Tag Archives: Depression

Improve Your Mental Health By Avoiding These 3 Things

Mental health affects one in five adults and can be a deadly illness to overcome. If it’s not treated properly then you could be facing a long and difficult road. Whether you suffer with chronic stress, anxiety or depression, you should get yourself some help. There’s no weakness is admitting that something isn’t right within your mind and in fact, it takes great strength to seek help. There are many factors in life that increase the symptoms of mental health issues, and they should be avoided as much as possible to ensure that your mental health improves and you can start feeling more like yourself again.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol in recommended amounts is generally a safe thing to do, but as humans we tend to overindulge and have more than we are supposed to. Alcohol is a depressant, which upsets the chemical balance in our brains and therefore increasing any underlying issues with our mental health. It also dehydrates us, and it often takes us the following few days to restore the water missing from our bodies. Drinking too much can also affect our judgement and actions, meaning that we may end up doing something we wouldn’t normally do when we’re sober. Staying away from alcohol (or at least sticking to the recommended daily amount) will greatly reduce any feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression. If you think you might be addicted to alcohol, find your nearest AA meeting or speak to your GP for ways to quit and get your mental health back on the right track.

A black tree inside a human head outline

Pixabay

Cannabis

Using cannabis is often mistaken for ‘helping’ mental health issues, but this is not the case. While it may give you a high and relax you for a short time, once you have come down from cannabis you feel the need to have more. The side effects from smoking it actually increase feelings of anxiety and depression, and studies have shown that long term use from an early age actually link to people developing mental health issues in the first place. Things like schizophrenia and depression have been proven to develop in some people that have smoked it from an early age. To stop smoking weed, visit https://canadiancentreforaddictions.org/how-to-stop-smoking-weed-forever/ and give up the addiction that’s making you falsely believe it’s helping your mental health.

Junk food

As much as we all love junk food, it’s unfortunately going to increase the bad feelings that come across you to do with your mental health. Try to eat as much fresh food as possible. Not only will you notice your mental health improve, but you may even drop a few pounds which will add to your self confidence.

Avoiding these three things will greatly improve your state of mind and allow you to take the right steps to recovery. If you are still struggling, see your GP for help on defeating your mental health issues. Don’t struggle alone.

 

 

Disability Q&A #19 Vicky

Welcome back Ladies and Gents to another instalment of my Disability Q&A.

Today we have Vicky, she and I follow each other on Twitter and she reached out and asked to be a part of the series. I’m really happy that she did because her truth shines a light on just how tough life can be living with a disability.

Over to you Vicky 🙂

Tell me about yourself:

Hi, i’m Vicky (AKA LooneyChick), I’m 34 and I live in Cornwall.
I am a Blogger and Vlogger and my hobbies include Blogging, Photography, Social Media, Swimming, mountain biking, Scooting, playing the guitar,
writing music and going to music gigs.

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?
By day I work as a freelance social media, content and SEO manager, at night and weekends, I like
to Vlog and Blog.

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I suffer from a suspected Bipolar type 2, and I also have a bulging disc in my lower back which affects
my mobility.

When were you first diagnosed?
I first saw a psychiatrist in May 2015 and then again in November 2015. They first thought I had a
personality disorder and then they said I had Adjustment disorder, but they couldn’t rule out
whether I had Bipolar because they didn’t have enough evidence to support this because they
needed to see me when I’m on a high.

Did you notice changes within yourself first, or did someone else?
I’ve always felt different. Many people have told me that I like depressive music and my idols are
mainly people who have killed themselves.

Some people have also said that they don’t know how to approach me because they don’t know
whether I will be happy or sad.

I’ve always failed to keep friends and hold down jobs. Some days I can’t focus other days I’m very
over productive, and some days I have been told I can be normal so to speak.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?
Yes because I haven’t got the same abilities as an average person; for example, I hate being in
crowded places, I can’t take lots of information in at the same time, and I have problems with
finances. When I’m on a high, I often overspend on things I don’t necessarily need. I’m extremely
impatient as well.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are
comfortable with the person knowing?
Only my family and close friends know about my disability.

Do you take any medication, or have you in the past?
I was put on Sertraline in September 2013, but it didn’t make a difference, so in February 2014, I
was given the option and prescription for Prozac, but my doctor said that I wouldn’t need pills, but I
would have a choice.
A year later, In February 2015 I was put on Venlafaxine by a Psychiatrist.

What were your initial thoughts about taking medication?
I was disappointed in myself for not being able to stay medication free. I felt like a failure because I
was letting something far more powerful than I could control take over my mind.

Did you suffer from any side affects? If so, please explain.
I once went away to my sister’s to look after her children while she was in hospital and I forgot my
medication. Within 48 hours I was really sick and I felt really low and couldn’t function. I remember
lying on the couch with tears streaming down my cheeks without reason.




If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.

Yes and no. I enjoy the feeling you get when you are on a high, as long as it doesn’t get me into
trouble. However, what goes up must go down and the further I go up, the further I will fall. The
lows are the worst feeling ever
For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?
*
When I’m depressed I always feel tired; I sleep more, although it’s never a deep sleep and anxiety
makes my legs feel wobbly.

