The story below is from Laura, describing her experience of obsessive compulsive disorder and the process of accessing services both via her GP and at University. She describes how CBT therapy played a part in her recovery, and how the input of a mental health mentor at Uni provided her with the support she needed to complete her course.
“I was diagnosed with OCD and anxiety when I was 17 (so about 5 years ago). I was referred for CBT and while that took a while to come through and my experience with the initial social worker was less than pleasant, my actual therapist was absolutely amazing.
He completely understood how I felt and while he always challenged me in my behaviours, he was always there for me when times were especially tough. He walked me through everything I needed to start recovery and within 8 weeks I was a different person and met my goal of being discharged before I went to uni. I couldn’t have done that without him and probably wouldn’t have made it to uni without his help!
When I went to uni, after a tough first semester I approached our Disability Services team to get help because I was struggling to cope with being away from home and general OCD issues! I was assigned a mental health mentor to see on a weekly basis as well as extensions/extra time in exams etc. That mental health mentor was a godsend – I couldn’t have graduated without those weekly sessions. I had one every week for the 3 years I was there and I still keep in contact with him every so often. He helped me to overcome a lot of fears, helped me to get and maintain a job and just generally made me a better person.
I genuinely am so thankful for him and for the positive experiences I’ve had with mental health services because all we ever hear in the media are the bad experiences people have which can ultimately put people off seeking help!”
Follow Laura on Twitter @lauracloughley