Top Tips to manage Low Mood
– Think positive! When you start thinking negatively about yourself you just end up on a downward spiral. Even if it’s really hard, try and recall some positive things about yourself and your life.
– It’s not forever! Don’t ever think that the way you are feeling is going to last indefinitely. There are ups and downs in life and sometimes the downs feel like they are lasting too long or won’t go away. But they will. Your life can change. Things will get better.
– Do a happy thing! Try and do one happy thing a day. Either see a friend, a family member, go for a walk, or watch a happy film… Doing at least one positive thing when you are feeling rubbish can help change the mood of the day and leave you feeling more upbeat.
–Be encouraged! Speak to someone who you know will encourage you. If you feel down, it is easy to go to your friends who you know will have a good moan with you. But what you need is uplifting talk and positivity. Go to/text/ or FaceTime the friends who will do that.
– Don’t compare! Never compare your life to anyone else’s. People go through different things. They are on a different path to you with their own struggles that you might not see. Be yourself.
Written by Abi Vedder, Social Worker
I interviewed Molly, a 27-year -old woman from The Midlands. Molly suffered from numerous mental health issues including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and self-harm over a ten year period. Molly is on the road to recovery now and she shares her story here.
What experience have you had with mental health issues?
When I was younger and a student I had very, very low self-esteem. I would do things to ‘buy’ friendship, sell myself short and do things I didn’t want to do, to maintain the status quo. I used to drink a lot to compensate for my low confidence. I have suffered
Do you know what triggered your mental health issue? Can you briefly explain your story?
Looking back, I have always been a melancholy person. It’s a personal joke that I’m like a modern day “Donnie Darko”; unable to process things that make me scared and that I have no control over. I think things really became too much to handle when I began university. I didn’t achieve the grades I’d hoped for so missed out on all of my choices of universities. I ended up having to go through the clearing process. My friends all got into their universities and moved away. I left home for the first time, a year before I felt ready (I had to cancel a gap year). I moved into a flat with flatmates I ultimately didn’t get along with. I also broke up with my long-term boyfriend. By first year exam time, I was in a really low place and receiving prescriptions of Diazepam to help with my nerves and exam stress. By my return to uni for the second year, my health took a downward turn. My grandmother passed away which I found very difficult to deal with. I began taking anti-depressants and was referred to a counsellor. This was the first time I was diagnosed as having depression. It was also the first time I thought about self-harm, not to end it all, but (more pathetically) just to be admitted to
How long have you suffered with your mental health issue?
I have suffered from mental health issues in ‘cycles’ for approximately 10 years. The university cycle lasted about 3 years in all, on-and-off of medication. I moved city after uni and another cycle began which lasted a further year. Again, I was diagnosed as being depressed.
I had my most recent episode about 18 months ago.
How did you recover? What helped?
Previously I have felt unable to recognise or understand my feelings or put them in context. Worse still, I was not able to explain how I felt to those closest to me. I avoided doing this then berated my friends and family for not understanding me. I used to see my medication as ‘numbing the pain’ and I referred to it as “my crutch”. As much as it took away the pain and upset, it also prevented me from being really happy too. I relied on it to fix things when really it couldn’t if I didn’t help myself.
The road to recovery was a long one. I ended up moving to a different city, finding a good group of friends whom I opened up to and who accepted me for who I was. Then I worked incredibly hard to complete my degree. Everything took trust, not in others but trust in myself that I was doing ok and could achieve what I wanted in life. I have the privilege now of recognising that these things for me come in cycles. I know my feelings won’t last and
What was unhelpful?
Most unhelpful were those who offered to listen to me but were not genuine in doing so. I was told so many times “Sure, absolutely, you can talk to me about anything.” But sometimes they would not listen at all, or sometimes my stories were passed on or judgment was cast. Sometimes I was told not to “be daft” in how I felt. It took a long time for me to open up. I still don’t feel even 50% confident in doing so, but I am learning. Everyone’s issues are important to them.
What advice would you give to someone who might be suffering from the same thing you were suffering from?
Be true to yourself. Confide in those you can trust, but most of all, trust yourself and your instincts. You will be well.
How are you now?
The road is long, but I smile every day.
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