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How do you bring up the possibility of a mental health problem for the first time with a GP?

(30 Posts)
starsareshining Thu 04-Nov-10 23:41:20

Hello. I've been meaning to see a GP for a few years now. I did go about three years ago, but I never bothered to follow any of it up. I can't really cope with living the way I am any longer. I just don't know what to say. It sounds utterly mad to just come out with all of the things that have gone on in the calm and quiet of a GPs office. How do you properly explain things when you're in such a normal setting? I'm worried that I'll just start to feel completely out of it and not be able to talk. Some people have suggested writing a letter. Is that a good idea? Will they be annoyed if it's very long?

Also, I don't know what to say! How do I start? "Hello, I think I'm mad"?! I've finally realised that other people don't experience life the same way that I do, but I don't know how relevant things are. Should I talk about when it all started and how it's changed from there? It's quite recent past (started about 5 years ago), but I have forced myself to act differently and not allowed myself to do things. I've worked very hard to get here but still struggle very much with some things. Does it seem odd that I'm going to see them at a time when my problems aren't at their worst? It isn't really that my thoughts have changed, but I have to force myself to be normal and stable because of my son.

Please tell me what to do! I'm terrified that they'll think I'm a bad mother or start sending people to my house. I don't want anybody in my house, I don't want people checking up on me or asking me questions. Is it reasonable to go to the doctor, tell them things and then expect them to stay out of your life?

FlameGrilledMama Fri 05-Nov-10 09:20:43

I recemtly went to the doctors about a serious mental health problem I had been hiding for 10 years. I sat down on the chair and said 'I have been experienceing extreme mood swings and I have been hallucinating I have also been self harming and had thoughts of killing myself can you refer me please?'

I panicked slightly because he had me admitted but I released quickly and now I am getting help no one has mentioned my DC or that this may harm them. In fact my problems were effecting my DS so when I asked for help people were relieved to have a explanation for his behaviour, and that they could worry less because I was getting help IYSWIM. I think your friends idea of a letter is a good one but keep it simple the doctor does not diagnose you only refer HTH smile

starsareshining Sun 07-Nov-10 23:07:34

I'm just terrified that they'll think I'm a bad mom. I'm absolutely terrified that they'll start interfering and prodding and making me feel that I'm not doing it properly. I work very hard to make sure that I seem stable whenever I'm around my son (part of my problem is also extreme mood swings brought on by the tiniest of things). I don't know whether they'll believe me. I think I do a very good job of seeming calm and stable when we're alone together because I have no choice, but my thoughts and feelings have not changed. I'm worried that they'll think that couldn't possibly be true. Or even that I'm fabricating the whole thing if I'm 'together' enough to control things around my son and calmly explain what's going on and what sets it off. It seems utterly mad for me to go in there and explain all of the things which are happening to me and what causes these feelings but telling them that I can't do anything about it. Argh! I think I'm too scared to go now. What if they don't believe me or think that I'm just blowing things out of proportion?

I have been finding it more difficult to cope lately as, on top of the usual problems, I seem to become depressed at this time of year. I've been on the verge of tears all day and shouted so loudly that I've hurt my throat. He told me that we could go to nanny's house and she would make me feel better because I'm very sad. It was really awful to hear him saying that. I didn't realise it was so obvious. I've just been trying so hard and now I'm clearly failing. Perhaps I am a bad mother after all

MissTired Mon 08-Nov-10 17:03:46

hi, ive been finally going to drs and talking more than just saying im depressed lately as i know all my life its been soemthing different to just depression as i have very high and low times etc, anyway today i was referred to psychiatrist (gp thinks possible bipolar) but only on 4th attempt at gps, i kept seeing different ones who werent such good listeners and didnt seem to want to listen or help, so my only advice as ive been in this position lately is persevere and try different doctors at the practice if you feel one doesnt understand xxx

MissTired Mon 08-Nov-10 17:05:53

also might help to take someone with you?? my mum came with me today which i think helped and also i wrote lots down about my feelings in bullet points so it was easier than having to say everything xx

NanaNina Mon 08-Nov-10 23:24:41

Starsareshining - you really really must pluck up the courage to see a GP and tell him/her how you are feeing - you will not be telling them anything they haven't heard before. I think misstired's advice is good about taking someone with you and making a list of bullet points. This will also help you to clarify what you are feeling, but you must be honest, because that is the only way you are going to get help.

