Struggling a bit, not sure what to do

pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
Hi,

So some of you will know that I recently sought help for my mental health by going to see a GP, and a few weeks after my second appointment, I got a letter from them telling me that the treatment they initially recommended (computerised CBT) had an age limit of 18 (so I’m too young) so they gave me details of a telephone CBT service, which I phoned. I was told that the waiting list is at least 2 months, which I know isn’t long compared to 18 for CAMHS, but the voice in my head and the negativity it causes is getting worse, and I don’t have anyone to talk to besides my mum (who says we go round in circles with discussing it and that it’s draining) and a close friend (who has their own issues to deal with so I don’t want to bombard them with mine.)

I don’t know what to do, and I don’t have a diagnosis so can’t really use any of the self-help resources the lady I spoke to when I rang the number the GP gave me because they’re condition-specific. Not sure where to turn and it’s getting harder to hide, people are noticing changes. Sorry.

Pumpkin

Comments

  • MikeMike Posts: 1,066 Moderator
    Heya @pumpkinpie, good to see you round again. :)

    Good news on the treatment, although I hear that two months wait isn't fun (even if it is good compared to CAMHS, that's not saying very much!). If you're looking for an outlet and a place to chat to help tide you over until then, there are some online platforms that may be good. I'm not too sure where you've been before (if anywhere), so apologies if this is old ground!

    7Cups have both group and one-to-one chats which are open 24/7. Childline are also another option - they have message boards as well as one-to-one services. And of course, goes without saying that you're always welcome on both our discussion boards and in our group chats. :)

    What kind of thoughts of negativity are you having, if you don't mind me asking? And how are you generally feeling today?

    *hug*
    < 3
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Hi and thanks Mike,

    Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll have a look at them. As for the negativity, it’s caused by the voice in my head that resembles my own thoughts (but it’s not- if that makes sense) which tells me how stupid/embarrassing/ugly/fat/dumb/etc I am, which makes me act in a self-depreciating way, so I struggle to say anything positive about myself and constantly put myself down. It’s this that people are starting to notice a bit, as well as supposedly being a bit “off.”

    Pumpkin
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Hi again,

    Just to ask, has anybody else ever felt particularly low in the run up to receiving mental health treatment? What did you do to get through the time? I can't use the self-help website the woman I spoke to when I phoned the CBT service because I don't have a diagnosis, I've looked at the websites Mike recommended but haven't had a reply from a post on Childline's message boards and the person I spoke to in their 1-2-1 counsellor chat wasn't really reading what I was telling her and replied with stuff to do with things I hadn't even said so I came off it and I've tried basic self-care stuff but I can't even do anything now without the voice in my head telling me it's not worth it.

    I thought about going back to see a GP to talk about it (and possibly get a diagnosis) but my mum is still pushing me to see a counsellor (she doesn't think a GP will do anything worthwhile,) but I don't know if that would work since I'm already on the waiting list for another treatment, why should I see a counsellor only once to talk about it when I'm not going to need to see them again?

    Pumpkin
  • AifeAife Posts: 941 Moderator
    Hey Pumpkin, how is everything going?

    It sounds like you're going through a really difficult time at the moment, particularly with the voice saying negative things. How powerful would you say the voice is? do you feel you have a bit of control over it?

    Waiting for mental health treatment can be really tough. The Mix actually recently wrote an article about what to do if you're on a waiting list. You can find it here. They mention a bit about self-care techniques, which ones have you been trying so far?

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience with Childline. How would you feel reaching out to them again and perhaps seeing if there will be a different counsellor you can chat to?

    I've listed below a few other organisations you can try reaching out to, I hope those are helpful.
    • Mind has an infoline (0300 123 3393) and text service (86463) open 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday (charges dependent on your mobile phone provider or local rates if calling from a landline), online community Elefriends, and local Mind centres.
    • SANE runs an out-of-hours helpline (0300 304 7000) open 4:30pm – 10:30pm every day of the year (charges dependent on your mobile phone provider or local rates if calling from a landline) and a support forum.

