Sitting in the Mental Health waiting room… By Carl Baumann 

Coping with a mental health condition is an exercise in patience..
Not only are you “stuck” in a situation that you either cannot control or have to learn new behaviours in order to try and bring under control, you are also “stuck” in the system…
By that I mean the interminable waiting for appointments with doctors, mental health care professionals, benefits advisors, the DWP etc etc. There is also the waiting to “get/feel better”. But unlike a broken leg there is no time frame for mending a broken mind. 
It is unfortunate that being mentally unwell can mean for many that working is not an option. The lack of anything meaningful to do can result in making an existing condition worse as depression and having too much time to “think” can amplify negative feelings of worthlessness and wondering “What’s the point?” – Your mind is free to create a prison where every day and night you torture yourself in ways that even the Marquis De Sade couldn’t devise. 
For many this results in use and abuse of drugs and alcohol as a means of escape quite literally from themselves. Of course this is only a temporary release and creates a downward spiral that few are lucky or strong enough to escape. It is also serves to isolate sufferers from the resources and people that could help them. Many doctors and mental health teams will these days refuse to treat you if you admit that you drink or use…
It’s not all doom and gloom though. There is a multitude of resources available (if you can find them) both in the community and, if you have internet access, on the web. 
These distractions (whether it’s attending a yoga class or writing a blog) are vital if you’re going to avoid more destructive behaviour. It’s not easy to get motivated though, especially if depression is your condition or part of another one such as BPD/EUPD/Bipolar…

Sometimes you have to force yourself to take the smallest steps; even if it’s just getting out of bed, doing the dishes or having a bath. What’s important though is that you congratulate yourself and look for something positive each day that you can feel better about rather than letting negative emotion overwhelm you. It can (quite literally) mean the difference between life and death.
The mental health waiting room is not a pleasant place to be but, like all rooms, there is a door and one day you will be able to walk through it…

9 thoughts on “Sitting in the Mental Health waiting room… By Carl Baumann ”

  1. So sensitively written David. I think many of us have experienced what you describe and I hope that by sharing this that it helps some body out there. Everyone who suffers feels that they are the only one…and that is so not true.


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