You say your little boy mentioned "going to nanny's house" so presumably your mom is a support to you.

You say the GP might think you are fabricating or blowing things out of proportion. A good GP would not think that at all especially if you give an honest account of what is happening, your symptoms etc. Thing is not all GPs are good at mental health issues, and sometimes surgeries have GPs who specialise in m/h - it might be work asking.

The trouble is mental health problems make us feel that we are to blame and that there should be something we can do to stop the symptoms/feelings, when we don't feel like that if we have a physical illness. Feeling we are to blame and worthless is a sympton of depression and other mental health problems, just as chest pain is a sympton of angina, if you see what I mean.

Re your son - I have spent 30 years of my life as a social worker and manager though am recently retired. The first duty of social services is to offer you the support that you need, rather than thinking you are a "bad mother" - though if you let this situation continue, your son may suffer more, so please get the help you need now. You most probably need medication, and maybe visits from a social worker from mental health team for support, or visits from a Community Pyschiatric Nurse.

I am in the process of recovering from a very severe episode of depression and anxiety that landed me in hospital for 3 months earlier this year and I am still struggling as my recovery is a drawn out process. I have a brilliant CPN (community psychiatric nurse) who visits weekly and she has been an enormous help to me. I don't know where you live and I think different areas have their own policies, but I have recently found out from my CPN that people can refer themselves to the service.

You may need a referral to a consultant psychiatrist and please don't be worried about this, because GPs are not always that good at diagnosing and knowing the right medications, but this is what psychiatrists are good at doing, so it could be the first step to a brighter future for you.

SO - come on love - make that GP appt and come back and tell us how you got on. GPs are paid a lot of money to help patients and you have real (not imagined) problems which you have been suffering for too long. You need and deserve help and support.

starsareshining Wed 10-Nov-10 10:24:56

I suppose my mom is a good support to me and we see her fairly often, but he just happened to say that because he knew we were going there for tea. They have no idea of what's going on and I'd never tell them. I would never tell them that I have a problem or need help. My parents think I'm a person who is very emotionless and rational because that's the way I act around them. I don't know if they'd even believe me if I told them what was going on. I hide it very well.

Also, I don't want support! The word 'support' fills me with dread. No support involving my son, anyway. I really, really don't want people coming to my house. I don't like having people here. I hate feeling that I'm being watched and judged and I dont't generally have people at my house for that reason. Everything you said about CPN and social workers has just terrified me. In my experience, people who've tried to 'help' me in the past have been thoroughly unhelpful and unable to do things as well as I am, so their help seems pointless and humiliating. Why do you think that my son is already suffering? You said that he may suffer more. I don't think he's suffering at all. I think I'm a far better mother than most people I come across, though I'd never say that in real life. This isn't how I usually sound when I post, but I
feel a little panicked now.

chatnamefortonight Wed 10-Nov-10 10:52:52

star I really do understand where you're coming from. I'm also struggling with a MH problem at the mo and think I probably need help but just can't face talking to DH about it, seeking it. And like you the idea of anyone questioning me about/monitoring the way I look after my DDs fills me with dread. Have come to the conclusion that I'd like to go (on my own) and see a therapist or someone completely neutral who I can talk to in a confidential environment, now just have to pluck up the courage to talk to DH about it, ask GP for a recommendation etc

FWIW I think you're getting really good advice on this thread but I also understand your fears. I think the letter idea is a very good one, it's a first step at least and see what happens from there. I think it's unlikely that you will get any 'support' that you don't want.

Re your son, I'm sure you're a fantastic mother. But hard as you try to appear stable the emotions you're trying to contain will almost certainly some to the surface in some form (e.g. if you don't like someone but are v good at acting as if you do, there is almost always still a vibe there that they will pick up on). Children do pick up on the subtlest of things (I"m realising this with my own DD) and that will happen more and more as they get older so you owe it to yourself and him to try and get this sorted. Equally you may be surprised to find that your parents have picked up more than you think about your moods etc

Good luck

NurseSunshine Wed 10-Nov-10 11:02:13

What is your reason for wanting to go to the doctor? What sort of help do you envision?

