Monthly Archives: September 2018

We All Have A Story

Today, 21st September 2018, is The Blurt Foundation’s first Big Blurtathon. The aim of The Big Blurtathon is to raise awareness of mental ill health and funds for The Blurt Foundation. The theme this year is “we all have a story”. Therefore I thought I would share some parts of mine by answering some questions.

When did you first notice your condition? 

My depression started in my early teenage years. I struggled at school with making friendships last and was bullied an awful lot of the time. This, along with some other issues, led to me feeling so low that I began to self harm at the age of thirteen. This is probably when signs of my Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) also started to develop too. My anxiety however didn’t get really bad until I was in my twenties.

When did you first get help for your condition? 

I hid my illness for a long time. There were many missed opportunities for me to get help. At school my head of year became aware of my self harm but didn’t follow it up. At sixth form college I saw a counsellor briefly and even attended the doctors to ask for help but did not get a good response so didn’t return. I eventually got taken seriously at nineteen after a suicide attempt saw me taken to the accident and emergency department by the police. This was the start of me getting help and support.

Do you take medication?

I do currently take medication. I’m on four different types for my mental illnesses; two antidepressants, an antipsychotic and a mood stabiliser. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my medication. They’re not perfect but they do help.

What do you miss out on because of your condition?

I miss out on quite a lot and can get quite bitter about it and want to punish myself for ‘allowing it’ to win. But it’s not about winning or losing. I have an illness. I currently can’t work due to my mental illnesses which causes lots of negative thoughts in my head but I just have to accept it at the moment. I also struggle with romantic relationships so am currently single. I feel I’m watching all my friends have amazing lives but I just can’t at the moment. With time though I hope to do more.

Would you get rid of your condition if you could?

My answer to this might be surprising but no I wouldn’t get rid of my condition. Don’t get me wrong it is hellish at times but it also makes me who I am. It’s shown me when I can be strong and taught me who my real friends are. I’ve also learnt a lot from it and had some great opportunities.

So there you have a bit of my story. If you have any more questions feel free to use the comments, TwitterFacebook or Instagram. For more on The Blurt Foundation’s Big Blurtathon click here or go to their TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

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World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

Suicide. It’s still a taboo subject. So many people are scared to talk about it. And even when they do they’re not sure what language to use. In 2017 there were 6213 deaths by suicide in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The highest rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49. The suicide rate for men has decreased and is the lowest it’s been for 30 years, however female suicide rates have remained the same for the last 10 years.

All these statistics are shocking. That is 6213 deaths by suicide too many. So what can be done to change that number? I’m no expert but I feel we need to keep pushing forward with getting people to open up. Talking helps. It’s undeniable. The problem we have though is making sure there are enough people to listen. It all comes down to money as it so often does in mental health care. We need to have more money to fund more resources so people have a place to go to talk, where they can get expert support. Charities do an amazing job at plugging some of the gaps but it seems not to be enough. The politicians need to start looking at these statistics more seriously. To stop what really are preventable deaths.

Another thing I want to see change is the separation of male and female suicide. Yes, I understand more men are dying by suicide but clearly something is wrong when the male suicide rate is decreasing yet the female rate remains consistent. Every death by suicide is one too many regardless of gender. We need to tackle all suicide, male or female. Sometimes it feels like females who die by suicide are forgotten and this should not be the case at all. One life lost is enough.

So why am I writing all this? Why do I care? Because it could of been me. I could of been a statistic. I’ve tried to end my life five times. I still struggle with suicidal thoughts on a regular basis. Behind each of those statistics are people. People with a story. People with loved ones who miss them daily. People who have been let down. It’s not just a number. It’s about lives lost. And it doesn’t even begin to quantify the number of lives effected by those losses. Things need to change.

If you are feeling suicidal please reach out. It’s tough and probably a really difficult conversation but it will be one of the most important ones of your life. You deserve help and love. You are worthy no matter what your mind is telling you. And people do care. I care. I’m not going to promise it will be easy but it will be worthwhile.

For more information on suicidal feelings check out the Mind website here. For support you can contact the Samaritans here. For suicide warning signs check out my blog post here. And if your feeling suicidal please read this.

To keep up to date or share with me feel free to use the comments or Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Book Review: Notes On A Nervous Planet

Overview

 “Notes On A Nervous Planet” by Matt Haig is a look at modern life and the stress and anxiety it causes. It is a look at how technology has taken over and left us feeling more stressed than ever before. Matt then tries to unravel how to survive in this new digits age where Twitter is king and robots are on the rise. Matt uses his own battles with mental illness to show a path through the mess of modern life.

My thoughts

This was another book that I had preordered and was waiting for expectantly. I wasn’t disappointed. I enjoyed this book a lot and found it an insightful look at how to deal with the rise of technology and it’s effects on our mental health. I liked that from the start Matt admitted he wasn’t perfect even though he was offering advice. This made the book more relatable. The book was personal although I liked that it had references to other writers and reports as well.

In this book Matt focuses more on his anxiety rather than his depression, hence the title. He puts his experiences into words better than I ever could and is highly relatable. In the book he discusses how with mental illnesses you can relapse and how, no matter what you try, it is not always avoidable. He take about how even doing the right things can lead to us feeling bad.

Matt’s book looks at “how can we live in a mad world without ourselves going mad” and does a good job at coming up with some answers to this. He looks at the problems with the digital age and the developments in technology and offers simple, seemingly obvious, advice to have less, switch off and unload. He goes into more detail in his “how to” guides which are scattered throughout the book.

Matt also looks at how mental health and physical health are linked. Her makes the very valid point that mental health is part of our physical health so should be treated no differently. He even refers back to the past when it was considered that problem with our four humours would have a direct effect on our mental health. In fact it seems we have gone backwards in separating the two.

The structure of the book was something else I really liked. It is made up of short chapters separated into sections. It reminded me of a blog with lots of entries. Some of the sections are just lists which kept the book moving at a good pace and keeps you reading more. I also liked the quotes at the beginning of some chapters. 

Overall I thought the book was great. It was humourous but with a serious side (please check out the robot therapy session). Matt’s style is unique but great. There are so many parts I want to quote from it. I would suggest everyone reads it.

If you have read this book feel free to share in the comments or on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

Rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