Seeking professional help. Watch

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englishrose
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A friend of mine has problems with paranoia and possible depression. He's got very low self esteem, and has been this way as long as I've known him. Things have got worse lately, and he has started self-harming. I suspect that a lot of the things he does are a cry for attention and help, as he is quite socially inept, although obviously this does not make the situation any less critical. I am the only one he really talks to about his problems, and I know this is way above my head. At first, he was against seeking professional help through therapists etc, but he is slowly coming around to the idea. My question is, what are the possible routes to go through to get this help? I have never had to do anything like this myself, so I would really appreciate any advice on the procedure for therapy and stuff. Thanks.
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No Future
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He should see his GP who will refer to him specialists.
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Cirsium
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If he talks to his GP then he will be able to refer him to your local child/adolescent mental welfare office
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frost105
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The GP is the first port of call. They can refer your friend to the neccessary counsellers/therapists and support groups. If you can go with them for support that will make all the difference, even if your just outside.
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englishrose
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Thanks. I was pretty sure a GP was the first port of call, but I'm somewhat a novice to all of this.
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AngelofnoColour
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I just got the yellow pages, found a therapist that was local and that looked official and professional. I rung him up and arranged an appointment. You can do the same for your mate if you want, or tell him to do it. But be careful who he goes to, and make sure that the therapist shows you his/her certificate/proof etc...
If your mate goes to school/college/uni, its better if he sees a counsellor from there. But if he wants to go private then yeh, although from his situation I think its better if he's sees a psychologist. There are loads of different types of therapy. The person I see our session usually lasts 1 hour, and he's quite strict about money. It is expensive and the time usually goes quick for the first hour, so your friend should book about 2 hours. They are completely confidential and understand the privacy etc...
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englishrose
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Thanks for the info, BlueAngel. Believe it or not, our school doesn't actually have a counsellor. Unless something's changed in the last few months, and I haven't kept track. It's shocking, really, for a school of 1500.

If you go through your GP, is any treatment from there on the NHS? Because money is an issue for this friend, as he has no job, and he definately doesn't want his parents to know, since they're part of the problem.
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No Future
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(Original post by englishrose)
If you go through your GP, is any treatment from there on the NHS? Because money is an issue for this friend, as he has no job, and he definately doesn't want his parents to know, since they're part of the problem.
Yes, normally there is NHS treatment.
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kate86
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English rose, just wana say you seem like a really good friend! I hope your mate gets some help, just dont let his problems weigh you down. You were right to say its gone above your head now.
But good on ya for sticking with it, when I bet alot of people wouldnt
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englishrose
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(Original post by lessthanthree)
Oh, btw - push for a referral with the doctor - it may be that he is advised to take meds. It's not terribly rare for people to be fobbed off like this, so make sure he sticks to his guns about referral to a specialist first.
This is what I keep telling him. He's rather reluctant to get help at present, which is why I'm not pushing it too much, but seems to prefer the idea of drugs as it doesn't involve talking about his feelings to a stranger. I understand why the thought of a therapist scares him, but I've always had a rather low opinion of medication to "cure" things like depression, as they're not getting to the root of the problem. I'm trying to convince him to go for therapy.

And Kate - thank you. I just hope that I can get him to see someone else before it gets even more out of hand.
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frost105
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(Original post by englishrose)
This is what I keep telling him. He's rather reluctant to get help at present, which is why I'm not pushing it too much, but seems to prefer the idea of drugs as it doesn't involve talking about his feelings to a stranger. I understand why the thought of a therapist scares him, but I've always had a rather low opinion of medication to "cure" things like depression, as they're not getting to the root of the problem. I'm trying to convince him to go for therapy.

And Kate - thank you. I just hope that I can get him to see someone else before it gets even more out of hand.
Therapy is awful but a neccessary process in my opinion in the treatment of clinical depression. however with support from your GP and family and friends iys possible to get through the initial first few weeks and then he'll start to see the benefits of the therapy.
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englishrose
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It worries me that maybe he doesn't have enough support behind him. Even if he does go to therapy, I fear that he will drop out within a couple of weeks. His family don't know, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't want them to know, and only me and my best friend know he's considering therapy, because we're the ones who suggested it. He doesn't really have any other close friends, although I'm sure a lot of people care about him cos he's a nice guy, just not too easy to talk to.
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emily87
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(Original post by englishrose)
This is what I keep telling him. He's rather reluctant to get help at present, which is why I'm not pushing it too much, but seems to prefer the idea of drugs as it doesn't involve talking about his feelings to a stranger. I understand why the thought of a therapist scares him, but I've always had a rather low opinion of medication to "cure" things like depression, as they're not getting to the root of the problem. I'm trying to convince him to go for therapy.