NanaNina Wed 10-Nov-10 11:11:22

Dear stars - so very sorry my post upset you - that is the last thing I wanted to do as a sufferer of anx/dep myself I know how it hurts if someone says the wrong thing. Will bow out and wish you all the best.

Scruffyhound Wed 10-Nov-10 11:24:52

Can I ask how old is you little un? Is there any chance you could have post natal depression? Or did this start before the arrival of your son? I ask this because I have suffered with depression before the birth of my son (but was not aware) had my son and acted like nothing was wrong for about 6 months then totally lost it. I could not go a day without crying. I ended up seeing the GP and yes it is weird sitting there about to say your crazy and yes I worred about my son so much and did not want people poking around my house. This did not happen. I was sent for an assesment and treatment from there. I got support from the health care worker who was a lovley lady and so understanding. What im trying to say is go to the GP and say how you feel yes maybe write down what is wrong (you may forget some points when your in there) the other thing is ring a mental advice line and tell them your feelings and be honest. At the end of the day its hard now but do you want to feel like this forever? Im sure you dont and the help is out there you just need the courage to do it. Would speaking to someone on the phone be better than face to face? In which case ring a mental advise line. I cant give you any numbers as I dont know the area you live in I do know MIND are helpful. Or ring up the GP and ask for a number for a helpline or search the internet? Your not a bad mum you just need some support and it will be out there for you. smile

Scruffyhound Wed 10-Nov-10 11:35:36

Sorry Star I have said support and did not see your other post sad! Maybe just try and ring a mental health helpline that way its not asking for support and maybe it will give you some guidance? Also its over the phone not face to face. I have done this there are some lovley people out there who will just listen and maybe guide you through it. I was depressed and my dad was suffing with schizophrenia at the same time I rang a mental health helpine and explained I was trying to act normal for my dad but was finding it harder and harder to not just break down. I could not praise them enough they dont ask your name and date of birth or details you can just talk about how you feel and they listen and help you through it. No need for anyone to come to your house or bother you in that way. They may give you the confidance you need for yuor next step?

neverenoughMEtime Wed 10-Nov-10 11:45:13

Stars, i see where you are coming from. I felt very much the same and was on here asking how on earth im going to tell the doctor my issues. I felt totally overwhelmed and really crazy whenever i planned what i was going to say. I totally get what you mean about sitting there in the calm, normal GP's room and blurting out about these mad thoughts and feelings, i would cry every time i even thought about going. I was scared also about any intervention, social workers, community nurses etc no way, i didn't/don't want any of that. I don't need support with my kids and house.

So, off i went to the GP with a list of things i was going to say. I was so ill at that time with anxiety that the wait in the waiting room was pure hell. I got into the room and just broke down. It was so embarassing BUT, once i had let go of trying to appear normal my anxiety vanished. I just told him my issues with severe anxiety/agoraphobia etc etc. He put "psychotic features" on my record which scared the hell out of me but no-one said anything more about it, no-one asked about my kids and no-one comes to my house I was put on the list to see a psychologist for CBT, which just meant going to the doctors for hour sessions each week and it has done me the world of good. Obviously im not sure of your problem but there will be something out there for you, you can tell the GP that you would feel better seeing someone at the surgery for sessions rather than having anyone come to you.

Go to the GP, you will feel so much better i promise. Good luck and keep posting if it helps.

starsareshining Fri 12-Nov-10 12:11:13

Hello all. Thanks for the replies. Wasn't expecting quite so many responses! I think I'm going to explain things a bit further (if that isn't too indulgent!) and try not to cringe too much. I suppose you are all posting on the mental health forum and so have heard/experienced this kind of stuff before.

Ok, firstly, NanaNina, there's no need to apologise. You didn't say anything wrong and I was probably overreacting. Please don't feel bad.

NurseSunshine, I don't really know. I assume I'd receive medication or some sort of treatment which will help me to feel more normal. But everytime I begin to consider this, I start to worry that I'm just imagining everything and everyone probably feels this way (in fact, I believed that for years) and that I'm overreacting to everything. Other people have real problems and there is often a reason for them, but there is no reason for my life to have gone the way it has. No awful past or anything like that. I'm also a little worried about the practicalities of treatment. I don't want other people to know, but I can't exactly take my son with me. Or is that allowed? It seems odd. So I'd have to ask my parents to babysit and they'd want to know why. Plus, that could only happen at night because they both work full time. Do they even offer things at night?

