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What are your experiences about talking to someone about your Mental Health? Watch

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    Today is Time to Talk Day - a nationwide day to try and get the nation talking and having conversations about their mental health, seeing how a friend is doing, just mental health in general...It could be something as simple a text, a Facebook message or suggesting coffee. You can find out more about it here!

    I know how important (especially recently) it can be to reach out to people about your mental health. I've reached out to my university services - who have been nothing but brilliant; I've ended up in A&E and people there were incredibly lovely about it (even if I didn't find actually going that useful); people on TSR and physical people I go to university with. I'm still finding that people find talking about mental health but the more conversations we have, hopefully the easier it'll get!

    So that got me thinking; what are your experiences about talking a friend, a family member, a health professional about your mental health?

    You can post anonymously in this thread!
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    The two GPs that I've spoken to about my mental health have been amazing. The first was the only GP to ever believe in my physical symptoms and eventually diagnose them. When he retired, he told me I was an absolute credit to myself and I should be really proud. Every appointment, whether related or not, he'd take a few minutes to ask me about my mental health and check in on me because I refused a referral when I first went to him. He never judged, and always laughed at my jokes about it instead of sitting there awkwardly because he didn't know how to react My current GP has been really similar. He always makes time for me, and I can always get an emergency appointment with him when I need one. He believes what I say and always knows what to do. He's willing to take extra steps to make sure I get good care. He asked me to book an appointment with him when my MH assessment has been done in a couple of weeks, and I've helped him by completing questionnaires for a research study he's doing into severe depression and anxiety. They've both always paid complete attention to what I've said, and let me take the time to talk my way through things without cutting me short. They've both been incredibly supportive and are absolutely brilliant doctors
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    My parents tell me to "man up" or "deal with it", so a pretty **** experience if you ask me. I'm fine now but I went through some very depressing times during uni.
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    (Original post by UWS)
    My parents tell me to "man up" or "deal with it", so a pretty **** experience if you ask me. I'm fine now but I went through some very depressing times during uni.
    Your parents really said this? :/ I've found the older generations don't really 'understand' mental illness as much as younger people?
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    My friends are supportive, and those trained to deal with it like my GP and therapist but I've always found that my mother was never understanding of it and neither was my elder sister. It was as if I had caused this depression and I remember my sister laughs and still laughed and said it's all in my head. Recently I've had some breakdowns so my mum has finally come round that I need help but she couldn't accept I was going through this. I find in Asian families there is a big stigma, it's as if they don't want to know you have depression at all and it is quite hurtful.
    • #1
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    Well, my form tutor tries to be supportive in a very casual way. I'm barely ever in form (usually not for mental health reasons, just that I'm lazy and just don't care about going to school) but when I do come in he's really nice and casual and doesn't talk about my attendance.
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    I've recently reached out to my university wellbeing services and honestly it just feels like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Although it took a a long time before they apparently had any space to see me (3 months), I am extremely thankful for it. I've had difficulties seeking help from anyone and they've been lovely - though it is still very stigmatised. For example, I would absolutely not want any of my friends or family to know about this just due to the connotations and associations, and well, being ashamed.

    I know mental health is nothing to be ashamed or scared of, but first getting over the internalised issue of it being something that you just don't talk about or just sweep under the carpet takes a while. But I'm glad there's more things like things to try and break the barrier and normalise talking about mental health
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    (Original post by UWS)
    My parents tell me to "man up" or "deal with it", so a pretty **** experience if you ask me. I'm fine now but I went through some very depressing times during uni.
    Yep same.
    • #2
    #2

    parents dont really believe in MH, one of them does care but doesn't think it is a 'proper thing'

    School is pretty crap, nothing stays secret for long, head of year is a small saving grace tho

    Inrl friends also pretty crap, not really close enough to confide in someone, someone does listen but doesn't really understand, the other one does understand more but i cant bring myself to talk about some things plus i dont trust to not be overheard

    Online friends are probably the best out of the bunch but even then that is hard cos really they have less of an obligation and their own lives and stuff so i just feel like im bothering them
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    I feel really lucky to have a very supportive family when it comes to MH problems. They have been there for me since childhood when I first started therapy for severe OCD around 6 right up to now when I'm 24 and have a few other mental and physical conditions now. Mental health has never been a taboo subject in my family. My mum is my biggest support and she struggled a lot when she was my age and younger but also after I was born but now is now thankfully stable with her bipolar disorder and has been for years. I missed out on a childhood with my mum due to her illness but she has more than made up for it now that I am older.

    My stepdad hasn't been supportive at all. I tried to open up to him many times but some people just aren't worth it. Some of you may know I cut him permanently cut him out my life last year due to having enough of him. He knew I suffer from OCD, panic attacks, CPTSD, BDD and depression and after he took a mini stroke, he began to have panic attacks and he got referred to a CBT therapist for 4 sessions and I was getting 20 sessions with a therapist for my problems and he roared at me for getting more sessions than him. I tried to explain its because they know what is causing his panics - his previous stroke, so therefore he only needs help at managing the panics whereas no one knows what caused my problems so we need to dig deeper and plus, its not just panics I suffered from. He snapped when I said that and told me I was a liar, a drama queen, "we all have a bit of OCD", "Oh I like my DVDs in alphabetical order, that's my OCD. You don't see me crying about it!" and all that kind of jazz. A lot more happened as well but I've not seen or spoken to him since November and there's only no love lost. I realised its good for both my physical and mental health to cut out toxic people and he was one of them.

