GP Simon and other health professionals talk about their own mental health experiences
I’m a GP. It’s thought that about 1 in 3 GP appointments relate to mental health in some way.
My interest in mental health comes from my own personal experience and from the experiences of my family.
Some of my colleagues find it hard to open up about their mental health. But we all need to look after ourselves and each other. That’s why I got involved in Mind’s latest film. I hope it helps others feel more comfortable to be open and seek support.
My particular illness is depressive, chronic dysthymia with episodic major depression – to be exact. I’ve received a lot of psychological therapy and have made the decision to stay on medication for life. I am happy for my patients to know this, but I do stress that everyone’s experience of mental health problems is unique.
Having a mental illness can be a challenge in a job like mine but staying mentally healthy is vital. I do this by having different ways to unwind, maintaining healthy relationships, and taking opportunities to learn new skills and enjoy the present moment.
It’s also important to be kind to yourself when things go wrong. Self-acceptance is about recognising that we do lots of things well, but we don’t get it right all the time. We have to pick ourselves up and learn from it.
I don’t regret my mental illness. It has made me more aware of mental health, both my own and others. Not all of us will get mentally ill, but we all have mental health and I enjoy helping people to look after theirs.