How has your disability effected you?
*Socially
When I’m high, I’m a social butterfly, buzzing with laughter and jokes, and often over familiar with
people, and when I’m depressed, I don’t want to see or talk to anyone.
*physically
When I’m on a high, I have lots of energy, and with the lows, I have little energy.
*Mentally
I’m very alert on highs, and when depressed I’m unable to focus, and I’m physically and mentally
drained.
Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…
I probably wouldn’t have started a blog on mental health if I didn’t suffer from it and I wouldn’t have
researched the different types of illnesses.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Learning and understanding the disability. One of the reasons I started my blog to help raise mental
health awareness.
What are the negatives of having a disability?
Having and trying to have a normal life and deal with the stigma.
What would you say is difficult for you being disabled?
*
Relationships and working are both complicated for me because I can’t hold down friendships and
relationships. I’ve also struggled to gain and maintain working in an environment full of people
which is part of the reason why I became self-employed.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?
Make lists and make time for exercise or meditation even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.
still like to make old fashioned lists with pen and paper or on a whiteboard to help me remember
things. I also keep a diary on my desk.
I have been guilty of not taking enough time out from the computer to do my daily exercise and
meditation. I’m hoping to join a gym after Easter.
Do you use Assistive technology in your daily living?
No apps at the moment, Just diaries and lists.
What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a similar
position?
Try and find a local group to visit. If you don’t want to go on your own, ask a parent, carer or a
friend. You will learn more about your illness, and they will help give you advice on how to stay safe.
Also, check my blog www.looneychickblog.co.uk and other mental health blogs. You can educate
yourself and even talk to people on social media who are going through the same thing as you.
Any advice you’d like to give to a person with no mental health issues?
Please take some time out to learn about mental health. 1 in 4 people have it. It’s easy to ignore,
laugh at and just pretend it’s not happening to you or your loved one. The chances are that it’s real
and happening and at least one of your loved ones is suffering from a mental health issue
(undiagnosed) or has previously suffered. There’s no shame in ringing up one of the charity
helplines or going to a group if you are struggling to cope with a loved one’s mental health problems.
Whatever you do don’t abandon them, this has happened to me several times.

Did you seek out any specialist services/charities to help you and your family deal with your
situation?
*MIND – I read their website regularly for up to date news.

*Counselling – I have previously had CBT sessions with the NHS, and I was on the Community Mental
Health Team until the end of last year.
*Support groups
I attend group meetings at a Bipolar Group who are part of Bipolar UK once a month.
Where can people find you out in the world?
*Blog – www.looneychickblog.co.uk
*YouTube – Launching in April (Date to be decided)
*FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/The-Looney- ChickBlog-663020583855452/?ref=bookmarks
*Twitter – @adminChick
*Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110128946030393319190/110128946030393319190
*LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/vicki-williams- 94187611/
*Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/looneychick
*Pinterest – Also going Live in April
*Email – Vicky@looneychickblog.co.uk

❤❤ Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed! Vicky, I love your honesty in what you have gone through, and I love that you encourage others to seek help and learn about mental illness. ❤❤

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




Working On Your Wellbeing: Is It Time You Paid More Attention To Your Mental Health?

When somebody mentions the word health, what springs to mind? As a society, we tend to focus most of our time and energy on physical health, but what about mental health? When was the last time you thought about how you feel? Mental health should be a subject in which we all take an interest. You shouldn’t have to have a psychological disorder to pay attention to your mental health. The truth is that we should all be concerned about our wellbeing. If you don’t give your mental health much thought, this guide should come in handy.

A lay looking into the sunset with her arms spread

Image from https://www.pexels.com/search/happiness/

 

The importance of mental health

Do you go to the gym or try and be as active as possible? Do you watch what you eat and try and ensure that you get enough sleep every night? Most of us make an effort to look after our bodies, but it’s much less common to go out of your way to take care of your mind. When you hear people talking about mental health, you may assume that this only applies to issues such as depression and anxiety, but this isn’t the case. Everybody should be aware of the importance of mental health. We all have a mind, we all have thoughts and feelings, and we can all do more to try and improve our mental wellbeing.

 

If you’ve never had days when you find it tough to get out of bed or you’ve never been in a situation where you’ve been crippled by anxiety when everyone else around you seems fine, you might not have given mental health much thought. Even if you are happy and content, you’re not immune to mental illness, and it’s always beneficial to try and take steps to reduce your risk of developing psychological disorders and to improve your mood. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.

I am happy with a smiley face written on a lined sheet of paper

Image via https://pixabay.com/en/happy-i-am-happy-smile-happiness-725815/

 

What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness?

Part of the problem facing a society that doesn’t like to indulge in open discussion about mental illness is being able to spot potential warning signs and symptoms. If we don’t talk about depression, stress, and anxiety, how can we expect people to understand what’s going on in their head? Everyone is different, and some people experience very different symptoms to others. There’s often a lot of confusion surrounding illnesses like depression, as it’s very poorly understood and it’s hard to express how it feels unless you’ve suffered yourself. It’s very easy for other people to view depression as a condition that can be shrugged off, but the reality is that it’s often a very severe illness. You would never tell somebody to shake off a broken leg, but it can be much tougher to understand mental illness because it doesn’t cause bruising, limping, or any other visible signs. Depression is not just feeling down or having a bad day. It’s going through periods of time when you question your worth, you struggle to control your emotions, and you find it difficult to summon up the energy or the motivation to see friends, get out of bed or leave the house.

