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depressed and no help

36 replies

BusyBB · 02/12/2019 21:08

I posted recently that I'd had a horrible initial assessment with healthy minds. They got back to me saying they can only offer 6 sessions of telephone low intensity therapy and the waiting list is 8 months.

I feel like I'm really trying to hold it together and continue going to work and functioning while balancing on the edge of the abyss.

I'm the only support for my father with schizophrenia and I'm scared because I'm at the beginning of the age group where women are typically diagnosed.

I feel like I'm asking for help but it won't be given until I've already fallen and ruined my life.

OP posts:

topcat2014 · 02/12/2019 21:13

Can you afford private counselling? It is horrible having to wait, and scary to think how things are rationed like this. Good luck.


Bluerussian · 02/12/2019 21:16

As topcat suggests, do look into private counselling in your area. There are many organisations which take personal financial circumstances into account and subsidise or give free sessions; it works because of the better off clients who can pay the full whack.

Westminster Pastoral Foundation is one of those, so is Counselling South London.


Cryalot2 · 02/12/2019 21:17

Most health centers have someone.
I got the most help from private councelling. She really helped me no end. I hate to think on what I spent .
Turn2me used to supply help at a low rate .


BusyBB · 02/12/2019 21:23

I've looked in the private counselling in my area, it starts at £50 per session which is really a lot more than I can afford.

OP posts:

FunkyWiseWords · 02/12/2019 21:36

This may only help a little, it did wonders for me - start taking vitamin D3 - 3000 IU (D3 75 ug). High doses of vitamin D3 have been clinically shown to make a difference to mental and physical well being. It is a high dose but perfectly safe.

Sending you virtual hugs.


lexiepuppy · 02/12/2019 21:58

Can you start reading some self help books and watching videos on YouTube that can help you?
Just until you can get some face to face counselling. Pinterest will have lots of good articles which may help you too.

I would suggest looking up about complex ptsd which is having constant trauma throughout childhood and how it affects adult life, living with a schizophrenic father would have been a challenging experience.

Supporting your dad with schizophrenia must be very difficult for you, my nanna had it.

Stay strong.Flowers


HarveySchlumpfenburger · 02/12/2019 22:38

Have you spoken to your GP at all? As a PP said most will have a counsellor that they will refer you too. They might also know of other places locally that will provide therapy free or at minimal cost.


Weevle84 · 02/12/2019 23:11

GPs can put you on the online NHS "beating the blues" course. It is CBT and I found it so helpful and I still use the techniques regularly. You need to go in to it with an open mind and you will only really get out of it properly if you do the homework they give you which is things like noting when certain thoughts/behaviours arise. Counselling is fantastic but this really is a good in between to bridge the gap.


BusyBB · 02/12/2019 23:36

@FunkyWiseWords Thank you I will try to find some.

@weevle84 I'm seeing my gp who is lovely but hasn't offered an alternative to the team that have pretty much turned me down.

@lexiepuppy It was hard as a child, my mum left when he was getting ill (me age 4) so I believed all his delusions as he was the only adult to never "betray" me, but it was hard to hear about the (delusion about) the family he had before us and how people were trying to get us. only went back to living with mum a few years later when he was sectioned. And it's hard now that I've become an adult and realise that his delusions aren't true, and the parent/child roles have reversed somewhat. thanks for understanding. sorry to hear about your nanna too.

OP posts:

lexiepuppy · 04/12/2019 09:14

I hope you can get some counselling quickly. Try and buy the book Complex ptsd by Pete Walker. You can get it on EBay quite cheap.

You have had an awful lot of trauma and you need a lot of support.
Do you have friends and family to help you?


MrsMaiselsMuff · 04/12/2019 09:23

Most health centres don't have their own counsellor, it's all been outsourced to IAPT providers like Healthy Minds. They may work from a local centre, but it's the same waiting list.

Sorry OP, this is the state of the NHS now. Remember when you vote next week what the Tories have done to the NHS.

