As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we are sharing stories of how people have benefited from ²gether services.
Helen, age 40, from Gloucestershire, contacted Let’s Talk on the advice of her GP.
She said: “My GP advised me that the chronic teeth grinding I had been experiencing is often a physical symptom of underlying stress, anxiety and depression.
“I realised at this point that my years of suffering from varying degrees of depression and anxiety had to be addressed more fully than with just another course of medication. A number of events and factors stemming from my childhood, and throughout my adult life, have contributed to my Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
“My experiences over the years, including feeling that I ‘didn’t fit in’ as a child, suffering post-natal depression, the breakdown of my marriage, and the loss of my job due to a complete breakdown, have all contributed.
“I contacted Let’s Talk and my initial contact was through a telephone consultation. Subsequently, I have started one-to-one therapy.
“Therapy has helped me unlock some of the many blanks from my life, as I have, by way of trying to cope, shut a lot out. Therapy has challenged me. I have found it very emotional but it has also been a great opportunity for me to speak about what I have been through and how this makes me feel.
“The first sessions were particularly difficult and, if I am honest, I found it hard to want to go on as it was really heightening my negative feelings and emotions. I explained this to my therapist and she helped me understand that it is really important to allow yourself to face this. I am so glad I continued as I have learned about my Generalised Anxiety Disorder and I can now recognise my own negative thought processes and can start to try to restructure these.
“I know my ‘rules for living’ and am attempting to challenge these. I can distinguish the difference between productive and unproductive worry; I feel less stressed about specific situations. We have discussed grief and loss, and not just in the sense of loved ones but also of physical and emotional losses; this plays a huge part in my levels of stress and anxiety.
“I feel that overall, this has not been a quick fix but it has certainly enabled me to feel optimistic that I am taking control of my anxieties.
“I would recommend Let’s Talk to other people, and have done since I started my sessions.”
If you are experiencing issues with your mental health or wellbeing, you should speak to your GP or, if you live in Herefordshire or Gloucestershire, contact Let’s Talk on 0800 073 2200. You can also visit www.talkghc.nhs.uk.