If you find that you are struggling to cope, you are not alone. It can be difficult to know how to look after your emotional wellbeing and mental health. Especially when you also have liver disease. Different things will work for different people, so if something doesn’t work for you that’s okay – try something else instead. Here are some simple things you could try at home, whenever you feel ready.
1 Be kind to yourself
If you feel down, and everything seems difficult, try to do something you enjoy. Even if you don’t feel like it right now. This could be whatever normally makes you happy, maybe listening to music, going for a walk, or watching a favourite TV program. It doesn’t need to be a big thing, just something that is positive for you.
2 Set aside “worry time”
If you are worrying a lot it can help to set aside 15 minutes of dedicated worry time each day. Pick a time, not too close to when you will go to bed, when you can think through all the things that have been worrying you. Try to make the rest of the day a worry-free zone. When worries come up at other times, write them down and come back to them at worry time. You can find more information about worry time in this video and in this blog.
3 Ask: “What would I tell a friend”
It can help to imagine that a good friend is going through the same problems as you. Think about what advice and support you would give them. It can be much easier to be kind to others than to ourselves.
We’re here for you, from information and advice to simply having someone to listen. Speaking to one of our liver nurses and getting to know people in a similar situation can be reassuring and can really help too.
Helpline 0800 652 7330
The British Liver Trust helpline is a confidential service staffed by qualified liver nurses. Our nurses are here to help from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
You can also email the helpline anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org Emails will be answered in helpline hours.
Many patients, families and carers affected by a liver condition find it helpful to speak to others and share experiences. The British Liver Trust run a range of of support groups for different types of liver disease. Our groups meet online and are a great way to connect with others who share similar experiences.
Online support Community
Our online forum is another way to connect with other people who share your experiences, ask questions and discuss anything about living with liver disease.
Your GP will have lots of experience with mental health issues and can refer you if you need support. They should know which services are available in your area and be able to tell you about waiting list times. If you have to wait for a service to be available, ask your GP to recommend ways you can help yourself feel better now. For example, free NHS resources or charities with information or support. There are also some useful links at the bottom of this page.
Some information on NHS services can also be found online. Services work a bit differently in the 4 nations of the UK.
The IAPT service provides counselling and other talking therapies. If you are registered with a GP in England you can refer yourself to this service but if possible, talk to your GP first. The waiting list for IAPT can be long in some areas and your GP will be able to help you decide if this is the best option for you.
Information on how to get help with your mental health in Northern Ireland. This is usually through your GP.
Information on support available in Scotland, mostly accessed via the NHS 111 phone number.
The books are available in all library services in England and Wales. Some books are available as E-books or audiobooks.
You can find your local library service online to get information on how to join the library and borrow books electronically.
Some employers offer staff an employee assistance program (EAP). These are usually phone lines or websites that can give confidential advice. Some also offer counselling.
Employee assistance programs are usually run by separate companies and will not share what you tell them with your employer or the people you work with.
Mind infoline: 0300 123 3393
Anxiety UK helpline: 03444 775 774
Support, advice and information for all anxiety related conditions. National helpline open 9.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays (except bank holidays).
Samaritans helpline: 116 123
24/7 support for whatever you are going through, big or small, by phone, email, letter and a self-help app.
Breathing space (Scotland only) helpline: 0800 83 85 87
Help for people in Scotland who are feeling worried or down. Available 24 hours at weekends and from 6pm to 2am on Weekdays.
Calm helpline 0800 58 58 58
Helpline and webchat available from 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year. For people who are feeling down or have hit a wall for any reason and need to talk.