It’s official, folks! The mental health services in England and Wales have hit their lowest point yet. The waiting lists for CBT support groups and psychiatrists is over a year, so I was told today but luckily for me, there is a twenty-four hour crisis team on standby (after a short wait on hold) who are able to offer vital support for those in emotional distress. Not to disparage this service (it is extremely important as a first-line of treatment) but the more deeper-seeded mental health issues require a more proactive intervention, something tailored to the individual.
Sitting and waiting for help is not and option for some people, the strain of living with their own thoughts can be too much
So rather than sit and wait, fall into depression, addiction and ultimately self-destruction (again) I thought the unlimited resources of the Internet might help a way towards providing some support during the lengthy wait. In other words, I decided to explore my conditions for we only conquer fear through knowledge and as my late mother used to say: if you want something done properly then do it yourself.
If you already have a diagnosis then the further reading here may help facilitate further understanding of your condition. If you do not, then there’s nothing stopping you using the tools on this page to examine your own thinking patterns and behaviours to see if you fit into the criteria of mental illness. Of course, this is no substitute for a clinical diagnosis but I know what the lists are like and time could be better spent trying to research your own psyche. Understanding yourself more is never a waste of time.
The ICD-10 is an internationally recognized classification of diseases which lists the main symptoms of a variety of mood and mind disorders. Before diving straight into the manual, one mind find this personality disorder test helpful, one of the more medically accurate ones that I’ve found so far.
The real bones of the mental disorders can be found in the DSM-V manual which has recently been revised to include a number of new classifications for childhood illnesses.
People concerned about their problems and needing someone to talk to can sometimes access low-cost or even free psychotherapy treatment. This link gives information on low-cost counselling in your area and has a variety of avenues to explore including some University-sponsored free treatments (few and far between but worth a look).
When I say low-cost counselling, I’m talking around the £10-15 mark and no more per hourly session. The last paid counselor I saw was helpful and cost £10 per hour for a session although sometimes the sessions would extend longer than the hour.
The Nottingham Lets Talk Wellbeing service provided me with low-cost counselling and had suggestions for other interim services that I might find useful. If you are in the East Midlands, this service is well worth speaking to as they accept self-referrals.
Some people might be reserved about seeking help, maybe frightened that this could affect their children if they are perceived to be ‘actively seeking mental health support’ but in fact the proactive approach can help families rather than break them apart.