    All the best,

    - Aife
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Thanks so much for replying Aife,

    I would say that the voice does have a lot of power, like I can’t drown it out or stop it, but it’s not really like one I can hear, it’s more like my own thoughts but I don’t control them. Sometimes I have days when it barely says anything, other days it’s on at me for every single thing I say or do.

    That article was really informative, so thanks for that. I’ve found that baking helps me to relax (sounds weird I know) as well as reading books and taking long showers.

    I don’t think you can choose which counsellor you talk to on the 1-2-1 chat on Childline, you just go into a waiting room until one is ready, and you don’t know until you enter the chat. If it was the one I spoke to before, I’d have to exit and go to the back of the queue again.

    I’ll have a look at the other organisations, and I think I might have to go back to the GP again if I get any worse, would that be a good idea? And can I ask about a diagnosis so I’m more prepared when I eventually get off the waiting list for the telephone CBT?

    Thanks again,
    Pumpkin
  • BubblesGoesBooBubblesGoesBoo Posts: 1,608 Postholic
    Hey :)

    it's really good you're seeking out help, do you have any input from camhs at all? If it does get worse I would definitely go back to the gp. Have you looked up cbt apps? I just had a look and theres quite a lot that might help you while you're waiting. I tend to use the what's up app and there's lots of coping techniques on there that might help. It might be helpful to ask about a diagnosis so you can start to understand it and why you feel the way you do :)
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Thanks BubblesGoesBoo,

    I don’t have any input from CAMHS because the GP I saw the last time told me the waiting list was extremely long and there wouldn’t be much point in referring me (that’s why she recommended the telephone CBT.)

    I haven’t actually thought about apps, so thank you for that, I’ll look into them.

    Thanks for the advice,

    Pumpkin
  • RayofhopeRayofhope Posts: 145 The Mix convert
    Hi Pumpkin,

    You spoke about not having input from CAMHS because of the long waiting list even though there is a very long waiting list is it something that you would like to be put on the waiting list for?

    Its great that you have thought about apps which is a great idea, let us know how you get on with that.

    Rayofhope:rainbow2:
    Life doesn’t require we be the best, only that we try our best
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Hi and thanks Rayofhope,

    To be honest, I didn’t expect to be put on the CAMHS waiting list, so to be told I wasn’t didn’t bother me, but at least I’m on the waiting list for something else rather than nothing. Considering I’m currently struggling a bit while on a 2 month waiting list, I don’t know how I would have coped with an 18 month one. I don’t get the fact that my friend went to their GP about mental health (lives in the same place, goes to the same doctors) only about 2 months ago and got seen by CAMHS in 5 weeks.

    I’ll let you know how I get on with the app (I downloaded What’s Up)

    Pumpkin
  • AifeAife Posts: 941 Moderator
    Hey Pumpkin,

    How's everything's going?

    You mentioned that sometimes you have days where the voice doesn't say much and then there are days where it's on at you for everything you do. Is there anything in particular that happens on those days it gets worse? This can be easier said than done, but what can help some people is to try and talk back to the voice. For example challenging it and saying no. There's some tips on The Mix article here that might also be helpful.

    That's great to hear the other article was helpful. Baking can be a lot of fun, what sorts of things do you like to bake?

    You mentioned that you're thinking of going back to the GP again. If you do feel things are getting worse or you want to talk about a diagnosis, it can be helpful to go back to the GP. They might be able to offer you some more support while you're on the waiting list :)

    Like Bubbles said, it's really great that you're reaching out for support. I hope the app is going well :)

    All the best,

    - Aife
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Thanks for replying Aife,

    I&#146;m okay thanks. When the voice is at its strongest, I tend to self-harm more to try and block it out or punish myself for doing things wrongly. I do try and talk back to it but it still keeps going. Thanks for that article, it was useful.

    I tend to bake cupcakes and try to be creative, or make dinner for my parents. It still doesn&#146;t take my mind off what the voice is saying, but it gives me something to focus on.

