In this blog, Lauryn discusses her journey with mental health and anxiety. She tells us how her workplace have been very understanding and supportive throughout, with an allocated wellbeing group where communication is encouraged.

*Trigger Warning – Anxiety, Depression and Mental Health.

“I struggled with my own mental health from a young age. I would go through bouts of struggling to leave the house and experience panic attacks regularly. I went through periods where this didn’t affect me too much to points of time where it really did. Unbeknownst to me, I was suffering with anxiety.

Unfortunately, my mental health deteriorated when I reached college. One day, I was fed up with suffering and my mum got me an appointment to speak to the doctor. I was referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for counselling. I attended counselling for a few months before being signed off. I found the tools that were taught during counselling beneficial, but after a few months I was back to my anxious self. I went through this process another two times!

Even with the amazing tools I learnt through this service, I began feeling low. I was unable to complete simple tasks like getting out of bed and showering. There felt no point to anything I was doing. I experienced no joy when doing things that I usually loved. My mum decided to book another doctor’s appointment and I vividly remember being told I was ‘too young’ to feel the way I was feeling. Nonetheless, I was diagnosed with anxiety and low mood. The doctor advised that I consider counselling again and give it another few weeks. Anti-depressants were mentioned, but the doctor was reluctant to prescribe them mainly due to my age. After a few weeks had passed, I was still feeling hopeless. I felt that nothing would change. I booked another appointment; I saw a different doctor this time who was very empathetic and ended up prescribing me anti-depressants. I took these tablets for three years alongside regular counselling both through the NHS and privately.

As of September 2023, along with the support of the doctors, I weaned off my anti-depressants and now no longer take them! I never thought that I would be able to do manage without them. My main coping strategy is being active, I love the gym which I also never thought I would say. I still get anxious sometimes, but I am much better at managing this.

I am lucky enough that my workplace is very understanding and supportive. Communication is encouraged and throughout the practice there is an allocated wellbeing group. This group organise social activities such as walks and team-building exercises. Within the practice we have a mental wellbeing first aid kit. This consists of items that benefits the team members, for example aromatherapy rollers, chocolate, breathing exercise guidance and many more! Additionally, mental health leave is available if required.

My takeaway point from this is that it does get better! I thought that there was no light at the end of the tunnel but there is. I am now a registered veterinary nurse and absolutely love my job. I found writing this piece very daunting as some individuals I know will learn something new about me through this. However, if this helps just one person, it is well worth it.”

If you are struggling with anything mentioned in this story and need to seek help, please look at our Mental Health Toolkit, and/or the following signposts;