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Ask me Anything: Dr Alex George - TV Doctor, author and Mental Health Ambassador


Dr Alex George    
Harper
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This AMA is now over. A huge thank you to @Dr Alex George for joining us and to our friends at @Maybelline New York for making this happen! We hope you've enjoyed this AMA and look forward to hosting more in the new year.

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Hey everyone! 😁

I’m Dr Alex George, the Government’s Youth Mental Health Ambassador and a former A&E doctor. I use my platform to raise awareness and give support to those struggling with their mental health. I share my own struggles, lifestyle changes and techniques in the hope that others can relate and feel heard.

Ditch the Label are doing such incredible work to help with a whole range of issues and I’m really looking forward to working with them to answer lots of your questions. Feel free to ask me anything!

Dr Alex George 💙

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This AMA is in proud partnership with our friends at Maybelline who are working with us to fund crucial mental health support. As part of this partnership, Maybelline are funding mental health support here on the community, along with a school programme and an exciting new metaverse therapy pilot. Find out more about Brave Together here.

Find out more about Dr Alex George here.

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Hi Everyone 👋

We are so proud and excited to be in partnership with Ditch the Label in the mission to destigmatise anxiety and depression as part of our Brave Together Initiative  🧡

Ditch the Label are working across various platforms to make sure free 1:1 support is accessible for everyone and we are thrilled to be able to join this journey! 

We also want to say a HUGE thank you to Dr Alex for helping us on this mission and excited to see you all connect!

Dr Alex - how do you recommend to approach a friend when you are worried they might be struggling with their mental health? 🤔

 

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On 11/21/2023 at 4:29 PM, Maybelline New York said:

Hi Everyone 👋

We are so proud and excited to be in partnership with Ditch the Label in the mission to destigmatise anxiety and depression as part of our Brave Together Initiative  🧡

Ditch the Label are working across various platforms to make sure free 1:1 support is accessible for everyone and we are thrilled to be able to join this journey! 

We also want to say a HUGE thank you to Dr Alex for helping us on this mission and excited to see you all connect!

Dr Alex - how do you recommend to approach a friend when you are worried they might be struggling with their mental health? 🤔

Thank you so much team! Great partnership and a vital mission. I like the acronym BRAVE, which your team developed of course!

BRAVE

Be Present

Right Setting

Ask Questions

Validate Feelings

Encourage Action.

I have explained these on my TikTok, https://vm.tiktok.com/ZGeeSjttG/

Hope it helps!

 

@dralexgeorge I love this acronym by @Maybelline New York ❤️ #charitypartner @Ditch the Label ♬ original sound - Dr Alex George | Health Expert

 

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On 11/20/2023 at 12:03 PM, Harper said:

Hey Alex, welcome to Ditch the Label! My question to you is what advice would you give to 13 year old Alex?

No amount of worry will change the future and no amount of regret will alter the past. Be where your feet are.

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19 hours ago, honeybeetree said:

Hi @Dr Alex George ! Do you ever get nervous when you're filming on TV and with celebrities?

Yes definitely! I get nervous often. A few weeks ago I met the Prince and Princess of Wales, and hosted a panel with HRH for World Mental Health Day. I was very nervous. I also still get nervous before exams (I am studying a masters in mental health right now). Being nervous means you care, and it's our minds way of sharpening our focus when we are doing something important. 

That being said, it is important we learn to control our nerves and harness them. There are a few tricks to help.

1. Before the event, whatever it may be, project and imagine how that day/moment will unfold, imagine everything going well, just as I did thinking about the interview with HRH. This helps create a positive mindset around what you are facing. Stand in front of a mirror and say, I got this!

2. On the day, avoid caffeine, you dont need extra adrenaline. Eat foods that give you energy though, you need to fuel your mind.

3. Use breath-work immediately before, if you can. I always do this before anything I feel nervous about. Guided breathing on YouTube is a helpful way of learning. Search 'box breathing'. By controlling your breathing we slow our heart rate and our minds.

4. Be excited! Right before, tell yourself you are feeling this way because you are excited and can't wait. It's a psychological hack to reframe the mind. 

Good luck!

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8 hours ago, charlchurros said:

@Dr Alex George what's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you? 🙂

I once walked into a mirror in the middle of a restaurant, because it was reflecting the toilets, which is where I was headed!