    If things get worse, I&#146;ll go back to the GP but I don&#146;t want to miss any school (prelims soon) then it&#146;ll be the holidays next week so the practice will be closed over Christmas. I don&#146;t know if getting a diagnosis before I receive treatment will help in any way?

    Thanks again,

    Pumpkin
  • AzzimanAzziman Posts: 181 The Mix convert
    Hi pumpkinpie,

    Have you tried using Samaritans or 7 Cups of Tea? You can talk about anything in confidence with them, which would help you to have an outlet for your feelings and emotions. I also find it's useful to get a pen and piece of paper, and just write my thoughts down until I'm done - that helps you take them off your mind and save you mental energy, while also being therapeutic!x

    Much love <3
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Thanks for replying Azziman,

    I haven’t actually tried using them, so I might give them a shot. In the past I’ve tried writing down how I feel but I just felt it upset me (for no reason, I know that’s pathetic) but thanks for the suggestion, I guess there’s no harm in trying it again.

    I’m currently in a bit of a low spot, and have talked to my mum about it, and she still wants me to see a counsellor, which I know would probably be better than a GP, but I can’t bring myself to contact the counsellor I emailed before (or any for that matter) and is it worthwhile seeing a counsellor when I’m already on the waiting list for another treatment? I found it easier to go to the GP before by convincing myself it was a normal doctor’s appointment, but my mum just thinks they won’t be able to do anything, which is probably true but I found it easier.

    I just don’t know what to do right now, I know a counsellor would probably be better but something even I can’t put my finger on stops me from contacting one, and is that the right choice? Should I waste my time going to a GP where I only have 10mins (double appointments are literally impossible to get) to try and get some support and maybe a diagnosis?

    Sorry, that was too long

    Pumpkin
  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 234
    Hey Pumpkinpie,

    How are you? You mentioned you were feeling like you'd hit a low spot, I'm so sorry to hear that. Do you think there's a reason why you're feeling the way you are at the moment?

    To be honest I don't think there is a 'right choice' you should make, sometimes we need to try a few different things before finding what works best for us. Whatever you do, though, I don't feel like you are wasting your time because you are making a conscious effort to look after yourself and that's the first step to feeling better! It sounds like you would be more comfortable trying your GP first- it's probably worth doing, I can't guarantee they will help straight away as every GP is different, but if only to cross it off your list so you can move on to your next choice. Let us know how you get on?

    I also echo @Azziman's comments on Samaritans and 7 Cups... Sorry to hear you didn't have a great experience with Childline but there are plenty other places that would be happy to help. Of course, we're all here to listen too. Well done for coming on here and opening up, hope it helps at least a little. All the best *hug*

    - Lucy :rainbow2:
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Thanks for replying Lucy,

    I don’t know why I’ve hit a low spot to be honest, it could be because the voice in my head (that sounds like my thoughts) is getting more and more aggressive and horrible and forcing me to be so negative all the time.

    You’re right, I probably would be more comfortable going to the GP, but now my mum has practically talked me out of it (because a GP won’t be able to do anything apparently, hence why she wants me to see a counsellor) but I could try, since all the self-help resources I’ve been recommended either by people here on the boards, the doctors I’ve seen or the person I spoke to when I rang the telephone CBT service to refer myself are condition-specific (anxiety, depression, etc) and not generalised, so I can’t really use them without a diagnosis. Don’t think I’d get a diagnosis if I made another GP appointment, because it’ll most likely be a different doctor (the ones I saw before were just temporary) so that’s another problem.

    If I end up going back to the GP, I’ll put a post on here.

    Pumpkin
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Hi all,

    Just to let you know that I got an appointment at the doctors this morning and luckily got to see the GP I had initially wanted to see, who was extremely understanding and supportive, and took time to discuss everything I was telling them in detail. They thought that getting counselling would be much more beneficial than medication, and gave me courage to go and do it (will do that soon.) I managed to ask about their opinion in terms of a diagnosis, and they said that I most likely have depression.

