Seeking mental health help

Had some routine vaccinations at medbay last week, as I was walking out I finally found the guts to make an appointment to see the Dr. I've had bouts of feeling very low all through my life but Ive managed to snap out of them, this time is different. I've felt nothing but despair and anxiety for the past 5 months, there's been no respite, I cant eat, I cant sleep and i'm scared of what I might do if it gets worse, and it is getting worse. I've never talked about this to anyone and i'm terrified of seeing the doctor, I haven't a clue what to say at the appointment, all I know is that I desperately want help. I'd just like to know if anyone has any experience of seeking mental health help in the navy? Im not a combat veteran, i've not been deployed, I don't have PTSD, I don't know why I feel like this, I shouldn't feel like this, but it won't go away. Is there help out there, or am I opening up a can of worms by admitting to these issues. At the moment I want out the navy, but I know thats just the depression taking over, I don't want out, this is the best thing thats ever happened to me, but at the moment i want to fall asleep and not wake up. Sorry for rambling, but does anyone have any similar experience of asking for help like this


War Hero
Just tell the Dr what you've said here. You don't need a speech prepared, you don't even have to have a clear idea of why you feel like you do, but you do need to talk. You will be given the help you need, but please make sure you don't back out of the appointment.


War Hero
Rest assured, the RN medical branch is particularly well attuned to health issues of this nature and, in my opinion, expert at helping people deal with it and come out the other side ready to crack-on with service life.

There always seems to be a reticence for people to admit these issues as though there's some kind of embarassment alttached to it. There isn't. Service personnel aren't super-human, they are the same as everyone else.

The first hurdle is admitting to yourself there's something not right. The second is seeking professional, qualified help. The third is to remember the service healthcare professionals aren't psychic, so whilst you are under their care, remember to tell them of developments good or bad, don't assume they know when things aren't improving, they don't, you need to keep them in the loop.

Chin-up, there are dozens and dozens of people who have felt the same. Stop worrying and crack-on. Get your arse into the med centre :)

Good luck.
Hello Suzanne1994,

I'll start by agreeing with the excellent advice offered by the two initial Posters (both of whom are long-serving with an abundance of experience with RN personnel at all levels).

Me? Long retired (after 33+ RN years) and classified by some on RR as a 'PSOF'. (You will find what those initials mean elsewhere but my preference is for 'Perfectly Sane Older Fellow**** - with 3 adult 'children' and 6 grandchildren - plus 20 yrs of running a small business after leaving the Andrew!!)

Because I care about the RN my input to RR generally tends towards the light-hearted end of the scale but, especially for you, I've just put my 'Serious Head' on. Sorry for appearing to wibble on a little but, just like you've described, I too have had a <<...similar experience of asking for help like this...and wanted to fall asleep and not wake up...>>

At the time I had absolutely no tangible reason for feeling like that - our business was busy but doing well, I had no issues at home or with any of our offsprings and we were financially sound & debt-free. In short, I just felt totally valueless and wanted only to shut myself off from the world. (Looking back, the family were very supportive, allowing time off which I used to sleep for most of each day.) It took time and a lot of gentle persuading before I finally saw my GP, even then I believe my it was my wife who set up that up.

That first appointment - which I'm glad to hear you've also made and I'll underline that you must keep it, please - it was the first step on my long road to recovery.

Diagnosis - My case was diagnosed as 'depression'.(probably due to long hours & ATT eating a poor diet: fast foods & skipped mealtimes)

This big 'D' takes many forms and will affect a fair proportion of the population at some point in our lives, so although you'll maybe feel alone please be aware that many others suffer, too.* Even those who display an outward abundance of self-confidence. (eg Winston Churchill often had severe bouts of depression and he chose to call those periods his 'Black Dog.' Not for me though, because 'the Black Dog' I knew of was a particular Pub which I frequented during my miss-spent youth!).

Treatment & Recovery - There is sometimes a quick fix (diet/rest/your overall physical condition etc). In my situation, it was a case of discovering then prescribing the right medication and the times to take it. The GP's aim was to re-balance the curious chemical make-up which the brain needs to operate as near as possible to it's 'normal settings', whatever that might be!

As you take stock before your MO appointment try to remember that, unlike a host of unsuitable 'also rans', you can take pride in the fact that you've made it into the RN. Ahead of you are all the opportunities to gain recognised qualifications for a successful career with either continued service in the RN or in civilian life once your initial engagement is over. Not forgetting the team aspect of the RN. Wherever you are there is always someone to turn to and point you in the right direction for a solution.

Our sister site, ARRSE, has a much bigger and active population of contributors and they have a long running thread on this very subject: Please spare a while to wade through at least some of the pages of this rather long thread *'Depression and Other Mental Health Issues' at

Meanwhile, if you wish to expand on your worries the two previous posters and I can be reached by the Private Message facility at RR if you'd prefer it. Otherwise please keep us all posted on your progress on this Thread.

Chin up Suzanne, and Cheerio for now from an alternative PSOF****

Bob L
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