Michael's story: managing emotions through challenging times

Michael's story

For Michael, depression and anxiety were difficult to cope with, but help was hard to come by.

“I’d always be afraid to call Samaritans or someone for help,” he says. “Or worried about getting in touch with a doctor. I would always struggle about what to do if something goes wrong – I’d always go into full anxiety mode.”

Michael says he was in a bad state, which made it hard for him to stay organised – which made him feel even more filled with anxiety. So when the opportunity came to use Brain in Hand to help him be more structured, he thought it might stop his mind from running wild in times of stress.

Now, whenever situations cause him worry, he puts it into Brain in Hand. Simple notifications and a widget he can see whenever he looks at his phone give him confidence that he doesn’t have to worry as much – he’ll always have a reminder of what he needs to do.

When his mum was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Brain in Hand was there to help Michael manage his emotions better. “I was alone at the time,” he says. “I didn’t know what to do. All I knew was I needed to talk to someone right now. I pressed the red button and put into my notes ‘just found out my mum has fibromyalgia’, and the response I got was really quick.” He says the conversation he had with his on-demand Brain in Hand supporter really helped him in the moment, reassuring him and helping him manage his emotions. Without that, it could have spiralled out of control.

I think it was a very scary thing, and Brain in Hand definitely made it a lot better than if I’d got that news and stayed silent about it.

Beyond this difficult situation, Brain in Hand’s helped Michael more generally. “I used to just be scared of leaving the house,” he says, “but now I can reflect on why I don’t like it, put it into Brain in Hand, and come up with some solutions.” He says it feels almost like having someone else sitting next to him to provide reassurance, helping him manage anxiety.

I used to think I was selfish, but it’s been helpful having that reassurance that my feelings are OK.

Looking to the future, Michael sees every day as a learning experience. He’s got plenty of solutions in his Brain in Hand to help him tackle problems, but each day might present new situations that cause him anxiety. But that doesn’t feel as worrying now, because he can always put those situations into Brain in Hand to help manage them better in future.

“With something like therapy,” he says, “you might have a few weeks. But with this, it’s there until you no longer need it.”

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