Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Misconceptions around mental health

There are so many misconceptions around mental health so I really want to address the big ones.  Now I warn you now, I'm not setting out to make this a really long post but I've heard a lot of crap in my time!

I did a whole research project on it for my EPQ (the equivalent of the first year of A levels) so I know what I'm talking about it and seeing as 1 in 4 people are suffering with mental health problems this is serious shit that needs to be addressed.

  • Depression and sadness are the same
If I hear one more person tell me how sad and depressed they are I am going to scream.  Its a fucking illness.  Yes, its not like the flu but it is still a diagnosable condition (and I'm pretty sure I just made that word up but I'm sticking with it) which affects all parts of life.  Yes, you feel sad but it also causes insomnia, fatigue (extreme tiredness), skin problems, hair loss and can be a contributing factor to developing other conditions be it mental or physical.

  • "But you don't look sick!"
If I hear this again I swear I will punch them in the face.  I get this all the time whether its to do with my chronic illnesses or my depression.  Just because you hold it together in public does not mean you are okay.  For me, if I cry in front of you then you should be fucking honoured because I don't show you I'm struggling until I really trust you and if I talk to you about it then be more honoured than if your knighted because I don't talk to a lot of people about it.  Especially not face to face.

  • It's a sign of weakness
Don't you dare let anyone tell you this!  For a starter everyone responds to traumatic event in different ways and second of all that isn't always the cause.  There are thought to be about 4 overall causes and without pulling out my biology and sociology knowledge because I can't be arsed and I'm still on my holiday they are illness, trauma, environmental stress and hereditary.  This means anything can cause it.  It doesn't make you weak.

  • It's all in your head
No.  No it's not.  As I said, it's more than being a bit emotional, it affects the whole body.  Enough said.

  • Real men don't get depression
Is it any fucking wonder that the biggest cause of death in men under 40 is depression when society has an attitude like this?!  If we really want this to change we have to change our attitude.

  • Self harm is for attention seekers
Can I just say when your trying to recover and someone tells you that funnily enough it doesn't help.  It's not and for the majority of people it's something they are ashamed of and they want to hide, I know I did.  Wearing long sleeve tops in summer, getting changed in the toilets for P.E. so no one saw my scars, I did everything I could.  Now I speak out about it between relapses to help others.  And to those who did and now are ashamed of your scars, don't be.  They show the shit you went through and that you survived and that's something to be proud of.

  • Self harm leads to suicide
I think with Oscar Pistorius I think this is something that needs addressing.  Often self harm is used to prevent suicide.  It's used as a coping mechanism for those that just want to be in control of something or feel numb and just need the pain or for many other reasons, not because they are trying to die.  Now I'm passed it I can say that yes I self harmed for different reasons each time and I did have suicidal thoughts but they weren't linked.

I'm really sorry this was so long!

For anyone interested in learning more there are some documentaries I love by celebrities which really are accurate and give a personal insight which I actually used in my research project and trust me, they are much more interesting than the dozens or academic research papers I read!

Professor Green: Suicide And Me
This ones all about depression and suicide, the causes and support.  One of my favourites.

Tulisa: My Mum And Me
A brutally honest documentary on being a young carer and the effects on the mental health.  Warning: includes discussions about drugs and self harm in depth.  Could be a trigger.


For a change I would like to say this update is positive!

Things really are looking up right now.  I'm one week panic attack free and 2 weeks self harm free.  That may not seem big to someone who doesn't suffer with depression but to anyone who is or has been in my position you'll know that a big deal!  Things really are looking up and I owe it all to a couple of my friends who have taken to snapchatting me every day to make me laugh.  I really don't deserve them! They're the best!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Behind Closed Doors

It's such a cliché when it comes to mental health that you're a different person on your own but its true.  I break down and cry because it's the only time I get to.  I put on a mask during the day and when I'm in bed I can take that mask off and all those thoughts I've had to block out or ignore come flooding back and often it leaves me numb.  Imagine each thought was a person and they're all rushing to get through the door at the same time.  They are just going to get stuck and that's when you feel numb.  This is without a doubt the worst part. You feel like crap but you don't know why. 
Then comes the onslaught. One frees itself unblocking the door and all of these thoughts just come flooding in.  That's the point where you loose it.  Floods of tears and when you need someone you can trust the most.
This is why you need someone you really trust.  Someone you can take off the mask in front of a bit.  Someone who isn't family and may not even be a friend as such.  You just need to let the cracks show for a bit so you can deal with everything rationally. Don't go it alone.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Time for a change

I've changed a lot and I needed a way to show it and... Well... This has done the trick! Dyed my hair BRIGHT pink! Like really pink! I love it! I wasn't going to go this pink but I left my hairdresser in charge and it looks lush. It's for you, Charlie! 💖

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Week and 1/2 clean

I just wanted to share some news.  I'm a week and a half clean of self ham and going strong.  I made a promise to two people who mean the world to me and they've kept their ends of the deal so I have to keep mine.  I broke it once but they don't know and I felt so guilty for it that there is no way I was going to let it happen again.

