Saturday, 27 May 2017

My Mental Health Goals

My Mental Health Goals mental health wellbeing support OCD depression panic attacks eating disorders help blogger blog UK

I'm not a very goal oriented person usually. I'm more of an ' I'll just do my best, and that's all I can do' kind of person. Which if you ask me, there is nothing wrong with that at all. Try telling my teachers that though! Ha! Most assume that because I'm predicted an A that's what I'll get at the end of the two years of A levels. Not taking into consideration any personal or emotional factors which may hinder my success.

What is success anyway? Like seriously. Am I only worth the letters on a piece of paper? Is my value just a percentage or success rate? I'm a figure at the end of the day, to my college. The more people who go to top universities, the better the college looks. That's all they care about at the end of the day. At college, they consistently set us targets and goals to achieve. Most of which I ignore and forget about.

I will always do the best I can on the day. That means sometimes I will underachieve and sometimes I will overachieve. That's just how it is, but I will always do my best. Nothing becomes before my mental health and wellbeing. Although I do not like educational goals, I do think it's important to set goals relating to your mental health. *Segway into the point of this post* Which is why I thought I would share with you, a little update on how I'm doing with my mental health and what I'm hoping to achieve in the future.

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Friday, 26 May 2017

What I Wish My Friends Knew About My Struggle With Mental Illness

What I Wish My Friends Knew About My Struggle With Mental Illness depression OCD anxiety help support panic attacks uni school teenager mental health wellbeing

 For all those lessons I've walked out of. For all those days where I've blanked you and for all those where I have been so hyper I've been bouncing off the walls. I'm sorry. For the times you saw me cry my eyes out over nothing or the times I've been too anxious, too out of touch with reality, to understand what's going on around me. I'm sorry. 

I'm not a reliable or dependent friend. As Forest Gump once said; life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. I guess I'm that box of chocolates. You don't know if first thing on Monday morning, I'm going to be happy and cheery or coming in crying from a panic attack. You don't know if by Wednesday I will talk to you or if I'll blank you yet again. 

Most people have mastered the art of hiding and covering up emotions in public places. If they are feeling sad or anxious, they will push it under the carpet until they are home and cry there. But not me. When you struggle with your mental health, there comes a time where you get sick of putting on a play every day to fit in with everyone else because that's what you think you have to do. Because that's what others do.

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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Why It Is Okay To Put Your Mental Health First, Over University

Why It Is Okay To Put Your Mental Health First, Over University college uni tips advice mental illness wellbeing depression anxiety panic attacks eating disorders OCD

University! The thing that is at the centre of my nightmares most evenings! Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating slightly, but seriously university scares the hell out of me! Even without my OCD, I don't think uni is for me. Like seriously, uni and I just won't mix! Alcohol, sharing things with other people, loud music, late nights, vomit- the list could go on! Let's be Frank here; it's not going to be for me!

I know that university isn't right for me now, and I still have a year before I go. Unfortunately, some people won't realise that university might not be for them until they are actually in the middle of it. Whether that be because of stress, homesickness or the onset of a mental illness. Mental illness can hit anyone at any point in your life. Including while you are at university. Mental illnesses are very likely to occur while you are university due to the large amounts of things happening all at once and it just being a huge period of transition for you. 

Someone who knows, all too well what is like to struggle with a mental illness at University is Sophie. I am so proud of Sophie for sharing her story, as I am sure SO many of you will be able to relate to her experience. University isn't for everyone. Sometimes it is but your mental health gets in the way, and your studies need to be put on hold. That's totally okay! You should not feel guilty for putting your mental health or physical health first above a degree! I hope you enjoy reading Sophie's experience as part of mental health awareness month. 

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

30 Things I Have Learnt From Struggling With My Mental Health

30 Things I Have Learnt From Struggling With My Mental Health Depression anxiety OCD panic attacks help support mind time to change wellbeing blogger UK

Struggling with your mental health or being diagnosed with any mental illness is often perceived as being a very negative thing. Which yes, I completely can understand why. I wouldn't wish any mental illness upon my worst enemy. OCD, depression and anxiety from my experience are hell. OCD, in particular, has ruined and ruled my life. It's stopped me doing the things I loved and left me in a constant state of heightened anxiety.

However, mental illness is not a choice. Contrary to what some people think. Therefore, because I didn't decide to have a mental illness one day, I have to accept and deal with the fact that I'm part of the one in four club, the best that I can. Struggling with any mental illness is never easy. Understatement of the year there. 

But on a serious note, it's a huge learning curve for anyone. I've developed a lot as a person because of what I've been through. I've learnt a lot, through the years of struggling with my mental health. Both positives and negatives. However, I firmly believe that in every negative, a positive can be found. Without going through the debilitating lows, I wouldn't be passionate as I am today about ending the stigma around mental health and supporting those who also struggle daily with their own battles. That's got to be a positive right? 

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

EMDR Therapy | What Is It And How It Benefited My Mental Health

EMDR Therapy | What Is It And How It Benefited My Mental Health CBT OCD PTSD panic attacks phobia help support depression anxiety mental illness wellbeing

If someone told me that I would be paying £60 to watch a butterfly go back and forth on a screen for an hour a half every week, I would think you are joking but in reality that is actually what I do. EMDR is a type of therapy used for the treatment of a range of mental illnesses including PTSD, phobias and OCD. I have used EMDR therapy for my OCD since the start of the year, and I have found it particularly successful.

So what actually is EMDR? EMDR stands for eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. Which I know sounds dead confusing and complicated but let me break it down a bit. The idea of EMDR is to change the way the brain thinks by reprocessing old memories which are particularly stressful or distressing. By working through them with a trained professional, EMDR helps you change the way you interpret the memory with the aim of making in just an ordinary memory and not one that scares you.

This is why EMDR is particularly useful for people with PTSD or who've developed phobias after particularly stressful events in their life's as it allows you to rewrite them if you like and understand how and why they've developed. By changing the unconscious mind, you can change the way the conscious mind understands these memories. I've not heard many people talk about EMDR in the mental health blogging community which is why I thought I would share my experiences today.

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