New to the community, hello :)

Hello everyone,

I thought as a new member I would introduce myself and tell you a little about myself and the things I'm dealing with.

I'm 19, and I've been in and out of therapy/counselling since I was 7. I had depression at that age and it's only progressed and worsened since. I also deal with a lot of other illnesses, I have fibromyalgia, social anxiety disorder, chronic migraine, and TMJ. Coping with all of these at the same time isn't easy, especially with how quick doctors always are to be dismissive about my suggestions.

About two years ago now I tried to commit suicide, but after taking the pills realised what I had done and told my mum. The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital, and being told to get out of my bed because someone else needed it now. They left me to sleep in a chair for the rest of the day until a therapist got round to seeing me. I didn't like her, she was very accusatory, and lacked the empathy required for that situation, so I lied and said that I only overdosed to go to sleep for a long time. I've never told a doctor the truth that I tried to commit suicide, because I'm yet to find one who I'm comfortable enough to tell.

I was put with a therapist, who while I liked, she just wasn't the right fit for me, so I stopped attending. All forms of counselling have always made me uncomfortable. About 8 months ago I plucked up the courage to voluntarily ask for help, and I was referred to a mental health centre by my GP for an assessment. The assessor was rude, and inappropriate. When I opened up that I'm socially anxious, he asked if I worried that people where looking at me. I said yes, sometimes, and he said I was attractive and it was to be expected. When I told him I felt my depression is only ever worsening, he told me I was young, and to get on with it and enjoy life. I requested to be seen by a psychiatrist, because the more cuddly-touchy-feely approach of a mental health nurse is one I'm not comfortable with, I'd respond better to a clinical approach. I was refused this, and left under the impression I was going to get no help whatsoever. About 3 months later, having a check up in the GP, and I find out I was referred to the same team I saw last time, and that they had refused to see me, and no one had even told me. I'm now waiting for my phone call assessment with a different team.

I've been on prozac once, and displayed serotonin syndrome symptoms, so had to stop, and was never offered a replacement, even though I've asked for one repeatedly.

Overall, I don't think I'll ever get the help I need, no matter how hard I push. Thanks for reading such a long winded post everyone.

11 Replies

  • Hiya, welcome to the forum, it's lovely to meet you. Please don't take this the wrong way, but for a 19 year old you have such a sensible outlook on things. I enjoyed reading your post, although I'm so sorry that you're having such a tough time. It must be so hard being told that you're young and to 'get on with it'. Being young doesn't mean that things aren't real, and that you struggle any less than any other person with the same conditions. It's great that you have the maturity to identify what types of treatment you think are right for you, but try and keep an open mind. I've seen three different counsellors. One was absolutely crap and kept telling me the same thing over and over again. She put me off seeing another one for many years. The second one I saw was better, but was quite tunnel visioned and once she got an idea about what was causing me to feel as I did, she wouldn't waver. The third one (who I still see now) is absolutely amazing and has helped me so much. I agree that a psychiatrist might be what you need, but there are also mental health nurses who are not cuddly-feely!

  • Hi Lucy - I'm told that a lot, that I'm quite mature for a 19 year old. I think it's because I had to start thinking about serious, mature problems at a young age, so I grew up quite quickly. I've also been very independent for a lot of my life too.

    The person I speak to next Monday in my assessment phone call will be my 9th mental health professional....fingers crossed it's 9th time lucky!

  • Hi there and welcome. It does seem that you have not yet got

    The support that you need to address the Depression. Have you enquired about

    CBT as it is quite good too.

    I had to try lots of medication before I found one that worked for me, also it

    Can take time to see what you need to do. Being young is a plus for you,

    Can I ask why you needed therapy at seven, it seems so young.

    What is your life like at the moment? What would you like to change.? Although

    A psychiatrist seems like a good bet for you at he moment. I'm not sure where you

    Live but if you ask GP to refer you to one, that should be a start.


  • Hi Hannah,

    I've been in CBT a good few times and never found it to be of any help - but it could just have been the person I was seeing.

    I was bullied very severely, both by kids in my street and kids in school, and I started self harming and trying to let it out in other ways, through anger, closing myself off from family etc. It wasn't an easy phase of my life.

    Currently, it's very complicated and messy, and I'm not even sure where I'd begin to change things. I'd change how ill I am all the time, it makes dealing with other things very difficult.

    I asked my GP to refer me to one, and he referred me to a centre that has them, but they declined to see me and put me with a mental health nurse instead.

  • Hello DeafHavana (do you like the band?). I read your post and it seems possible that you have many symptoms which are linked to some trauma that you have experienced, but I am sure that being an intelligent person you will know this but still seem to be struggling very much with getting the right kind of treatment for yourself. The experience you had in hospital over the overdose is unfortunately fairly typical; they are not really kitted out to deal with what are really emotional/spiritual issues like this and so you can feel very alone with your pain.

    It is true that counsellors and mental health professionals can vary a lot and it seems to me that you feel very much that you need someone who you trust and who can really do things in the way which you need for them to work.There are some approaches which take a much more clinical stance. However being honest a psychiatrists main role if only role is to prescribe medication and then refer elsewhere. I have a feeling that you want to talk about your problems clinically in that you want to talk "around" them at the moment, which is fine if that is what you need to do.

