Meningitis Now
4,291 members1,418 posts


One year on and I'm struggling to cope with the changes to my life. One minute you are on top of the work and next you are struggling to cope. There are days when i spend most of it in tears. A headache or ear ache sends me in a panic. I try to open up to people around me but they don't understand. I want to try counselling but don't know where to start.

6 Replies

Hi Malaga

Well done for your 2nd post on her over the past year. It takes a lot of courage to speak out and tell others that you are struggling even on this virtual site of fellow suffers.

I looked at your profile to find out a little more about what you went through however you have clearly not felt able to even on here where you are totally annoymous to say even a little of what happen to you. All I know is that you spent time in Intensive Care and that has been giving you flashbacks. I therefore assume that you are living in the UK because access to Counselling I think would be different for different countries. Here you either need to seek a referral to a NHS counsellor or Psychotherapist by going to your GP who will be able to do that for you. Short session Counselling of usually 6 sessions is in a lot of areas available quite quickly however the longer Counselling or Psychotherapy often has a long waiting list. My suggestion would be to go to your GP ASAP so they can get the referral process started.

Alternatively to start appointments more quickly, if you are able to pay privately I advised you to look on the British Association of Counsellors or the British Association of Psychotherapists website where you can search for therapists in your area. I am realizing that you are saying that you are still finding it hard to talk to anyone - family, friend, on here - and therefore I think you will find Counselling very difficult for your and the therapist unless you have very much got yourself to a point where you have decided that you will open up to a therapist. It is totally confidential between you and the therapist. However, it doesn't work well if the counsellor has to try and tease everything out of you and you don't feel you can talk openly about what is troubling you. A therapist cannot help someone who is not ready to be helped along the road of thinking and talking together about what has happened and how it has left you feeling and struggling.

Please do try and tell us a bit about your experience of Meningitis which resulted in you being in Intensive Care. If you still do not feel able to seek Counselling talking to others on this site who have been through similar experiences is usually helpful too. I know myself that some of the best support, understanding, information and ideas has come from those who have truly experienced the situations themselves and genuinely know the impact of aftereffects on our lives. Click on my name and read what happened to me as maybe that will help you realize you are not alone and you are not the only one struggling post Meningitis.

Also if you are in the UK please do give the Meninigitis Now Helpline a call. They are also a great source of understanding,'t info, a listening ear, ideas, etc etc. Doesn't matter if you haven't really got an idea as to why you are ringing - just do it! It is OK if you cry and get upset because it is all part of the journey of recovery.

Best Wishes


Thanks for your reply. I have taken your advise and I wrote my experience on my profile and It actually felt good to get it down. I have spent a year trying to brush my emotions to one side but realise now that's the wrong thing to do. I have friends that I can talk to but they don't really know what I am going through.

Especially when I get very upset. Before I went into hospital I had tonsillitis which then affected my ears and I have just recently had tonsillitis again which has resulted in one of my ears getting really sore. The doctors have said that I'm fine but it doesn't stop you from going into panic mode and thinking it will happen again.

Thanks for your help


I am so pleased Malaga that you have felt able to put some info on your profile and have responded to me as well with the first steps in sharing your experience. They think that my BM & S crossed the blood brain barrier from an infection that started in my ears. So already we have that as a similar cause of the nasty meningitis. I will look at you profile after this response to see what more you have felt able to share. Like you I ended up in Intensive Care and was in a Coma for 3 weeks. For me though I have no memory of it and that is something that still bothers me because I have no idea how I was, what was done to me or how I behaved especially during the weeks of confusion as i came out of the coma. I do know I caused an emergency at one point when I pulled my breathing tubes out and they had to be rapidly put back in!

I can also understand your fear and panic that having another episode of tonsillitis and and ear infection lead you to think it was all happening again. I don't think that is unusual for any of us that have had the nasty meningitis and been through such a traumatic experience. I certainly too panic when I am unwell even in a very minor way as does my son if I even mention that I 'feel a bit off colour today'! He too as a 6 yr old at the time went through considerable fear that he was going to lose his mum because he knew at the time the adults were all talking about that the odds were that I wasn't expected to survive.

The crying is good and you shouldn't try to bottle it all up as those traumatised emotions need to be released by being expressed. Up until just before this xmas I was still crying excessively over everything and nothing and I am nearly 4 years on. I seemed to have no control over my emotions and they were spilling out all over the place and in the most inappropriate situations. I have just started psychotherapy sessions which I hope will help me put things into perspective and understand the impact that the Meningitis has had on me, my life, my son and those around me.

Please continue to communicate on here because I am sure you will find it helpful as I certainly have.

Best wishes


Thanks again, it's been really good to get things of my chest. I am not the most confident person in the world and I often feel like I don't want to burden people with my problems but I know now I need to start thinking about myself more and opening about how I really feel.

Best wishes to you and your son.

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Malaga thank you for adding info into your profile. That is most helpful as now I have a little more understanding of what happened to you and can hopefully respond in a more helpful way. I note that you say you hearing was badly affected and I am wondering if you have since had a hearing test since. It is really important that you do as it is a known after effect of Meningitis that the hearing can be damaged. Some people even end up profoundly deaf. My hearing in my left ear was damaged and I now have reduced hearing in that ear. I hope your doctors did realize that your hearing needed to be checked out and you have indeed had a hearing test done now, but if not please do get your GP to make a referral.


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