The back of a woman who has her head and sholders hunched over apearing sad

Image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Figure_5._Anxiety_can_leave_a_person_feeling_extremely_sad.jpg

 

Help for mental illness

If you are worried about mental health, you’ve been feeling out of sorts, or you’re concerned for a loved one, there is mental illness help out there. You may find that something as simple as having a chat with a family member or a close friend is enough to make you feel better, you may thrive on exercise or meditation, or you might need more intensive help from doctors, counsellors, and therapists. The first step is acknowledging that everything isn’t quite as it should be. Once you understand that you don’t have to fight these battles alone, you can start to move forward. Techniques like counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to process things that have happened in the past and prepare for problems that may arise in the future. They can also help you to adjust your mindset and to gain confidence.

 

Many people also find it helpful to talk to others who have been through what they’re dealing with or people that are in the same boat. It’s hugely reassuring to know that you’re not on your own, and it is possible to get better. Charities can provide group support, and you can also link up with others through forums, events, and social media.

A female doctor talking to a female patient

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59308652@N02/5431718990

 

Working on your wellbeing

Every single one of us should want to work on our wellbeing. You don’t have to suffer from anxiety or depression to give your mental health some TLC. You look after your body to prevent injuries and illnesses without giving it a second thought, so don’t hesitate to take care of your mental health too. Often, making very simple changes to your lifestyle and how you spend your time can pave the way for major improvements.

 

To boost your self-esteem, happiness, and confidence, spend time with people who make you feel good and form positive relationships. Make time for yourself, as well as being sociable, and set aside time for hobbies and interests. If being creative or playing sport makes you happy, find time in your schedule to do this. If you are struggling in any way, for example, if you’re stressed or you’re finding it impossible to sleep, think about the causes, try and find solutions, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Triggers can range from a bad day at work to the loss of a loved one. Find activities that make you feel calm and relaxed and know when to take yourself off to a happy place. When things are getting on top of you or you feel low, give yourself a time out, take deep breaths, and calm down. Perhaps you find it comforting to call a friend, you need 5 minutes in the fresh air, or you find it helpful to meditate, stretch or write down what you’re feeling.

A book resting on a Ladies knee as she writes

Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/photos/writer/

 

There’s a lot of talk about mental health at the moment, but we still put a lot more effort into keeping our bodies healthy than we do our minds. If you haven’t given mental health much thought of late, hopefully, this guide has encouraged you to be more aware of mental illness and to take steps to boost your wellbeing.

Depression And Finding The Way Out…

We all feel like it sometimes, but when we sense the black dog on your shoulder, as Winston Churchill called it, we can feel desperate, helpless and everything in between. Your frame of mind is a big part of your health and suffering from a bout of depression can be very debilitating. But it also is important to know about the help that is available, and while a lot of us may choose to try and embark on our own rehabilitation methods, it’s always best to know what is out there for you.

Antidepressants

Diffrent types of medicine on a white table

Image

It can depend on the root cause of your depression whether a course of antidepressants is the right method, and there have been various cases for and against taking antidepressants but it’s proving to be most effective for those that have a case of mild depression or are going through a difficult period. It’s usually the first port of call for many doctors to give out antidepressants but it’s important to discuss with your local pharmacy if there is anything you may feel uncomfortable with it, especially when it comes to the long list of side effects on the package. It all depends on where you live, but some excellent non-profit pharmacies work with healthcare professionals to try and provide a holistic approach to your medication. Places like Rx Outreach services don’t charge membership fees or shipping fees for medication, which if you are in the US, can make a big difference if you are thinking about going on a course of antidepressants or not due to the cost.

Meditation And Mindfulness
A drop of water causing ripples
Pixabay

This is another approach to tackling depression with regards to calming down the symptoms of anxiety. A lot of people find that they function with depression as their baseline and have been operating in this way for many years without realizing it. So taking part in relaxation techniques to help quieten the mind have been shown to work in the long term but it has not proven to be so effective for those that are operating under an extreme level of anxiety. Meditation is a very effective long term practice to have in your life, and once you have got to a suitable baseline of relaxation, it is then that meditation proves most beneficial. If you find that you need to calm the symptoms of anxiety before embarking on a meditation practice there are things you can do such as specific breathing exercises which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and calm the lymphatic nervous system.

Counseling

A man in a counceling session

Picture

If the root cause of your depression or anxiety stems from something that is ingrained in your past, counseling with a combination of cognitive behavior therapy has proven to be very effective, primarily for the reason that the issues are being discussed and dealt with after a long period of time. Depending on where you live in the world, so it is possible to get counseling for free through various charity organizations, but with the right structure, it’s possible to work through your issues with a friend or a confidante.

Depression isn’t something that should be suffered in silence yet most of us tend to. If you are feeling in the grips of depression, it’s important to try and get whatever little help you can, and these three methods can be a springboard to a happier and healthier life, so don’t deprive yourself of this.

Registered Bridezilla: The Proposal

I have an announcement to make… And no doubt judging by the title you have already put 2 and 2 together and come up with wedding bells:

yes that’s right, Gary and I are engaged!!

