Mental Health Experiences

Mental Health Awareness Week has just passed – I have mixed feelings on the event. It’s great that it further raises the awareness of mental health problems, however once that week is over a lot of people then immediately forget about it. Unfortunately, our mental health is with us every day of the year. But as I said, it’s great that it does somewhat raise awareness.

During the Mental Health Awareness Week I came across lots of people discussing their mental health. I decided that I wanted to compile a blog post with other people’s experiences. I often talk about my own experience with mental health but it’s important to remember that it impacts on everyone differently.

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J. Avery Cain – Generalised Anxiety Disorder 

Well Liz, it’s been my experience having lived with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, that prior to my diagnosis some 12 years ago, friends would simply refer to me as being quirky. This lack of knowledge of my disorder caused me a lot of unnecessary anguish. Now however in the years following my diagnosis I have been able to get to know my anxiety, its triggers and warning signs. I am at a point in my journey living with G.A.D. that even though random anxiety attacks still occur, I am at least fully aware of the reasons, and ways I can improve my response to an episode, even if the recovery period doesn’t really change. My anxiety triggers center around anything bureaucratic, though I do sometimes get triggered by intense emotion, like any kind of raised or very loud voice. So I try to limit my exposure to those kinds of circumstances. On those occasions where I do end up waylaid by my anxiety, in particularly bad episodes it takes me perhaps two weeks to get back to my normal routine. This is a huge change for me, for the better. My journey with my anxiety has helped me to know myself and learn to accept my anxiety, not for its limitations but for the fresh perspective it gives me. J. Avery Cain

https://www.lassarcade.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/16/

 

Lauren – Emetophobia and Anxiety

I never had mental health problems until I got diagnosed with IBS in 2015, ever since then my life has been turned upside down due to anxiety which is mostly caused by emetophobia which I suffer severely with. I have bearable days and I have bad ones, but the bad days are way more common and I’m constantly running away from situations that will flare up my anxiety. I avoid going into shops or anywhere that’s inside in case I need to be sick and I won’t be able to find anywhere, and I refuse to eat in restaurants. The phobia and anxiety is taking over my life and stopping me from doing all the things that I want to do, like getting a job and spending time with friends and family so recently I have started counselling and let me tell you, it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. The counselling hasn’t only taught me not to run away from my anxious situations but taught me ways to be able to cope and whilst I’m still fighting this battle and it’s not easy and will be a long journey, I’m proud of myself that I’m facing it and making steps to improve it instead of letting it beat me down. I’m open to any messages about how you cope, and although I’ve only started this recovery, I’d love to give advice on how to help yourself. We’re in this together, we will beat it.

https://laurenmeech.blog/

 

Katrina – Dissociative Identity Disorder 

Dissociative Identity Disorder is an all-compassing illness. There isn’t a single area of my life that isn’t affected. DID affects 1-3% of the world’s population but, yet it is still misunderstood. It is also stigmatised in the media. I am affected by memory spells, identity confusion and dissociation every single day. Currently due to the severity of my symptoms I am not able to work and have to rely on benefits. However, I am now in therapy and hoping to get to a place where I can have a career. It is just about taking one step at a time.
I write about my experiences here at https;//www.ourcollectivelifeblog.com

Lindsay – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression 

Mental health is such a tricky subject to talk about, especially if you know that you have a problem and get turned down for help. For me, it’s probably PTSD, depression, or both. Northern Ireland has one of the highest levels of PTSD in the world thanks to the Troubles but my experience is much more personal. When my eldest son was born, I died on the table during a routine c-section when a student surgeon cut one of my veins and I began bleeding internally. Afterwards I was stitched up and thrown out with no help. I went to my doctor and was told to suck it up because I wasn’t going to claim disability allowance or get any antidepressants. I realised I was completely on my own with my demons so I decided to get healthy by myself. I started studying psychology, I started my own blog, and I decided to take the plunge and write for a living. My son turns 8 this year and I’ve never been so happy. In a way, I’m glad that the doctor turned me away that day otherwise I might still be struggling daily with my mental health. There are days that I still suffer and I may never truly recover but I am determined to keep going with the path I have chosen for myself.My blog- https://lattelindsay.com/Source for PTSD quote- https://www.ulster.ac.uk/news/2011/december/ni-has-worlds-highest-rate-of-post-traumatic-stress-disorderMy book- https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Newtownards-in-the-Great-War-Paperback/p/15695

Nikki – Depression 

Depression is one of the most common types of mental health issue, but that doesn’t mean it is the most accepted or the best handled. The majority of people I speak to, even now, are treated with ‘oh, just cheer up’!! If it was that easy, we’d all do it! Having had 3 different types of counselling, I can confirm that talking does help, if your condition is caused by an ongoing problem then I suggest trying to deal with the root cause, otherwise it not not fully subside, I still face my depression daily, because the cause of the issue is still in my life. Medication can be a very useful tool too, every time I visit my G.P. to tell him I am struggling he just increases my dose, not sure how effective that is??! Make sure you talk. Friends, family, even close co-workers, your brain won’t be able to start to process until it can make sense of it, and to do that you need to let out the frustrations. If you are reading this, I wish you well. My blog details are https://thehadespost.co.uk/ if you ever want to chat. My mail box is always open.

Jo – Anxiety 

I’m Jo and I blog at Tea and Cake for the Soul. One of the reasons that I started my blog was to share my mental health story and self help tips in the hope that it might help just one person feel less alone.

https://teaandcakeforthesoul.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/2-my-mental-health-story/

I had a complete nervous breakdown in my early 20s to the extent that if it wasn’t for my family taking care of me, I wouldn’t have eaten or gotten dressed each day. I got better eventually but have suffered on and off my entire life, sometimes on anti-depressants but mostly not. On the whole I have learnt to accept it and have a contented life.

I am now 52 and in the menopause and have found that my mental health has taken a different turn. I have heightened anxiety, social anxiety and overthink things. I am trying to deal with it best I can but have quit one of my jobs because of it. I was unsure whether the job was increasing my anxiety, or my anxiety was causing me to stress over my job. In the end I decided to reduce the stress in my workload and see what happens next.

I am a great believer in talking and writing about mental health. I find the writing and the feedback that I get from knowing I’ve helped someone very therapeutic.

Jo
https://teaandcakeforthesoul.wordpress.com/

 

Thank you…

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and considering other people’s experiences with their mental health. We each have our own battle to fight. If you would like to share your experience with your mental health on my blog then please contact me at anxietyandliz@gmail.com

 

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XOXO

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