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liamium

Glastonbury Mental Health

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It's good that this is being discussed openly and no judgements are being made. Mental health is important and I'm glad support is getting better. I hope things go well at the festival but afterwards too.

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2 minutes ago, scaryclaireyfairy said:

Aye, I've seen exactly what Curlygirl describes several times.  I saw a girl strugging in a crowd while barely holding on myself.  Another woman grabbed her and began talking to her.  As I was crowded past I asked if she was ok. She gave *vigourous nods* and managed to spit out "panic.....attack!" Another woman being swept past in the crowd produced a paper bag from nowhere with a cheery "There you go, darlin" which she grabbed with such relief.  Where else does that happen?! 

I feel sorry for the people involved but it doesn't half make my heart swell to see the loveliness of others. Of course there are some that don't see the struggle and are impatient trying to push past. We linked arms and didn't budge for anyone, kept as quiet as possible and just let her come out of it. She had a friend with her telling her to breathe deeply etc. 

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1 hour ago, liamium said:

I've been on a low dosage of sertraline for 3 years and my alcohol consumption hasn't changed that much. Doctors will probably try to steer you clear of excessive drinking outside the max recommended units (but they'll do that anyway!)

I don't drink all that much now anyway, but i've seen no obviously adverse effects to heavier nights of drinking beyond my hangovers being that bit harder to pull out of, but shaking them off has never been much of a problem for me at Glastonbury.

Maybe test it out over the next few weekends? Have a couple of extra drinks, try going just past tipsy and edging into hammered? You'll get a sense of whether it's worth it.

Prior to the meds, I always took MDMA at Glastonbury. I loved the complete loss of self-consciousness, how it obliterated my fear of talking to people, of dancing and singing. I hated the come-downs, the feeling of not wanting to leave my tent. Not condoning or condemning. On SSRI anti-depressants like sertraline, citalopram though, MDMA has absolutely no effect on me. It does nothing. So this year I shall be relying purely on a few drinks and the strides in confidence I've made through CBT for my good times. And I'm very okay with that! :)

I can relate. Last year was an interesting experience as due to the Sertraline it was an alcohol only affair. This didn't hold me back at all, I even think I was in the Irish Piano bar until 8 one morning. Though the main negative was due to the increased alcohol consumption my bladder was working overtime, and LCD soundsystem would have been even more amazing with a few extras.

I think I could attend the festival sober and still have an amazing time due to the atmosphere. Overall attending Glastonbury last year was a big factor in lowering my depression/anxiety to a workable state. I was on the up before the festival and I was able to maintain it after and get off the meds within 2 months. This year will be a messier affair and I cannot wait.

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I always think to myself when i see someone who may need support tht could be me someday and what would i want someone to do for me! Know your own limits you dont have to drink take drugs to enjoy the festival! Take your own steps and do your own thing! Festival welfare the samaritans and stewards are always helpul! There are plenty of quiet places to relax and just watch the world go by! 

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I'm also glad this forum has popped up as i have been on mirtazapine for 9 yrs on and off as hate the side effects( hangover feeling every morning and eating loads) i get from them. So the other day i visit doc again and moan about the side affects again and they listened to me this time and now weening me of these tablets to start a new dose with venlafaxine. Has any one had these and will i get same kind of side effects as this makes me feel more low than not taking the meds.. 

Thinking mayb not start new meds till after glastonbury. My biggest anxiety at mo is the travelling on coach for 6hrs. But keep telling myself alls good as got my daughter with me. When we get to the festival it will be 100% better make friends and go and enjoy our self..

Edited by LifeBegins@What???

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I don't have much useful to add beyond what's already been said tbh. I've got nothing diagnosed or official or even remotely significant to deal with, as any anxiety (couple of attacks last year) I have is directly related to work!

I think Untz hit the nail on the head for me. Sometimes there's nothing better than somewhere like the Tiny Tea Tent for a cuppa in a proper mug. I think the ceramic acts as some kind of anchor to the real world as paper cups just feel transitory. Sitting down with a bit of headspace for 15 minutes or so always helps me.

Advice I'd give those of us who aren't suffering is don't hold back from asking if someone's ok. Worst case they say "I'm fine thanks" and we all move on. Best case is you rescue someone's festival and help them out of a hole.

