my first course of counselling, the usual questions during assessment to see my level of anxiety and depression were asked. They always ask you whether you would consider physically hurting yourself. I always ALWAYS make a joke to say I couldn’t, I have a seriously low pain threshold so wouldn’t get that far. Then they ask you, whether you’ve made attempts to, or thought about, ending your life. I always assume that would be painful too so answer with the same as the other question.
During this year I’ve had to see the doctor to re-refer me for more help from counsellors, as I’ve felt the issues I’ve had are harder to deal with once more.
During the assessment with a different counselling team who offer face to face appointments, they asked me those same questions again. Obviously I mentioned the joke I had with the other people, but this time, when they asked me the other question I hesitated. The options for your answer are, ‘none of the time’, ‘some of the time’, ‘most of the time’ or ‘all of the time’.

I’m unsure whether to explain my reasons for the answer I gave first, or the actual answer.

For the best part of 4 months now, I’ve suffered with stomach issues. I’ve had most of the tests, everything’s come back negative. The only thing left would be a colonoscopy, which hasn’t been mentioned since all the other tests came back negative. They’re now putting it down to my anxiety. The symptoms I have are debilitating to say the least. I’ve spent the entire summer holiday period in agony. Unable to leave the house, my children went stir crazy for some days, as did I. The pain cripples me, I run a temperature, I feel physically sick, then when it’s over, I feel like I’ve run a marathon-drained would be an understatement. The only way through the milder days is by overdosing on the medication the doctor gave me to help the symptoms.
There are times, during these months, where I haven’t seen the point in getting up. On several occasions, I’ve pleaded with a divine being, somewhere, to let me go to sleep and to stop me from waking up.
As previously mentioned, my pain threshold is appalling, I couldn’t do anything to myself. But sometimes I just haven’t wanted to be here.
When I was asked the question about thinking about ending my life, I answered ‘some of the time’, while quickly adding, I couldn’t do anything to harm myself. When I explained why I’d answered in that way, the counsellor said he understood completely. I knew he would, I knew because of a long term illness, a lot people think that.
But what would he have said if I’d said, sometimes I’m just too unhappy to carry on? What if I’d said that the amount of unsupportive people who not only don’t understand, but don’t want to understand, just made me think it’s not even worth carrying on? I can’t make people understand my issues, some people are just too uneducated and ignorant to even want to understand. Because on a smaller scale sometimes, I do feel this way-and that scares me, let alone what it would make people who know me, think or feel!

Anxiety and depression aren’t “fixable” or “all in people’s heads”. Sufferers can’t just “not think like that”. We need support, understanding and empathy. If you can’t give someone that, then that’s your issue, don’t make it another one of ours. People with anxiety or depression need strong people in their lives, to guide and help them through the rockiest of days and keep them celebrating the good days.
I’m one of the lucky ones-and I mean that! I have my children, to keep me out of that big black hole, to give me a reason to carry on. Some aren’t so lucky and these are who we should be supporting the most.

 

For help or advice if you think you may be suffering from anxiety or depression, please visit one or all of the following websites. Most offer a telephone helpline too who can help.
Mental Health
Samaritans

Anxiety UK
Times of desperation and dark thoughts can come to anyone. If you need to speak to someone right away, please call the Samaritans on 116 123

*statistics taken from Mental Health UK statistics.

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Anxiety and Depression

35 thoughts on “Anxiety and Depression

  • October 5, 2015 at 9:01 am
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    Great post. Sometimes I think I'm fixed, or should be, then I remind myself that it can't be fixed, just recognised and worked trough

    Reply
  • October 5, 2015 at 9:01 am
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    Great post. Sometimes I think I'm fixed, or should be, then I remind myself that it can't be fixed, just recognised and worked trough

    Reply
  • October 5, 2015 at 10:38 am
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    Im really sorry to hear about your stomach problems. Anyone that says anxiety is all in your head really needs to be told about symptoms like these. I understand too the feelings of not wanting to carry on when (for me) the fear and confusion get too great. Its a hard one to explain to someone who have never suffered from it. I dont want to die, honestly I dont but I dont want to carry on if the fear continues. Luckily for me these feelings do not come often any more.
    Support form others is vital when you suffer as we do and the organisations you mention do a fantastic job of offering it. #fartglitter

