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
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?
*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?
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?
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?
*Email – email@example.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:
If you enjoyed this interview why not check out the others in the series so far?