    I’m happy that I was able to go back and see someone who genuinely took the time to explain everything and could answer my questions.

    Thanks for all your continued support,

    Pumpkin
  • NikkiNikki Posts: 131 Two little ducks
    Hi Pumpkin, thanks for updating all of us.
    It is great that your appointment was beneficial and successful, especially with the support and understanding from your doctor. How do you feel about having counselling?
    I’m glad to hear that you managed to get an opinion regarding a diagnosis. It will definitely help you to gain insight into your any difficulties you had or may have in future, particularly with depression.
    Do keep us posted on how you getting on. :)

    -Nikki
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Hi and thanks Nikki,

    I actually just emailed the counsellor. I’m feeling a bit nervous, not going to lie, but I’m glad I’ve reached out for help in terms of counselling and going to the doctors. I will keep you all posted with what comes next.

    Pumpkin
  • AifeAife Posts: 941 Moderator
    Hey Pumpkin,

    That's great to hear how you're feeling about reaching out for help with counselling and going to see the GP. Do keep us updated with how things are going, anytime you want to talk about anything we're here. :)

    Have a great day!

    - Aife
  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 234
    Hey Pumpkin,

    So glad to hear you got to see the GP and are happy with the support! Hope counselling goes well, I'm rooting for you *hug* do keep us updated and we're always here if you need to talk.

    - Lucy :rainbow:

    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • AzzimanAzziman Posts: 181 The Mix convert
    pumpkinpie wrote: »
    Thanks for replying Azziman,

    I just don&#146;t know what to do right now, I know a counsellor would probably be better but something even I can&#146;t put my finger on stops me from contacting one, and is that the right choice? Should I waste my time going to a GP where I only have 10mins (double appointments are literally impossible to get) to try and get some support and maybe a diagnosis?

    Pumpkin

    I wonder if you've ever told any family or friends about what you're going through. You may have said so before, so I may have missed that! Reason I say that is because it's quite common for people to be afraid of the prospect of telling a stranger about all their issues. But these people are well-trusted professionals, and they're here to help! It'll be really hard the first time, but things will get easier :)

    And I wouldn't worry about the "10 min" slot. I don't think I've ever had an appointment that only lasted 10 minutes. Take as much time as you need - there are other GPs who can see the other people!x

    Much love <3
  • DreaDrea Posts: 292 Cool Newbie
    Hey Pumpkin,

    How are you feeling today? Merry Christmas! It is completely up to you what you decide to do, but you don't lose anything with trying to visit both the GP and a counsellor! If you need any more help or just wanna chat we're all here!

    Drea:heart:
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies,

    I’m so sorry I haven’t been on lately, I’ve been really busy with studying for my prelims and had a lot of family stuff on over Christmas. Hope you all had a good Christmas!

    I’ve been seeing the counsellor I had emailed after I saw the GP that recommended counselling for a few weeks now, and I think they are fantastic, they understand what I’m saying and we are working on a few different things to combat the voices in my head and boost my confidence and self-esteem. I’m glad I’ve finally reached out for this help because I wanted it all along, I just needed that extra push to make me get started, which that GP gave me.

    Thanks for all your kind replies, I really appreciate everybody’s words of support.

    Pumpkin

    PS Azziman- when I saw the GP I saw that recommended counselling, I was in there for at least 15 minutes and had only made a single appointment, the doctor really took the time to go over everything in detail and made sure I understood everything they were saying. Which probably also explains why I waited for 40 minutes to see them, apparently they’re a very popular doctor because they do this with all their patients.
  • RayofhopeRayofhope Posts: 145 The Mix convert
    Hi Pumpkin,

    I am glad that you feel the counselling is going really well and that’s its working for you. Well done for reaching out for the help it can be the hardest part, great that the doctor spent time with you to be able to understand you.