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8 hours ago, billywaffles said:

Hello @Dr Alex George how do I know if I'm actually depressed or just feeling a bit low? 

If you are becoming consciously aware of, or concerned by, a feeling of low mood, then it is always worth speaking to a doctor. I always tell people, if you are asking yourself if there is a problem, its a sign to speak to someone! Great advice here at DTL, you can also check out support and advice on this topic from Young Minds, Samaritans, MIND and of course, your doctor. Never feel alone, this too shall pass.

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On 11/20/2023 at 12:20 PM, jake said:

Hiiii!!! what's your favourite genre of music and who are your favourite musicians?

Hiii! I am a Swifty, TS for the win. Love Story is iconic. I love all genres though, including classical music!

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19 hours ago, dipsi333 said:

@Dr Alex George my parents don't believe that anxiety is real and think i'm just trying to get attention when i'm feeling low.  I find this upsetting and end up arguing with them about it - is there anything I can do?

Hey, I am sorry to hear this. Sometimes we need to find support outside of our families. It's tricky when our loved ones don't understand but please don't let that make you feel your experience is any less valid. Talking to friends, trusted adults (teachers and so on) and professionals such as a doctor, will help you get the guidance and support that you need. 

There is a great section on YoungMinds website thats to help parents understand and provide guidance. Link here https://www.youngminds.org.uk/parent/

There are also great tools for young people to communicate their needs. Check it out, you got this :)

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On 11/20/2023 at 12:28 PM, Duckie said:

Hi @Dr Alex George,

Thank you so much for being here with us!

What are examples of habits you think young people could benefit from including in their self-care routines?

Hi! Thanks for your question.

Creating a positive self-care toolkit is a must have for life. Developing routines and habits is a great way of making sure we build our mental fitness daily.

I explore this in great deal in my books, A Better Day (for 10+) and the Mind Manual (for adults). Here are a few tips.

1. Screen time limits, especially for social media. SM can be a great tool (here we are right now!) for good. But too much time can have a detrimental affect on our mental health. By limiting screen time to 1 or 2 hours per day, we create time for IRL connections, hobbies and positive habits.

2. Stomp every day. Human beings were not designed to sit inside, being outdoors is brilliant for every aspect of our health. Spending time outdoors, walking (stomping), running, relaxing, playing sport, boosts our mood hormones and has a positive impact on our wellbeing.

3. Gratitude is your friend. Mindset is key and gratitude practice helps us to adopt a positive mindset. A tip is to list 3 things you are grateful for in your life while brushing your teeth in the morning. As we brush our teeth every morning (or at least I hope we do!), its a great habit to stack upon. Hence habit stacking!

Hope these are useful :)

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On 11/20/2023 at 2:38 PM, bingabong said:

I have 2 questions:

1 if you weren't a doctor what would u be?

2 what was the best and worst part about being on love island?

thank you btw 🥰

Hey :)

Great questions!

1. I would love to be an F1 driver, I love the adrenaline of motorsports! Unfortunately I think I am too tall at 6ft4, even if I had the skills!

2. The best - it was a crazy experience that I would never be able to imagine happening, and has led to everything that I have been able to do since in the mental health space. The worst - not being able to speak to my family for 9 weeks 😢

Thank you!

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On 11/20/2023 at 12:35 PM, Zayn said:

Does being recognized in public cause you anxiety ever? and if so how do you deal with it?

Hey!

At first I think it did, because I am someone who is introverted and actually quite shy! Over time though you get used to it. I have good friends and family, stay grounded, and don't let the hype or the criticism affect me too much.

We are all human, right!

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On 11/20/2023 at 2:42 PM, jazzy.sky said:

Hey Dr Alex! 

What is your most memorable moment working in the A&E? 

Hey! Love this!

 

I think it was when I first started working at Kings College Hospital London, in 2015. I used to watch 24 hours in A&E (great show), and my hero was a doctor on there who I really looked up to when I was an A-level student. Years later, in 2015, I was treating patients with her as a qualified doctor. Our first case as a trauma team was a car accident, exactly the kind of case I would have seen on TV years before!

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1 hour ago, sunnyla said:

hey Alex, so happy to see u on here

what is the 1 thing you want to achieve in your life?

also what is your favorite cheese 🤣

OMG I love cheese. Cheese is life. I love blue cheese - probably stilton. Although extra mature cheddar is a win too.

