Mental health q&a


Mental health is a huge passion of mine. Not just because I suffer from different mental health issues
but because I know the importance of being heard and having people understand you in order to get
help if and where you need it. I've done a lot of mental health posts, which you can check out here,
but I wanted to do a q&a to get some more specific questions from you guys and see what it is that
you want to know, understand, learn about or even have a bit of advice from.

How did you go about getting a diagnosis?
Getting a diagnosis was different each time. When I was 2 my mom noticed some differences with
me and the doctors referred me to CAMHS. It wasn't until I was 10 that I got diagnosed with
Aspergers (autism). I stayed under the CAMHS system until I was 18. When I was about 14/15 I got
diagnosed with depression, general anxiety and minor OCD from a doctor at the service. Then last
year i got referred to the psychiatric ward at my local hospital to see a therapist 1 or 2 times a month.
She then diagnosed me with BPD. My biggest piece of advice would be to talk to your doctors,
because they can they help refer you to the correct people to get you the help that you need.

Best ways for dealing with a mental health episode
Each episode is so different for me, and they can just be minor and unnoticeable to most or they can
be really extreme. I try my best to distract myself with music, tv or reading. If I have an episode when
I'm with someone then I find I 'get over it' quicker because they distract me and talk to me which
helps. Communication is really key. It's not good to keep things bottled up for any amount of time.

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling?
I've briefly mentioned this in the previous 2 questions but communication. Speak to someone who is
close around you, whether that be your parents, cousins, best friends or a teacher. Anyone is better
than nobody. You might think that nobody will understand you or care but they will. I promise. Even
if you think you're issues are small and irrelevant, they are affecting your mental health which is
always worth talking about. If you feel like you can't talk to someone in person, then there are many
outlets online where you can talk to a professional. I recently used the give us a shout helpline.

How are you currently?
As I am writing this I've noticed I've been struggling more than I'm letting on. Not necessarily
because of lockdown, which the majority of people would think but because there is so much
negativity in the world. My autism means that I process things differently and don't think the same
way as others do. I am fully aware that we all have different options and that is ok, but it would be a
pretty boring world we would live in, if we all thought the same. But when it comes to big things like
race, I find it difficult to understand how people can be racist and treat people differently because of
the colour of their skin. Its probably a simple thing to most, but things like this affects most of my
day and overall my mood. Lockdown is also really difficult at the minute just because I want to hug
people and not feel so alone, but I keep reminding myself that we are all in the same boat.

How do you distract yourself on down days?
I find this different for my mood on the day. I've been having a lot of down days at the minute and the
only thing I've enjoyed doing is watching films with my mom. Sometimes I like to pamper myself to
feel refreshed, especially if its the end of a week and I want to have a better week. I definitely think it
depends on the person and the mood. But find what's best for you.

What coping mechanisms have you found useful?
When I was in therapy they suggested a bunch of different coping mechanisms to help, and nothing
worked. Something that I've been doing for years is counting the ticking of seconds on a clock and
putting a finger up when I get to 10, 20 seconds etc. then using my other hand to act as the minutes.
Once I get to 5 minutes I've usually calmed down, or am often asleep which is quite helpful.

How do you know when to ask for or get help?
People around you will 100% notice that you need help before you do. A lot of people don't like to
admit that they can't deal with something themselves. I was struggling for 3 years I think before I
finally admitted that I needed help. When I got ill again last year, I recognised the signs straight away
and it hit me like a ton of bricks, so I spoke with my mom who took me to the doctors but I got help
straight away. The only person who can get you the right help is you.

xoxo
Lea-Mai

14 comments

  1. This is a really useful post. I hope people look up to you and use your advice!

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  2. So brave of you to open up and share your experiences like this, hopefully it helps a lot of people especially when it comes to asking for help. It’s so important xx

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  3. How did you find your time with CAHMS? My sister was under them for a few years and they were awful! Luckily for me I was under a different organisation called Relate but that shut down before my sister could attend. Caitylis x x

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    1. I heard a lot of negative things about them but it was all I'd ever known. I basically spoke and met with every person there as they kept swapping me about. It could be a lot better with just some simple improvements x

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  4. I think this post will help a lot of people Lea! Even though I can't relate much to this, you have educated me. For that, I thank you xxx

    Megan Elizabeth

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  5. This is a helpful post to many I am sure, it's brave to open up and discuss something so personal.

    Amy x
    The July Rose

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    1. My only hope is to bring awareness and help educate more people x

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  6. It's so brave of you to open up and use your channel to share this with more people!
    Rosie
    loverosiee.co.uk

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  7. such a helpful post, I love your writing! x

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