Tag Archives: doctors

Why mental health desperately needs to be on the national curriculum

15 Jul

IMG_0319[1]In the past week I have read two articles that have lead me to write this short post. One was in The Guardian, which you can read here and the other one can be seen here

Needless to say I agree with the sentiments wholeheartedly and feel mental health education should be a core part of a young persons development, especially considering the sheer number of people that will experience a mental health issue.

Speaking for myself and from experience, I remember the sheer confusion and alienation I felt when my own issues started to arise. With no understanding of what was happening and why I was feeling the way I was, I suddenly felt very isolated and withdrawn. I started down a well worn path of damaging behaviours to try and make myself feel better, or at the very least, try and restore some order to what was now a strange world.

I strongly believe that had there been a framework in place whereby I had been educated on mental health matters as a matter of course then things could have improved far quicker for me then they have.

I’m talking about simple awareness of the issues alongside education on how to tackle them. Now more then ever with the ever increasing knowledge we have of mental illnesses and different ways to treat them we should be giving our young people the tools to deal with and simply understand mental health.

Mental health education would also dovetail well with our increasing focus on improving our youngsters fitness and diet. Mental health education should be part of an overarching program to promote healthy bodies and also healthy minds.

Educating young people will also only help society move further forward on the way people with mental issues are viewed.

Advertisements

You Never Forget Your First Time

28 Mar

Steady on, I’m not talking about that first time;  I’m talking about the first time I went to the doctor about depression. And because of how it went I’ve never considered going back.

About two years ago I confided in my girlfriend that I had depression, the only person I’ve ever told. She never really knew how to deal with it but that’s for another time. She did insist on me going to see the doctor though. So I went online, put in all the things I’d been feeling and the things I’d been prone to do and it seemed that depression/bi polar was a good fit, albeit I was still confused as there is so much information out there.

From the off the doctor seemed pretty disinterested, seemingly only half-listening to what I was saying to her. Finally she looks up and says that it sounds like depression with bi polar tendencies. OK I’m thinking, so I guess here is where she will elaborate, explain things to me a bit more, give me some kind of useful information about where to go, who to talk to etc. anything really other then looking at me and saying

‘you have a girlfriend, you have a job, you’re at uni, why are you depressed?’

Huh? excuse me? I was stumped, because hey, in this day and age with all the knowledge we havetrust-me-im-a-doctor we all know that’s how it works right? Got a job? Got a girlfriend? nah you can’t be depressed. Was she joking, trying in her own way to say ‘hey, I know it’s rough but try and look at the positives’ ?

Nope because she then proceeded to write up a prescription for pills, told me to take them then come back and see her. She didn’t even take the time to explain the prescription to me.

Well I didn’t take the pills, to be honest yes I am against medication, pretty scared of going down that route but maybe if she’d taken the time to at least explain exactly what they were and how they would affect me I’d have been more inclined to do so.

A quick look at a few message boards shows there are many stories similar to my own.

 

And guess what, a couple years later I don’t have a girlfriend and I walked out on my job after a particularly bad episode.

BUT I’m still at uni and just over a month away from finishing and that’s pretty damn important to me right now. Turns out the rather sparse commitment to actually having to be in class works really well when you’re going through those ‘down’ phases. Even so you can still chart my attendance and grades according to the seemingly random mental ups and downs – ups bringing great attendance and 1sts and 2:1’s in my grades and downs bringing well, you know, the opposite.

 

Anyway, the point is that first times have a big impact and I have certainly never felt like repeating my trip to the doctor and even recently when I have thought that maybe I should, remembering how it felt puts me off.