By Olivia Howes published on
Mental health has been something that has been quite a prominent part of my life, I'm sure a lot of people can say the same thing. Anxiety is something I don't remember living without. Something I took a long time to come to accept, is that medication would be the right path for me.
However much it seems to a lot of people that to medicate yourself for something that you're feeling mentally rather than physically can be really scary, mental health for some people isn't temporary and is actually a chemical imbalance, which makes it a physical problem. But talking therapy teaches you strategies for managing symptoms to be able to tackle your mental health naturally. This can be accessed via a mental health service, via a private therapist or through self-help books and podcasts.
I have 3 pieces of advice from my experiences:
1. Don't be afraid to go to your GP and discuss medication options if this is something you think can help you. They will give you their advice if they don't think it is a good idea for you. If you are unsure you can always get advice from a few different GPs. They won't always give you the same advice, it can depend on the doctor's specialism, education, age, gender, location, etc.
2. Being on medication isn't an alternative to talking therapy. Medication is a good short term fix to help you through a particularly difficult time or can keep symptoms at bay until you can start talking therapy. But medication can also be amazing to make talking therapy easier to do and can allow you to be more open with whoever you are talking to, and you can taper off your medication as you get through therapy, and learn to deal with symptoms as they reappear, at a much more manageable pace.
3. If you can't access talking therapy for whatever reason, make sure you talk to friends or family, who you think will understand. The more people who know what you are struggling with, the more help you have access to, and the easier you will be able to cope with those people if they are aware of what you are going through, therefore the less alone you will feel.