Reasons for the client requesting a Toolbox
(X is a pseudonym for the client)
X is currently unemployed as she is suffering with depression and anxiety. X is lacking in confidence due to her lack of job. X has been getting very down about her increasing weight gain which she attributes is partly due to her depression and anxiety medication and partly due to her self-identified comforting eating
During the course of the Toolbox appointment, X shared that she’d recognised that her mood became noticeably lower from October onwards and only started to lift a bit when the winter months were over. For the past two years, during the winter months X has needed hospital admissions and has been emotionally in crisis. For signposting the following was suggested.
It may be helpful for X to book a double appointment with her GP and discuss the possibility of X having an assessment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). By meeting with the GP an action plan could potentially be put in place to help X have extra support through her identified more difficult times of the year and have specialist help to know how to best help herself.
X was also encouraged to research different types of S.A.D lamps and maybe invest in one to help increase her ‘day light’ hours throughout the winter months. S.A.D lamps are available from e.g. Amazon and Argos.
X also shared that she was getting down about increasingly gaining weight which she attributed to: 1. Medication for depression and anxiety; 2. Comfort eating because of being depressed. The following ideas were discussed.
Using a mindfulness exercise e.g. with a piece of fudge, to help build time and space into her eating habits and think of it more as an experience to help her feel relaxed, rather than beating herself up about ‘shoving food in my mouth’ – X’s words.
As X was a trained chef, it was suggested that she could start a ‘Come Dine With Me’ group with her friends (one friend was also having issues with comfort eating) to help promote good eating choices and make eating more of an event that she could spend time planning and preparing for.
In addition to the food element of the above, X would be spending a ring-fenced time with her friends who worked and were not available to meet up during the day and connecting in a positive way. Connect being one of the 5 Ways to Well-being that has been researched and is known to be beneficial in promoting good well-being.
X to listen to some Well-being Podcasts specifically themed around eating habits and well-being. After the appointment, I emailed the identified Well-being Podcast Sheet with links on to X so she could connect with them easily.
X also shared that due to being depressed and her lack of confidence about how she looked, she was becoming increasingly more socially isolated and could quite easily stay in the house all day. To help with building self-confidence and becoming more socially outward looking X was encouraged to do the following.
Self-refer to her local community hub by phoning up the given number of the community co-ordinator and then going along for a chat to see what they had to offer. The goal would be to feel supported whilst building her self-confidence in social situations and also to help X get out of her house more, where the urge to comfort eat was more intense.
X also shared that she had difficulties with anxiety so the following signposting information was shared. The web addresses for No Panic and No More Panic and information about the websites’ online Forum, guided breathing exercise and body scan exercise. How imagining herself to be at e.g. the seaside – X’s choice and thinking about what she could see, how it felt to have the sun on her face and feel the sand between her toes etc could help promote a sense of peace and calm .
If waking in the night or feeling on edge, it was suggested that X could use her treadmill to literally walk out her anxiety with the additional benefit of building some exercise into her daily routine, again one of the 5 Ways to Well-being, and to help her feel better that she’s taking action to help herself let go of her anxiety and also have a positive effect in her healthy approach to her weight.
This case study is a real Toolbox client, This shows how Toolbox can help.
If you feel Toolbox is for you you can contact us on 01543 301139 or Toolboxreferral@ssnmentalhealth.co.uk