It is very easy to get wrapped up in the stresses of everyday life and to neglect our own well-being, especially in relation to our mental health. As GPs, we are trained to spot the symptoms and signs that are associated with a deterioration in one’s psychological well-being. Some will find it very easy to talk to us and share how they are feeling but many will find it extremely difficult to share their innermost thoughts.
Sometimes speaking to a family member or close friend can help, though this is not an option that suits or appeals to everybody. Some will be embarrassed about feeling sad or depressed and others will not be aware that what they are feeling is indeed depression and that talking to somebody could help.
As GPs we tailor our approach to each individual patient when chatting about mood related issues. Some will benefit from counselling or further referral. Others will need a medication that we will prescribe and follow up on for a few months or more. Many just need a friendly ear and recover fully in the knowledge that they have a professional looking out for them. There will be a group of people who use a mix of the above.
There are some great online resources available to patients::
- Your Mental Health (HSE)
- Pieta House
- The Glasgow Steps (This is an excellent NHS website that has lots of practical hints, tips and advice in relation to managing depression and low mood)
We are here to help you if you are having problems with your mental health, or if you think you might be. We can arrange further referral, medications or blood testing if we think there may be a physical cause to your symptoms.
This post was written by Dr. Niall