The proposal was relaxed, romantic and very Gary!

But i’m going to spoil the fantasy of grandure and the ultimate surprise…

I knew it was going to happen, in fact I practically forced Gary into it.

A table with multiple engagement cards

Now let’s just remind you of the title of this post!

So here’s our story: Gary and I, like many couples talked about our future, what we wanted out of life and our plans for that future together.
We have been saving for a house for the last year, and had decided that we would rather get married after we bought our home.

We have entered a help to buy scheme, which only allows you to put a certain amount of money in the account per month,although we are not desperate to move from our flat, we realised that it was going to take us a lot longer than we anticipated to physically save and get the extra support from the government.

So over this time the topic of marriage and weddings came about, which was thoroughly encouraged by Gary’s family.
“So when are you 2 going to get engaged?”
“I need anew wedding to look forward to.”

At this time we both explained that we would rather aim for owning our own home, but we probably would be engaged by the time we bought the house.

And the questions kept coming…
“Are you engaged yet.”
“Has Gary popped the question?”

And that was it for me.

I’m an extremely obsessive person, and my depression exacerbates that.
I dropped some, ok a lot of not so subtle hints, even asking Gary outright when he was going to propose.
Everything was met with love and a lot of sarcasm.
“Soon.”
“Soon when?”
“Tuesday.”
This went on for a few months before I demanded that I wanted to be married by the time i was 29, so Gary had 3 years to propose.

Yes, I am crazy!

And when Gary called me crazy, I would just respond with.

“Yes I am. Crazy in love with you!!”

And we carried on in this merry dance for a while longer.

But my depression and obsessive thoughts got the better of me. I started to believe that Gary didn’t want to marry me at all.
I started to ruminate on our previous conversations, fall outs and arguments and convinced myself that I was far too much hard work for Gary and of course he wasn’t going to commit to someone who causes arguments, and over reacts all of the time.

Gary started to notice my drop in communication and introspective attitude and urged me to talk to him.

We talked and I opened up,. Sharing my thoughts of his attitude towards marriage. Or what I thought they might be.

I was truly upset and Gary cuddled and reassured me that all the thoughts I had were my depression talking, and he explained that he wanted to marry me. but there was no rush. He loved me and he was building a life with me and Ida, and he was going nowhere.

I was comforted by his prisons, his words and his love.

It was about a week later when my depressive thoughts started to bombard me again.
They didn’t consume me as before, but I knew for my own piece of mind I had to speak with Gary again about marriage, and the proposal.

I breached the subject as we were laying in bed one night.
Gary was honest but hesitant and I knew there was something he wasn’t telling me.

I asked him out right, that aside from my depressive episodes and continuous chatting about marriage. Was he worried that if he proposed sooner rather than later, was he worry i’ll go into an obsessive frenzy and plan the wedding for as soon as possible?
And that’s what it was all about.
He was concerned that asking me to marry him would result in me obsessing and wanting to be married straight away.

I explained that my obsessive nature was always going to be there, and as I love to plan things, I would rope him into love wedding planning. But for me, it was about the security and knowledge that he wanted to be with me forever.
I explained that I would prefer a long engagement because it meant that I could take my time in organising things and asking for help.

And that’s when he and I fully understood each others thoughts and intentions.
I wanted him to propose for the peace of mind it would give my negative thoughts, not because I wanted to plan a wedding and be married by the next month.
Gary wanted to get married, but not straight away. His biggest concern was doing things wrong, and not getting the proposal right.

So now I’ve beaten him into submission, time to get that ring on my finger!! 🙂

I got a random text one day as i was hanging out with my friend:
“Get bigger fingers”
“I’ll try but I don’t think it’ll work.”

Cue the excited squeals of delight from Ellie and I!!

A few days later the 3 of us went shopping, Ellie and I decided to sit and wait while Gary went into a shop or 2 on his own.

10 minutes later…

“Can you come with me? The lady in the shop needs to talk to you.”
“ok…”
“So the lady in the shop doesn’t believe your ring finger size, she wants to measure it.”

Get’s ring finger measured, lady finally believes Gary.

“I think Gary is buying me an engagement ring!!”
“Exciting!! I thought that was the shop he went off to.”
Lots of smiles and hugs ensued!

“So the gift I bought you has a warranty of 3 years, so if you’re going to break it, do it in the timescale, ok?”

White gold ring,with purple amethyst and diamonds

Ring purchased, now to hint about asking my parents…

“Ok, are you going to ask my parents permission?”
No, what if they say no?”
“Just sing Rude by Magic to them, and run away.”
“Actually, they will probably pack my bags for you!”

This is mine and Gary’s sense of humour…

Time to hint a bit more.

“So, when you ask them, what are you going to say?”
“Do I have to ask them?”
“Yes!!”
“When are you going to do it?”
“The next time we are all going to be together is in a few weeks time. You should ask them then.”

We’re at a family wedding when Gary rushes up to me.

“I did it!”

Mother arrives.

“I hear congratulations are in order!!”
“For what?”
“Don’t play dumb, Gary has told us everything!!”

Lots of hugs, congratulations and champagne ensues!