As you're a carer you may be able to get support through a local carers group. Also search for "free counselling" and the name of your area to see what comes up.


everybodyneedsomebody · 04/12/2019 09:52

I’m sorry OP.

In the meantime my advice is:

Start a course of antidepressants from your GP: give them a month or two to kick in and if they aren’t helping try a different one. Can take time to find one that works for you.

Begin a depression self help course of therapy. This is fantastic

Download and print the workbook and start going through it, maybe aim for a module per fortnight. It’s hard work to summon up the motivation when you’re depressed of course, but it’s similar to what you’d be doing with your six sessions in eight months anyway, if not a bit more in depth. The therapy you’re waiting for is likely to be guided self help so you may as well crack on now. There’s a lot of evidence behind this material and if you follow it you will likely see results. Better than stagnating helplessly for months.

Ring the Samaritans regularly to let off steam and share what you’re going through and how you’re feeling. You can ring them any time or go visit a branch. They’re there for people in emotional distress and you don’t have to be suicidal. The volunteers do actually care and while they’re not trained counsellors, the act of taking an hour every week or so to focus on yourself and get some support and talk things over could really plug the gap in terms of what you’re not receiving due to the wait for therapy.

Exercise. Nothing major. A twenty minute walk per day with headphones if you can manage it. It’s proven to boost mood and be effective for depression.

There’s help out there, it may not be the exact form of help you expected at this time, but there’s a lot you can do to tackle depression beyond formal therapy and if you’re motivated enough to post here about it I reckon you’re motivated enough to take matters into your own hands and make a start. Therapy isn’t a magic cure anyway, as I’m sure you know, it still requires you to do the work even if someone is cheering you on and guiding you through what to do. Good luck. I’ve been there.


BusyBB · 05/12/2019 21:41

thanks for all your suggestions. I started seeing my gp 10 weeks ago, got put on an antidepressant for 7 weeks but had to switch because it turned me into a zombie. new one that I'm on now seems better but it's only been 3 weeks so I need to give it more of a chance.

I agree with keeping active to make you feel better, but unfortunately I've been injured so it's walking only atm, but I try to do 15000 steps a day. (slowly)

you have some really good ideas, especially about ringing the Samaritans. i feel like I don't deserve help but feeling like that is making me feel worse.

I think I should download those work books as you say, especially as I'm currently sick from work due to the injury,which can make the days really stretch! although I'm sure this week will fly by as I have to prepare a demonstration for an interview for a much better job (where I won't get injured). it's really hard when thinking I'm not good enough as a person, let alone for this job which might be too much pressure anyway!

thanks again

OP posts:

BusyBB · 05/12/2019 21:43

@MrsMaiselsMuff haha thanks for the advice, I'm voting labour anyway. have been looking around free therapy. hopefully something will turn up

OP posts:

BusyBB · 05/12/2019 21:45

@lexiepuppy thanks. unfortunately I am "the strong one" but my husband has been making more of an effort after some honest conversations.

OP posts:

FunkyWiseWords · 06/12/2019 07:29

Definitely try 3000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. First thing in morning with breakfast.


SunniDay · 06/12/2019 07:37

Hi OP,
Yes Yes Yes to anti-depressants. Stick with them and keep on them.

When I was supporting someone in a mental health crises I was shocked at the lack of support. If it's not appropriate to section the person then there seemed to be nothing (except waiting months for a few counselling sessions with trainee social workers ?!)

Meds (and time) stabilised the person so that by the time counselling came round the crises part had passed and we were dealing more with the aftermath/prevention.

Taking as good care of yourself as you can is vital too. Do what you can to reduce your stress and get more rest.


FunkyWiseWords · 06/12/2019 09:39

@SunniDay all new studies on anti-depressants point to them being pretty bad with horrendous side effects.

I would not go near them with a barge pole and take natural remedies to boost mood instead and change my actual work etc circumstances.

Only people with bipolar have no choice but to go on them.

@BusyBB it's your decision ultimately depending on how poorly you feel.


