Gavin tried ‘carrying on’ with the difficulties which were impacting his day-to-day life, until it got to the stage where he could no longer ignore them. Through completing online cognitive behavioural therapy, and having regular check ins with his TALKWORKS therapist, he has learnt how to manage his difficulties and live a happier life:
“I’m Gavin. I’m 56 years old and have been suffering from anxiety, depression and low mood for a good number of years. To me it was normal to feel like this as it has always seems to have been that way.
A number of months ago I found that the slightest little upset would reduce me to tears and I knew this wasn’t normal for me. After much stalling, I decided to seek help from my GP. Anti-depressant medication was the route I expected to be sent down and I wasn’t keen on this option, however to my surprise a link to TALKWORKS appeared whilst I was booking my GP appointment online.
I completed a request form and received an email arranging an initial call from a therapist for the following week. My therapist was brilliant. Initially I was very nervous, but I soon relaxed as I found it very easy to talk and hold nothing back!
The therapist suggested a 10 week Cognitive Behaviour Therapy online course because attending a regular meeting was not convenient for me due to my shift work and not being able to commit to a fixed appointment every week. I have always been sceptical of any kind of therapy/counselling probably because I didn’t understand how it could help and “did not believe in all that stuff”, however I am so glad I approached the issue with an open mind as it has changed my opinion.
The online course is perfect for a busy life. You can do as little or a much as you like on your phone. Your therapist then reviews your progress online and leaves comments for you. Then every few weeks you have a phone review and chat.
Initially I found some of the course confusing, but with the help of my therapist talking me through sticking points, I soon made progress to my satisfaction.
Following completion of my therapy, I am a changed person. It’s impossible to explain what has changed but there is certainly something different to my attitude and demeanour as other people have commented on it. I live more, smile more and enjoy life more! I still get bouts of anxiety and depression, but I now know how to deal with them appropriately and, more importantly, move on and live my life. TALKWORKS was a revelation for me. Reaching out for help was very hard for me to do but I’m so glad I finally found the courage to do so and would encourage anybody else to do the same. The people working at TALKWORKS are experts at their jobs and you won’t be the first person they have listened to and helped, so don’t feel you are alone in life.”
TALKWORKS is here to help adults across Devon who are experiencing low mood, anxiety, sleep difficulties and stress. Our service is part of the NHS and free to access. You can refer yourself without needing to see a GP by calling 0300 555 3344 or by completing our online self-referral form on our website.