    There are some programmes like CBT which actually are pretty clinical. There are others like pain management programmes which also deal with depression which take a clinical approach which could suit you right now dealing with the symptoms.

    There is the burning question as to why you started experiencing these problems from the age of 7 and I'm sure you will know why; if medication were the issue i think the meds would be working for you by now; but please do go back and ask for something different if you feel this is not being taken seriously enough.

    It seems very much you are saying that you are being very misunderstood and that nothing is really helping you at the moment; but I think part of that may be because some of your trust in people has been broken and so you are not able to be open enough with them about what is truly bothering you; and also some of it will be just the way the system can work nowadays. To be honest looking back at 18, 19 I had some terrible experiences with doctors, psychiatrists etc; people who you would think would help tended to come out with platitudes like "Why did i just stay at home "moping around" all day and I really "should" have grown out of that", and rubbish like that. So I guess some of them can get it very wrong especially when you are very distressed and the issues are complicated as it sounds like with you.

    Do keep trying to get the help you need. I am glad you posted on here. Please tell us more if you want but if not then i hope some of the suggestions are of use to you. Take care, Gemmalouise Xx

  • Hi Gemma,

    Yes, they're my favourite band, I'm a big fan.

    You're very right that I lack the ability to trust - I don't think there's anyone I trust 100%. I've liked a couple of the people I've seen, particularly my first CAHMS therapist. I only stopped seeing her because she left the practice to start a family and the person who replaced her wasn't a good fit for me at all.

    I stopped taking the prozac over three years ago now; all my requests for anything else has fell on deaf ears and I've been told I'm 'too young' for anything else. I'm trying to get an appointment with a different GP to my regular one to see if they'll listen a bit more.

  • Hi Havanna

    Just a quick reponse to say hello/welcome & ask how you're feeling today?


  • Hi James

    Mood wise I'm quite down today, mainly because I was supposed to go and post something to the ESA today and due to a migraine and TMJ attack I've not been up to going out to do it, which has caused me a lot of worry because for a department that deals with sick people, they're not very understanding of people being sick. Irony eh.

  • Hello and welcome to the website.

    You have had a hard time having been depressed from such an early age! You have also had very difficult experiences with the mental health teams! I do know how unhelpful they sometimes are as I also had assessment sessions which I found rude and really quite unhealthy as yours sound too. I was also referred back to the same team despite the fact that I had already been assessed by them and found them unhelpful. It seems the NHS mental health services can be like a minefield and sometimes do harm when they are meant to do good.

    You know, no one can actually stop you from being depressed - but services should be able to offer you the kind of help that will enable you to cope better with your symptoms.

    I'm not sure what you mean by a clinical approach - do you mean something which does not try to engage your emotions, something task based? The local mental health services should be able to offer you CBT which is a very pragmatic therapy and need not entail looking deeply at issues, rather it is aimed at how to change thoughts and behaviours so that your life is potentially more satisfying which can alter emotions as a result.

    You say you don't like a touchy-feely approach - I have never experienced any therapy that way! But I wonder whether you mean a therapy that touches your emotions? You do not say why you were depressed from such a very young age as 7. Children are very resilient and in general when children are seriously noticeably depressed it is either because something has happened which has harmed them, such as abuse or a death, or because their needs are really not being met well. I imagine that you may not want to go back to thinking about WHY you became depressed in the first place, but if you are willing to begin to talk about that time it may be that we can help you to begin to process those emotions. You are still young and although you have been depressed for some years it is not by any means too late to do so - I didn't re-connect with childhood emotions until in my 40s but it was helpful to do so and has enabled me to form much happier and more satisfying relationships although I do still become depressed at times, just not as deeply and not for so long! Certainly I am very much happier than I was and I think you can be too if you are willing to talk about and think about what happened during your early years so do consider using the site in that way


  • Hi, I know how you feel about dealing with counsellors and other forms of help. Ive just turned 22 and since turning 20 I feel thats when my depression was taken seriously. When I was a teenager I was always told its just "hormones" and that I'm young and it will passed. After years of therapy I've finally found a mental health nurse who's a great fit with my problems. I think you just need to hang in there and keep getting counselling until you find the right fit. I know its frustrating.

  • I have a B12 deficiency which was picked up by accident when I was in hospital with a broken ankle but haven't had much support in relation to it from the hospital at the time or really from my GP since so I've had to find out what it actually means for myself. I mention it because the symptoms you have all come within the remit of B12 deficiency - also known as pernicious anaemia though the name isn't very accurate, as it isn't primarily a blood disorder though the name makes doctors think it is a blood disorder - anaemia (generally macrocytosis) is a side-effect of the condition and not one that is always present.

    This is a link to a check list of B12 symptoms


    - symptoms vary from person to person and people often do go for years before they get to a correct diagnosis because a) B12 levels aren't routinely tested and b) the test that is generally done doesn't distinguish between different forms of B12 - only one of which is active.

    It is often mis-diagnosed as depression and the use of SSRIs such as prozac can adversely affect the condition resulting in serotonin syndrome.

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