How to find the right mental health support for you
Why am I always tired? How to stop a panic attack? How to deal with depression? A growing number of people are going online to find answers to their mental health questions.
Some of the most common questions being asked include:
- How to deal with anxiety?
- Am I depressed?
- Why am I always tired?
- What is bipolar?
- Do I have anxiety?
- How to deal with stress?
- How to stop a panic attack?
- How to deal with depression?
Over the year, the number of depression related questions that people ask Google has risen by 7 per cent in the UK, taking the number from 20,121,510 to 21,524,240. This means that someone goes online for information on depression once every 1.5 seconds.
Meanwhile, anxiety related terms have increased by 6% from 17,102,720 to 18,12,7200, with people in the UK asking Google about anxiety once every 1.7 seconds. Searches around stress related questions have also grown by 9% from 6,103,490 to 6,659,060, with people looking for answers online once every 4.7 seconds.
What to consider when seeking answers mental health questions online
Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Donna Grant at The Priory Hospital Chelmsford has advised people to be careful when searching around mental health online:
“Anyone can upload information onto the internet and therefore a lot of information can be unreliable. It may seem very tempting if someone is not feeling well to search on the internet for a diagnosis, as it is so readily accessible and they can get a very quick answer.
“One of the biggest concerns with self-diagnosis is that you may miss an underlying physical health problem presenting as a mental health problem. There is also the possibility that by self-diagnosing, you may miss something that cannot be seen. For example you may have overwhelming anxiety, which you self-diagnose as an anxiety disorder, but in fact it is covering up a major depressive illness.”
People may choose to search online for answers to their mental health because of a worry that they will be treated differently if they admit to feeling depressed, anxious or stressed. People can be terrified of others finding out, and may wait until they are really unwell before they seek professional help.
If you are concerned about your mental health and have questions that you would like answering, it is important to take the right steps to get professional medical help and support.
Seeking the right mental health support and treatment
When you are suffering from mental ill health, there is plenty of support and treatment that is available for you.
You may find it useful to talk to someone you trust, like your partner, a relative or a friend. It can give you an opportunity to discuss your thoughts and feelings, and talk about how to move forward.
You can also visit your GP to talk through your concerns and worries, and they may refer you for expert mental health treatment at Priory. In addition, while we prefer people to have a GP referral, this isn’t essential and you can also contact Priory directly to discuss your needs and options for treatment. There are many treatments available including counselling and talking therapies, which can help you to live the best quality of life.
With more and more of us conducting our lives online, we anticipate that searches around depression, anxiety and stress will continue to rise.
The key is to use Google wisely, and ensure that the sites we’re looking at are accurate. It is also crucial to get a personal diagnosis from a qualified medical expert, as they can make sure that you get the correct diagnosis and right treatment for you.