Support & Direction
Know Your Options
Research shows that psychological therapies are the most effective treatment option for people with mild and moderate anxiety. However, if symptoms are severe, some medical treatments may be helpful. It is essential that medication should never be used as the first port of call. You are strongly recommended to evaluate all other possible options and solutions before resorting to medication.
In fact it is only when medication is prescribed too quickly and too freely that we strongly suggest other solutions are first sought out. In today’s world everything can be fixed with a pill, this is a huge misconception and one that can often create more harm then good. So evaluate your options carefully, exercise all your available resources and act cautiously before taking any decisions.
If medication proves to be your option then be sure to work with both a psychologist and a psychiatrist who jointly assess your condition, and work conjunctively to ensure you deal not only with the medical condition, but also the underlying psychological states of being that manifest themselves as a result of the condition.
There are plenty of effective treatments for anxiety and depression, and the sooner you seek support, the sooner you can recover. Regardless of what causes depression and anxiety, the practical issue is how we are going to fight these problems.
So no matter who you are, or how you’re feeling, you can talk it through with us – we’ll point you in the right direction so you can seek further support. Last year people in Malta accessed our service more than 254,000 times to discuss their concerns – both big and small – and you can too.
All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential. Although we may ask for your first name and some general details, you can let us know if you’d like to remain anonymous.
You Are Not Alone
Mental health difficulties effect many of us at some point in our lives. It is important that you talk about what you are experiencing with a professional who can guide you towards getting the help that can support you to feel better. All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential. Although we may ask for your first name and some general details, you can let us know if you’d like to remain anonymous.
What Can Help
We Can All Get Out of It
Whoever you are and however you’re feeling, it is important that you talk to someone who can support you and point you in the right direction to find your way forward. There is professional help at any given time of the day or night. No concern is too small of too big, if it is causing you concern it is important to speak about it.
What Can I Do
The way you experience symptoms of anxiety or depression may not be the same as someone else experiences them.
What can help you might not be what would help someone else. This is why it is important that your treatment plan should be specific to your condition, circumstances, needs and preferences. Many people struggling with anxiety or depression have found that some of the following interventions helped.
- Adapting your routine and making lifestyle changes that will enhance your mental health
- Finding social support from family, friends, social groups
- Practising mindfulness
- Doing meditation, grounding and breathing eexercises
- Exercise (Yoga is highly recommended as it focuses on breathing which can be calming)
- Psychological, cognitive or ‘talking’ therapies
- EMDR Therapy – This focuses on letting go of your past & dealing with trauma
- Medical therapies
Different health professionals (such as GPs & Psychiatrists) offer different types of services and treatments for depression and anxiety. When you see a health professional be as open and honest as possible about what is going on with you so that they can find the right course of treatment for you. Medical professionals may prescribe medication to help you treat the symptoms you are experiencing so that you may be able to lead a better quality of life and be in a better position to work on the root cause of the issue that is bothering you through therapy/counselling sessions.
It may be helpful to ask the professional questions about concerns you may have so that they may be addressed. Find out more information on medication depression and anxiety.
What Questions Should I Ask?
You can ask your professional anything, there are no right or wrong questions. Some things which may help you are below.
1. What Are My Options?
Understanding what you can do by yourself, what is available, how much it costs and how long it may take to help are all things that can support you to make informed decisions about your course of treatment. Malta’s National Healthcare System offers a variety of treatment options which are paid for by the government, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, social workers, medication and so on.
Things that may support you are lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity, healthier eating, enough sleep, family and peer support and mindfulness and meditation. Psychological therapy for mild-moderate anxiety and depression is very beneficial, and even as a final resort through to more specialised psychological and medical treatments for severe depression and/or anxiety.
It is important to explore what works and what does not work for you. This is a process which can take time, so it is important that you allow enough time for your treatment to be effective. Most interventions take some time to produce results. Ultimately getting the support and treatment you need is the most important thing.
2. How Do I Choose the Best Options for Me?
This will depend on the severity of what you are feeling. It is important to evaluate what the pros and cons for each option could be. This may include talking about the side effects of medications, withdrawal effects, and costs of alternative options that could help steer away from medication with your professionals. Does your workplace offer an employee assistance programme or health insurance? Would these cover the costs of therapy or a consultation with a psychiatrist? If not, would you need to seek free support? All these questions will help guide you to the best support for you.
3. When Will I Start to Feel Better?
If you are considering starting medical treatment, there are some things to keep in mind. Although not all treatments are the same, most medication will take at least 2 weeks so start working. At the beginning, the doctor might prescribe a small dose to be increased gradually over a couple of weeks. It’s important for you to have a tentative idea of when your treatment would start working, so that it helps you understand what you are to expect in the first few days and weeks. Make sure you ask any questions you have on your mind, such as any side effects, what are the withdrawal effects and if there are any risks with the medication. You and your professional will also set a date for a follow-up or a review session, usually after a couple of weeks or months to make sure the treatment has stabilised.
At times, there is the misconception that everything can be fixed with a pill. It’s important to remember that medication on its own will help with the symptoms but it will not tackle any underlying psychological difficulties. In cases of mild or moderate depression and anxiety, it’s best to epxlore whether other supports and treatments have proven beneficial before starting medication.
Remember that the best way forward is usually a mixture of different supports that include your support system, your self-care habits and professional help. Thinking of starting therapy? Here’s some more information on what to expect from your sessions.