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Kirsty blogs about how the Infoline helped when dealing with her depression, and in supporting her son with his mental health problems too.
The Mind Infoline and website have helped me a lot.
My mental health problems started when I had postnatal depression after my second son was born, and during and after my third pregnancy. Both affected me differently. But I have been living with the impact ever since. I was also in an abusive relationship and this has taken me years to get over.
My teenage son also suffers with depression and has really bad anxiety. He regularly gets panic attacks and has even tried to take his own life. I can’t always ring the GP or his CAMHS counsellor. They aren’t always at the end of the line so it’s good to know that someone at Mind is. I call the Infoline for support for both of us and it means so much to have someone who I can talk to without any judgement. Sometimes I will call for reassurance that I’m saying the right thing and supporting my son in the right way. When he talks about not wanting to live any more so that he can make the pain go away, I’m worried I’ll say something that makes things worse.
Mind Infoline advisors have been able to give me practical tips on things to do to help, like rate his panic attacks from one to five so we both know how he’s feeling. My son is interested in learning more about the reasons for his depression and anxiety and to understand his panic attacks to help him to get better. The people on the Infoline have helped us with things like recognising the symptoms of an anxiety attack. Sometimes he feels like he’s dying so knowing what is really happening is hugely reassuring.
I have also used the Infoline and the Mind website myself to help with my depression. Obviously worrying about my son does have an impact on how I’m feeling. I know that I can not let my mental health slip again, as I need to know that I will be there for him whatever happens. If I’m not well I can’t do that so I am really grateful to have the website and Infoline to rely on for support.
I think it’s so important for mums to get support for their own mental health, so that they can support their children. I wish I had known about the Infoline sooner. Perhaps if I’d got support earlier on, things wouldn’t have been so difficult.
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