Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Is Having a Mental Illness Inspirational?

Is Having a Mental Illness Inspirational? depression anxiety mental health OCD help advice blogger UK thoughts

Often when you call someone inspirational or brave, it is meant in a complementary positive context. But what if the word actually does more harm than good? 

I’ve been blogging about my own mental health battles online now for quite a while. During that time I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been called an inspiration. I’m not doing what I’m doing to receive compliments like this. I candidly talk about mental health to raise awareness and normalise what is still a highly stigmatised topic in 2017. 

But why is it someone can only be inspirational when they’ve been meet with hardship or are handicapped in some way? And why is it only when the individual is defying all odds and doing something amazing despite their circumstances can they be classified as inspirational? Isn’t just getting through the day enough? 

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Monday, 11 December 2017

Why Reading Benefits My Mental Health

Why Reading Benefits My Mental Health

As a child, I was a complete bookworm. I loved reading so much. It would be rare if you ever found me without my nose in a book. I could not leave the things alone. Like most millennials, I grew up obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson. Jacqueline Wilson is to reading what Lady Di is to Britain. A well loved and appreciated icon. 

My life revolved around coming home to watch the latest episode of Tracy Beaker while reading one Jacqueline's books. I've actually still got all my books, and I will hold on to them for as long as I possibly can, as they were such important parts of my childhood that hold such dear memories in my heart. 

As I grew up though, I stopped reading. The internet came along, and suddenly reading took a back seat in my life. I was more interested in watching YouTube and chatting on MSN then reading. I found that as I got older, there weren't books suitable for my age group. I was getting too old for Tracy Beaker but too young for the chick lit in the adult section. I felt very lost when it came to my reading, and as a result, my reading journey ceased. 

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

10 Easy Ways To Support Charity This Christmas

10 Easy Ways To Support Charity This Christmas

For some people, Christmas is just another day. Their Christmas tradition isn't setting up the tree and making it look 'instagramable' it's putting down the mouse traps to stop the disease spreading around their family, in their mouldy, damp, cramped flat which the council has kindly given them. 

Some children don't wish for a sack full of gifts at Christmas from Santa, all they hope for is that this Christmas isn't their last. Christmas isn't a time full of joy, happiness and laughter for everyone. It can be the loneliest time of the year. For those on the streets, those spending it alone and those with mental health problems, Christmas can be a difficult time of the year. 

Of course, we all deserve to treat ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with spending your hard earned money on gifts for yourself and your loved ones. But as much as Christmas is for getting it's also about giving. Giving to those less fortunate than yourselves. As a society, we are consumed by consumerism. We are driven by the innate drive for the latest, the prettiest and the best. Gosh, you only have to take one look at the blogging community to recognise that. 

So amongst your social media feeds being bombarded with blogmas posts I hope this little post, brings you back down to reality. To just stop and take a few seconds to appreciate what you have and who you have. To be grateful for the little and big things this Christmas. And most importantly come to the reality that these things you take for granted now will not last forever.

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

When Mental Illness Becomes Your Identity


Raising awareness of mental illness, fighting the stigma and campaigning for better understanding and rights for those who struggle with their mental health, is something which I do on a daily basis. It is part of me. It is something which I feel very passionate about given my own experiences of mental illness. It is also something I enjoy. I wish I didn't have to, but I'm a realist and not an idealist. I know there is a problem, which I want to change.

Writing openly and honestly about mental health is very rewarding. When I see changes in the law or high profile celebs or even royalty,  doing their bit to end mental health stigma and improve the way in which the system works, it makes me feel proud of the community I am part of. When people tell me how much my blog or story has helped them, I feel delighted that I can help someone overcome a struggle which I know firsthand just how lonely and isolating it can be. 

But is there a line between where being open about mental health crosses over with your identity? Or when your mental illness becomes your identity? For me, I think there is, and I believe that in many aspects of my life that line has been crossed which can throw some pretty heavy challenges my way. 

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Monday, 4 December 2017

Harry Potter Primark Haul


Last Sunday, I went on a shopping trip to Oxford Street for my birthday. I really wanted to go because there are so many amazing shops in London, that I just don't have in my part of the country. Also, they have two hella big Primark, with dedicated Harry Potter sections. Which if you know me is like a dream come true.

I went to both the Oxford Street Primark at Marble Arch and the Oxford Street Primark at Tottenham Court Road. The Primark at Tottenham Court Road is the one with the huge dedicated section to Harry Potter. They have the suitcases and letters hanging from the ceilings as well as a much bigger selection of bits than the other Primark's I have been to.

I had such a lovely day out and I managed to pick up some awesome bits. Although by the end of the day my head was pounding and feet were killing, it was actually a lovely day. If you love Harry Potter as much as I do, you need to get yourself down to Oxford Street ASAP.

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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Why Everyone Can Raise Awareness Of Mental Health | Maison de Choup


It's no shock by now that I'm passionate about raising awareness around mental health. Bloody hell, I have a whole blog pretty much dedicated to it. It's important and a crucial step in ending the stigma. So when we think of ending mental health stigma, we often think we need to share our personal stories and experiences. Whether that be on YouTube, through blogging or even on Facebook for some. 

Some may even feel pressured into sharing their story even if they don't feel comfortable because 'how on earth can you spread awareness without baring your soul to the internet?'

Don't get me wrong raising awareness around mental health through sharing personal accounts and experiences is fundamentally essential. But for some, this isn't even possible. It's counterintuitive to expect someone to share their story even if it affects their mental health negatively. 

Fear, embarrassment, having an unsupportive family or even not having the platform to share their story are some of the reasons why raising mental health awareness in this very traditional sense is not going to be for everyone.

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