Starting today and over the coming weeks and months here at Barty we will profiling people who have either gone through mental health struggles, going through struggles or have a unique perspective on mental health. This is because it can be hard to spot those who are going through mental illness and in order to reduce the stigma surrounding it we must talk about it.
Jocelyn is a nurse who loves her cat, trying a new healthy recipe and when not in a pandemic she loves to travel. She has been to Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Peru. With her sights on America next once country boarders open!
Her mental health struggle has been one that is recent and she is at the beginning of her journey. So let's get to know her!
Diagnosis (if any): Anxiety and some depression
Which fictional character do you relate to the most (get creative!)? Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle. As she is quiet, assertive and she appreciates a clean environment. In the majority of the movie she is an old woman and I too feel like I am an old woman in spirit.
How do you do self-care? Alone time (but with my cat) – online window shopping, reading and watching things such as YouTube, TV series and movies.
Treatment undergone/undergoing (if any): medication, but with the possibly of seeing a psychologist in the future.
What barriers (if any) did you face when trying to get help? Accepting that I needed to get help and my own personal stigma about. I think this was due to the fact that my father and older sister both struggle with mental illness and mine was never as bad as theirs in my eyes.
Tell us about your mental health struggles? I had a really rough patch in year 11 struggling with ATAR and I would come home and just cry and I was generally very miserable. I got over that with no interventions or confiding in anyone. Then when I started uni after a gap year, I got severe bad anxiety and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I went to my GP with my mother, who then put me on a low dose of an SSRI and I saw a naturopath about my IBS who put me on a Low FODMAP diet which helped. My anxiety triggered the IBS which is thankfully now managed by my diet. However, the SSRI didn’t kick in for 5 weeks so I didn’t eat much due to anxiety.
Most recently when I started at my first nursing job, my anxiety flared up again. My SSRI has been increased and I am looking into seeing a therapist.
What’s something you wish people knew about your struggles? That I have them and you are not alone. I feel like people don’t talk about their own personal struggles enough, people share about it on the internet in a non-personal way but not in person and not with people they aren’t so close to. People tend to talk about it with their close friends and family members but not with their work colleagues or study mates.
Have you received any amusing or unhelpful comments about your mental health that you would like to share? When I forgot about an online exam during the pandemic due to high levels of stress. I went to my doctor and asked for a doctor’s certificate for a deferred exam, they said don’t do this again because I don’t think using your anxiety as an excuse will fly next time. This made me feel like my doctor didn’t understand the full scope of the situation.
Thanks so much for sharing Jocelyn!
Want some more support or interested in being apart of this series? Feel free to drop by, just say, ‘Hey Erin’ in strict confidence and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or, do not hesitate to leave a question in the comments below any time.