And Kate - thank you. I just hope that I can get him to see someone else before it gets even more out of hand.
I had the same opinion of medication for depression etc, but my friend was similar and the self harming etc got worse and worse, I was really scared about what he'd do and I changed my mind - whether or not it gets to the root of the problem at least it can stop the symptoms. Also my friend couldn't sleep, which was linked to it all i think, and the meds he got (i think it was lithium) apparently gave him the most amazing sleep ever! Persuade him to see a doctor, it's worth it when you know someone professional finally has influence on the situation.

Hope you're ok too, i found it pretty scary/worrying.

Emilyx
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englishrose
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He's promised me he'll look at options and consider help after all his exams and uni visits are over. I think he's feeling more pressure than usual at the moment, which is making him worse. His parents get angry at him if he doesn't get straight As. They constantly compare him to his older brother, who got straight As at A Level (in the same subjects) and is currently studying at Cambridge. I think his parents are one of the major causes of his problems. His dad also used to hit him when he was younger and unable to fight back.
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yukinko
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(Original post by englishrose)
If you go through your GP, is any treatment from there on the NHS? Because money is an issue for this friend, as he has no job, and he definately doesn't want his parents to know, since they're part of the problem.

yeah, i see my counsellor through the NHS, for things including self harm and self esteem, and hes really good. If he's over 16, he should be able to get treatment on the nhs through the GP, without his parents knowing. They do tend to be intimidating, and ask lots of intimidating questions (although not always the case), but they are v helpful.

You seem to be a really gd friend, but make sure that his problems dont worry you too much ok(easily said than done)? I've seen the effects of talking about things to my friends have, so if you can, even if you dont feel you need it, try and talk to someone about it yourself.
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marychrist
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he should make an appointment with his GP, who will most likely refer him to a specialist, and / or prescribe him a course of antidepressants.

I sought help for depression and anxiety through this route and started cognitive therapy a couple of weeks ago, learning how to deal with negative thoughts and anxiety.

generally, I haven't found the help on offer through the nhs, to be particularly effective. I initially saw a pyschiatric nurse for an assessment, who I felt basically dismissed my problems and tried to fob me off with a telephone number for the information shop.. I later saw a pyschologist who advised me to cognitively restructure my thoughts and said I need not bother with professional help again, and then a pyschiatrist who seemed unbothered by my symptoms and got rid of me 10 minutes after the appointment started.

I was prescribed 20mg prozac daily at the start of all of this, which I'm still on, but has only increased my anxiety and crying fits. my appetite is larger than it has been in years and I've visibly put on weight.. I'm sleeping 12+ hours per day, sleeptalking, having stressful dreams.. if I don't take it at the start of the day I'm grumpy and regularly fly off the handle at the tiniest thing. an appointment I had, to review my prescription and either take me off antidepressants completely / replace prozac with another, was later replaced with the 10 minute pyschiatrist appointment wehre I was advised to me to stick with it until I was settled in at university.

there is more but I don't know.. I just felt like I was crying out for a help a lot over the past few months, yet it was readily dismissed by my local mental health team.
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englishrose
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(Original post by grapefruit_girl)
yeah, i see my counsellor through the NHS, for things including self harm and self esteem, and hes really good. If he's over 16, he should be able to get treatment on the nhs through the GP, without his parents knowing. They do tend to be intimidating, and ask lots of intimidating questions (although not always the case), but they are v helpful.

You seem to be a really gd friend, but make sure that his problems dont worry you too much ok(easily said than done)? I've seen the effects of talking about things to my friends have, so if you can, even if you dont feel you need it, try and talk to someone about it yourself.
Yeah, he's 17, so confidentiality shouldn't be a problem. I got the impression that age wasn't too much of a problem though - one of my friends was put onto anti-depressants when he was about 13 or 14, and his parents never found out about it. Maybe it's different for therapy though.

I talk to my best friend about the stuff that he talks to me about, as my best friend knows a lot of it too, which helps me.
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Book
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Please be aware that if you go to see your GP, a record of your problem will remain on your medical notes. Given that mental health issues are still somewhat stigmatised, it may be better to see a confidential councilor first. E.g. at my uni, I hear that such a service exists. - I once applied for a job for which those with a history of mental health problems were barred from applying. Though given that it was just a simple temp. office job, I think this was a bit over the top.
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Paranoid_
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Therapies definitely helps. He shouldn't be avoidant about because IMHO he's far from being alone - There are millions like him and being depressed is a serious issue.
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frost105
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No one can have access to your medical records without your permission however so you shouldnt worry about that.
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