Well my first reminder to myself is to save my blogs as I go along as my previous beginning to Cont.…………….. Ended up being politely deleted by my 9 year old granddaughter whose name shall not be mentioned for confidentiality reasons, however in situations like this I should be able to name and shame her.

My second reminder to myself is well, not everyone may get my sense of humour; I wouldn’t really name and shame my granddaughter on a social blog.

So as it says at the top…… I shall begin again and am sure it will not be the same but hey am sure that is why it disappeared so I could write it again.

I recently read an amazing written piece by an inspirational young lady and it made me think…………actually think.  The piece of brilliantness was about being a peer activist, advocate and how we should protect our own space. It made me realise that this is not something I always do. Yes I am an activist and advocate but do I remember myself in all of this, is it my escape from myself, do I protect my own space. Now I am not going to waffle on for ages and ages about the woes and worries of my life as this is a blog not a bed time story but wrapped up in all this space is my mental health and this got me thinking some more.

So recent surveys at local clinics identify through a series of questions (given whilst waiting for the Doctor), then the Doctor does the usual questions etc. then comes to the form which has questions like ‘How many days do you not feel like getting dressed? You know questions based on your days in general then if your score is above a certain number the doctor says you may be depressed and that it may be beneficial for you to go on to anti-depressants.

So in my experience depression and or anxiety for some, improve with medication but that is also combined with some type of talking therapy.

So my peers are leaving the appointment feeling totally depressed as it has just been suggested that they need to be on anti-depressants and then when they ring for a GP appointment to explain are told that there are no appointments until July bearing in mind we are only in May, where to next?

Recent surveys highlight that PLWH experience Depression and Anxiety a lot and having being told I have a Generalised Anxiety Disorder (shortly after  being told I was HIV+). Highlighting the discussion further what comes first the mental health or the HIV or the HIV then the mental health. So similar to the chicken and egg scenario what does come first?

I try to remember before, try to remember if my life was disrupted in the same way it is now but am not sure that it was. However was it just always there, hiding and waiting for its chance to break free and wreak havoc on my mind to limit the freedom of my own mental health.

Despite all the surveys and form filling, to try to find out why somebody is depressed or anxious, what I think is important to remember is the individuality of the person experiencing the mental health issues. And maybe it’s not even important what came first, what is important is  that the person’s individuality is duly noted and taken into consideration when thinking about treating both medically, holistically, and pathways of care created to provide the road to becoming empowered and having the tools to manage.

So maybe for me it is time to be more vocal, to be more empowered but overall time to protect my own space.

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