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struggling to get mental health support

I have been struggling with my mental health since around mid-Feb. Around April time, I contacted my university about support. They said they can't offer me counselling, but they suggested that I go to my GP to sort out whatever the problem is. That's exactly what I did and I ended up being told to refer myself to a counselling service over the phone with a mental health worker. It was a similar service I had begun to use when my problem started, and I didn't find it very helpful because the support worker only really gave me these mental health worksheets. I didn't really feel like I could open up to him either so I stopped. Anyways, it took another month for me to get anywhere with this service for the second time, and I feel exactly the same way I did the first time. I feel like I can't really talk to the support worker because I feel like I'm being talked at; my sessions are only every 3 weeks; and, I just don't feel like I'm getting to the root of what my problem is.

I'm really frustrated because I just feel like I'm getting passed on from service to service and no one really cares about what I'm going through. I feel like the only way I'll get help is if I'm in a crisis. My dad found out about a women's charity from his work (he works in mental health) that might be able to help me, but I feel like I am setting myself up for disappointment (yet again). Meanwhile, my anxiety and depression is just getting worse and I don't know what to do because I can't afford private treatment and my parents don't seem to understand how bad it is sometimes. When I feel really low, I use The Mix crisis messenger or call support lines, but it just feels like putting a plaster over a gaping wound. I feel like I am spiralling out of control and don't know where to turn.

Does anybody have any advice?
LorryTruckJellyelephantSalix_alba_2019kaiiAislingDM

Comments

  • kaiikaii somewhere on earthPosts: 136 The Mix Convert
    edited July 4
    Hey @maybeapiano, I can see that this is your first post, so welcome to our community ^^ it's great to have you <3

    Thank you for reaching out. I'm very sorry to hear that you've been struggling with your mental health. It can be very frustrating and overwhelming getting passed on from service to service, only for it to not work well for you. And it’s okay to not find these services helpful - we're all different, so we benefit in different ways ^^

    Due to your previous experience, it’s understandable for you to feel ready for disappointment when you’re recommended to other services. It can be hard to keep an open mind. It looks like you haven’t found the right service for you yet. This can take a lot of time, and a lot of looking through other services - you will find the right one for you eventually.

    For now, maybe it would help for a while to stick to the sessions that you have every 3 weeks with the support worker, or to try out the help offered by the women’s charity that your dad mentioned. It may feel that you’re going nowhere now, but with time, it’s possible that these could help and get better for you. Since you mentioned that you feel like you’re being talked at in the sessions you have with the support worker, may I ask, do they not give you a chance for you to open up and talk to them?

    Apart from getting help through mental health services, do you have medication for your anxiety and depression?

    And in your free time, what kind of things do you like to do? Partaking in hobbies as well as self-care activities may help - these can include: reading a good book, watching a good movie/tv show or going out for a walk. I’m aware that doing these won’t give you the help that you need, but maybe they can help you feel slightly better :smile:

    Hoping everything gets better for you <3
  • fiona333fiona333 Posts: 35 Boards Initiate
    hi, @maybeapiano looks like we are both new here, hope you are finding things okay here!

    So glad you feel able to share because I feel many have had the same experience as you, feeling as if you are being passed around services, having to retell your story, not feeling validated and not making any progress, so you are not alone in this. But so grateful you have been able to ask for support, it can be so difficult and is always a step in the right direction, so please do let these experiences deter you, it may just take some time.

    I don't know how much of this you have delayed to your support worker but communicate as much as you can, maybe suggest more sessions or take another approach. It may be worth reaching out to the women's charity, making some enquiries about the services available, sharing your previous experiences with services and just seeing whether it would be suitable. You may also want to look at local charities online and look at the services available, I know this may not ideal given your situation, which is completely appreciated. Possibly revisiting your university support services or GP, whether for further support or just to let them know your situation, may be helpful.

    I understand your frustration and how easy it can be to withdraw from mental health support, but it sounds like you have done really well so far by continuing to reach out despite everything.

    Take care! <3
    maybeapiano
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 969 Part of The Mix Family
    Thank you so much for writing such an insightful post about your pain, it really helps us to better understand and (hopefully) help @maybeapiano <3 And huge welcome to The Mix as well, I know you've already been using the other Mix resources, but glad to have you on the boards too!!

