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Showing posts from 2018

A year without anti-depressants

So this isn't the most festive of blog posts, but it's been a year since I took my last anti-depressant. It was my birthday yesterday, and it was my birthday last year when I decided that I wouldn't take another tablet. To anyone reading this who is currently taking anti-depressants, please note that I didn't just wake up last year and decide to stop, I'd been slowly coming off them for about 6 months by reducing my dosage. So if you're thinking of stopping your tablets please make sure you do it properly and don't go cold turkey (a bit of a festive pun for you). I also wanted to make you aware that it hasn't been smooth-sailing all year. There have been two serious times when I've been close to going back: I still have Depression and Anxiety, that's never going to go away, but it's about how I deal with it. I still have half a packet of tablets that were left-over from when I stopped, and twice I thought about using them, but by using

"I don't want to offend but..." - how to ask someone about their experience of mental health

In the last few months, three people have asked my about various aspects of my mental health and my experiences of it. However, each person started the conversation with "I don't want to offend you" or "I'm not sure the best way of asking this" or something similar, and this isn't the first time I've heard this kind of mitigation before starting a conversation. Each comment had then been followed by a question about my mental health, whether that be what it feels like to have a panic attack, what it feels like to be depressed rather than just sad, and so on. Now I know for some people, talking about mental health and more specifically, their own illnesses, can be a very sensitive topic and for some people very triggering, but personally, as long as you're not purposefully trying to be a dick about it, I'm not going to get offended by your question. I'm happy when people ask me things because it shows me that they want a better understan

Fighting against the Eating Disorder at Christmas

To a lot of people, I'm sure the above spread looks fantastically mouth-watering, but to me it looks like hell. I dread Christmas because every social event seems to involve stuffing my face with rich food. You may know this about me, but if not, when I was a teenager I had an eating disorder, I had anorexia. I've had people say to me 'but you weren't super skinny' when they find out, but eating disorders come in very different shapes and sizes. Since then, I have definitely recovered for the most part, but sometimes I find myself falling back into old habits. When I saw my counsellor, she said that due to my Perfectionism and low self esteem, I also have Body Dysmorphic Disorder which I spoke about more  here . Generally, I find myself going back to my old ways when I'm in situations that I can't control because the only thing I can control is what I eat. It's hard around Christmas to not let myself go backwards. It's also my birthday in Dece

MAN UP and talk about it

I normally write my blog using my own personal experience of mental health but I think it's really important to highlight other issues that surround mental health such as that of the male population. It has been recorded that: 76% of suicides are committed by men 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from a common mental health disorder Men are three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent  But despite this, only 36% of all referrals to talking therapies are men ( reference ) Although I say that this isn't necessarily from my own perspective, I know of three men who have all had difficulties with their mental health in various capacities, so I know a little bit about it, but as I always say, I'm no psychologist! I doubt many boys read this (I mean, not many people read this full stop!), but I think it's so important to try and change this attitude of 'just man up ', ' boys don't cry ', ' you're such a girl '

Mental illness vs. emotions

" OMG I'm so depressed that I can't go out this weekend! " - no, you're not depressed, you're just annoyed. I really think that part of the problem with people's understanding of mental health is how it's spoken about in the media/tv/films etc. People use 'depressed' and 'anxious' as moods the same way they use 'happy' and 'sad', but they're not. It's the same thing with calling people 'anorexic' as a compliment as the  Kardashians  have been caught in hot water for doing multiple times. Talking about mental illnesses like this makes them seem like trivial things that aren't important, aren't terrifying, aren't serious. There is a massive difference between feeling sad and having Depression; there's a massive difference between feeling stressed or anxious and having Anxiety. I guess this kinds of contradicts my previous comment about 'anxious' not being a mood, but people

What have you got to be depressed about?

This is a phrase I heard multiple times when I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and still sometimes hear it today - I even use it when talking about myself. If you've ever been told when you're sad, 'there are people dying' etc. this has the same meaning. However, have you ever told someone you're really happy about something, and they have replied with 'well I bet Meghan Markle is happier'? (because let's be honest, she's winning at life) No, you probably haven't. I don't know if it is one of those things about being British or it's a human flaw, but it seems that we can never be sad, we can never be having the worst time because someone always has it worse. As a result, we feel that our negative feelings are not validated, therefore they're not real, we are being dramatic, we are overreacting, but this needs to stop. It's perfectly acceptable to not be okay; sadness is not a competition. I&

Cosy Self-Care

Self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, whether you have a mental illness or not. It produces positive feelings, it gives you that cosy feeling, it's like wrapping yourself up in a blanket. Some people are so good at looking after other people but they forget to look after themselves - I know I never used to take time to care about myself, but I'd always be the first to drop what I was doing to look after my friends. Everyone takes care of themselves in different ways, but here are a couple of things you can do now it's getting chilly: Take a walk   Exercise is so important, and sometimes it's not so appealing to go out in the cold, but this is honestly one of my favourite things to do in the autumn. Even though walking doesn't necessarily seem like something you can count as exercise, it is! It will get all those lovely endorphins running around your brain. Wrap up warm: chunky knits, tartan scarf, thick socks and boots and yo

13 Reasons Why Controversy is everyday life

Disclaimer: This post contains ** SPOILERS ** of season 2, so if you haven't seen it and want to, stop reading!! I've been contemplating whether to write this post or not because I know a lot of people have a lot of opinions about certain aspects of season 2 of 13 Reasons Why and want it cancelled, so I'm sure there will be people who disagree with what I'm about to say. However, I thought this series was fantastic.  I've thought about 13 reasons why (lol at my attempt at being witty) Netflix and the series have done an amazing job at bringing important issues to our attention: Status Quo: No, I'm not referring to the loved HSM song, I'm talking about how the make-up of school groups strongly affects and determines people's decisions. Take Zach Dempsey for example: we learn in this series that he did in fact have a summer romance with Hannah, and from what we see, he seems to be a lovely guy and the kind of thing/person Hannah need

Not everyone you lose is a loss/Appreciation post

I don't really know how to start this, and as of writing this, I'm not sure if I'll even publish it, I feel like writing this just to get it out there and 'on paper' as such. **Disclaimer: of course, this is about real people, and real friendships, but I don't mean anything as a dig to anyone, it's just facts from how I've seen things...not trying to bring up dead drama.** All my life, I have struggled with making friends: I guess being an only child is part of it, and I wasn't used to socialising at a young age, but I still remember my mum forcing me to "go and ask that girl if you can play with her" every summer holiday, and I HATED it. It got to the point where I managed to persuade mum and dad let me take a friend on holiday with me instead. This hatred of speaking to new people still hasn't changed... I don't know if you could call it social anxiety, but I definitely have some sort of anxiety surrounding meeting n