Good thread @liamium

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I had a right wobble two years ago and ended up sitting by the fire of a welfare tent near croissant neuf. Just needed to chill and calm down. Ended up chatting to efester. Love this place. 

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13 minutes ago, H.M.V said:

I had a right wobble two years ago and ended up sitting by the fire of a welfare tent near croissant neuf. Just needed to chill and calm down. Ended up chatting to efester. Love this place. 

It wasn't me but I have spent a few hours in there too. Think it was 2014 and suddenly it all got too much for me. I have Menieres Disease so have to watch my stress/anxiety levels as they can trigger a vertigo attach. Couple of hours rest and some water and I was okay.

It's worthwhile making a note on your map on the whereabouts of welfare tents as they provide a fantastic service. 

Brilliant thread, thanks @liamium :)

 

 

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I've recently been diagnosed with anxiety but pretty sure it has been underlying for years. I'm lucky in a way as at least half of the group I'm going with this year have faced mental health issues in the past or are currently dealing with them now so I'm fairly confident there is mutual understanding and empathy amongst us all. It's important to make sure you don't force yourself to do anything you don't want to, just because everyone else you're with is doing it or going there etc. There's no shame in needing some time out or an early night or avoiding certain parts of the site because they're extremely crowded. I'm not claustrophobic but I can't think of anything that would spoil my enjoyment more than queueing to get in one of the late night areas at peak time

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I have just completed Mind's Mental Health 1st Aiders course and it was fab. There aim is that every work place has a Mental Health 1st Aider. I will now be the one for my team at the festival working with our physical health 1st aider. Look them up locally to see if they due courses in your area. Worth every minute even though I work with people with a wide range of issues

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Some great advice above. To chuck in a few further thoughts.  First of all you don't have to do anything at Glastonbury.  Don't feel under any pressure to see particular bands or particular spots or even explore the whole site. Think of it as a week of chilling, not a week when you've got to do a lot.  Chilling can be a worthwhile, restorative activity it its own right

Pace yourself, take it gently but do make sure from the start that you can find your tent if you need to get back for a rest. Orientate yourself so you know where it is relative to things that don't move like pathways, toilet blocks, pylons and lighting poles.

Find out how to get to Welfare/Medical before you need to- they are brilliant and well-versed in helping people with MH issues.

The Healing Fields are a great place to sit and chill.  I'd also take a fold up chair so you can just sit and calm down whenever and wherever you feel the need.

If you are going with friends you may also want to go your own way from time to time. So agree meeting places and times through the day.  There are quite a lot of Meeting Points that are signposted or it could be at a particular food stall.  You might want to meet up before a particular band is on so you can then all go and watch together.

I've found Glastonbury goers to be amongst the most friendly, supportive and understanding people you'll meet. You can strike up conversations with random strangers or simply sit and watch the world go by.  When you leave and return to the 'real world' you'll wish more of it could be like Glastonbury.

 

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Am I right in thinking there's a Samaritans tent somewhere at Glastonbury(sorry if that's already been mentioned)? Always worth knowing. 

I've kind of learnt from trial and error; I dislike big large crowds so avoid them as much as I can and stay at the back. I know after 5 days of hitting it hard I'm going to feel pretty down on the Monday but I do what I can to lesson the blow. Also if I know why I'm feeling so terrible then it makes it easier to cope with. Eat plenty of veg, drink plenty of water. The main thing is don't suffer in silence. Sometimes it can be so hard because everyone around you is having the time of their lives and you're not and it's easy to forget that it's ok not to be having a super amazing time. Do try and find someone, anyone to talk to.

Edited by eviepeach

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first Glastonbury for me this year, mid 50's and also a depressive.  Just changed medication and although not 100 percent and have really bad down days feeling a lot better.   It's nice to know it's OK to talk about here as in real life I can't get people to understand how trying to get away from my mind is torture sometimes.

