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mh services & waiting lists - not sure how to feel

RavenclawRavenclaw NoobPosts: 74 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
So, today I had my first assessment-type appointment with the talking therapy service I was recently referred to. I was really anxious before the phone call (normal phone calls are hard for me at the best of times, let alone phone calls where you have to talk about difficult things you've never spoken aloud about before) but I prepared the best I could by filling in the questionnaire thing they sent and running through what I might say. However, that didn't help completely as when he asked some things, I could not for the life of me remember any examples of what he was asking for -- but then when I put the phone down, it all came flooding back. Which is irritating, and makes me worry that it'll effect the overall picture he was trying to pick up or he'll just think I was making stuff up with no evidence.

Anyway. The next step is a computer-based CBT course that you have to go through yourself. I'm not sure how I feel about this. While getting better has to come from myself no matter what I do, I know that, it's the element of me having to guide myself through it and pick a time to do it that worries me - if it was face-to-face, I'd have no choice but to prioritise it and get to the appointment on time. Whereas if I feel low and if I think I don't deserve the help, then I'm worried I won't be able to do this course because I really struggle with energy/motivation to do things. Does that make any sense whatsoever? I don't know. I might be expecting too much I guess.

Forgetting those worries, the main problem is that there's around a 20 day waiting list for this course (which i'm aware isn't too long compared to some places, so I can't complain). But in 20 days, school - the thing causing most of my symptoms - will be over. So it kind of feels like 'what's the point?'. Once I'm out of exams and schoolwork, I'm going to be in a very different situation and things are always better for me over summer when there are fewer pressures in my life and I can spend more time looking after myself. So I worry I won't be able to deal with the school-related pressures through the CBT techniques because I won't be experiencing the same thoughts, and alsp the ways these thoughts affect my life (at school, at work, at home) will also be completely different because I'm not going to be in any of these places this summer (I'll be abroad). Basically I think one of two things will happen - either I won't need the treatment so much over summer because I'll be less stressed and therefore I'll be wasting their resources, or it'll help with thoughts which don't generally exist during the academic year but won't resolve the longer-term issues.

Anyway. I'm not sure if this makes sense to anyone but me -- my head is very busy at the moment. I guess I'm just not sure what to do or how to feel and I don't really have anyone I can talk this through with, so instead it's just spinning around and around in my head. I'm scared of asking for help and talking about things which have been secret for so long, I'm scared of it not working, I'm scared of wasting the service's time -- mostly I'm just scared of the unknown.

Edit: Just to clarify, I definitely don't want to seem ungrateful for the support I've been offered. I'm really glad these services exist - I'm just not sure how I feel about starting something unknown and I wish I'd got help earlier in the year, I guess.


  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Hi Ravenclaw,
    Your thread does make sense - lots of worries here and quite a few 'what ifs' - I'm sorry this situation has sent your thoughts swirling and I hope it helped to get some of them out here.

    In terms of the CBT I was wondering if it might be helpful to keep a diary of the thoughts and feelings that you're struggling with during the school term which you can then apply to the course when you've reached the end of the 20 day wait? The other thing to remember is that there may be drop outs that mean you get to complete the course earlier.

    As you say though, the biggest deal here is your fear of the unknown and it sounds like the 'what ifs' are holding you back. It's completely natural to question 'what if it doesn't work' or 'what if I'm wasting time' - the first question in particular is an unknown that can be valuable to ask yourself. With that in mind - try and stick to the facts available to you - while this course may not be a cure all, it sounds like there's a chance it may at least give you a little bit more insight into your thought processes and perhaps inspire you to have a little more self belief. (I'd argue that the latter fear around wasting time relates to insecurity rather than any facts - but is still fine to wonder). It can also be really helpful to turn those fears on their head and think 'what if this is just what I need to start to move forward and 'what if I'm exactly who this service wants to help'? It probably won't come as a surprise that the same thoughts that are holding you back from feeling hopeful about this course are the ones that the course can help you with :)

    Finally, I wondered if you've ever come across Mood Gym? It's a CBT course based in Australia that may give you a bit of a sense of how a computer based course could potentially work? I have no way of knowing if it's like the one you're waiting for - but even if it's not, it could help you while you're still at school and struggling.

    Take care and do keep talking here if it helps :thumb:

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