Monday, 27 February 2017

25 Things You Should Know About People With A Mental Illness

25 Things You Should Know About People With A Mental Illness bloggers blogging UK lifestyle mental health illness wellbeing mind time to change

I hate the news and mainstream media. They brainwash us to buying things we don't need. They segregate certain groups in society for no reason whatsoever and highlight things unnecessarily, without fully explaining them which as a result creates a significant amount of uneducated people who don't fully understand the topic because the media don't portray it accurately or fairly.

This can be applied to a wide range of different topics, one of those being mental health. When a murderer or criminal is sent to prison or goes for trial, the media likes to highlight if they were suffering from a mental illness. Now first things first, I don't condemn murder or unnecessary violence, and I understand that certain mental illnesses can result in people doing things that they wouldn't normally do if the hormones in their brains were functioning normally. However, this only happens in a few cases. The vast majority of people living with mental illnesses live pretty normal life's, amongst society, even those with what are often seen as more serious mental illnesses such as bipolar, schizo-effective disorder or borderline personality disorder. 

You don't need to highlight that the murderer had OCD, bipolar or depression, etc. unless it explicitly links to why they committed the murder. And if it does it should be made exceptionally clear that the vast majority of us with mental illnesses are completely safe to be around. Having a mental illness doesn't automatically make you dangerous. However, because the media fails to mention this; it leaves a large percentage of the public uneasy about people with mental illness and actually misinformed about the reality of living with a mental illness.

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Friday, 24 February 2017

24 Hours In The Life Of Someone With OCD

24 Hours In The Life Of Someone With OCD mental illness health help advice depression anxiety bloggers stories support

Living with OCD is a 24 hour, seven days a week, 365 days a year battle. I often use the analogy of going into battle with no armour and weapons because that's what it's really like. It often feels like you against the world. A constant never ending battle.

There are so many misconceptions around OCD. People don't realise the struggle sufferers go through. Even if they do understand the illness, they don't understand to what extent it can impact its sufferers. By sharing my own experiences of compulsions and intrusive thoughts, which I have in 24 hour period, I hope that I can do two things. A. help people who go through similar battles with OCD every day, realise that they are not alone and B. To help provide a real example to help educate those to still think OCD is just all about being clean, tidy and enjoying organisation. 

No matter how stuck you feel right now, in what seems like a never-ending cycle of despair and compulsions, you can escape it. It takes time, but it can be done. It's hard. It's really hard, but you are strong enough, to do it. With help, you can get your life back on track. It is possible. 

* WARNING: This post contains detailed information about intrusive thoughts and compulsions, which may be triggering for some* 
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Monday, 20 February 2017

I'm So OCD Because...

I'm So OCD Because...  OCD Action week of action OCD UK mental health wellbeing depression quiz anxiety bloggers am I OCD?

1. I can't eat in college at all. Meaning that I go 12 hours without food every single day. Due to this I have meal replacement drinks instead 
2. I can't eat anything without using knives and forks. Which means in public I have to eat with plastic cutlery
3. I wash my hands continuously. Sometimes it's 20 or 30 times. Sometimes it takes half and hour. Sometimes I have to do it till it feels just right 
4. I have to check the door 50 or so times before I leave the house until it feels just right 
5. I can't work at a table in college until I've wiped it down with an anti-bac wipe 
6. I have to wear gloves when I leave the house, whatever the weather, hot or cold 
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Friday, 17 February 2017

Why Health Anxiety Is No Joke | Guest Post

Why Health Anxiety Is No Joke | Guest Post  mind time to change story blogger phobia sick OCD depression recovery support mental health illness

I am a victim of health anxiety. Yes, it does affect me every day of my life, and it can be quite draining. You could say I’m a hypochondriac, but I don’t think that’s the nicest of terms to use really. I just worry excessively about my health, and the main focus of it all revolves around my Emetophobia (the fear of sick). Also before I get started, I should mention that Nicole has written all about her experiences with health anxiety over on my blog, should you want to have a read! You can

I know the majority of people will just google their symptoms as soon as they feel an ache or pain, it’s what we all do these days. I think I do it a bit excessively, however, googling symptom after symptom, linking it to whatever I can find. I think a bit of backstory is needed to where this all began. Well, I know I’ve suffered from Emetophobia ever since I was little...like really little. I must have been about 4 or 5 when I first suffered a sort of ‘panic attack’ if you will, over my best friend being sick in my house. 

I remember it so clearly, for no reason at all, I was petrified, and I just remember sitting on my Mum and Dad’s bed crying my eyes out. Since then, there have been multiple occasions of panic when people have been sick near me, but the worst is when I personally feel sick. 