My little boy is almost three and I'm not sure how much of my problems affect him. We don't get out very much at all. I don't have any friends so he doesn't get to play with other children/people very often. I do worry that I'm depriving him of those things, but I don't know how to change it.

Anyway, a few of the things which are going on. In answer to Scruffyhound, no I don't think I have postnatal depression. I was feeling very bad for a few years before I became pregnant. Shortish backstory: I have always had incredibly low self esteem despite being very bright and doing well at almost everything. I think people would think it was a joke when I talked about myself. I don't like people looking at my face (or any part of my body really) so often turn my face away during conversation or cover it with my hands as much as possible. Started to feel really bad at around 17. Seemed to develop some sort of eating disorder, went from being the star pupil of my school to somebody who no longer attended sixth form because I couldn't get out of bed. Funnily enough, no-one thought this was strange. Just treated me like a naughty little girl. I would sometimes just lie in bed all day in silence so my dad wouldn't know I hadn't gone in (he gets home during the afternoon). I also started drinking a lot and often drank before attending sixth form because I couldn't talk to people unless I was drunk. I frequently felt disconnected from the rest of the world, as though I wasn't really there. I thought it was just something which happened to everyone.

Despite all of this, I won a place at a conservatoire. My boyfriend broke up with me because of my unreasonable behaviour (which I hadn't realised was unreasonable). I used to hit him, even in front of other people and scream at him. I was obsessed with the idea of him cheating on me and would threaten people around him. Wouldn't allow him to really look at women on TV if I thought they were better looking than myself. I once threw a glass candle holder at him in the middle of a party because he was sitting on a chair I wanted to sit on. It missed him but smashed against the wall. I also managed to get a reputation as being a bit sex obsessed, which I was, even though he was the first person I'd slept with. I would shout at him if we hadn't had sex that day. All of this stuff was interspersed with me being a bloody excellent girlfriend and lovely and fun. I had quite a male 'following' and treated a lot of people like shit because I didn't care about their feelings. Even now, I find it difficult to care about problems in other people's lives. But it seems odd for me to say that because it's not true all of the time. Nothing of my personality seems stable or true all of the time. I don't know how to act when I meet people because nothing feels natural. I am a very different person depending on who I'm with.

I was quite prone to violent/aggressive outbursts, usually aimed at men. (I'm not even large, was only about 7.5 stone at the time! Can't believe I didn't get a good smack to the face, actually) I punched a table during an A level maths lesson because my teacher refused to enter me for a re-sit (they were understandably concerned as I'd sat exams in the past and not answered any questions. Just sat there with tears in my eyes. All sounds so mad!) My friends described me as 'volatile' and 'crazy, but in a good way', as though I was some great, kooky gal. They didn't realise how much I was struggling.

Anyway, didn't cope well with being at uni. Was completely disconnected with the rest of the world and people openly disliked me. My behaviour became more and more odd and the uni requested that I have counselling. I had 'boyfriends' there, because I can't stand to be alone. I barely knew them and didn't like them. I started to wonder whether I was actually real or whether I was invisible some of the time. Obviously, did not make any friends as they all thought I was insane. Was obsessed with a person at one point and I think it scared him. It was pretty scary. I would switch from angry/sad/sweet/not bothered within minutes when I was talking to him, trying to force him to like me. Also still sleeping with my ex and crying hysterically every time he left because I didn't know how else to keep him in my life. I did consider killing myself at one point (there's a big drop outside the main entrance of the uni) and was building up the courage to climb over the railings, but soon realised I didn't want to die, I just wanted people to realise I really, really wasn't ok. (Got a bit scared that I might actually fall cos the railing was quite slippery )

Erm, stopped attending uni and got together with my son's father. I hated him. Nothing in common, he's incredibly supid and his family are vile and all possibly have mental health problems too. Really messed up lives, so that was even more difficult to cope with. I'd been plunged into a world of insanity. I didn't believe that I was real by now, or that my actions had consequences, so had unprotected sex all the time, as that was what he wanted. He was quite forceful and I just went along with it. Had a crowd of very rough, stupid friends who knew absolutely nothing about me other than I also hung around in rough pubs and was 'a laff'. So had lots of empty friendships with people who could not connect with me on the level I wanted/needed. Yes, was pregnant, didn't do anything about it because I just didn't care about what happened to me anymore.

