Paul decided to explore his options to help improve his prolonged low mood. After initially trying medication, he reached out to TALKWORKS for support. He shares how the service has helped him to manage the impact of living with chronic pain and avoid entering a downward spiral:
"My name is Paul and I am 59 years old. I have been suffering sudden and severe periods of low mood for a number of years and, having tried medication, which didn’t seem to suit me or help as I had hoped, I decided to see what else might be available. I was finding it exhausting and impacting on my quality of life in so many ways.
I called TALKWORKS and arranged an initial chat to see if they might be able to help.
I was a little nervous, but found my therapist friendly and helpful. We talked about how I had been feeling and what was going on in my life in a general way and I found it helpful to actually say how I felt and how it was impacting on my life.
We initially felt that I was dealing with anxiety issues and I started working my way through a series of sessions using a phone app between telephone calls. From that I discovered that my symptoms were more of a match for low mood induced by chronic pain (I’m waiting for double knee replacement surgery), which included anxiety as a symptom rather than a cause.
Together we were able to focus on strategies to better manage the impact of dealing with the pain on my mental health and I am now much better equipped to recognise when I am becoming overwhelmed and act to steer myself back to a better place.
I could not have done this without the help of the people at TALKWORKS and I am very grateful for their guidance in allowing me to develop a better awareness and understanding of the reasons I feel low and a set of “tools” to enable me to cope and avoid entering a downward spiral in terms of my mental wellbeing.
You may feel that things can’t get better, but with the right help I have found that they can, and they do!"
Please remember that if you are struggling, you do not need to go through this by yourself. TALKWORKS is here for you if you are struggling with prolonged low mood and anxious thoughts. We also have a dedicated Talking Health team who can support adults over the age of 18 living with a long term health condition.
You can self-refer to the service today by completing our online referral form, or by calling 0300 555 3344.