FunkyWiseWords · 06/12/2019 09:44

SSRI antidepressant side effects
Some patients taking SSRIs develop insomnia, skin rashes, headaches, joint and muscle pain, stomach upset, nausea, or diarrhea. These problems are usually temporary or mild or both. A more serious potential problem is reduced blood clotting capacity because of a decreased concentration of the neurotransmitter serotonin in platelets. Patients are at slightly increased risk for internal bleeding, especially if they are also taking aspirin or another NSAID, such as ibuprofen or naproxen..

Sexual effects from SSRIs
For many patients, SSRIs diminish sexual interest, desire, performance, satisfaction, or all four. In men, SSRIs can delay or inhibit ejaculation, and in women, delay or prevent orgasm.
Lowering the dose of the SSRI antidepressant may help, although the patient may lose the drug's benefit. Another solution is adding or substituting bupropion (Wellbutrin), which works by a different mechanism and does not generally cause sexual side effects.

Loss of antidepressant effectiveness
Any antidepressant may lose its effect after months or years, sometimes because the brain has become less responsive to the drug (tolerance). Solutions include increasing the dose and switching to another antidepressant with a different mechanism of action.

SSRI antidepressant discontinuation symptoms
Symptoms that may occur on suddenly stopping an SSRI include dizziness, loss of coordination, fatigue, tingling, burning, blurred vision, insomnia, and vivid dreams. Less often, there may be nausea or diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, irritability, anxiety, and crying spells. "Discontinuation syndrome" is a better description than "withdrawal reaction," a phrase associated with addiction. The syndrome is usually mild, but can be severe.

Although none of these types of antidepressants should be stopped abruptly, paroxetine tends to produce the most intense discontinuation symptoms.


JellyfishAndShells · 06/12/2019 09:46

all new studies on anti-depressants point to them being pretty bad with horrendous side effects.

I would not go near them with a barge pole and take natural remedies to boost mood instead and change my actual work etc circumstances.

Only people with bipolar have no choice but to go on them

Well, that’s a sweeping and inaccurate statement. I have observed the positive effects of a current antidepressant on a close family member, who had been very reluctant to try them until things were really getting low and unmanageable. The only side effect that they have reported is a dry mouth. I don’t think that can be classified as horrendous.


Brimful · 06/12/2019 09:52

Just wanted to recommend texting 'Shout' - a free text service that's run by trained volunteers, they'll listen and have dozens of resources they can signpost you to. It's like the Samaritans but via text rather than phone. Number to text is 85258.


FunkyWiseWords · 06/12/2019 10:36

@JellyfishAndShells see extract from Harvard university study, posted below your message with original link.


FunkyWiseWords · 06/12/2019 10:40


FunkyWiseWords · 06/12/2019 10:42

Bad Medicine: The rise and rise of antidepressants


FunkyWiseWords · 06/12/2019 10:48

@JellyfishAndShells and here is a BBC article on the topic too, for good measure. As you can see these are not baseless. These are real concerns - throwing pills at an issue that might be better dealt with through counselling so pharmaceutical companies can turn a quick buck.

Pharmaceutical companies even have deals with the NHS so their drugs get prescribed over others.

Look, all I am saying is I would not go there but that the Op needs to make her own informed decision.

The 'extreme' side-effects of antidepressants:

People who say their lives have been ruined by commonly prescribed antidepressants, known as SSRIs, are taking their case to Parliament on Wednesday. Some users say the tablets have made them suicidal.

"I was getting seizure-like symptoms, where my muscles were jolting around of their own accord," Claire Hanley tells the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme , explaining the effects she says antidepressants had on her body.
She had begun taking them while caring for her seriously ill mother and studying for her final exams at Cambridge University, but suffered severe side-effects after her GP prescribed a stronger dose of tablet.

"Within two weeks I'd tried to take my own life twice," she says.

"I felt disorientated and sick and had digestive problems and infections, it was really extreme. I don't even know how to begin. All I can remember is being on the bedroom floor in a kind of semi-conscious state having seizure after massive seizure."

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