“So, what did you say?”
“Well I asked them, and they said yes. I told them you forced me into proposing!”
“You did what?!”
“What did you do that for?! Now everyone will know i’m a psycho!”
“They know that anyway Sassy!”
“Plus, when I told your Dad, he just said you are your Mothers’ Daughter!”

We both laugh and drink Champagne.

Gary officially asked THE question just a few weeks later.

And, it was on a Thursday, not a Tuesday!

So there we are, our very unconventional and non romantic proposal story! I’m engaged to my Mr Perfect!

Are you engaged? How did your proposal happen?I’d love to know in the comments.

Much love,
Sassy x




Is Your Tiredness A Sign Of Something Serious?

Being tired is perfectly normal in some situations. For example, if you’ve been burning the midnight oil to meet a deadline at work and stay up way past your bedtime, it is a given that you will wake up feeling very sleepy the next morning. And you might have to deal with that tiredness throughout the whole day! Similarly, if you are particularly busy or take part in some very strenuous exercise in the morning, then your energy levels will probably drop, and you will feel quite lethargic in the afternoon.

However, if you are constantly tired without any real reason for feeling that way, it could be a sign or symptom of a much more serious condition. Worried that your lethargy and sleepiness could mean you are ill? Read on to find out more!

Young lady lying in bed with white sheets and bedding

Picture Credit

Depression

Tiredness is a symptom of regular depression, and bipolar depression. But what is bipolar depression exactly? It is similar to regular depression and most patients feel the same feelings of sadness and uninterest in the world. However, there are some other symptoms that can help differentiate between these two depressions. For instance, those who are bipolar suffer from mood swings and sometimes even psychosis. If this sounds like you, it is important you see a medical professional very soon.




Anemia

If you feel run down and generally under the weather alongside your tiredness, then the most probable explanation is that you are suffering from anemia. This is when you haven’t been getting enough iron in your diet and end up with a deficiency. It is most common in women, especially those who have been through the menopause. It is easily treated with iron tablets.

Diabetes

There are various symptoms of diabetes, and constant tiredness is one of them. Diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood or when there is not enough insulin being produced to control blood sugar levels. Other symptoms include a constant feeling of thirst and sudden weight loss.

Glandular Fever

Glandular fever is a viral infection and most commonly seen in young, teenage girls. The main symptoms include a sore throat, swollen glands, and high fever, but most patients also complain about tiredness as well. Even though most of the symptoms will go after four weeks, the tiredness can often affect the sufferer for at least a couple of months.

Coeliac Disease

Some people are unable to eat any form of gluten as they have coeliac disease. When coeliacs accidentally eat some gluten – found in foods such as bread, cereals, and pasta – then their body reacts badly, much like an allergic reaction. Tiredness is one of the most noticeable symptoms, alongside diarrhea and weight loss. There is also often a feeling of discomfort after eating any ingredients that contain traces of gluten.

As you can see, your body might be trying to tell you that your tiredness is a sign of an underlying condition. Think you are suffering from a serious condition? Then it’s a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible!




Sightloss stress and depression

Did you know that 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental illness?
Were you aware that there is a positive correlation between sight loss and depression?
I’ve been diagnosed as clinically depressed since 2015
Through the support of my partner Gary and my GP, I sat and talked candidly about my erratic mood swings, lack of energy, motivation and my constant exhaustion.
We talked at length about my symptoms and the options available to me.
I opted to go on antidepressants as I have previously had counseling.

Antidepressants aren’t for everyone, and that’s ok. However for me they have been invaluable; they have improved all the symptoms I mentioned above, and most importantly for me it’s helped me focus on the bigger picture.

My deterioration in vision since the age of 14 has been a source of vexation and frustration for me.
I hated relinquishing control, having to ask friends and family for help, needing things like worksheets adapted and continuous hospital appointments.

I just wanted to be normal.

But I wasn’t.

I walked into people and inanimate objects, I would knock things over, not be able to read anything without a magnifying glass and so many other things.

I’ve always been a perfectionist so asking for help or embarrassing myself publicly always sent me into a spiral of stress.

Over the years this stress manifested into rage and because of this I pushed people away, or, pushed them to their breaking point.

At the time I genuinely believed my outbursts were justified and acceptable. I believed I had to fight: fight for support, fight to be heard and fight to prove myself.

There was always a reason, an excuse, a situation. I couldn’t see that my behavior, thought processes and even actions were out of control.

It wasn’t until I was at University studying psychology and having a truly fantastic network of friends around me that i recognised all of my grievances and anger were due to me losing my sight.
I still had my moments but they were few and far between..I would get riled up by the little things; dropping something on the floor and spending 5 minutes looking for it, tripping up kerbs or spilling my drink. everywhere.

I learned to laugh it off. Reminding myself that in the grand scheme of things they really weren’t such a big deal.

Yet as my sight deteriorated further and these menial things seemed to happen more frequently I realised I needed some support.

And that’s when I rang the RNIB counseling support line, and registered myself on the waiting list.

I wanted to talk through my problems, how to acknowledge my frustrations but not let it control me.
I wanted to know how I would manage with my impending sight loss and what techniques I could use to make my life and mental state healthier.

The waiting list was so long that by the time my first counseling session happened, I had already lost my remaining vision.

My counselor was fantastic,although I had lost my sight, and the worst had happened to me, she listened, emmpathised and talked through my anxieties and frustrations with me.

