Bit of a tough question I know, but stay with me.
Every day I speak to so many strong, incredible women in my community about their mental health. The conversation usually starts with the ladies explaining unwanted thoughts or behaviours that they're struggling to understand about themselves. Now here's a question for you, as women do you think we're constantly trying to figure out or come to a conclusion about what's going on up there in our minds? Over analysing every thought can use up so much of our energy, energy we really can't afford to give away to thoughts that are beyond our control and possible beyond needing any type of analysing. When we begin to over analyse every thought that creeps in we subconsciously begin to give away the control we have across our minds. We do this daily with what we choose to consume from the environments we're in. This could be what you're currently watching on TV, a friend who is offloading over to you or a job you've had enough of. When we put ourselves in toxic environments we're flooding our mind with thoughts the same level of toxicity. Those type of thoughts aren't easy to analyze because they're not only unwanted, but they're irrational inner self-belief issues that we hold about ourselves. For example, whenever I had thought I couldn't over analyse it would stem back to me being a people pleaser, and always reflected on the person or situation the thought was around. This is why I encourage my clients to identify the environment that they're in before concluding that they're depressed because there's a massive difference between depression and being drowned by the negative people or toxic environment that they're currently in.
This brings me to my next question that some people may become defensive about answering but I'm going to ask it anyway because I think the more real we are about what's going on for us the more real and effective the support we receive will be. Is 15 minutes ( I'm being kind with time there ) with your GP enough to diagnose depression? And is it enough time to be prescribed anti-depressive medication? Should there be another way or another opportunity for the medical profession to explore this with patients before writing a prescription? Before you ask, I'm not anti-medication because I'm a big supporter that we should do what's best for us in that situation and if that means medication to help me then sign me up. What I'm trying to say is that sometimes being prescribed medication shouldn't always be the first option, but for 95% of my clients, it has been offered at their first GP visit, sometimes with GP's who don't know anything or very little about them. Is this ok? I'm not too sure, but then again what's the answer here because I know the NHS wellbeing and mental health sectors are inundated with referrals.
I believe that more time and care is needed in all areas of mental health and it's needed now. But for now when the crisis from Coivd is still raw and affecting our NHS what can we do to support ourselves? We can start with identifying if we're happy being in the environment we're currently in, asking ourselves daily and reminding ourselves that if something doesn't feel right or light us up inside to live our best life then is there a change that needs to be made? This is a clear 'It's not you, it's me' situation. It might not be depression, it might just be that overwhelming feeling of being fed up, being pulled from pillar to post and everyone wanting something from you 24 hours 7 days a week. Maybe just maybe, you've had enough and your mind is trying to guide you to the changes that need making? Don't let it be a conflict, listen and identify those changes and go out and make them, for yourself.
Stay safe and please remember that reaching out to your GP is a great step in supporting your health, while reaching out keep in mind the different options you have to have that support guiding you every step of the way. You're never alone, so many people are waiting to help you even though it might not feel this way it's true, just look at the link of support I've added to the bottom of this blog.
Samaritans 116 123