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2 hours ago, Curlygirl said:

I feel there's a greater understanding of mental health problems within the patrons of Glastonbury. I have witnessed quite a few people having anxiety attacks and as Mr Gumby mentions, it's always in the tight spots. Last year my friend and I roped a few more people in to stand in a circle around a lady who was struggling with the crowds moving away from adele. She was getting pushed around and we found her crouched down in a ball on the path. We stood there for a good 20 minutes until she felt calm again and she went on her way a happier calmer woman. Look after yourselves and don't be pushed into doing something you don't want to do. Stand on the outskirts and know your limits. Be good to yourselves. And enjoy ;)

This is so lovely to read. I suffer from claustrophobia which has become much worse since my last visit to the festival and I've been starting to worry a little as it gets closer. Reading stuff like this makes me feel so much calmer knowing there are people out there who are capable of being so bloody kind. This entire thread has really helped to be honest. 

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Just now, char90 said:

This is so lovely to read. I suffer from claustrophobia which has become much worse since my last visit to the festival and I've been starting to worry a little as it gets closer. Reading stuff like this makes me feel so much calmer knowing there are people out there who are capable of being so bloody kind. This entire thread has really helped to be honest. 

I'm sorry you are suffering with claustrophobia, rest assured people will help you if you find yourself in a panic. Avoiding the tight spots isn't always easy but try staying at the end of a headliner til the crowds have cleared slightly. Don't go into a crowd knowing you will struggle to get out. Talk to someone if you feel an attack coming on... if that someone understands what is happening they will be more likely to help rather than just think you're off your face on something. And most of all, don't worry about whether it may happen as you will wind yourself up until it does happen. Try to have fun but if you do have an attack, remember a time when it's happened and you've felt dreadful, but then remember that you came out of it. The good times will far outweigh the bad x

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@Curlygirl thank you so much. I'm just going to have to try and be aware and luckily the people I'm coming with know I can really struggle at times. I got stuck in the exodus post Rolling Stones in 2013 and managed to keep a panic attack at bay so fingers crossed I'll be ok. I think sometimes the fear of having an attack is worse than the actual attack if that makes sense! Whatever happens I'm so excited to go back to the festival and I'm honestly counting down the days. Thank you again for your lovely advice and I hope you have an amazing time in june x

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I found beta blockers brilliant for dealing with a particularly bad episode of the sads. I didn't want anti depressants and was waiting for CBT sessions. Got me driving again after 2 months of the motor sitting idle. A somewhere in between option for managing anxiety. 

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4 hours ago, lazzareo said:

As I started on my road to recovery and started to listen to music again one of my mates recommended a band to me called The National.  I started to listen to High Violet and 3 tracks coincided with a major moment of clarity and I mean major and that was Vanderlye Crybaby Geeks, England & Runaway with the latter being the moment as I walked across the car park at work to a major meeting with my headphones on listening to Runaway and life made sense again.  Some might think how can The National be uplifting but to me its inspiring and when I ever hit a low these tracks get played and that moment of clarity comes flooding back and we go again!!!

I find music that others consider miserable and depressing to actually be uplifting because it reminds me I'm not alone, and I find comfort in that. If Thom Yorke can write OK Computer with the myriad of issues he has suffered from over the years, then I can get up, go to work and be polite to my coworkers and take all the shit that's thrown my way. If things get difficult at work I'll often hide in the loo and listen to Motion Picture Soundtrack, Pink Rabbits etc.

The National and Daughter have really helped me in recent years. But it's different strokes I guess - one of my closest friends also suffers from similar issues to myself and she finds that kind of music actually makes things worse.

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Can't really add much to what has already been said. But as an anxiety sufferer I always find that during the day I'm ok but at night is when things get bad.

I've learned that I'm absolutely fine if I stick to the smaller stages in the evening - means there is a quick escape route if things get bad. I also carry round a packet of Kalms with me. You can buy them at all pharmacies, they are tasteless and the effects last for 3 hours. They've really helped me out in sticky situations and I couldn't recommend them enough. If you feel on edge at any point in the day just one pill would calm you down. They also work make for great sleeping pills as well. 

I tend to keep myself to myself in the day, obviously if someone starts chatting to me I'm not gonna say no to a decent conversation, but no one will think any less of you if you go down this route. Equally, no ones gonna judge you if you decide to spark up a conversation with them. Obviously you'll get the occasional nonce, but most people at Glastonbury are very friendly. 