The counseling was invaluable to me and it wasn’t until the beginning of 2015 Depression decided to rear it’s ugly head again.
It took me a long time to acknowledge that I was changing and becoming angry all over again. It was always the small things: walking into doorways, pouring the kettle and missing my cup, dirty dishes and not noticing I wasn’t holding my cup straight so hot tea spilled over me and my interiors.

All those little things added up to one big thing: dealing with my sight loss.
This is why I started antidepressants,I was chemically imbalanced, so why not try chemicals to restore my balance?

I still have my down days, and that’s ok. It’s about acknowledging my stress levels and doing something about it.

Here are some ways I cope with stress:

  • Try your best to realise when you are in the midst of an angry outburst or thoughts.
  • Allow emotions to be present. Cry, scream, shout, But not at anyone. Be present in acknowledging the feelings, but don’t let them take over.
  • Don’t use expletives or negativity when expressing these thoughts.
  • Breathe deeply, and think only of what your breathing is doing.
  • Read up on mindfulness, and try putting it into practice.
  • Listen to music. Blast out one of your happy songs,
  • Distract yourself by making yourself focus on something small.
  • Exercise, it releases endorphins.
  • Text/ call someone. you care about.
  • Find a task that needs a lot of focus and thoughtfulness. Maybe like writing a blog post? 🙂
  • Watch something funny.
  • Make some tea, and enjoy the 10 minutes to sit and drink it.
  • Think of something positive. What are you proud of?
  • What are your passions? Find them and emerge yourself within them.
  • Smile! Yes, forcing yourself to actively smile, actually lifts your mood.

Constant stress can lead to depression so make sure self care is at the top of your priority list.
Depression is an illness, a brutal thought process that truly can take over your body and mind. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Establish your stressors and find a way to combat them.Only you know your triggers and only you can save yourself from stress.

Think positive, stay positive! 🙂

Disability Q&A #7 Leah Miller

Welcome back to this months disability Q&A!

Today’s interview is brought to you by Leah. She and I met through our love of blogging, when I started to read her blog not only was I fascinated by how honest and open she was about disability, but I loved that she too was trying to spread awareness of mental illness.
I knew I wanted to have her guest post on my blog in one way shape or form, and she kindly agreed to the Q&A!
I hope you enjoy her guest post, and learn something new! 🙂 over to you lovely…

Tell me about yourself:
Hi, I’m Leah Miller, I’m 33 and I live
in Hampshire.
my jobs include: Social Media Manager, mummy, wife and skivvy! I love reading, writing, blogging and photography 🙂

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I am medically diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety.

When were you first diagnosed?
I was first diagnosed in 2011, having suffered for over 10 years.

Did you notice changes within yourself first, or did someone else?
I knew the changes were there, but couldn’t associate them with anything other than feeling all wrong. It was my husband who finally came to me to tell me I needed some help.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?
Not anymore, because I am managing my situation. It is also very difficult for people to understand mental illness as a disability, many people still see it as a choice.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are comfortable with the person knowing?
It took many years to feel comfortable enough to talk about it. It wasn’t until I realised that by talking I could help others that I took the plunge.

Do you take any medication, or have you in the past?
I do, I take daily medication.

What were your initial thoughts about taking medication?
I knew that I needed it, to the point of almost craving it.

Did you suffer with any side affects? If so, please explain.
There were no side effects, until I had to come off the tablets when I fell pregnant, then I was incredibly sick.

If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.
No, because it has helped me to become the person that I am today. I didn’t like the old me at all. In fact I would go as far as to say I hated her. Now, I can honestly say that I like myself, and am learning to love certain aspects – baby steps!!

For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?
*Tired/ exhausted
*Weak
*Unsteady on your feet

All of the above, it makes every small thing seem like the most epic task. It makes the world seem dark and unfriendly, and it makes you so incredibly conscious of everything.

How has your disability effected you?
*Socially
*physically
*Mentally

Again, all of the above. It stole 10 years of my life, my entire 20’s, and the first years of my kids lives.

Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…

100%. The old me is gone, and it has been replaced with a much better version, like a Leah Mark 2.

Is there a particular question you get asked often because of your disability? If so, please explain below.

What have you got to be depressed about?

It has been said to me so many times it has almost become laughable. It hurts, so deeply, and yet I am starting to learn that people just don’t have any understanding. They are not meaning to be cruel, they are just uneducated on the subject. I am using my blog to try to change that.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Realising that you are not alone, and having the rallying support of true friends and family.

What are the negatives of having a disability?
Complete and pure isolation. A constant feeling of worthlessness and hating yourself.

What would you say is a difficulty for you being disabled?
*Relationships
*Parenting
*Working

Again, all of the above. My marriage was strained but not broken, my parenting was tested to its full extent and I struggled to work due to my crippling social anxiety. I left my job, for many reasons, and was shunned by my work colleagues who had no understanding of my situation.

