Monday 12 May 2014

Interview with Elizabeth

1. When you were diagnosed with depression and anxiety 10 years ago what help and support were you offered?

After a number of months struggling to pretend everything was okay my mum took me to my local GP who prescribed me with antidepressants and referred me to counselling.  Unfortunately after a first consultation appointment with the team responsible for counselling I was informed that due to lack of resources and funding counselling sessions were limited and I unfortunately did not meant the criteria for the limited counselling session spaces and they could not help me further.  My GP was always helpful and supportive but apart from that my help and support was limited to close family.

2.  Do you see anyone today about your condition?

Up until my recent house move my GP would monitor me even when visiting the doctors for another condition my regular GP knew my history and always kindly ask how I was etc but now that I have moved and have a new GP surgery I have yet to build a good relationship with my new GP but know they are there if I need them.

3. Do you feel more help and support should be offered to those with mental health conditions?

Yes.  I had very limited help and support and was made to feel as if I was not depressed enough to get the other help available in my area.  I struggled to see how my limited answers to a brief questionnaire could truly assess the true nature of my condition and its severity and felt worse after that I had failed the ‘test’ to get the help I needed and still feel I need.

When I gave up on pretending everything was okay and broke down I lost all of my friends and as I did not have professional help the only people I had to talk to and turn to were close family members and I felt that I could not talk to them about certain things and had no outlet to get them off my chest and out of my head.  Thanks to not having professional help and support I could not discuss a number of things that I feel I need to talk about and deal with.

4. What techniques do you use to combat anxiety?

I use breathing techniques and focus on the present.  When in the midst of panic I take time out and try to visualise my happy place as I calm down.  I also keep a worry diary to let my thoughts out especially when it is something I am anxious about. 

Since having my son I have found I can concur my fears a bit better and overcome my anxieties as I have him to focus on and I want to give him a good time/show him that new experiences are good and fun not scary and nerve-racking as I think (deep down) that they will be.  I now try to focus on the positives and let the negatives in my life wash away imagining and visualising as if they are being taken away in the ocean.

5. Have you experienced any ignorance towards your condition?

I have experienced people not thinking it is anything serious or life-affecting, thinking I should put a smile on my face and just get on with life. 
I have also lost friends.  I shut myself off from the world and they did not seem to miss me as they did not contact me.  Whilst I am in friendly acquaintance to a few of them now via social media or when I bump into them they do not understand and both them and I am awkward when we speak about what we have been up to because a large chunk of my years was nothing but darkness and depression.

6. What advice do you have to those who are afraid to speak out?

Remember depression is not a sign of weakness it means you have been strong for too long. 

Please speak to someone, yes it is hard but hopefully it is the first step on a road to recovery and whilst relapses do happen things can better as you get help and support and learn to manage your condition.  Do not be embarrassed or ashamed, you are courageous and mental health is a real condition.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Elizabeth who answered my questions and shared her story with us.

you can find more of Elizabeth's posts please at -


  1. Thanks so much for sharing my story. You are doing a great job at raising awareness for Mental Health Awareness week x

    1. Thank you for allowing me to share.
      aww such kind kind words thank you x