Support for Young People – Lisa’s Story

By Support For Young PeopleNo Comments

Support for Young People

In these current times of lockdown and increased social isolation, many people’s mental health has taken a down turn. In this article, we want to focus our attention on younger people.

Lisa’s Story

Lisa is a 15-year-old girl, who was like many this year going into her last school year and preparing for her GCSE’s.  Lisa suffered now and again with bouts of anxiety and depression, related especially to her appearance and what her friends thought about her. Being liked by her friends, their opinion of her and fitting in is very important to her, as are the quality of her “selfies” on her social media accounts: (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram).  Lisa got by without any support and kept things to herself.

Lockdown & Mental Health Down Turn

At the beginning of lockdown, Lisa’s life and routine completely turned upside down, no more school, no more seeing her friends and hanging out, no more retail therapy in her favourite stores, no more going to the cinema.  The things she looked forward to had all been taken away.  She was also concerned about what this period of seemingly never-ending lockdown would do for her school work and end result of her examination results. This was a big concern for her, as she wanted to do well and go on to further education.

As a result of lockdown Lisa found herself spending even more time on screens, (smart phone, tablet games and social media); her routine had completely gone, she would stay up most of the night and sleep most of the morning.  Due to this, the following things had happened:

  • Sleep became very difficult for her (she was getting by on 4 – 5 hours)
  • Her mood became very low and pessimistic
  • She felt completely numb at times
  • Several times a week completely overwhelmed by emotion
  • Life started to feel more unreal
  • She became more frustrated with her mum and dad, arguments were a daily occurrence
  • She started to post negative comments on social media
  • She investigated self-harming

At her lowest mood, Lisa started to self-harm, she used this as way of trying to feel something and as a way of control and even distraction from her negative mood.

Help and Support

One night whilst scrolling through Facebook, Lisa felt completed lost, scaring herself with an episode of cutting a little deeper than she had done previously. She also worried about how she would hide this and explain this cut to her parents.  She thankfully reached out for help and called Darlington Mind’s Young Peoples Listening & Counselling line 07432 843161, where she received phone counselling to work through her difficult emotions.

Seeing Things Differently

This enabled her to start to think differently, instead of comparing herself to her friends and their social media profiles, and being caught up in striving for perfection.  She began to accept things as they are, seeing things from day to day, rather than overall worrying about things she had no control over.

She started to get back into a healthy sleeping routine and limited social media and screen time, especially around bedtime and in the middle of the night.  She has been learning to spend more time with her friends, (Face timing, Whatsapp and Skyping), who bring out the best in her and do not pressurise her for perfectionism in an imperfect world.

She has started to look at other hobbies whilst in lockdown and enjoys being creative, writing short poems and has begun to time manage some schoolwork into her day.

Lisa still has a way to go on her journey, but she is very pleased with the progress she has made over the course of a few weeks.

If you are going through issues similar to Lisa, please don’t suffer alone, we can be that listening ear and help you. Please see contact options below:

Young Peoples Listening & Counselling Support line

Ages 11 to 18 – here to listen and help, non-judgemental, friendly, confidential – call 07432 843161 with confidence (weekdays) or email: crew@darlingtonmind.com

Or other children’s services: childrensservice@darlingtonmind.com

Young people – Overcoming anxiety during the Covid-19 lockdown: – A Guide

Sleeping Issues and Stress

By Sleeping IssuesNo Comments

Present World

In these current times, we have been finding people are especially worried about the global pandemic of Covid 19 the risk of them catching the virus themselves and their loved ones making it through, and living in social isolation through lock down.

Increased Stress Levels

Many individuals stress levels have been really high, and this has been made far worse since some people have been deemed as high risk and have had to endure weeks of isolation or they may have been furloughed from work and so worry about how employment will continue in the future, and the effect this will have on their livelihood.

Sleeping Trouble

Many individuals have cited one of the main issues which they are enduring is not being able to get to sleep or indeed stay asleep.  They have reported as to feeling like a zombie in an unreal world, which they don’t even recognize, lack of sleep makes everything harder including:

  •  little decisions or choices seem impossible to make
  • moodiness
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • depressed mood
  • difficulty learning new concepts
  • forgetfulness
  • inability to concentrate or a “fuzzy” head

People may have gone through issues around stress and sleeping problems before, but we have been hearing from many who have never had it to this degree, night after night, week after week.

How Can You Get Help

If this has been and is a problem which you are currently enduring, please find on our website home page links to support and guidance such as phone counselling.  There is also this helpful guide from National Mind on common sleeping issues click here.

Something which now seems obvious to me now and has personally helped is not over watching the news or reading social media articles (relating to the virus) especially close to bed time.  This really made a big difference to what I have come to realise is my anxiety about what is going on in the world and what I can’t control.  The other thing to try is to use NHS Choices, 111 or to speak to your GP.

Please also give us a call on our counselling line 07572 888084 or

email counselling@darlingtonmind.com

We are offering free welfare calls to see how you are, to listen and provide emotional and practical support if you need it – families can be reassured that there’s someone else who can keep in touch with their loved ones plus free Befriending calls email: crew@darlingtonmind.com  (County Durham and Darlington) or NYTeam@darlingtonmind.com  (North Yorkshire)

we would love to hear from you, and we will aim to provide you with the support you need.

Thank you all for reading, stay safe, stay connected and stay positive!