Obviously, had a baby, felt very wrong still. Although, I had an eclamptic fit so was quite unusual feeling for a while afterwards and had short term memory problems. Actually, a lot of this stuff is hazy in my memory because it was almost literally hazy at the time. I did not experience life the way I do now. People assumed I was a stupid, scummy young mother. People I went to school with were amazed that I'd had a baby since I'd had an incredibly bright future ahead of me.

Now, I have spent the past few years dragging myself back from all of that and feel better, but still not quite normal. I do not have any friends and find that very difficult. I don't think I'm in a position where I can make friends. I don't know how to act/what to say. I do experience paranoid thoughts. I assume that people hate me, can't stand having people in my house, read into things which were probably given very little thought. Have been with my partner for a year now, although it unfortunately remains long distance. Haven't met any of his friends because I know I won't be able to cope with it. I did meet one uni friend and was almost in tears. Stopped talking, staring into the distance, disconnected from the situation again, started mouthing things to myself and fought the urge to stand up and run out into the street. I did eventaully stand up and say 'I want to go now', so we went. Partner and friend exchanged a 'look'. Felt panicked for about an hour after that and just walked around London crying. Couldn't even explain how I was feeling other than wrong. That is how I feel a lot of the time. Just 'wrong'. Locked myself in the bathroom when I met his family because I couldn't face seeing them. It was all too much in my head and I couldn't cope. Luckily, they didn't notice and I just said I'd been getting ready and it took too long. Then, I also find it difficult to make friends because I hold people to very high standards and always feel disappointed. I think someone is the bees knees and then I find out something I don't like and that's it. They're like the devil in my mind My mom describes me as 'fickle', in that I think someone is the best thing since sliced bread and then just 'go off them'. A comical example of this is the time I dumped a boy because I found out he didn't change his socks daily. My moods are also very affected by... nothing. If I leave the house, I don't know how many emotions I'm going to experience before I get back. It is draining. Most recently, I went to a supermarket and felt as though I'd walked into heaven on earth. Everyone was lovely and friendly, I felt like I should live there because I felt so happy there. Then I saw the face of one of the checkout workers and it all came crashing down. Felt unwanted, unwelcome and a bit scared. She wasn't even looking at me!

Throughout all of this, I managed to convince people that I was happy and make jokes about the things going on in my life. I managed to convince them that everything was fine and that I was making rational decisions.

I'm really not that bad at all now, but I still have all of those thoughts. I understand them more now and force myself to act differently but it's still not great. I try to go to surestart but I feel so anxious that it'll be full when I get there that I can barely breathe when I walk through the door. Then stand on my own alternating between tears in my eyes as I'm such a shit mom and I'm letting my son down and feeling on top of the world because one of the moms made eye contact with me. I rarely go out anywhere because I feel that I'm putting people out just by being around them/irritating them with my presence. I feel that bus drivers will be annoyed that they have to stop the bus so I can get on and then other people will hate me for taking up a seat. I realy panic about it and never build up the courage to go out. I have had the urge to hit my boyfriend, but not done it because I know he'd leave me. I've locked him in the house and hidden the keys because I'm terrified that he'll go and never come back. When that madness has disappeared again, I make jokes about my behaviour. I am very, very demanding and he's the only person I talk to. I worry that he will meet someone else because almost every woman out there must be better than me and that will suddenly occur to him one day. I do remember crying at around 17 because someone remembered my name and I'd thought I was so shit that I would be instantly forgotten.

That was very long and I've made myself sound really mad now. I don't think that most of what is going on internally is actually noticable to other people. I doubt that most of you will read that, but I've blurted it all out now and can't edit it because my son is using my body as a clmbing frame. Basically, things aren't as bad as they were, and i've worked really hard to get to this point, but I don't know what to do now. And could i have some advice on condensing that for a doctor please?? I do waffle

neverenoughMEtime Fri 12-Nov-10 20:47:39

I think you should print this page and take it to your GP.
Also have a read of this:

psychcentral.com/lib/2007/symptoms-of-borderline-p ersonality-disorder/

Sounds like you have a few of the symptoms? Good luck, hope you get on ok at the doctors.

