Last year I wrote a blog about how two years I went to the doctors about my anxiety and depression and was basically shooed away because the doctor couldn’t deal with it. It put me off seeking medical help again, which when you have an unseen illness that is surrounded by stigma and misunderstanding, isn’t the best choice to make.
So for two years, I simply dealt with it and I feel I have done well in that regard. I do struggle occasionally but in the main, I haven’t taken any dark tumbles close to the suicidal nature I hit when I was a teenager.
In more recent times I have been aware of both the depressive and anxious thoughts that plague my mind on a daily basis. After having conversations with a few friends, I decided it would be sensible to give the doctors another go.
Getting my appointment
It didn’t start off well. I rang up my GP and asked for a Saturday appointment. It was going well until the receptionist asked for a brief description of what it entailed. I simply stated: “mental”. There was a momentary pause and she asked me to hold.
Around a minute later, she came back and asked me to ring back the next day because the Saturday supervisor wasn’t available and she didn’t know who she could pass me onto. Now in hindsight, this does seem sensible otherwise I might have had a repeat of last time. However, at that moment in time, I was livid. I had rung up for help and had been asked to ring back the next day due to an inconvenience.
I almost didn’t call back the next day, but I told myself to stop being stupid and to make the call. This time, I got a different receptionist this time and she was far more helpful. She did explain that there are no doctors available to deal with mental health issues on Saturdays usually (as I work full time, Monday to Friday, Saturdays are the best day) she booked me in for an appointment with the Advanced Nurse Practitioner.
How It Went This Time Around
I went to the doctors and met the nurse who was a lovely woman. She listened patiently as I told her everything that I have written on the pages of this blog. I told her about the many different anxious thoughts and the casual nature of suicide and death.
She told me that she didn’t want to put me on pills so she advised that I self-refer myself to MindsMatter. It is an NHS service that provides talking therapies to help those with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
I was about to leave with the leaflet for it and the nurse asked if I would do one final test. A sort of quiz on how I feel on a week by week basis. The higher the score the more severe the depression and anxiety may be. I scored 21/27. This resulted in me being prescribed 10mg of Citalopram. The aim of these drugs is to balance out the serotonin levels in the brain. This is to reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression. We shall see how successful they are.
How I feel now
Finally being seen by a medical practitioner made me feel much better. It confirmed what I wasn’t just making this up and that I do have anxiety and depression. The drugs apparently take two weeks to kick in and I have to wait for a response from MindsMatter. The fact that something is now being done makes me feel better. The truth is that just because some is invisible and is within your own mind, doesn’t mean others cannot help. If you feel you need help then seek it out.