    Rayofhope:rainbow2:
    Life doesn’t require we be the best, only that we try our best
  • Invisible_meInvisible_me Posts: 74 Miniposter
    Hi Pumpkin,

    I'm sorry to hear about the way you have been feeling 'low' and that there's a longer wait than ideal. Unfortunately, a lot of the mental health services are pushed and there are 'long waits', I would say going back to the GP would help, although, yes you've maybe 'got the baseline initial support' set up your still struggling and the GP should be able to help you with the way your feeling, including the feelings of the run-up to help. - It's quite natural I imagine to feel anxious on 'first appts' as you never know what to expect (I have experienced this the same).
    Sometimes, I find just 'getting things out' and speaking to someone can help and 'keep you to keep plodding on'

    Also, Just reaching out to as many people as possible really. The Childline message boards are a much smaller community than TheMix therefore, there may be a wait to get a response, but I know they have various ways to get in touch with a counsellor (phone, 1-2-1, email). As well as the Samiratans, I've not heard much on 7 cups but it's definitely worth a try! TheMIX are here as well if you ever feel you want to talk to someone...

    Well done for getting help though- that's a hard thing but you've done incredibly well!.

    Hope your OK?

    Invisible_me
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Hi Rayofhope and Invisible_me, thanks for replying,

    I really appreciate your support and advice, I’m doing fine at the moment, just getting ready for prelims but I’ll probably put a post on here if I need help with anything.

    Two of the three GPs that I saw talked about the long waiting lists for NHS mental health treatment, which I completely understood and that’s why I see a private counsellor. I’m still so glad I went back to the doctors because I was feeling low in the run-up to Christmas because that GP I saw gave me the encouragement I needed to get back in touch with the counsellor (as mentioned in previous posts) and they seemed to ask better questions in order to find out how I was feeling, which is probably why they were able to tell me their thoughts on what could be wrong with me (as mentioned before, they think I have depression) but this wasn’t a definite diagnosis, and I just wanted to ask how do you actually get a confirmed diagnosis for mental health conditions in the UK? I have a friend who has more severe problems than me and has been receiving treatment through CAMHS for a year or two and still hasn’t had an official diagnosis, and they say that it’s really difficult to get one.

    I did put a post on Childline months ago but never got a reply, and I didn’t think the person I messaged with on their 1-2-1 counsellor chat wasn’t reading what I was saying properly.

    A response from anyone on my question about diagnosis would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone for their support.

    Pumpkin
  • Invisible_meInvisible_me Posts: 74 Miniposter
    Hello Pumpkin,

    Good to hear that you're doing OK at the moment, and will let us know should you feel need to.

    I agree in that, sometimes just getting things off and hearing a few 'encouraging words' can keep us 'on track', and make us 'feel better',

    In regards to your question, I don't there is a specific length of diagnosis some can be diagnosed earlier than others, for me I received my Depression diagnosis within 2 appointments. but then that was after proper help was arranged. I was struggling for a about a year alone before getting help. (it took me a while to actually pick things up and then ask and get consent for help.).
    For depression they say "symptoms must be present and felt as interfering with daily life for 2 weeks or more".

    Hope that is of some help for you to atleast get started.

    Hope your OK.

    Invisible_me
  • pumpkinpiepumpkinpie Posts: 94 Miniposter
    Thanks for answering my question Invisible_me,

    That info was good to know, and also that you got a diagnosis after arranging help, I wasn’t sure if I could do that now that I am getting counselling. I would probably feel a bit awkward going back and asking, but that’s just me. Thanks again.

    Pumpkin
  • Invisible_meInvisible_me Posts: 74 Miniposter
    pumpkinpie wrote: »
    Thanks for answering my question Invisible_me,

    That info was good to know, and also that you got a diagnosis after arranging help, I wasn&#146;t sure if I could do that now that I am getting counselling. I would probably feel a bit awkward going back and asking, but that&#146;s just me. Thanks again.

    Pumpkin

    Hi,

    I have no idea if I've quoted this right but here I go.. stil learning the site. Your very welcome with the reply glad it was of help. Wish you luck!

    Invisibible_me.
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