As a person with a disability, what are the things you face on a daily / weekly basis that frustrate/ worry you?
*In your home – One of the symptoms of my diagnosis is that I am unable to control my need to keep a clean home. Unobtainable perfection has driven me to the verge of insanity. There is also the feeling of being trapped, and yet the idea of going outside is scary beyond belief.
*outside your home – My social anxiety means that I avoid all eye contact and conversations. I struggle massively to make friends and assume that everyone is laughing at me.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?
*Remembering to take medication? Definitely.
*Making sure you keep any plans that you make.
*Meditation – This really helps, it is an opportunity for reflection and quiet time.
*Exercise – This has been a literal life saver for me, it raises the serotonin levels in your body, which are your happiness levels.

What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a similar position?

It gets better, take your medication, take counseling if offered and you will soon see a difference.

Any advice you’d like to give to a person with no mental health issues?

Please show some understanding. Please listen and don’t judge. And please look out for people who may need help, and are not yet ready to accept it themselves yet.

Did you seek out any specialist services / charities to help you and your family deal with your situation?
*I attended Cognitive Therapy session, though didn’t find them helpful for me.
*Counseling was invaluable, it was the best decision I ever made, even though I nearly didn’t attend my first session.

Where can people find you out in the world?

*Blog – www.and1moremakes3.com

*FaceBook – www.facebook.com/and1moremakes3

*Twitter – www.twitter.com/and1moremakes3_

*Email – and1moremakes3@hotmail.com




Thank you Leah for giving us a glimpse into your world living with depression and anxiety! I’m so grateful that you have shared your story, because I to believe that it’s not talked about enough, and people do think that mental illness is a choice. And it really isn’t! I am so happy to hear that you are in a better place now and your husband supported you throughout! ❤️

Please don’t forget to follow her links, and why not share the love? Leave her a comment, we would both appreciate it!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
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If you enjoyed this interview why not check out the others in the series so far?
Interview 1
Interview 2
Interview 3
Interview 4
Interview 5
Interview 6




Anger Is The Sheild, Depression Is The Dagger

As depression rears it’s ugly head I am left with 2 choices; let it control me, or try my best to control it.
I’ve noticed patterns in my behaviour of late that used to smother me like the heat of a sauna. But this time i’m aware and ready to fight back.

I have one gigantic trigger: my sight loss.
That’s where it all began.
That’s where it all stems from.
But it’s slightly different this time. This time I think it’s a chemical imbalance. I have come off my anti depressants.
When I was put on them, I was given a 6 month course, but I kept cashing in more prescriptions as I didn’t feel ready.
But I decided that enough was enough, I wanted to at least try.
I couldn’t tell you the exact date I stopped taking them, because I didn’t want the placebo effect hitting me like a tonne of bricks, as well as the potential chemical imbalance I was going to be facing.

I’m not saying i’ve been perfect since coming off my anti depressants.I had a few down days, some of which lasted longer than others.

But the slap you in the face moment happened early morning last week.

I was sorting out breakfast for Gary and i; firstly I spilt the water all over the sides (actually not uncommon as we have a shite kettle!), and then I started putting away the dishes from the night before. and almost every dish I pulled out was dirty.

I lost my shit and started raging at Gary.

He came over to me.; told me to put the dishes down, and not to worry, it was only dirty dishes.

“Only dirty dishes?! I spent fucking ages washing those dishes, and yet they have shit all over them!!!
What’s the point of me washing them if they aren’t going to be clean?!”

At this point Gary enveloped me in a big hug, and rubbed my back soothingly.
” It’s just dishes Sassy, it’s OK.”

I wanted to shout again, but his calming presence soothed me. Right there and then I knew this was my not so friendly friend depression.

This is the point where I admitted to Gary I hadn’t taken my happy pills in a while, because I wanted to come off them.
He had his reservations about me just stopping them, but said he’d support me in whatever I chose.

I think he or I made a joke about the crazy train starting it’s journey again.
I have to point out here, that a lot of our relationship revolves around,lots of dark humour, which other people would find unnerving or offensive. But that is how we deal with things 🙂

When Gary had left for work, I got on the phone to the Tribal ladies and confessed my psycho bitch fit.

They too were also very supportive, giving me suggestions, virtual hugs and kind thoughts.
In all honesty I was truly embarrassed at my outburst, and sad that it had happened, and I knew in order to deal with it, I had to be honest with the people I care about, and not try and hide it/ palm it off like I used to.

That same morning, a new member of the family arrived into this world, and it instantly lifted my mood.

Being open and honest with Gary, my friends, and myself as well as hearing happy news gave me the oomph to realise I HAVE to focus on the positives, but be honest with myself and others if things are going downhill.

So, how am I going to try and keep my psycho bitch fits at bay?
*Try your best to realise when you are in the midst of an angry outburst or thoughts,. Feeling incredibly numb and withdrawn.

*Breathe deeply, and think only of what your breathing is doing.

*Go cuddle Gary. 🙂

*Talk to Gary, he’s bound to say something to cheer you up.

.*Read up on mindfulness, and try and put it into practise, when not in a low mood. It will get you better equipped for when you need to do it.

*Listen to music. Blasting out one of your happy songs, and squawking terribly along with it, always helps improve your mood.

*Distract yourself by making yourself focus on something trivial/ insignificant.

*Do exercise, I’ve almost forgotten how this word is spelt, never mind said… it’s been so long!

*Text/ call someone. Even if they aren’t free to talk at that moment,writing it down will help to clear your mind.