    Reply
  • October 5, 2015 at 10:38 am
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    Im really sorry to hear about your stomach problems. Anyone that says anxiety is all in your head really needs to be told about symptoms like these. I understand too the feelings of not wanting to carry on when (for me) the fear and confusion get too great. Its a hard one to explain to someone who have never suffered from it. I dont want to die, honestly I dont but I dont want to carry on if the fear continues. Luckily for me these feelings do not come often any more.
    Support form others is vital when you suffer as we do and the organisations you mention do a fantastic job of offering it. #fartglitter

    Reply
  • October 5, 2015 at 10:40 am
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    So important to get information out there and keep talking about these issues so we can take away the stigma and people get the help they need. Your stomach issues sounds dreadful- I hope you get some relief soon. I also hope you have more and more good days as you go on.
    Thanks so much for linking up with #fartglitter x

    Reply
  • October 5, 2015 at 10:40 am
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    So important to get information out there and keep talking about these issues so we can take away the stigma and people get the help they need. Your stomach issues sounds dreadful- I hope you get some relief soon. I also hope you have more and more good days as you go on.
    Thanks so much for linking up with #fartglitter x

    Reply
  • October 5, 2015 at 10:40 am
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    So important to get information out there and keep talking about these issues so we can take away the stigma and people get the help they need. Your stomach issues sounds dreadful- I hope you get some relief soon. I also hope you have more and more good days as you go on. Thanks so much for linking up with #fartglitter x

    Reply
  • October 5, 2015 at 10:59 am
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    People really under estimate the exhaustion that comes with living with chronic pain. I hope things improve for you. #fartglitter

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  • October 5, 2015 at 10:59 am
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    People really under estimate the exhaustion that comes with living with chronic pain. I hope things improve for you. #fartglitter

    Reply
  • October 6, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    I completely agree, our intention was to be honest and open in telling our stories. Jemma post is very powerful and appreciated by a lot of people with similar experiences.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    I completely agree, our intention was to be honest and open in telling our stories. Jemma post is very powerful and appreciated by a lot of people with similar experiences.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm
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    Poor you, I was in pain every day with both pregnancies. I had severe SPD. So I know how exhausting it is to deal with pain everyday. Well done for sharing your experience. So important for other sufferers to know they are not alone. #thetruthabout

    Reply
  • October 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm
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    Poor you, I was in pain every day with both pregnancies. I had severe SPD. So I know how exhausting it is to deal with pain everyday. Well done for sharing your experience. So important for other sufferers to know they are not alone. #thetruthabout

    Reply
  • October 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm
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    I don't suffer from depression but I have been having problems lately some days feeling like I'm not coping with small challenges life throws at me and there is a reason for that. I decided a couple of weeks ago to ask for counselling and have set the wheels in motion. It is good to read about other people's experience and to know that counselling helps. Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout X

    Reply
  • October 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm
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    I don't suffer from depression but I have been having problems lately some days feeling like I'm not coping with small challenges life throws at me and there is a reason for that. I decided a couple of weeks ago to ask for counselling and have set the wheels in motion. It is good to read about other people's experience and to know that counselling helps. Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout X

    Reply
  • October 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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    So sorry to hear about your losses. I know our situations are not exactly the same, but I've also had 3 miscarriages and it was so hard to deal with. Partly because I never really told anyone at the time (my husband knew, of course.) It wasn't until I started talking about it years later that I finally started to feel like I was processing it. Thank you for this brave post and being very open about your experience with anxiety and depression. It's a drop in the bucket that will help take away the stigma and help people know they aren't the only ones who deal with it.
    #thetruthabout

    Reply
  • October 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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    So sorry to hear about your losses. I know our situations are not exactly the same, but I've also had 3 miscarriages and it was so hard to deal with. Partly because I never really told anyone at the time (my husband knew, of course.) It wasn't until I started talking about it years later that I finally started to feel like I was processing it. Thank you for this brave post and being very open about your experience with anxiety and depression. It's a drop in the bucket that will help take away the stigma and help people know they aren't the only ones who deal with it.
    #thetruthabout

