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So I've finally admitted I'm depressed but there's a long waiting list for counselling and I need help now.

(19 Posts)
missbumpy Wed 06-Aug-08 20:35:41

What do I do? I saw my GP and she was really sympathetic and referred me to a counsellor (who operates out of the GPs surgery). I was really anxious about it at first as I haven't had counselling before and felt like there was a bit of stigma attached to admitting I'm not coping and need help.
Anyway, I've come round to the idea and realise I really need the help and feel like my depression and anxiety are getting worse. I've called the GP to chase it up and was told by a really unhelpful receptionist that there's a very long waiting list for counselling.
So how do I get to see someone sooner? I can't afford to get private help. Should I go back to the GP?

thisisyesterday Wed 06-Aug-08 20:38:09

you can't IME. if there is a waiting list then you;ll just have to wait.
it's crap isn't it?
I was referred to a psychiatrist after 2 suicide attempts, and I still had to wait 4 months to see him.

bloody nhs. pointless.

missbumpy Wed 06-Aug-08 21:05:35

4 months! God, I thought it would be the next week or something. Goes to show how little I know. Thanks anyway. I might try hassling my GP on the off chance it speeds things up.

thisisyesterday Thu 07-Aug-08 10:43:05

yeah, do! they ought to at least give you a definite date instead of keeping you hanging on

DettaJnr Thu 07-Aug-08 22:48:44

The waiting list all depends on where you are living. In some areas it is longer than others.

This may sound silly, but I found yoga helped me over many hurdles. I went thinking I wanted to get fit and found that it helped my back pain (post having children) and my general train of thought. I am far more relaxed and more in control of myself. HTH

WowOoo Thu 07-Aug-08 22:57:28

When I was having a tough time I called NHS direct and the next day a doctor called ME and asked me to go in to see them. I didn't need counselling through NHS as spoke to CRUSE for bereavement (think!?) Is there a charity or org you could talk to. Samaritans point in you in right direction.

Yoga helped me too and still does at all times when I need to scream!!

Keep hassling G.P., again and again and by the time you get the app, you won't need it! Really hope you feel better soon. X

zippitippitoes Thu 07-Aug-08 23:03:12

it does take ages

exercise helps definitely for me tho when you most need it you feel least like it

ditto it helps if i dont drink alcohol or coffee tho the same applies

i really struggle but i am better at talking myself thru the worst times than i used to be

i force myself to do things i dont want to on the grounds that when i do feel better i will be glad i never gave up

anxiety i find again is something where i have to try and talk myself into managing

taking things slowly keeping lists and not over analysing all help

missbumpy Fri 08-Aug-08 10:28:23

Thanks. I'm in London so I guess the waiting lists are probably worse here.

I've never really been in to yoga. I did it while pregnant and didn't find it very helpful. Maybe I should give it another shot though.

I tried calling doctor yesterday and got a really unhelpful receptionist but I might try again today.

I am doing things. I haven't got to the hiding under duvet stage yet...although that's exactly what I want to do. I've got a 10mo to look after so I feel like having a total meltdown isn't an option as she wouldn't have anyone to look after her. If it weren't for her I'm sure I would have shut the blinds and switched off the phone a long time ago!

Kaz1967 Sat 09-Aug-08 19:09:04

Not counselling but have you thought of trying CBT? there are a couple of free on-line courses it's not the same as someone being there but at least it is something.

The one I use is Living Life to The Full I like it because I can pick bits that are appropriate to me and I found it easier to understand the other one is Mood Gym which I know people who have found helpful too.

As you have a small child to care for talk to your HV there may be a local support group for Mums.

missbumpy Mon 11-Aug-08 21:23:22

Thanks for the links. I'll look at that. There is a local counselling service for parents run through the HVs but I called up about it the other day and got someone really dozy who didn't know what counselling was and didn't know what to do with me I'm going to keep on hassling the GP. I've just looked up the symptoms for depression on the NHS website and I tick every one of them apart from being suicidal.

domesticslattern Mon 11-Aug-08 23:25:47

That sounds sensible to keep hassling the GP, especially if she was sympathetic.

The local service through the HV sounds potentially useful too. I live in London too and have a LO nearly the same age, and I found the HV was able to put me in touch with a fantastic local service which has turned things around for me with my PND. Could you make an appt to see a HV, not just talking on the phone?

Al the usual things too- talk to friends (be honest with them), good diet, exercise (yoga, swimming, whatever floats your boat), get a babysitter so you can go out, self-help books. I think that if you have a ten month old than this can be considered post-natal depression, and there are many books about overcoming that.

Hope you feel better soon- many of us have been there.

Lauriefairycake Mon 11-Aug-08 23:36:01

lots of free counselling services around (particularly in London)- try womens centres. I'm in Herts and do volunteer counselling at a womens centre and at a drug/alcohol centre.