    As for friends, 99% of them have been supportive and I get invited to every night out, days out and any other occasion. No one sees me as the "OCD person" or the "girl with the bowel condition who has had a lot of 'accidents'. They just see me as "Yasmin - The Crazy Cat Lady" which is fine there was one friend who said she unfollowed me on FB because I post about MH. On TSR, I talk about MH a lot but on FB, you're lucky if I talk about it or share a MH related post once a month. She told me to my face that my suffering can't be that bad if I can talk about it. Yet, she openly talks about being sexually abused in the past and things like that?! Yet another toxic person I got rid of :yep:
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    What are your experiences about talking a friend, a family member, a health professional about your mental health?


    Talking to people doesn't usually go well for me. I'm not one who can easily share things with people, so when I finally do it's a bit saddening when people gossip about what I've told them. Health professionals usually belittle me, and I don't particularly trust them (or other people for that matter).
    Talking makes me feel worse to be honest, it makes me realise how **** my situation is and how trapped I feel. I'd rather get on with it than talk – it is what it is.

    I have my family, that's enough for me. But I don't really share with them either because they get down when I'm not doing well. But knowing they're there for me is good.
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    I remember a hall mate claiming it was easy getting help. I can't be the only one who strggles admitting they have a problem?
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    A mixed bag. People seem less inclined to tell me to "get over it" now I have the diagnosis I do. Which makes me cross because depression and anxiety are valid dx too.

    I was told that I should feel grateful and people go through worse.

    "You need to get out more"
    • #4
    #4

    I've had a mostly positive, or at least neutral, experience telling people, but there have been some less than good ones.

    The bad:
    I had a counsellor when I was just starting to try to open up about things. I told her that I thought I may have OCD- kinda hoping she'd encourage me to see a doctor I guess. She didn't even ask why I thought it and just shot me down, saying there was no way. Well i'm diagnosed now so suck it. I kinda wish I'd reported that tbh.

    I tried opening up to a friend hoping she'd be able to support me a little when I was trying to build up the courage to see a doctor. She was not at all receptive. She had her own issues and I tried so so hard to support her, but she just couldn't see that other people could have issues too.

    At uni I had some issues and there was a piece of work where you needed to film it. I was already on the cusp of relapse and this was just too much so I told her I had some anxieties about things like that (I was already receiving DSA and it included reasonable accommodations for my mh, so they should really have been receptive). They told me it's part of the assignment so suck it up. They also just told me to go onto another course when I was struggling with other stuff. I dropped out after that.

    My brother had a hard time understanding my OCD. He's generally supportive of me and was clearly very angered by my uni being unsupportive, but I guess he just couldn't get his head around the OCD to start with. He kinda tested me in ways, like deliberately making a point of things that he knew annoyed me and asking "what ifs". It was annoying, but he stopped after a while and understands it better now.

    My family have been generally understanding and supportive. I hate talking to them about my health though and they just don't seem to grasp the fact that I don't want to talk about what happened in therapy, or explain myself every time I'm feeling off. And my mum is always giving me bloody advice that isn't helpful. It's like she thinks she knows more about my conditions than I do just cos she googled it. They have issues of their own so home life is stressful. It's like a minefield so I try my best just to keep my head down. I said at one point that I don't want to talk about my health all the time and then later that wee said that some tablets were out of date. Their response? "Well we can't talk about anything health related."

    The good:
    My boyfriend is amazing with me. When we'd only just met he would listen to me about my problems for ages and would make an effort to do things the "right way" when my OCD was an issue. He put up with the side effects of my ADs too- crying every night for no reason, forgetting things etc. Now he's always understanding and tries to gently encourage me with things. I'd be nowhere without him.

    My parents support me a lot financially even if they are terrible at emotional support. They help me with appointments (i'm on dad's work insurance) and are supporting me because I can't work at the moment. My mum does a lot for me too, like drive me places and get me up for college when I had real issues with it. I'd have probably been kicked out of college for poor attendance if it weren't for her.

    This one doctor at my surgery is pretty decent. I have a bunch of different issues spanning physical and mental and I can go to them every now and then with a list and just go through it. They get things done.

    Therapy was amazing for me. I did group therapy eventually after not getting on with one-to-one and it was so great to be in a place where people get you. Since everybody there has their own issues they are so much more receptive to other people having them. It's like a real life TSR without the trolls!

    Which brings me to TSR. Posts like this one and people who listen to you and try to help you. Total strangers part of a community. It's wonderful.

    There have actually been a couple of totally random people too who have been good to talk to. There was a girl at a camp I was on who had issues too and we just talked about stuff. Never met her again. Those magical encounters are strange, but wonderful. It shows you there are good people out there.
 
 
 
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