Friday 6 September 2019

You are not alone!

Emily writes about her experience seeking help during her mental health problems in her early twenties.
- Emily O'Neill

Looking back, I have struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember.

I remember having dark thoughts as a little girl. In fact, I still have my childhood diary, which makes for a sad read. My family and those close to me thought that I was a difficult child with anger problems and I remember my parents taking me to see a medical herbalist around the age of eight to see if it would be of any help.

As the years went by I became more frustrated with myself as I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I believed that my family thought that I had chosen to be miserable and irritable so, in turn, I isolated myself as much as possible. I felt as if no one in the world understood me. On reflection, I don’t think at this point, neither myself or my family did.

During my teenage years, I recall crying on my bedroom floor telling my mum that I hate myself and didn’t want to be alive anymore. We went to the doctors and I explained how I was feeling and they gave me advice to write a diary. I was already writing in a diary at the time and it had not helped me feel any better or like myself more. The next few years I struggled to live with myself and my thoughts, but was convinced that there was no other option.

As I got older, I began to hear and learn more about mental health conditions and I started to wonder whether there was a chance this could apply to me. After the death of my beloved grandma, I was in a worse mental space than I had ever been before. I finally realised that I needed to get help before I ruined or ended my life.

I self-referred myself to Talking Therapies with a psychotherapist who recommended that I undergo Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. The NHS offered me eight sessions on a weekly basis, once those sessions were finished, I was advised that I needed to seek further help privately. I then found another psychotherapist and psychiatrist privately that I saw on a weekly basis for almost a year. I had always been against antidepressants as I felt they would just mask the problem, but I now wanted to give them a try and to my delight they helped enormously.

I am delighted to say that it has been an upwards journey ever since. However, this process took me well over a decade and is still something that I have to work on most days.

I want individuals who are suffering with poor mental health to know that they are not alone, they are normal and there is help that they can get. It is now my passion to spread mental health awareness and self-help tools to as many people as possible through Balance Life Well.

I'm Emily and I'm currently working full-time whilst studying to become a counsellor. I wanted to share my story as I have suffered from depression for many years and hope that it may help others going through similar experiences to know that they are not alone. I've recently launched a website dedicated to the empowerment of mental health

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