In light of the recent shootings in Orlando, I wanted to share a story about a dear friend of mine who is currently going through a difficult time, in hope that I could also provide some information that others may find helpful. You see, my friend identifies as being gay and his strict religious parents refuse to believe that this is the case. In fact, their brutal denial and ignorance has caused them to try guilt trip and bribe him into changing his ways.
As far as I’m concerned, this mentality is disgusting, and it is negative stigmas such as this which lead to weak minds armed with weapons wreaking havoc on an entire city. It breaks my heart seeing my friend grapple with anxiety and depressive thoughts as a result of just being himself. To think he doesn’t feel comfortable bringing a partner home saddens me greatly. As someone who seeks my parents approval on most matters, I cannot imagine how it feels to be treated as though you a disappointment on a daily basis. Not because you withdrew from university when your parents wanted you to complete your course, not because you got hammered on a night out with the boys, not because you broke someone’s heart – but because of who you are. For simply being you.
While I have never had to experience such pressures myself, I can relate to my friend’s anxiety and depression. He came to me for advice, and asked me about the horrible year I had in 2015. He likened what that year was for me to the year he is currently experiencing. Having hit breaking point, he wanted to find out how I went about seeing a therapist and finally seeking help.
I thought that this could be a helpful topic for those of you out there who have no idea how to begin seeking assistance for your anxiety or depression. Lucky for me, my mum was able to steer me in the right direction to get the help I required. I understand that many do not have this luxury so here’s a step by step breakdown of what you can do.
*note: the following information applies to Australian readers only.
- See your GP. Explain your current situation and that you’re having anxiety and depressive thoughts. Ask about the mental health care plan which entitles you to get a proportion of the amount back from Medicare when seeing a participating therapist. This entitles you to ten sessions per year.
- The GP will ask you a series of questions to assess you and determine whether you a candidate for the mental health care plan.
- Once this is complete, you can ask your GP for a list of participating therapists or even do your own research. Be aware that some psychologists are not currently taking new clients. Sometimes you may find that you need to try a few different therapists before finding the perfect fit for you. So be aware that this process could take some time.
- Ask your GP about jumping on medication if this is something you think you need. Remember there is no need to stay on the meds permanently – and they could be a great way to help ease the severity of emotions you’re currently experiencing.
Please note that this system is available in Australia – I’m unsure of what is offered outside of AUS but I strongly encourage you to look into available schemes regarding mental health within your own country.
For more information, click here or send me an email with any questions you may have.
Love and light to anyone going through a hard time right now. You are not alone.