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helpers_tools145 karma

That is a really good question, and one that people might take different perspectives on. Some people have tried to categorise mental health into different diagnose which have specific criteria for deciding whether someone has a mental health problem or not, however recent research suggest these diagnoses lack a scientific validity. Psychologists often criticise the way that diagnoses can pathologise distress, they point out that often the symptoms of mental health problems are ways that a person has learned to cope, in difficult environmental. A recent framework by psychologists is called the “Power, threat, meaning framework”, which suggests we ask each other not ‘what is wrong with you’, but instead ‘what happened to you’, if we are going to be able to more fully understand someone’s difficulties.

Suicidal thoughts are surprisingly common. There might be different reasons for experiencing them, for example as a wish to escape a difficult life situation, rather than an active wish to die. Lots of people experience and sometimes, they do not seem to cause people too much distress. However if the thoughts are causing someone distress, or if there is an intent or wish to act on those thoughts, that is when help and support is often needed.

The last question is an interesting one! It would be an interesting topic for a survey I imagine that everyone, those who are struggling with mental health difficulties and those who are feeling well and healthy, will vary a lot in whether they dislike or like the people they come into contact with. It will also probably depend on the people they come into contact with of course. I would say that it’s more of a personality thing, and than something to do with mental health. However when we are feeling very low or very angry, we might find that we notice the negative in people more than we normally would perhaps.

helpers_tools112 karma

I’m sorry to hear it’s such a tough time at the moment, it sounds really difficult/ I don’t know if it helps, but I certainly don’t think you’re alone. There is so much going on right now that lots of people are finding it incredibly hard to motivate themselves and are finding it very difficult to find routine. There is a similar question above about motivation that has some ideas about that, so check it out. Sometimes when there is a lot going on emotionally, one of the ways to deal with that is to mentally ‘tune out’ -boredom can sometimes be a by-product of this. We tend to distract ourselves with lots of things, which can feel easier and comforting, but after a while can feel frustrating and unfulfilling. It can be really tough to try new things, because it risks exposing ourselves and that can be really hard.

Sometimes when we find we’re staying in bed all day, our mood can really drop -I don’t know if this is the case for you. If so, reaching out for support can be helpful, for example talking to family and friends about how you’re feeling, or having a conversation with your GP about it. There is support out there and it can be really helpful.

One thing we suggest in psychology is to plan something small and manageable (preferably enjoyable) into your day for a certain time. Put it in your calendar and then say to yourself “I’ll follow the plan, not the mood.” Because it’s quite likely you won’t feel like doing it, but by ‘following the plan’, it may be that that little bit of activity lifts your mood, and gives you more energy. Routine is a huge thing for our wellbeing, so trying to get out of bed in the morning and having breakfast, though really difficult at first, can have a surprisingly huge affect on our mood and motivation.

helpers_tools104 karma

Ahh that’s a tough one, I’m sorry if this is affecting you. The reality is that some situations aren’t stress-free and in this case, it might be a question of how can we alleviate the stress a little, at least enough to be able to function.

I would recommend allowing yourself a bit of time to experience your feelings around this - it does suck and you are allowed to be sad/disappointed/angry. When you feel more able and practical, start making a list of things things you can do. You don’t have to start these right away, but it might make you feel a bit more in control if you know what steps you might want to take.

Finally - use the support around you! Whether it’s family, friends or local organisations, there are people willing to listen, empathise and help with practical things like finances.

helpers_tools87 karma


The course we have built responds to the areas of need we saw emerging in our own practice, and those seen by other clinicians who were interviewed as part of the initial design research. Topics covered include handling anxious thoughts, information diet and the news, experiences concerning death and anxiety about death, effects of isolation and quarantine and more.

We are conducting a piece of research in collaboration with academics from the University of Westminster and so if you do the course you will be given the chance to contribute some data in a secure and anonymous way.

helpers_tools53 karma

No one should or shouldn’t feel anything. When we set expectations for what our emotions should or shouldn’t be, we are doing ourselves a disservice and probably adding to our own distress.

Guilt, in particular, is difficult as it inherently criticises our actions in a way that will threaten our self-esteem. I think my most common piece of advice to people currently is to lower expectations they set themselves and be kind to themselves when things are tough.

If there is something you’d like to do (e.g. be in touch more with friends and family), try starting with something small and prioritise. Pick one family member, for example and commit to trying to contact them by a certain (manageable) point. I say “try”, because we never know what might come up - the important thing with aims is to give it a go and remember that all progress, no matter how small, can be built on.