When do you ask for help? Anxiety / Depression Part 1Arfaq Hussain
It’s the one recurring topic I can absolutely guarantee will come up every time I see a new client, or make a public speech, or even if I take a telephone enquiry. Time and time again I hear the same comments, in the same despairing and apologetic tone of voice: ‘I just didn’t want to bother anybody. I didn’t know there was anyone out there who could help me.’ The heartbreaking truth of being an anxiety and/or depression sufferer is that they will often suffer alone, and most often in complete silence. They may appear withdrawn and stand-offish, unable to integrate completely into large crowds, but even so no-one (without training) will really be able to tell how badly they’re suffering.
If you’re struggling with your anxiety and/or depression, or even if you think you have it under control and are in an ‘up’ cycle, you must gather your courage to ask for help. The second you begin talking to a trained professional is the second you begin to realise that you’re not alone and that the dark clouds can be beaten back and sent away – with time, and of course with help.
A starting point to asking for help could be your GP, by asking for an ‘adult mental health counselling’ referral. Everyone in the UK can receive free mental health counselling via the NHS if referred by your GP. There are two things to bear in mind here though. Firstly, you will have to discuss matters, at least in brief, with your GP face to face in order to get that referral. Secondly, there could be a waiting time of several weeks for the referral to come through as an appointment, depending upon the NHS waiting times for adult mental health counselling in your area.
Increasingly, people are looking to circumvent the waiting list and pay for therapy. There are quite a few options here: a quick Google search in your local area will show you who’s practising different forms of therapy, and with a little research you can look for the one that you think will suit you best. Most therapists offer an initial phone consultation free, so you can be sure you and your therapist will get along before you invest your money.