There are at least 6 free counselling services within 4 miles of my house (I only know this cos all of my mates work at them grin) Just call all of the services in the book but not private individuals unless they offer means tested counselling.

Also if you get desperate and just want someone to talk to face-to-face (not counselling) the Samaritans have two places in London to drop into. www.samaritans.org

hope this helps and that you get something soon, look after yourself smile

missbumpy Tue 12-Aug-08 17:08:41

Thanks for the tips. I've been trying to find out about free counselling but haven't got anywhere. Things are feeling much worse today and DP and I are seriously discussing splitting up. I called the GP again today and was told I couldn't get an appointment to see her until September so I asked if I could speak to her on the phone and they said she'd call me back today. She hasn't phoned though

I think that as I start to feel worse and worse I have less energy to do anything pro-active about getting help.

I wondered if it was PND but I think it started before I gave birth. The pregnancy was a difficult time for me too and I've had a lot of financial and relationship worries for over a year now.

domesticslattern Tue 12-Aug-08 20:03:19

September? Oh poor you.

Do you have any friends that you can off-load on, while you wait for the professionals? (Not instead of, just so that you are not completely on your own).

The Samaritans tip is a good one. I once worked as one, and so I know that you have to be suicidal to contact them. Just having things that are seriously bothering you and that you need to get out, that's enough.

Kaz1967 Tue 12-Aug-08 20:23:47

missbumpy get pushy (or if you do not have the energy get partner, family, friend) to ring them. The patients charter says they MUST see you within 3 working days they cannot leave you as you are. Really is worth contacting your HV too and saying how you feel they may be able to push to get you an appointment earlier and they should also visit and offer you extra support if you are suffering from depression.

missbumpy Tue 12-Aug-08 20:46:05

So the GP has to see you within 3 working days? Is that just in general or only if you tell them that it's depression related? I told the receptionist that it was "personal" as I don't really want to announce the way I'm feeling to the world! I could probably see another GP there but the others are all men and not very good IMO and I really like this female GP. She's seen me a few times recently about my exhaustion, weight loss and feeling low. She's the one who referred me for counselling (but probably doesn't realise how long the waiting list is). So I'd like to see her again. Anyway, she didn't call me back today so I'll try to find the energy to hassle them again tomorrow.

I know it sounds silly but I feel like I'd just start crying and never stop if I just called up the Samaritans and started telling them how down I feel. I feel I need to see a face to face counsellor to work out how I'm feeling and how to make some changes. I really need some help to work out if my relationship is making me depressed and I need to get out or if it's the other way round and it's my depression that's making the relationship bad IYSWIM.

Kaz1967 Tue 12-Aug-08 22:47:47

I really understand the scared to start crying because you don't know if you could stop thing been there. Eventually you do stop sometimes it is good to let go of that emotion.

GP's are supposed to see you within 48 hours not 3 working days (my mistake), and it should be for any condition you do not have to divulge what it is to get seen urgently, but that is to see anyone within the practice. I would still push to see the female doctor if that is who you feel most comfortable with you are more likely to be honest.

Get back on the phone (or get partner to sometimes a man can be taken more seriously sad but true) tomorrow say she had started your treatment you feel no better you are actually worse and you need to speak to her at the very least. You do not have to say what is wrong to the receptionist, (I am always tempted to say something really outrageous the times I have been asked).

Still think it's worth going through the HV they are often very good at getting GP appointments for Mums or babies in my experience, because they can cut through the protective receptionist and get you what you need.

goldie11 Mon 18-Aug-08 15:54:48

Hi missbumpy, I was reading your story and can really sympathise with you. I'm 29 weeks pregnant and feeling very depressed about things. A lot of it is to do with doubts over my relationship. I have only been with my partener for a year and a half and we didn't plan to get pregnant so quickly.

Before the baby I was quite happy with things, but now I feel like I might have made a mistake. Its so hard to think straight because I don't know if I'm feeling like this because I'm depressed or because I think I've rushed into things and am regretting it?

I feel stuck, surely at this stage its better to try and get on with things and make the relationship work for the babies sake? My partner is great and would do anything for me. I should feel so lucky to have him but instead I just feel guilty that he deserves better. My mum and dad split up when I was a teenager and it affected me quite badly at the time. I wonder if I have doubts about relationships working because I'm scared the same thing will happen to me?

I've got an appointment with GP tomorrow but fully expect to be told like you have that the waiting list for counselling will take ages. How are you getting on? x

MrsMattie Mon 18-Aug-08 15:57:28

Hi missbumpy. It's a real downer, isn't it? When I had PND it took me a long time to admit to anyone I was feeling so low. Then when I finally did, it took 6 mths for a counsellor to become available. It was rotten. Unfortunately, unless you are in need of serious psychiatric help or can afford to go private, there isn't much that can be done on that front. have you talked to your GP about local support groups? that may bridge the gap for a bit while you're waiting for counselling.

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