Thank you everyone for your ongoing support!  You can't do this alone, I've tried and failed many times.

Driving Theory Test

Today I took my driving theory test and before you ask, no I didn't pass.  I was on away.  But I'm feeling okay with that.  Usually I would be pissed as hell but I'm 17.  I literally have my whole life to pass!  And that's the way you have to think.  Sure, I was devastated but laugh it off and carry on studying.  It was only the first time.  Most of the people I have spoken to have said it took at least 4 attempts and the rest even longer.  They're hard! Stupid questions and you have to get 43/50 correct and then score 44 on a hazard test (I got exactly 44).  Don't get all worked up over whats done, just log back on 3 days later when you can and re-book.  You'll get there in the end!

Monday, 22 August 2016


Don't know if it is even possible to get more sleep!  Granted I don't sleep until late at night but I sleep almost all day.  I'm really sorry for not posting but hopefully you understand the stress and struggle I'm under. I will do a proper post tomorrow

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A Level Results Day

The day is upon us.  A day worse than the apocalypse.  A level results day.  I'm fucking petrified and I don't have a uni place riding on this.  I just have my place at sixth form and a future uni place.

Anyway, I just wanted to say good luck to everyone and I hope you all do awesome and try to chill.  Just think, whats done is done.  Your results are already in that envelope and by the time you've got them your teachers and universities and everything will already have seen it so there is no point stressing about what you can't change.

Also, I would like to say it is still perfectly fine to be a bit anxious and I'd be worried if you weren't because that means you're either a really cocky shit or you couldn't give a rats arse and seeing as neither of those are me we shall stress together! Try and get some sleep, chill and have a nice breakfast.  Treat yourself!  It will help you unwind.  Personally the idea of a bacon butty is sounding pretty damned good if I can get the money together!

Hope you all do well and if this is the end and you're off to uni or wherever I hope you get your top choice.  Let me know where you get in! I'm a nosy little fucker! (Plus still choosing my options if there are any uni's out there that want to pitch their marine or human biology course to me again!)


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

It's okay not to be okay

I'm just going to keep telling myself this and eventually I'll believe it.  A friend told me yesterday you can't recover without relapses. It's hard to admit but it's true. It's okay to feel like shit because atleast you're feeling. That's the first step.

It will all be okay in the end.

The way you feel is just temporary.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Time To Vent

Here's the part where I offer absolutely no advice but I can rant and just get stuff off of my chest.

I'm struggling.  I really am.  I have nowhere to turn and last night I turned to self harm again and that is not somewhere I want to go again.  I feel useless and lonely and everything has become a trigger and I just break down and cry at everything.  Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of my Uncle's death and it stings like a bitch. Like he was taken yesterday.  He wasn't even sick so I never had a chance to say goodbye. He just left.  He had a heart attack and drowned.  Not a nice way to go and not the way a great man like him deserved to go.

Okay, thanks.  That fees a bit better now. Still feel like shit but I don't fee like I'm hiding from everyone anymore.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

People As A Trigger

Sounds weird, right?  It's true though.  Sometimes just the presence of people can be enough to be a serious trigger.  It's something I badly struggle with and I know I am not alone and its something which needs more awareness.  They don't need to speak to me or even look at me, just their presence is enough to freak me out and feel trapped and when I feel trapped I do a runner.  Tomorrow I have to face my worst nightmare.  60 more strangers joining an already crowded and noisy room.  Just the idea of it scares the shit out of me and gets me worked up.  As always I will try but a word of warning to anyone in a mile radius of town centre tomorrow, there will be a panic attack at some point.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Find The Right Person

It is vital you have someone you trust 100% during a panic attack as they can stop you doing something stupid.  I've tried being alone, I've tried finding people who are supposed to help but the only real way to deal with it is have someone you trust.  Even if they can't be there in person and you have to call them make sure you know someone who you have really built up a rapport with who, most importantly, can stay calm.  There is no point finding someone when you are having a panic attack who is going to have one when they see you.

