Two Tayside women speak out about living with mental health conditions
Rebecca Shearer, 24.
I have a food-related anxiety, which started as the result of a bad virus that completely battered my digestive system and tore my stomach lining.
It developed into a psychological issue, where I associated food with being sick and had a phobia of being sick in public. It got to the stage where I couldn’t eat in restaurants, and before I went to an event I’d make sure I hadn’t eaten, because I was afraid of being sick.
I had panic attacks where I’d retch, even though I wasn’t actually being sick.
I’d also expect to have a panic attack in certain places or situations if I had had one there before.
I didn’t go through the standard NHS route, because I know a lot of people with anxiety and depression, and it affects everyone differently, so I believe everyone’s treatment should be tailored to them.
For me, the most effective method was hypnotherapy. I don’t have to rely on medication or be on long waiting lists, which works for me. So far it’s worked and I haven’t had a panic attack in months and feel a lot calmer generally. Fiona Grieve, 24.
I had been told at my first appointment that I was depressed and basically “here, have some meds , everything will be better”.
I didn’t feel like I had got the support that I required so when I booked my check-up appointment for two weeks later I changed doctor.
With her we were able to talk and came to the conclusion that my depression was caused by my anxiety, which was triggered by my low self-confidence.
As soon as it is diagnosed as anxiety rather than depression the waiting list for therapy is shortened by about five to six weeks and I was luckily taken just two weeks later.
I received three one-to-one sessions before going on a 10-week group therapy course for building confidence.
Being in a group where everything is confidential and everyone is there to support each other really helped.
I completed the group therapy and have been off antidepressants since July 2016.
I still have anxiety attacks but I know how to control them before they start to spiral downwards.
Fiona found group therapy sessions helpful.
Rebecca says hypnotherapy helped her overcome anxiety.