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Monday, 13 February 2017

What a Panic Attack Really Feels Like

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You know that feeling you get in your stomach before you go into an exam or an important job interview, they call it butterflies? A panic attack feels like that. But fuck the butterflies. It feels like having a stampede of wildebeest going through your chest. I may as well be standing in the middle of the Lion King because I'm about to get trampled on by something a lot more painful than any wild animal. 

You know when you miss the bottom step as you walk down the stairs and your stomach lurches. A panic attack feels like that. But lasts much much longer. Your stomach fills with so much dread and anxiety, like it's a cola bottle, with a mint dropped inside. Then shook. An inevitable disaster waiting to happen. 

As I stare into the distant, I'm not ignoring you, I'm trying to distract myself from the bellowing voices in my head playing ping pong. Telling me I'm dying, I'm going to die. I'm having a heart attack. While the other side knows, this is just anxiety and nothing ever happens. It's just anxiety. But this half is too weak. It's a mouse about to get trampled on by the stampede of wildebeest travelling through my chest at 100mh.

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Friday, 10 February 2017

Dear The Education System | An Open Letter To The Education System From a Mentally Ill Student

Dear The Education System | An Open Letter To The Education System From a Mentally Ill Student mental illness wellbeing health NHS OCD anxiety depression blogs bloggers UK

Dear the education system,

I may be your A grade student. A student that gets full marks on tests, assignments and essays but those results come at a cost. A substantial price that doesn't have a monetary value. My mental health. 

I'm only human. A human being with thoughts, feelings and emotions. I have a brain. A brain which is put through its paces by you to remember a ridiculous amount of numbers, facts and studies. All of which I will forget the second I walk out of the exam hall. This brain which is exploited by you can also get poorly. My brain is poorly. 

My brain is overloaded with pressure and expectations created by you. It's not sufficient for me to just turn up to my lessons, complete homework and revise for my exams at the end of the two years. I have to be doing things outside of college to enrich myself and make me more employable. Work experience, volunteering and part-time jobs. Qualifications alone are not enough. 

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Monday, 6 February 2017

The No Nonsense Guide To Saving Our NHS

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Sitting down to eat my evening meal while listening to the news headlines about the constantly struggling and failing NHS has become somewhat of a weekly routine. A week, sometimes a couple of days can't go by without some negative headline associated to the NHS being broadcasted on the BBC 6'0 clock news. Whatever you call it, a humanitarian crisis or not. We can all agree the NHS is struggling.

I'm only 18. I've got my whole life ahead of me. Yet part of me doesn't want to live on till I'm 80 with the current state of the NHS. I don't want to live in fear, worried that my safety and future will be put in jeopardy due to the postcode I resign at. The thought of dying because I didn't get the help I needed quick enough due to someone being seen in A&E with a cold over saving my life from a fatal heart attack, fills my stomach with dread and anxiety. 

What do I know anyway? I'm only young. What do I know about the NHS? Not a lot, your right. But what I do know is that they are an invaluable service which has saved both my parent's life's and is still a service I rely on to this very day. Just like a vast majority of the population do or will do at some point in their life's. What really hurts, is seeing the NHS staff ( which includes everyone from surgeons, doctors, nurses to porters, cleaners and administrative staff) being pushed to absolute breaking point despite them trying their absolute hardest and working around the clock, 365 days a year to keep the most valuable thing we have in this country going. 

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Thursday, 2 February 2017

That One Conversation That Changed My Life | Time To Talk Day 2017

That One Conversation That Changed My Life | Time To Talk Day 2017 mental illness wellbeing health mind OCD depression ANXIETY

Conversations save lives. Conversations really are the most effective way of dealing with the mental health crisis we currently have in this country. Talking openly and honestly about mental health helps reduce the stigma around mental illness. Not only does it contribute to reducing the stigma, but it also enables sufferers to seek aid and support they need. It gives them the confidence to get help when they need it the most. To no longer suffer in silence. 

If this is so, why are so many petrified to have those life changing conversations? Why do so many remain mute about their mental health? Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, so why does society perpetuate that is? Sufferers stay in the closet, if you like because they are so afraid of talking openly about their mental health for fear of appearing weak or cowardly.

This needs to stop! We are currently not talking about mental health enough. We need to keep talking, chatting and having those important conversations to normalise mental illness, so it's not seen as abnormal or perceived as being inferior or weak. I'm going to keep shouting about my mental health until discrimination and inequality for the mentally ill is a thing of the past. 

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