    Reply
  • October 9, 2015 at 8:35 am
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    You're not alone. There is so many of us out there who are going through the exact same thing. The problem with a mental health condition is that no one can physically see it, and therefore it's very hard for some people to understand. I suffer terribly with anxiety, to the point where I actually twitch. That's the only way people know I'm struggling as the twitch is the one thing I can't hide. I do my best to hide the way I'm feeling a lot of the time. Mainly because people say they understand but they actually don't. I know the people I can turn to and who will listen, and I've managed to form my own sense of control over things. I finally accepted one day that my anxiety isn't always triggered by anything and may be something I will live with forever. That's when I started gaining a sense of control. I realised that I could either sink or swim. I choose to swim. I've also just suffered a miscarriage and therefore the twitch is back in full force! Currently off sick from work and now have anxiety because I've had to phone in sick! Sometimes it's a vicious circle! I'm a mental health worker so I see things from all perspectives. Thankyou for sharing your very brave post. #effitfriday

    Reply
  • October 9, 2015 at 8:35 am
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    You're not alone. There is so many of us out there who are going through the exact same thing. The problem with a mental health condition is that no one can physically see it, and therefore it's very hard for some people to understand. I suffer terribly with anxiety, to the point where I actually twitch. That's the only way people know I'm struggling as the twitch is the one thing I can't hide. I do my best to hide the way I'm feeling a lot of the time. Mainly because people say they understand but they actually don't. I know the people I can turn to and who will listen, and I've managed to form my own sense of control over things. I finally accepted one day that my anxiety isn't always triggered by anything and may be something I will live with forever. That's when I started gaining a sense of control. I realised that I could either sink or swim. I choose to swim. I've also just suffered a miscarriage and therefore the twitch is back in full force! Currently off sick from work and now have anxiety because I've had to phone in sick! Sometimes it's a vicious circle! I'm a mental health worker so I see things from all perspectives. Thankyou for sharing your very brave post. #effitfriday

    Reply
  • October 9, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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    Fantastic post. How brave to write about it in black and white, well done hon 🙂 I too suffer from PTS, anxiety and depression. I've been having CBT which has helped a little. I had a miscarriage too. I think I had PND after my first which was 5 years ago but never got treated. I've been used to the way I've been for so long, I think it will be a long road to recovery. I feel fine and then suddenly I can't cope again, the slightest thing sets me off sometimes. I can relate so much to your story, thank you for writing. I drafted my story 6 months ago and never published it. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough. I hope you continue your road to recovery x

    Reply
  • October 9, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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    Fantastic post. How brave to write about it in black and white, well done hon 🙂 I too suffer from PTS, anxiety and depression. I've been having CBT which has helped a little. I had a miscarriage too. I think I had PND after my first which was 5 years ago but never got treated. I've been used to the way I've been for so long, I think it will be a long road to recovery. I feel fine and then suddenly I can't cope again, the slightest thing sets me off sometimes. I can relate so much to your story, thank you for writing. I drafted my story 6 months ago and never published it. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough. I hope you continue your road to recovery x

    Reply
  • October 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm
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    It must be awful to lose a baby, let alone more than once. It just doesn't bear thinking about, so brave of her to be so honest here. I love this series lovely, discussing the things that so often get brushed under the carpet and not spoken about. I can imagine it bringing comfort to others that they aren't alone in the way that they feel.
    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix
    Stevie x

    Reply
  • October 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm
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    It must be awful to lose a baby, let alone more than once. It just doesn't bear thinking about, so brave of her to be so honest here. I love this series lovely, discussing the things that so often get brushed under the carpet and not spoken about. I can imagine it bringing comfort to others that they aren't alone in the way that they feel.
    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix
    Stevie x

    Reply
  • October 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm
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    I am so sorry to hear of your losses and struggles it must be so hard and you are so very brave to share your experiences for those that have been in the same boat don't feel alone and alienated by it. You are bring comfort to others. Thank you so much for linking up #sharewithme

    Reply
  • October 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm
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    I am so sorry to hear of your losses and struggles it must be so hard and you are so very brave to share your experiences for those that have been in the same boat don't feel alone and alienated by it. You are bring comfort to others. Thank you so much for linking up #sharewithme

    Reply
  • October 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm
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    Great post and as for your losses? I get it. I've been too and for that I am truly sorry.Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH

    Reply
  • October 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm
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    Great post and as for your losses? I get it. I've been too and for that I am truly sorry.Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH

    Reply
  • October 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm
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    I love this series – it is so brutally honest and I am so sorry for your losses. And your stomach troubles. Thank you for sharing this out there so others who need to read it can read it and you can help. #effitfriday

    Reply
  • October 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm
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    I love this series – it is so brutally honest and I am so sorry for your losses. And your stomach troubles. Thank you for sharing this out there so others who need to read it can read it and you can help. #effitfriday

    Reply

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