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When do you ask for help?(12 Posts)
I have come to realise that about 20 years ago I went through a period of pretty deep darkness. I never saw or spoke to anyone about so I don't know if it was depression, but it wasn't my normal. I was 18 and in the middle of my last year in school, A levels, etc. My family are lovely, but I'm the "good child" so I tend to get overlooked/can be invisible. At the same time as I was going through the biggest thing in my life, one sister was having an unplanned pregnancy, the other was doing GCSEs and some health and school issues, and my dad was doing his first year exams having gone back to uni (still working full time). The house was busy and my mum was frantically keeping on top of everything. I completely slipped through the cracks. I didn't sleep for months; instead I cried a lot, alone in the dark. But I held it together, and no one noticed. I used to lie in bed at night, wondering what would happen if I just didn't exist any more, and how it all might be easier if I didn't. I never seriously considered acting on it, I didn't want to actually die, I just didn't want to be here any more. I don't know if that makes sense.
After saying no one noticed, in truth two people did. Two friends of mine in school. We were in the same large group of girls who were friends in school and out. They took me aside one day and asked what was wrong. I don't remember anyone else in my life at the time doing it. I lied and said I was fine. They told me I wasn't. I shrugged it off and they never mentioned it again (they were as utterly clueless as I was), but looking back, it meant so much and I think it might have been what started to pull me back.
I've had other bouts of similar feelings over the years, but never so bad or so long. In the last few months I haven't been feeling great. Not awful, but not right. I'm doing well at covering it though. I know I'd feel like a fraud going to the gp, so I'm not sure where or to go or what to do. I know I have to sort out some life stuff, practical things like getting more sleep and eating less crap, but now that I'm finally piecing things together, I'm worried it might need something else. But as the one who copes, I'm not good being seen to not be able to manage. I have no idea how to ask for help.
OP, I was always the capable child who could do and cope with everything - the 'strong' one.
Had a lovely idyllic childhood but I used to cry, very quietly; I didn't want anyone to know I was unsure or sad.
Life happened (job, marriage, 3 kids) and I finally asked for help (gp) 4 years ago. The best step ever! I'm 45 now and reassessing yet again because I can't help it!
The feelings may never leave you (I wish) but go into temporary abatement (sorry is that even a word, I'm tired) but I think you are seeking help by asking here
Thanks for replying. I'm sorry you felt the same. When you say you "didn't want anyone to know I was unsure or sad", it really resonates. My entire body ran cold today when I realised I didn't know an answer to a question I was possibly going to be asked.
I think I can ask here because I don't know you.
You should go and ask for help from your gp. It sounds like you have made the connection between what happened when you were 18 and how you feel now, and if it feels significant, it probably is. If you describe what sounds like a low mood and sleeplessness your gp should take that seriously- feeling unworthy of help doesn't mean you are, it's possibly caused by how you are feeling. I hope t things improve for you. X
You're probably right and I know if someone else was telling me this about themselves, I'd be telling them to go to their gp. I just feel like a bit of a fraud taking up an appointment...
Don't feel bad about it! I work in mental health and felt mortified when I had to go to my gp with insomnia and anxiety. I felt like my whole identity was a fraud but it was the best thing I ever did. Things can get a lot better.
KanyesVest, how is your thinking now? (About what to do I mean). Just re-read your OP and you come across as intelligent, competent, concise and probably viewed (in your family) as always able to deal with the issues that pop up = I have broad shoulders apparently (err, no I don't, that's how I appear to the world because I don't want to appear weak, I've realised that I suffer inside instead).
It's so hard to show what we might think of as a weakness - when it's not. A 15 minute GP visit will go one way or the other, make the appointment and be totally honest within those 4 walls. You really don't have anything to lose - please try - a GP appt will go one of two ways. Worst case you can talk to some lovely people on here
I would also say visit your GP mental health is just as valid a reason as physical health. Also have you considered councelling. I have found it very useful for dealing with past and present issues. You may be able to access it through your work if you work somewhere with occupational health and this is often quicker than NHS.
I'm feeling better today (after 2 nights of better sleep) so the thought of the gp seems a bit ridiculous, although the logical part of me knows it's a good idea. I think it's the palaver of making an appointment, waiting and then sitting and starting the conversation is daunting.
A chat over a glass of wine would be much easier!
I had forgotten, but I did go to a counselor a few years back, and she was lovely, but was all about nurturing my inner child, which frankly just wasn't something I could/was comfortable with at the time.
Gp is closed for lunch. I'll put my big girl pants on and ring later.
You've just described me op.
It all came to ahead for me when I had my own children and I kind of lost the plot a little bit. I'm much better now, I didn't seek help but I did take time to acknowledge and deal with the feelings.
My dad was an alcoholic, sister a nightmare child, mum trying to deal with her and I totally 'slipped through the cracks'.
for you and hope you find some resolution. Good luck with the GP.
How did you gwt on Kanyesvest? Did you make an appointment?
I'm posting here purely for selfish reasons, Your posts resonate so clearly with me that they scare me.
I have also had 'episode' when I feel invisible and worthless, right now I feel so incapable and useless but I'm afraid to ask for help or even to vocalise my feelings for fear that my feelings are justified. I too was brought up to be strong and self reliant, which is a good thing but no person is an island and we all need help sometimes. Having said that I find it almost imposible to take my own advice!
FWIW I think that your feeling are valid ones, you don't need to suffer in silence and I think that if you did ask for support you would get plenty of it. I don't think you're being weak, I think you're being increadibly brave to recognise your pain and look for resolution
I believe that if you have any doubt about asking for help, it is probably a good time to ask for help. Early this year I went through a really quite crap time, and kept ignoring it, I could not sleep, I kept worrying about stuff... anyway I just kept going "strong" until I had a horrible panic attack and then the same for weeks... anyway, I went to the doctor and she gave me the details to do a "self referral" on the NHS, to do therapy (CBT) in my case. the service is free, and available through the NHS (I believe not a lot of people know about it). But I would go to GP and explain you are not sleeping, etc etc and ask for help / information about the service. I have now done the CBT for 4 months and feel a LOT better. Another place to ask for help is MIND, if you google, they have a phone number and they can give you information about services in your area. I wish you get better, look after yourself. xx
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