My brain has been just a teeny tiny bit of a mess over the past couple of months. More so than it normally is which isn’t really great to deal with. The thing is, I really hate going to see the doctor but I hate feeling like this more. So, I did finally manage to get myself to my GP and got a referral to the mental health nurse that came into the surgery once a week.
Let’s just give a quick bit of background on this. I was diagnosed with depression in November 2017 and I’ve been on antidepressants for just over a year. One of the first times I went to see my GP about my mental health she referred me to that same mental health nurse … in 2017. And I never got anything back from that. I will take some of the blame for this because I never really chased it up. But things had gotten better and I didn’t see the point. But yeah, never got that first referral which the doctor I saw recently thought was really strange.
She did refer me again though and chased it all up and to be fair, that appointment letter came through pretty much a week or two after the referral. Now, I’ve never seen a mental health nurse before so I had no clue what to expect. I didn’t really know what she was going to do or what was expected of me. Simple things like knowing how long the appointment was going to be were just unknown to me and it didn’t really ease my worries about this appointment.
I work myself up whenever I need to talk to a healthcare professional about my mental health. It’s such a personal thing and I struggle to speak to my own family about it sometimes, let alone a complete and utter stranger. It’s really raw for me and I feel so emotionally vulnerable and that isn’t a position that I like to be in. It’s why I try my best to get the same GP when it’s something to do with my depression. It means that I don’t need to keep going over everything from the start again because they just know.
Anyway, the nurse popped into the waiting room and got me and she seemed like a really lovely lady and she was! We just seemed to dive into things really quickly. She asked if I knew what her role was and explained a little before asking asking what was going on. The whole meeting ended up lasting 45 whole minutes. Forty five. I was not expecting to be in there that long. At all. It didn’t drag along too much though and I did get a couple of useful things out of it. I’m just not sure the whole 45 minutes was really needed but she was chatting to me about some general things as well.
Basically, the mental health nurse just wanted to know what my history with my mental health was, what may have triggered it this time, how I felt and the things that were going on in my life at the moment. I don’t know if maybe it was just me but I felt like I constantly had to justify myself with her as to why I was feeling the way I was. But like I said, I find it hard to open up quickly to people so I couldn’t tell her absolutely everything.
She was really welcoming and open with me though. The conversation seemed to flow quite well and I wasn’t completely uncomfortable around her, I really appreciated the that that she didn’t push me to talk about things. The nurse was so understanding of the situation that I was in that I felt like I could just breathe a little.
It was just a bit of a weird situation I guess and I’m not wholly sure how I felt about it. I only had that 45 minutes with her and she didn’t say anything about another appointment. So, that was it. I don’t feel like it was entirely effective and a lot of the things she did mention weren’t anything new. In hindsight, maybe this appointment would have worked better back when I was first diagnosed and everything was new to me. But at least I went and saw what she had to offer. Which is better than not knowing at all. I am glad that I found out about some of the mental health groups that the surgery run though which I’m going to try and look into during Summer.
I don’t want this post to put anyone off of going to a mental health nurse. It’s always worth seeing one because you never know what help their able to offer or what advice they’re able to give. Whilst my experience may not have been the most amazing thing in the world, I got a couple of things out of it that I may not have found out about otherwise. So, alhamdulliah for that.
If you guys have seen a mental health nurse or even if you are one, I’d love to know about it!