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Mental illness lived experience – advice to others (video transcript)

3-minute read

Being diagnosed with a mental health disorder can be both emotionally and practically challenging. Listening to others who have experienced similar situations is often re-assuring and can be helpful for you, your loved ones or when preparing questions for your doctor or a specialist.

First video: Jenny - advice for others

Jenny

I think to a certain extent you have to go through a bit of the hard stuff, you know. Or it's going to happen to you, whether you like it or not. I think you have those, like, if you've got voices, you've got to learn to manage them. You've just got to learn yourself. And, yeah, I would advise them to go to a hearing voices group.

I facilitate a hearing voices group through my work and that's a group that is supported by [mental health organisation], and it's a new, it's a world movement. It's been going on for about 20 years. Started by a guy called Marius Romme in the Netherlands. And [mental health organisation] group is a group where if you hear voices you can go along and you get support to talk about your voices and you're encouraged to give your voice, different voices a name and to learn to practise and to learn to negotiate with your voice.

Second video: Luana - advice for others

Luana

I guess the main thing with mental illness is encouraging people to go out and interact within their community. To go along to different things like yoga or a gym or even a book club or just making sure they feel comfortable. And I think that’s really difficult because a lot of people with mental health issues stay, you know, home and they live with their families and they’re reluctant to go out and, you know, feel comfortable in different environments. So I think you know a lot of work needs to go into that kind of making people feel you know, more comfortable.

Interviewer

Do you have any ideas about how we could do that?

Luana

I think for some people it might, you know, involve like a social worker going with them, you know, to their first yoga class or their art class or accompanying them. And also making sure that they sort of, you know, feel like part of the community and like they don’t feel like we’re just pushed aside.

Third video: Evan - advice for others:

Evan

So I think the best advice from me is to see your GP and see what your GP comes up with. I think it’s that area of discussion needs to be done through a GP about seeing a good psychiatrist. If you’re not happy with the one you’re referred to then you go back to your GP and say that to your GP.

You can get a second opinion now. I know a second opinion, the Mental Health Act has come in and with a second opinion area of work where you can, a second opinion scheme where you can be advised, not advised, where you if you feel like you want a second opinion you can go and ask for a second opinion. And it can be someone that’s not connected with this psychiatrist you’re seeing which is a good thing.

Usually second opinions in the past has been a colleague of your psychiatrist. So when he writes your second opinion he just supports him, so it’s not really a second opinion. A real second opinion is when you see someone that’s not connected with your existing practitioner. And that’s why the second opinion scheme is going be set up, where it’s going be a pool of psychiatrists in the department, where I can seek from that pool of psychiatrists, an independent psychiatrist to give me a second opinion.

More information

Learn more about this condition in our depression and mental health disorders sections.

Last reviewed: April 2017

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