*Don’t use expletives or negativity when expressing these thoughts. That always gets you ramped up even more.

*Find a task that needs a lot of focus and thoughtfulness. Maybe like writing a blog post? 🙂

*Watch something funny. Stand Up always makes you laugh!

*Make some tea, and enjoy the 10 minutes to sit and drink it.

*Think of something positive. You know, like you’ve been shortlisted for the UK’s most prestigious blogging awards!

*Smile. Yep, forcing yourself to actively smile, actually lifts your mood.

*Allow emotions to be present. Cry, scream, shout, But not at anyone. Be present in acknowledging the feelings, but don’t let them take over.

*If all else fails, and you are at home: SLEEP. That will shut the stressy bitch up, and hopefully it’ll improve your looks! Beauty sleep and all that 😉

*Last, but no means least. Read this blog post, and remind yourself, the train to crazy town has already departed… No point trying to chase it now! 🙂

*****

As you can probably guess, this is a list from me, to me. I now have something officially in writing to come back to if necessary.

*****

Depression is an illness, a brutal thought process that truly can take over your body and mind. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
I chose to take myself off anti depressants, because I want to. And see where mindfulness and positive thinking will get me.
If I need counselling or to go back on them, I will.
Admitting you need help is never a weakness. actually it’s the complete opposite!

My way may not work for everyone, it might not even work for me. But as I feel that I truly am in the happiest place i’ve ever been in my life, I want to see if I can channel that positivity into my daily living, instead of relying on my happy pills.
I will know within myself if it’s an emotional anchor, and not a chemical imbalance anymore.

*****

Since I began this blog I always said I would be truthful with myself, and give my readers that honesty.
Being able to talk openly about all disabilities candidly is my goal.
If I want people to accept disability as another entity, and not a thing that should be shunned or silenced, then I need to show my true colours. That way I feel I am doing the right thing.

If you are not in the best place right now, reach out to someone, or write down your feelings.

You are never truly alone, even if it feels like it.
Big hugs to you all 🙂

❤️ If you enjoy my ramblings, and think for one crazy second, that somehow I deserve to become a finalist in the prestigious Brilliance In Blogging Awards (BiBs) I would love your vote!
Simply click this button below and it will take you straight there!
All you need to do is put:
Your Name
Your Email Address
Thinking Out Loud, in the category of INSPIRE
Please and thank you.
you wonderful human being! ❤️

BritMums

Much love, Sassy x


Happy Diaries #7

Hello Diary,

I am not going to lie, this week hasn’t been as positive as previous weeks, and that has a lot to do with my depression rearing it’s ugly head, but what I will say i:,whilst I am sat here writing this; the sun is shining and I am enjoying a frozen cocktail!

Also, this Diary is about focusing on the positives so here it is:

The social group I have been a part of creating has had new people walk through the doors, they also seemed to enjoy it! I guess if they really did enjoy it,, we shall see them again! 🙂

I was featured as a favourite blogger of the week , by one of my favourite linkys; #PassTheSauce which you can read here 🙂

I also have received a lot of very positive and kind comments left on my blog, this past week congratulating me on being shortlisted for the BiBs awards, as well as the attention I am bringing to disability 🙂

I spent the afternoon catching up with my old Uni flatmate from first year, she is a very good friend, and although it’s been almost a year and a half since we have seen each other; it’s like nothing’s changed, which is just lovely!

Gary and i went out to dinner, where we put the world to rights 🙂 we are either scoffing our food down, and don’t talk properly until after, or, we are being goofballs and cracking jokes. So it was nice to feel like a grown up for a change 😉

We have also spent the afternoon in the sun enjoying a lovely picnic, and watching people flying their kites, or Gliding! 🙂

A lovely ending to the week 🙂

Gratitude List:

Friends: Catching up with old friends, keeping up to date with the goings on that everyone has been up to. But most importantly, friends being there when I have needed them the most!
Babies: A new family member has been added to the family fold! I cannot wait to meet him, in the near future!!
*Sunshine: I think the sun has lifted everyone’s spirits this week. I really believe it does make a difference!

Dates: Whether that’s date nights with Gary, or lunch dates with friends. They just make me happy because I am connecting on a deeper level with the person I am spending that quality time with!

Compassion: Gary has one of the kindest hearts you will ever come across, and although he doesn’t like to admit it. He is super caring and truly empathetic. This week I have seen him shine, and it makes me love him even more, if that’s even possible!
Frozen cocktails: well I couldn’t go without saying it could i? Cocktails, are my favourite, and being frozen, makes them like a Slushy – another love of mine! Yes i’m 25, yes I still love Slush Puppies, no I don’t care! 🙂
Tribesters: Girls, you give me daily dose of smiles, laughter and happiness. I’m grateful to have found you, and be a part of this wonderful Tribe!
So there we go, after not the best week, I have still managed to find the positives!

Until next week!




x
❤️ If you enjoy my ramblings, and think for one crazy second, that somehow I deserve to become a finalist in the prestigious Brilliance In Blogging Awards (BiBs) I would love your vote!
Simply click this button below and it will take you straight there!
All you need to do is put:
Your Name
Your Email Address
Thinking Out Loud, in the category of INSPIRE
Please and thank you.
you wonderful human being! ❤️

BritMums