Celebrating those who make a difference

“At last I stopped the unexplainable crying and was able to sleep at night”

There is a lot of stigma attached to mental health. Those who don’t experience it themselves may find it difficult to understand why someone can’t simply “cheer up” or “calm down”. In reality, those who suffer from mental health issues want nothing more than to do just that. Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Some assume having mental health issues is a sign of weakness because surely you should be able to just toughen up and get on with life like everyone else, right? In reality this unhelpful opinion just stops those feeling isolated seeking the help they need.

Having depression feels like drowning in a sea full of people. Others laugh and enjoy the still water while you’re dragged below waves into silence. Some might see you struggle, they even reach out a hand to help you, but you can’t quite grasp it. Instead of being pulled back to safety, you stay just below the surface, everything blurry and muffled, and all alone.

It is hard to see a way back to normality and it sometimes seems like no one understands what you’re going through, but with 19.7% of people in the UK1 aged 16 and over showing symptoms of anxiety or depression, you should be assured you’re not alone.

Going online to read what people who have been through the same experience have written can be amazingly helpful. To see the pain described in different metaphors and finding one that makes sense adds a tangible dimension, like putting a face to a name. Those who are on the other side, who have come through and made sense of it and have the clarity to put it into words are always there to offer support and understanding to those who otherwise feel isolated from everyone in their life.

Reviewers encourage those suffering to seek help in different ways, and through describing their experiences they reassure and guide those suffering back towards the surface. Sometimes medication is not needed, and can be relieved by lifestyle changes or talking therapies. Sometimes medication is needed in addition to this, and that’s okay.
iWGC is proud to see these people offering words of advice on the site. Reviewers regularly debunk the stereotypes of not needing them because there’s always a reason for your depression you can deal with instead, or the ‘artificial happiness’ created by antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. Simple words that reassure patients that medication can make a difference:
“At last I stopped the unexplainable crying and was able to sleep at night.”2

They offer practical advice to dispel fears of the side effects of antidepressants and show that it takes time:
“It took a few weeks and an increased dose before it worked. There were parts of the day when I felt a lot better, then gradually increased to whole days. I'm glad I didn't give up and waited.”3

When people feel hopeless, medication can help things get better:
“Glad I've lived long enough to be happy, thanks to this medication which has worked where many many others have failed.”4
“If you tried everything, try this, it just might save your life.”5

Showing an understanding that medication treats the symptoms, giving you enough mental space to deal with the causes, like painkillers to get through a physio treatment.
“Definitely worth it, if you need it. Try CBT first though. It's the only method that will actually help you get better. The SSRIs are really just a crutch (and not a permanent solution) to help you work through CBT or similar. Good luck!”6

Not limiting reviews to medications, there are also reviews of the treatments, like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy):
“I found CBT helped a lot with working on specific strategies for dealing with specific mental health issues, things like how to snap myself out of a guilt spiral and how to shut my inner critic up so that I can get things done. It was a bit like psychological first aid to get me functioning enough so I could work on the bigger picture.”7

Those who have been through the worst of it always want to help those going through it. They understand that it’s not about resisting the waves and fighting them, it’s about accepting them and learning how to float, a surprisingly different and reassuring approach rather than, “just cheer up and get on with it.”
“My top tips are:
Take it at the same time every day. Give it time to work.
I have found that Sertraline has helped me manage my highs and lows brilliantly. I am now functioning on a more even keel and will be continuing with Sertraline.”8

There is no weakness in asking for help. There is no weakness in treating an injury you have sustained. When out of the darkness and able to manage the waves, reach out and help others. Teach them how to do the same, reassure them it will take time but that there are ways to get better. iWGC is delighted to see that these reviews are being left and people suffering are finding them helpful. With 4 million reviews already on the site, and numbers growing every day, those feeling alone can be comforted by the words of others who have been through and come out the other side.  

Help debunk stigmas surrounding mental health.
If you have ever experienced mental health issues, or know someone who has, then leave a review of your doctor, medicine or treatment here.

1.. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-depression
2. Review of Sertraline - https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/genericmedicines/sertraline
3. Review of Sertraline - https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/genericmedicines/sertraline?&page=3
4. Review of Citalopram - https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/genericmedicines/citalopram?&page=3
5. Review of Trazodone - https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/genericmedicines/trazodone
6. Review of Escitalopram - https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/genericmedicines/escitalopram
7. Review of CBT - https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/treatments/cbt-cognitive-behavioural-therapy
8. Review of Sertraline - https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/genericmedicines/sertraline?&page=2