Edited by BlackHole2006

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Thanks so much to everyone for sharing so far. Some really useful and reassuring advice. I'm out of upvotes but feeling very grateful to everyone who's opened up about their own experiences, and it's so nice to hear about Glasto camaraderie!

I'm thinking about maybe editing a site map to highlight all the Samaritan & welfare tents, as well as all the 'refuge' spots recommended, places to clear ones head, where to get a brew in a proper mug etc.

Edited by liamium
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6 hours ago, carlosj said:

It's good that this is being discussed openly and no judgements are being made. Mental health is important and I'm glad support is getting better. I hope things go well at the festival but afterwards too.

This is the thing I love about the patrons of this forum, it makes me confident that I'd be surrounded by understanding people if ever I hit crisis point at the festival.

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5 hours ago, matt2007 said:

I have just completed Mind's Mental Health 1st Aiders course and it was fab. There aim is that every work place has a Mental Health 1st Aider. I will now be the one for my team at the festival working with our physical health 1st aider. Look them up locally to see if they due courses in your area. Worth every minute even though I work with people with a wide range of issues

I can second this, having completed the course myself.  I'm glad you found it valuable.  

I am passionate about mental health and wellbeing, this has developed through my job as a a housing officer.  

I don't suffer from anxiety or depression myself, although I did have a mental ill health "episode" a few months ago.   The sudden death of a relative, the family dynamic surrounding that combined with coming off the contraceptive pill (no one warned me about that roller coaster) and stress at work which all triggered off my ME meant that I just had to hide away from the world for a while.

Efestivals folk unwittingly helped me through all of that by the way - thank you.

I am looking forward to Glastonbury because I find a festival environment (particularly Glastonbury) very beneficial for my mental wellbeing, in terms of switching off and relaxing.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their tips and experiences.  The tips are useful for everyone, you don't have to suffer from anxiety to feel anxious after drinking alcohol and as much as I love Glastonbury there is usally at least one moment when I feel really low.  Going solo for the first time this year it is good to have suggestions of places to go to have some time out.

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5 hours ago, eviepeach said:

Am I right in thinking there's a Samaritans tent somewhere at Glastonbury(sorry if that's already been mentioned)? Always worth knowing. 

I've kind of learnt from trial and error; I dislike big large crowds so avoid them as much as I can and stay at the back. I know after 5 days of hitting it hard I'm going to feel pretty down on the Monday but I do what I can to lesson the blow. Also if I know why I'm feeling so terrible then it makes it easier to cope with. Eat plenty of veg, drink plenty of water. The main thing is don't suffer in silence. Sometimes it can be so hard because everyone around you is having the time of their lives and you're not and it's easy to forget that it's ok not to be having a super amazing time. Do try and find someone, anyone to talk to.

Yea there's a couple I've used them a couple of times over the years very useful if you need to chill and chat without some godly person trying to tell you that if you turn to him your life will be better..

When in reality an hours chat with a totally normal person you've never met before with out being judged ect is what you NEED. 

I always pop in even if I'm fine.. No idea why.. Maybe it's just so I know there faces lol.. 

If needed use them there great.. 

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9 hours ago, scaryclaireyfairy said:

The comfort of Glastonbury is that unlike in real life, you're never more than a 25 minute brisk walk from a 'safe space' (your tent) if you need to have time out and you can do that at any time.  Plus the copious other quiet corners you find.  The Peace Garden up at the Stone Circle is a really good 'un.  Permaculture can be too when it's not busy - a wee elderflower cordial and a bench under the trees.  I've not used it for such yet but I'm betting The Wood will be a good escape at that side of site. 

I generally just head vaguely towards the Green Fields.  That area is like a Room of Requirements when my head's on squint.  Whether it's a seat on my own or a quiet cup of chai in a real mug or just hypnotically watching someone make something, a thing that will make me feel better always finds me up there. :)

Absolutely could not agree more. I don't suffer terribly from poor mental health although can feel a little anxious and overwhelmed at times. I usually make a daily trip to Green fields while at Glastonbury to relax, eat something and drink something healthy and enjoy a bit of peace.

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