What's going to happen when I see my Doctor?

I've had a lot of people ask me what will happen if they were to go and see their doctor about their mental health and the honest answer is that there is no set outcome that I can promise. But there are certain things that they will (hopefully) do if you go.

First of all, I strongly suggest going to see your doctor if you're struggling as they are in the best place to help you with remedies for your condition. I'll be honest in saying that not all doctors will understand nor are they trained in depth about mental health (this is something I'll rant about another timet) but please don't let this stop you from seeing a professional as there will be one out there who understands. It's about perseverance and unfortunately that is just the way it is at the moment. In my personal experience it was my third doctor that finally really understood me. Of course I was extremely disheartened and angry that I was not being understood, but I wasn't going to let it put me off because I knew I had to get better in whichever way I knew how. 

My experience of my GP probably won't be the same as you, but I can impart what I experienced as I'm sure they all have to follow a similar procedure. When you get into the consultation room, they will ask you what the problem is as per any other consultation at the doctors, it's up to you to tell them what's wrong. Now, I know this is hard but you've really got to try and explain to them the extent of your problems and if that's too hard you could always write it down before hand and give it to the doctor when you get into the consultation room. From what I remember I got asked the usual questions in relation to symptoms and anxiety and depression and a lot of the time I had to fill in a questionnaire or scale determining my severity of anxiety and depression. I didn't get given mediation on the first instance, and in my eyes that was better as it led me to try everything but before I had to resort to it as my last choice. I had a rather unsuccessful first time going to the doctors about my mental health, but in reality they will hopefully either ask you to come back in a few weeks, or give you guidance to counselling or medication or something on these lines. 

Please, please don't put off going to see the doctors as it could be so important to you. I know you may be scared but it's key to get you better as soon as possible. Thousands of people are and have been going through it. Remember that a doctor is just like you, a human! and as 1/4 have a mental health condition in any one year, your doctor could be having their own battles. 

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx

Journal #3 22nd October 2014

Journal entry number three. Please don't read if you feel this may be triggering. 


Wednesday 22nd October 2014

"As far as we're aware, we only get one life. Supposedly this means I should do whatever I can put my mind to, but it's never that easy. Aside from the cliche, the thought of having so much life and killing it makes me sad. In this world we all have choices which can change our destiny; choices which shape the gift of life. Because that's what life is, a gift, which can be taken away just like the popping of a balloon. It's fragile and too often I feel people can forget, myself included when i'm at the depths of my illness. But Death may be just around the corner and yet people still decide to take damaging risks with their life. What we must understand is that although life can be the darkest hell we have ever seen, it can also be the most beautiful thing ever to experience. I just wish I could show people what life can be and although we never know what's around the corner, I hope I'm not going to look back one day and see sadness in my eyes." 

I wrote this when I was sitting on a bus I believe. I was observing all of the different people we drove past and ended up writing this passage. I'm not sure that I was the most depressed I had ever been at that point, but I remember that I wasn't the happiest. It must have been a time when I felt hope but also sadness. A time where I was thinking about my future and what I wanted to make from it. I suppose, a realisation that a future from a time of hell was possible. Something that is also possible for you.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx




Mental illness is a physical illness

Mental illness is often separated from physical illness and thus is often seen to be invisible and not real. But it seems that some fail to recognise that mental illness can give rise to physical symptoms and thus can be under the physical illness umbrella in that sense. 

Anxiety can give rise to physical symptoms that we can feel within ourselves such as tingling and feeling lightheaded alongside the very 'real' fear that we are experiencing. But, they can also present symptoms that people may see from the outside such as sweating, going cold, clammy and shortness of breath. Similarly, depression can lead to looking grey in the face, wearing darker clothing, not sleeping or sleeping too much and eating too little to overeating. For illnesses such as schizophrenia, although only part of it may be the voices that someone hear's in their head, these voices can lead to particular actions in reality which other people can observe. 

What comes from inside our heads which can feel and is very real, can present real physical symptoms on the outside which people can diagnose. They present physical symptoms, just like high blood pressure would or having a broken leg. A doctor could tell you if you were having a panic attack. Yet there are still people out there who fail to believe it's real or to simply get over it, even though physical symptoms are presenting themselves, usually which cannot be controlled. Weirdly enough these kind of statements are not said to someone who has high blood pressure, even though a lot of the time the physical symptoms visible on the outside are limited depending on the severity. 

It's time for people to pay attention to the realness of the situation. Mental illness is always physical, whether it's the symptoms or the fact it affects our reality and it shouldn't be treated any less of that which is on the list of a physical illness. 

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx 


You can handle it.

Recently I've been reading a book which has changed my outlook. A lot of my anxiety has always been fuelled by the fear of failure and embarrassment which makes me avoid certain situations. I get used to being inside my comfort zone and although it has gotten wider over the years, there are still many things that I avoid on a regular basis, which we all know just continues to fuel the anxiety. 

From reading the book, it has taught me that whatever outcome that comes our way, we will handle it. We have done before and we will do again; after all that is how the species has survived. Just think about all of the situations you've been in that haven't gone as you'd planned, such as ordering something on a menu but it being sold out, or being rejected by someone...you handled it all and you're still here today. From these experiences, we have built up better resilience to future situations in how we handle them because we learn from our past. Having the knowledge that I can trust myself in any situation, even if it may take a while for me to conquer them, widens my comfort zone and the things I can tackle. Try and keep it in mind that you can conquer any outcome.

If you think about it, we all have preconceived ideas in our heads about how an event is going to play out and yet it will never turn out exactly the way we planned it to and yet we learned to adapt to the situation we are in - and that's the great thing about humans. It's practically built into us for our survival, even if we don't think so on a conscious level.

Let me know in the comments of a time when you handled a situation which you didn't expect.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx