Twenty-eight-year-old Amy Jackson (pictured left) realised that her anxiety was holding her back in life. Amy reached out to MyWellbeing IAPT service and has never looked back, crediting the service with giving her a new lease of life. Amy is now using her own experience to encourage other people to get support.
Amy sadly lost both her stepfather and auntie within months of each other when she was twenty years of age. This was the catalyst for anxiety and low mood that was managed through medication until Amy decided to seek help. Amy benefited from enrolling on an online group course available through MyWellbeing IAPT service, leading to a boost in mood and tools to manage anxiety that has had a life changing impact on her life.
Elaborating further Amy explained: I first started with anxiety when I was about twenty, just after my stepdad passed away. I was also diagnosed with depression at the age of 15, so the anxiety and depression have kind of gone hand-in-hand. I’d lost my stepdad and four months later I lost my auntie, all in the same year. It had a really big impact. I was trying to support my mum and didn’t deal with the bereavement or grieve properly myself, which is what I think caused the anxiety. I didn’t know what to do with any sort of emotion I felt or how to deal with it. This made me feel even more anxious. I didn’t want to leave the house or see people. I shut myself off, which didn’t help with the depression. I was on and off medication and I felt so bad that I was willing to try anything to tackle the issue.
Amy continued: I’d been on a one-to-one course with another provider, but it didn’t work for me, so I was a little bit apprehensive about doing another course. The MyWellbeing IAPT course was absolutely brilliant and being in a group setting was actually a lot better for me. Even though it was online you had the choice of turning your laptop camera on so you could connect with the group. There was also a chat box so you could read how everyone else was doing. This made me realise that other people were feeling the same as me, so I didn’t feel abnormal for being anxious or having low mood. The group was lovely and so supportive. It was great to hear how people were benefiting from the course as it progressed over the six-week period.
I’ve never been able to deal with my anxiety very well, so the course has made a real difference. I’m no longer on medication and feel the best I’ve felt in years. I still have the odd bad day, but I’ve got the supporting material to refer back to when I need it and can practice the useful exercises if I’m ever feeling anxious.
I went back to visit my GP and he couldn’t believe the difference in me from when I first went to him for help less than 12 months ago – the course has been life changing.
Following a recent family bereavement Amy was able to draw on the tools and techniques that she learnt on the course to help manage her anxiety. Amy said: This time because my mindsets is different, I’ve been able to deal with it in a different way. I’ve been using the booklets that were given to me on the course to manage my anxiety. I’m not standing behind a door for 10 minutes talking myself into going to work anymore, I’m not having panic or anxiety attacks. The difference is just unbelievable.
At one point I wasn’t able to leave my house because of the anxiety, now I can go out. At one point I couldn’t be in busy places. Now if I’m in a crowded room I’m not hyperventilating. I can deal with everything a lot better. It feels like the fog has lifted and learning how to deal with everything doesn’t seem as scary anymore. I know I don’t need to panic or worry about things. I can’t put into words how amazing MyWellbeing IAPT service is. I really didn’t think it would have such a positive effect on my mental health and if I hadn’t have taken the steps to do the course I would still have been stuck in a negative spiral of anxiety.
Amy credits the course with improving her emotional wellbeing and is encouraging others who are considering getting help to go for it. Amy said: I’m feeling amazing since I’ve been on the course and would advise anyone thinking of seeking help to do it as it can be lifechanging.
Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s MyWellbeing IAPT service is open to anyone over the age of 16 who is registered with a GP in Bradford, Wharfedale, Airedale or Craven. People don’t have to go through their GP to access support, they can register online at www.bmywellbeingiapt.nhs.uk
For information on all mental health and wellbeing support services in Bradford and Craven and self-help resources and apps, visit www.healthyminds.services.