I would live to achieve peace. Happiness comes and goes, peace is the goal.

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On 11/20/2023 at 1:13 PM, Daisie said:

Hey @Dr Alex George Just wanted to say a big welcome to Ditch the Label and that it's so lovely to have you here with us. 😊

My question for you is, do you have any hobbies or helpful activities that help keep you grounded or time of reflection after a stressful day? 

Hey!

My destress and safe haven is the gym. I love exercise, the endorphins and general sense of release it gives me is fantastic. It makes a huge difference after a busy day. 

I tend to 'book-end' my day. I start with a walk with my dog Rolo, and end with the gym. This way the potential 'stressful stuff' is wedged between calming and grounding activities. It doesn’t have to be exercise, the trick is to find what works for you.

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20 minutes ago, Bf219 said:

I have used apps over the past year but with AI I get a bit scared, I was thinking how do you see technology playing a role in mental health care, especially with the rise of mental health apps?

Hi!

Thanks for your question and a great point raised. Always important to research any applications, websites, advice services and even SM pages before taking on advice or support from them. A great way is to see if the apps come recommended from trusted organisations such as the NHS, or recognised charities. Look at reviews and online feedback about the sites. There are some great ones out there. 

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Hey Alex, welcome to Ditch the Label! My question to you is what advice would you give to 13 year old Alex?

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On 11/20/2023 at 12:53 PM, flowergirl said:

hi!! what advice would you give to someone struggling with their mental health because of school i am finding studying so difficult and it's making my mental health bad :( 

Hey, first of all, please do not face this alone, or feel alone. I promise you are not the only one who feels this way, and like others it can and will get better. We all need help and support, and we dont need to try and tackle this ourselves.

Talk to a trusted adult at school, share your struggles.

Speak with family and friends, there is no shame, and people care.

Get professional help, speak to your gp or get support from mental health charities. You can text SHOUT to 85258, a text service with trained people who can support you. Young Minds have great support. Here at DTL you can be signposted to help too.

You got this!

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On 11/20/2023 at 12:32 PM, Megs- said:

Why is it that when vulnerable people in crisis, get turned away and judged ( being called an attention seeker) just because they are struggling often, ( by a approved mental health doctor etc.) thanks 🥲

So sorry to hear that this is your experience. Your feelings and experience is valid, please know that. A member of the DTL team will be in touch to offer guidance.

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On 11/21/2023 at 10:23 AM, catgal05 said:

Hi,  Dr Alex George 

Welcome 🙂 

How can we boost our self esteem, When we may feel down about ourselves?

HI!

We must nurture our confidence and build our self-esteem often, otherwise life can knock us down at times!

1. Make sure you practice at least one act of self care a day - doing something that brings you joy. Whether this is painting, listening to music, running, hanging out with a friend ect, doing what makes us feel whole is great for topping up our feel good and confidence levels.

2. Compliment yourself often. We are quick to find faults with ourselves, we easily forget to be kind too. Every morning, stand in the mirror and name 5 things you like about yourself, this can be physically, mentally or emotionally! It can feel uncomfortable at first, but with time, this is a great way to build up your self esteem.

3. Monitor negative self talk and practice letting thoughts go... We are not our thoughts, and the noise in our minds can easily be confused with facts and reality. If you notice negative thoughts, rather than reacting to them, let them go, imagine the thought to be a leaf floating down the stream past you.

Hope these help!

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Thank you to everyone for submitting questions, I do hope the answers are of use. Thanks to the team here at DTL for their incredible work in supporting young people. Take care everyone!

Best wishes,

Dr Alex

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Hey Dr Alex! 

What is your most memorable moment working in the A&E? 

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Hi,  Dr Alex George 

Welcome 🙂 

How can we boost our self esteem, When we may feel down about ourselves?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi again. I saw the Magic Medicine documentary on Netflix and have read quite a bit on the subject. If you feel comfortable answering, what is your opinion on psychedelics now being piloted by therapists as a treatment for mental illness? 

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Welcome to Ditch the Label @Dr Alex George - thanks for being here! 

We ran a poll on Instagram and 96% of people who responded said they had noticed a friend struggling with their mental health but didn't know what to do. 

My question is, what advice would you give to people who can see someone might need help but don't know how to start a conversation? 

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