To be heard by a health professional is paramount in giving someone the confidence to self manage and actively seek peer support.
Angela is 39 years old and is an active volunteer, supporting third sector organisations to champion the voices of people with lived experiences as well as being a committed befriender. She is living with Bipolar Disorder, a condition which affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another. During periods of depression Angela has practiced self-harm and has made a few attempts at suicide. During 2014- 2015, when Angela’s mood was very low she made a real plea to health professionals ‘Please help me I am terrified of myself.’
Since then Angela has taken the lead in her self management. She signed herself up for courses like Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), Anxiety Management, Living Life to the Full and Mindfulness. Each course gave Angela the confidence to go on and try another, learning useful self management tips along the way.
“I learned that sometimes I need to focus on what’s best for me and not everyone else. I learned my own triggers and developed a plan ahead for what to do if I felt myself becoming unwell.”
What self management means to Angela
Angela has found writing to be a particularly effective tool in supporting her self management. She uses writing as a mechanism to get thoughts out of her head and onto paper and pours her feelings into poetry.
For Angela, her self management is motivated by her keenness to start her recovery journey now. She is on the waiting list for specific health support services however Angela didn’t want to do nothing whilst waiting to be seen. For her, self management is about taking control, wanting to get well and understanding the journey of recovery.
Angela has spoken at various events and is helping to advocate to professionals what it is like being on the receiving end of treatment and making them aware of the range of support available in the community.
- To be heard by a health professional and feeling what you have to say is worth hearing is paramount in giving someone the confidence to self manage.
- Actively seeking activities and peer support can be beneficial to self management and can reduce isolation and improve well being.