    I can't even begin to imagine how frustrating and exhausting it is to feel so depersonalised by all these services, to not be treated as the individual that you are. It's no wonder that you're left feeling like this anguish will only bubble to crisis point where you hope to be 'taken seriously'. :(

    And as has been said, it's only reasonable to then feel like what's the point in seeking out further help if you'll just be treated the same way again. Yet you're still making such huge efforts to be supported. I'm glad you're dad is there trying to help you to find services, but I know family and friends can only help us to a certain point <3

    In some of these situations people are forced to seek therapy that costs money because they are left with no alternatives before they spiral, as you've said, so I just thought I'd link Psychology Today

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb

    which is a way of finding therapists, counsellors and other mental health professionals privately. Now I know this is definitely not an option for everyone, and no one should be forced into this corner, so I wanted to ask about the university counselling service again. When they said they couldn't offer you support, did they explain why? A lot of the time we have to make the severity of our pain crystal clear before we are taken seriously, which is a disgrace, but it may help in getting you to become more of a priority for the university.

    I know this suggestion might also not work for you, but some people find group therapy and workshops to help (again often as more of a plaster) especially to find people who can understand the kind of pain you're in without passing you off onto others or pretending to get it when they really don't. I'd be grateful to hear some more about what kind of problems you are wanting support for to see if we can brainstorm some stuff. I know you must feel really averse to seeking out any other help and so I certainly wouldn't try to push you in a direction that you don't feel comfortable going in, but either way we are here to hear you and talk anything out if that is easier for now <3

    Huge well done for being such an open and awesome person and big hugs from me xxx
    I'm a community moderator. I represent The Mix on the discussion boards and I'm here to help guide discussions, make sure everything is within guidelines, and take care of the housekeeping. I can't send or receive private messages, but you can message @TheMix or email [email protected] with any questions or concerns and the team will get back to you.

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    maybeapiano
  • maybeapianomaybeapiano Posts: 2 Newbie
    @AislingDM @kaii (response to both of you)
    Hi, thanks for reading my post and replying. So first off when I went to my university, they said that they just don't have counsellors on site and it's just not a service that they provide. I found this very odd because my friends at other unis say this is the opposite for them and I had access to counsellors in sixth form. When I contacted my GP, he said that he didn't want to prescribe me medication.

    In terms of my issues, I feel my main problems are depression and anxiety. It got worse last year because I lost a lot of my friends after a break-up and I don't really feel like I have a lot of support around me and its really affected my self-esteem. This all just got worse near the end of my first year of university and I had to tell my parents what was going on. I cry most days and I feel like the main issue is that my depression manifests in becoming obsessed with other people, if that makes sense? I feel so low that I just become engrossed in someone else and start to lose myself.
    AislingDM
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 969 Part of The Mix Family
    That is simply terrible, that an institution that likely gains so much money from its students and donors doesn't have basic mental health support, something that everyone on campus deserves to access! You're completely right that it differs from a lot of universities, because most acknowledge the importance of supporting their students' wellbeing, you definitely deserve better than this @maybeapiano :(

    It strikes me as odd that your GP was averse to prescribing you meds, especially given how beneficial they can be in the short term whilst people are waiting to access longer-term therapy and counselling. I'm curious, did he say why he was not keen on prescribing?

    That definitely makes sense, completely especially because your friends have disappeared so wanting to ignite relationships with others can definitely lead to obsessions, right? Equally it must be so frustrating to feel a yearning to make connections only to be left feeling unfulfilled. I know this can be especially hard during the first part of university where everyone is new and all the experiences are so different from home life. The fact that this mental strain got so intense that you had to tell your parents only reinforces how desperately you need support at the moment. I know this must sound like a silly question, so feel free to ignore it, but have you managed to make some friends through your course or any societies? <3
    I'm a community moderator. I represent The Mix on the discussion boards and I'm here to help guide discussions, make sure everything is within guidelines, and take care of the housekeeping. I can't send or receive private messages, but you can message @TheMix or email [email protected] with any questions or concerns and the team will get back to you.

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