These are some ideas for answers to questions we’ve been asked over the years, although they probably only apply to UK. There are no complete answers to any problem, but hopefully some of these may be of use.

For example: Wales now has the “Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010”. Part 1 of the Measure makes sure that more services are available for the GP to refer someone to if they have mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. These services may include e.g. counselling, stress and anxiety management. They can either be at the GP practice or nearby so it will be easier to get to them. People will also be told about other services which might help them, such as those provided by groups such as local voluntary groups or advice about money or housing. 

If you are very anxious it can affect your memory, especially in the short-term. So, if you are nervous, worried or in a “bit of a state”, you might not remember what you wanted to say or what the answers were. Here are some simple tricks to help you:

  • Write down your questions on a piece of paper in advance, so you don’t forget to ask them
  • When you write down the questions leave a space after each one. Then you can ask your GP to write the answers down for you
  • Keep a diary of your symptoms. When you next see your GP you can say “these are the symptoms or problems I’ve had since we last met"
  • If possible take someone you trust with you to your appointments. They can help you, support you, remember what was said and even carry on if you are too upset
  • Don't be afraid to ask for your diagnosis or illness to be explained to you
  • Take a list of any medicines you need in case you forget to ask
  • Ask for the effects of any medicines to be explained to you
  • Reassure your GP that you’re not trying to tell him or her what to do, just trying to be organised to make the most of your time together.
  • Don't be afraid to ask about any possible alternatives to medicines e.g. counselling, exercise,referral, bibliotherapy (specialist books about your condition), hobbies, diet etc.

What to do in crisis:
Make sure you have someone with you, but the best way to deal with a crisis is to be prepared.

  • You can do an “Advance Directive”. This tells other people what you do and do not want when you are ill. It should really be called an “Advance Refusal” because you can’t say what treatment you want but you can say what you do not want. This can be on a piece of paper (informal) or you can do it formally on a set form. Ask your GP, nurse or psychiatrist for advice on this
  • You can also use the “Handy History and Crisis Plan” sheet on our website so you have a sheet or two you can hand to someone trying to help you.

The information we share is to help inform you, If you have any questions or concerns please discuss them with your nurse, doctor, other members of your care team or an advocate