FrozenNorthPole Fri 12-Nov-10 23:10:18

I'd suggest:

1. Ask for a double appointment (you won't have to explain why when you book it, but it will mean that there is no time pressure on you or the doctor)

2. As a first step, try to think of the top five things that are bothering you now e.g. mood swings, overwhelming anxiety, feelings of paranoia etc. Write them down to take with you - it will help the GP to understand what your greatest immediate needs are, and will - as you requested - be a first step to condensing things.

3. Plan your first sentence for the doctor like a script, and if you need to write it down. As an example, "I have come here today because I am concerned about some thoughts and feelings I am having. I would like some help with this (or insert anything specific you would like e.g. a referral for counselling if you have something in mind). It is very hard for me to talk about this and I have worried a lot about coming here. I have written down some of the things that I am struggling with, but there are more."
Of course, this is only an example but it can help to have it planned out. If you write it down you can always just pass the piece of paper to the doctor if words fail you.

4. The history you gave above is very good and detailed, and I would definitely advise printing it out if you think it will help you, particularly for subsequent appointments. However, there will not be enough time in the first appointment to work through the whole history, so you need to work out what you would like to achieve from the appointment and make sure that you communicate it to the doctor.

May I ask whether you go through several days of elation followed by feelings of inertia and depression, or whether the mood cycles have always come very rapidly?

starsareshining Fri 12-Nov-10 23:14:14

Thanks for taking the time to read that mammoth post. I was worried it'd go unread/unnoticed. Isn't it a bit much to take this to my GP? Most of this stuff happened a couple of years ago, so is it still relevant.

I have also noticed that I have a few of the symptoms, although they are now lessened. It is a scary thought and puts me off going even more. I can't help but worry that, with something like that on my medical record, I'll be virtually unemployable. Would an employer be able to see that? And surely people would question my competence as a parent if I was diagnosed with something like that. As far as I'm aware, it's a pretty serious diagnosis.

There is a history of mental illness within my family. I once told my mom that I was worried it meant I had 'bad blood'. I can't stop thinking about that now. What if my son feels this way? I'd hate to think that I've passed something on to him.

starsareshining Fri 12-Nov-10 23:23:05

Sorry FrozenNorthPole, cross posted with you there. That's very good advice. Thank you. I will follow your advice but still feel a little worried that they'll think I'm wasting their time. The mental health equivalent of turning up and telling them that I broke my arm ten years ago but no longer have any problems with it.

My moods change very quickly and have ever since I've been feeling 'odd'. It can happen within seconds. For example, if I don't get the response I was hoping for during a conversation, my mood just drops.

Eurostar Sat 13-Nov-10 02:27:00

Stars - it sounds like you've have been very strong to keep yourself going through this.

I would suggest too that you write down something similar to your post for the G.P. but maybe reverse it so you start with how you feel now and then list back some history to when it started.

Yes, there will be some notes about this on your medical record but it is worth that to get treatment. If an employer is caught discriminating against you for this, they would be in trouble. There are big big efforts being made to help people with mental health conditions get and stay in work as it has been shown to be so beneficial for most people to have that focus and social contact.

The availablility of mental health services is quite a post code lottery. If you Google your area plus "mental health trust" you will be able to find your local trust and read about what they do. Referral to them will be via your G.P. Given what you've been through I'd be asking for an assessment with a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist - your symptoms will not be unfamiliar to them.

Wish you all the best and I respect you for reaching out.

starsareshining Sat 13-Nov-10 09:00:47

I've googled the mental health trust in my area but am unsure of how it compares with other areas. It all just puts me off. Does anybody else feel this way? I hate seeing these websites with simplified information and basic help offered. It makes me feel quite weak and pathetic and as though people think I need their help because I'm so helpless.

I suppose I've been put off by the 'helpful' experiences I've had with other services. Would this be similar? I know that the people who work in this field won't be judgemental, but I'm really dreading the things that might happen. I was referred to the young persons midwife when I was pregnant and treated like a stupid young girl. They admitted that they couldn't actually do anything for me because all they offered were things such as basic numeracy and literacy courses. They also tried to pressure me into going to a young mothers group filled with much younger teenagers. They didn't realise that I was two weeks off twenty by the time I gave birth because I look younger than I am. They made me talk about my hobbies and the kind of things I do with my friends. It is completely irrelevant. I felt humiliated and angry. Were they expecting me to tell them that I hang around on street corners mugging old ladies?

