Me & Mental Health

Well, being honest, it is a very long and messy story. I’m sure I will type it all up one day, so for now I’ll focus on my diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

I was diagnosed around a year ago now, after a very long battle to seek help. I’ve always had mental health problems, but in the start of the new year things came to a head. I was struggling, really struggling. At the time I was half way through my Final Year of my degree, with a lot of pressure to keep up with studying and in particular my dissertation. I’m not really sure what happened in the blur of a couple of months, but I was on a downward spiral and I reached a point where I could go no further, where I was scared for my safety. I had started obsessively picking my skin just like I had done 10 years ago, and to this day I am still covered in the scars.

I went to my GP pracitice and booked an appointment with a different Doctor to who I normally go to for my chronic illnesses. The day of the appointment I was terrified. I fought off anxiety attack after anxiety attack whilst I waited to be called. I was lucky that the GP had experience had with mental health, particularly as I broke down when I was seen. She seemed to immediately know I was in trouble once I calmed down to explain my lengthy history, she knew action had to be taken.

We discussed my options, and came up with a plan to start trying to medication. Now let me set this straight, going on medication is no a simple or easy route to take. It’s trial and error. I had terrible experiences with the first 3 I tried, but I seem to have finally found something to help me. Thank you Amitriptyline, even if I have side effects including significant weight gain. It was a big decision, but it was worth it.

I also tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which wasn’t a great experience for me personally. But that is not to say it wont help others. The main issue I had was that I seem to naturally do the techniques that you are taught, so I wasn’t actually learning something new.

It’s a long battle and I’m pretty sure I’ll never be ‘fixed’. But that’s ok, I just aim to take it one day at a time.