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  • Amy Shannon

HELP! What can I do?

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

In this post, I will be talking about different types of help and where and how you can get it.


GP

The majority of the time, people with depression will go to their GP for help first. Your GP can offer many different resources to help you. Your GP will, more than likely, give you a questionnaire on how you have been feeling during the last week or two. This is just to assess how depressed you are and how much help you will need. The types of help that the GP can offer you are;

1. Counseling

2. Anti-depressants

3. And Psychiatry


Self Referrals

There are many places you can go without having to go to the GP first for a referral. There are various private counseling and psychiatry establishments that you can go to on your own. For example, I went to a place called Inspire for counseling and, I have to admit, they helped me a lot in the 6 weeks I was with them. This is a self-referral place that I heard about when I was at Northern Regional College.


Counseling

I have been to various counseling places and there are pros and cons to this experience.


Pros

1. Counseling can be very helpful as it helps you get out everything that you may feel that you can't talk to anyone else about.


2. They can help you work through any problems that you may have through various types of therapy. For example, Talk therapy and Art therapy. I'm not very good at art so I have never gone to art therapy, but I get the concept and believe it would help some people.


3. They can help by giving you the tools to help manage your feelings and issues.


4. They try to make you feel comfortable, even if your feelings become too much and you start crying.


5. They can help you see your problems in a different light to help work through them.


Cons

1. Each counselor has their own set of skills and therefore, they may not have the skills or training to help you through your issues but, they will be able to refer you to one of their colleagues that are trained to help you through whatever issue you may be having,


2. Counseling sessions may only last 6 to 8 weeks. Some people may need more time to sort through their issues. For example, every time I went to a new counselor, my whole first session would be wasted trying to get them to understand my family tree. I have nine brothers and sisters and I'm not going to get into the details so I'm just going to say it's complicated.


3. You may not agree with what your counselor says. After all, you are two different people with two different personalities, but just know that they are only trying to help and what they are saying just might help. If you seriously disagree with them you can always ask for another counselor.


4. If you do not want help then counseling will not help. You have to be open to the experience or all the counseling sessions in the world will not help you through any problems or issues you may have.


5. You may have to travel a good distance to get to your counselor and, if you do not drive, that could be a problem.


That is 5 cons and 5 pros. These may vary between people and some pros may be cons or vice versa.


Anti-depressants

Anti-depressants help lots of people every day. They can have bad side effects but they also have very good side effects.


Pros

1. Anti-depressants are a fast way of feeling relief from your depression symptoms. They usually start working after 2 weeks and fully build up in 6 - 8 weeks.


2. When someone is on the right medication(s) for them then they will feel much better. This may take a few tries as not all medications work for everyone.


3. Antidepressants can help more than just depression. They can also help conditions such as eating disorders, chronic pain, and anxiety. I knew someone on Amitriptyline, a type of anti-depressant called a tricyclic anti-depressant, for chronic pain they were having in their leg.


4. They help correct the chemical imbalance in your brain that causes depression.


5. May help to regulate sleeping patterns by curing insomnia or stopping people from sleeping too much. A very common side effect of depression.


Cons

1. They can make you feel much worse than you usually feel before they make you feel better.


2. They increase the likelihood of suicidal thoughts and behaviour.


3. There are a lot of possible physical side effects such as fast heartbeat, constipation, low blood pressure, etc.


4. In some people, the benefits of anti-depressants can take up to 30 days before they start working.


5. It may take a while before someone finds the right dosage or anti-depressant.


That is 5 cons and 5 pros for anti-depressants. This may not be the case for everyone.


Psychiatry

This is pretty much the same as counseling, at least in my experience it has been, except they will diagnose you with any conditions you may have. For example, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Manic Depression


I hope you enjoyed this post. Please subscribe to the website for instant emails as to when I publish more posts and become a member of the group on Facebook where you will have a safe place to talk about any issues you may be having or give anyone else advice you may have.


Amy Shannon

Belfast

N.I.

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Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

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