Then there's been the 'help' I've received from the job centre. I've been patronised by people who do not have a clue. They don't seem to be able to follow what I'm talking about and one of the advisors couldn't hide her surprise when I mentioned that I'd gotten an A at A level. I know this is slightly off topic but it's really put me off seeking help. I feel that there's no help they can really offer me! I'm just quite sick of being spoken to as though I'm a stupid little girl.

What will they do? Will they come to my house? I really don't want people coming to my house. What is the purpose of the community mental health team visiting your home? Is it just to check up on you? I don't imagine that I'll have anything to say. I'm getting quite worked up about this now. Please come and ease my mind

madmouse Sat 13-Nov-10 09:22:39

Star <sorry bit blunt here> - you are making excuses not to seek the help you need. It's called having cold feet. I've done it, I'm sure others have done too. My dear friend who's been my rock through my illness and problems still has the text on his phone from nearly two years ago in which I told him the Dr had diagnosed me with PTSD and I guess I should accept there is a problem now..

Just make that appointment and be honest about how you feel.

starsareshining Sat 13-Nov-10 09:28:03

But do I really need help?? I might just be making a fuss over nothing. It's not as though I'm sitting here crying and feeling shit right now. I feel ok. If I went to see a doctor right now it'd all feel like a big attention seeking lie.

I don't want to tell anybody (other than my partner) that I'm doing this. Is it realistic to think that I can keep this from my parents? They live in the next street and we see them 3-5 times a week. I don't want to tell them a thing. I really feel like I could just keep struggling on and things wouldn't get worse. I could just cope with it.

madmouse Sat 13-Nov-10 09:49:30

So why not tell doc that you have had a bit of a hard time and you feel you need to work things through can they refer you to counselling? There will be a wait but hopefully you will get the chance to talk your issues through in a confidential setting with a counsellor and then make up your own mind whether you have a problem or not.

Quite honestly though, I recognise I am no expert but when I read your long post yesterday I did think yes you definitely have a problem. How did you end up with such a low self esteem? Were you treated well when you were young?

Some of the symptoms you mention (like going from thinking someone is the bees knees to 'hating' them) remind me of Border Line Personality type issues.

My feeling is that life can get a lot better for you if you start letting people in.

3andahalfmonkeys Sat 13-Nov-10 10:12:21

star
i have mental health problems and i get where you are coming from about letting people in for fear of them thinking you are a bad mum but please do it. they don't judge you - i have a cpn who comes out to see me and although i told her some stuff i never told her that i sometimes find myself wanting to leave my children or that my mood can change towards one of my dc in minutes because of something trivial for fear of being a bad mum. she now knows after a while and it has helped me feel normal. please take all the help you can get while its available.

starsareshining Sat 13-Nov-10 11:36:59

I think part of the reason I'm so reluctant to do this is that I don't know what will happen. I am now very, very reluctant to do things unless I know exactly what will be happening and when. This is just kind of throwing myself head first into something and seeing what happens. There's no way I can prepare myself for it.

3andahalfmonkeys, did they make any enquiries about your children at all? Was it ever considered that you may not be up to the job? Or do they just help you with your problem and leave your children out of it?

madmouse, I don't really know why I have such low self esteem. People are often really surprised by it. No, I didn't have a bad childhood. My parents both had very abusive childhoods and, although young and naive, tried their hardest to do things differently for me and my sister. They worked incredibly hard to improve our lives. We lived in absolute poverty when we were younger and they worked and worked to make sure we were well looked after and had a stable and fun childhood. I have great respect for them for doing this, but then there are parts which I'm not particularly happy with. It's another example of how I struggle to come to any kind of balanced conclusion. It's either 'They were incredible parents who worked their way out of a terrible situation' or 'My dad treats my mom as a subordinate, my mom spouts daily mail crap, I am unhappy with the way they didn't push me in childhood when I was clearly bored and desperate to do more and the violence/aggression in our house (not regularly occuring) was unacceptable'. There is no middle ground. But I'd say that, if another person was to evaluate my chilhood, it was very good overall.

Very wordy. Sorry. I don't get to talk to people very much!

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