If you try to cope on your own there is a very good chance it will get worse or you'll do something which could hurt you or someone around you.

If you have the wrong person you can't say what you feel and there is also the likelihood that they will put a foot in it and say something they shouldn't have.

Like I said at the start, you might not always be with the people you trust the most.  I'm not going to lie, there is a place where I don't feel like I trust anyone enough so have a phone at the ready.  Have a list of people you can call.  Someone will pick up.  It's not the best but it's better than talking to someone you don't want to talk to.  Speak to the wrong person and say the wrong thing and it will come around to bite you on the ass and hard.  I learnt that the hard way!


Now let me tell you a story.  A story where a girl had a panic attack because of an obvious trigger but she didn't tell anyone it was a trigger.  Don't do that! Don't be me!  After a panic attack there can be a lot of questions and although with my team at NCS at the moment we have established a "don't ask, just hug" rule which our team leader put in place after I confessed to the leaders I had self-harmed again and everything when tits up not everyone is that good and having to explain after what happened is not nice.  Especially when it has been the cause of about three and you lied about the passed two saying you didn't know the trigger.  Eventually you have to say or else it gets worse.  Don't keep secrets.  Tell someone who is going to be with you, it doesn't matter who or do what I've done in the past.  Sometimes it can be hard to say these things out loud so either write the person a letter or write it on a flashcard or something which you can carry round with you and show someone so they know what is going on.

Physical Exhaustion

People forget how tiring mental health problems can be.  It's hard.  Really hard.  I already suffer with fibromyalgia which for those that don't know is an autoimmune disease which the main symptom is chronic fatigue so I struggle enough anyway but add poor mental health in and it pushes you over the edge.  I don't sleep at night and then end up sleeping for an hour or two each evening but even when I do sleep I don't feel refreshed.  It's like hell. It's just a constant cycle of not sleeping and lack of energy to the point where in the mornings I feel like gravity is pulling me down to my bed and to be honest that's the same for any time I sit down.

I do try not to complain about my illnesses and you should be pretty honoured if I do because there are very few people I trust enough to talk about it with but sometimes I do just need to vent.  We all do.  Don't be ashamed to break down and cry when it gets tough.  Don't be ashamed to say it's getting too much and don't listen when people say you shouldn't or that you're fine.  If that's how you feel then it's okay to feel that way and the only way to change that is to accept it and go from there.

Friday, 12 August 2016

PTSD and Driving

It's not nice!  There is not sugar coating it.  Today I freaked and had a panic attack and any PTSD sufferer will tell you that being stuck in a car with your driving instructor and some random person in the back who you're dropping home after his lesson on a busy road is not a good place to have a panic attack.  Especially when your driving instructor doesn't know you have PTSD triggered by being in a car crash.  There was shaking, crying and shouting. It wasn't pretty.  And that is what happens when you haven't driven in nearly 3 weeks because you're driving instructor cancels your lesson and you try driving while very tired and after having 3 weeks of near on daily panic attacks again.  I have work tomorrow so lets hope I can have a day without one tomorrow!

Welcome to my PTSD hell!


A few things you need to know before reading on...
  1. I will be brutally honest!  I'm not going to spare a detail as there is no point.  If you're going to know you need to know the whole story.
  2. I will swear.  Look at the topic.  This blog isn't going to be 'family friendly'!  This is a blog for me to vent and say how I feel and also to give tips and advice not for a child to scroll through when they are bored.
  3. All hate will be blocked with immediate effect.  No second chances.  I'm used to the hate and I've learned to handle it but a. I shouldn't have to and b. its upsetting for everyone and we just don't want to see it.
  4. I never use names.  Everything I say is 100% truthful so I never use names (or if I really have to I use fake ones) to protect those involved.
I've suffered in silence with PTSD for 14 years and in that time I have learned that in the UK we are crap when it comes to PTSD and mental health.  It takes us too long to diagnose it and when we do there is this taboo around it and people don't seem to know how to deal with them so this blog is there to raise a bit of awareness and hopefully teach people what to do and to show people they are not alone.

Before I go on I want to thank the person who gave me the courage to start this blog and who inspired me to.  As with everyone on this blog they will remain anonymous but yesterday I was on twitter when she was being nosy and asked what I was doing and watched me while I retweeted a post about hypersensitivity and how loud, high pitched or repetitive noised can be triggers and captioned it "I wish more people got the hint!" and she said they never will.  It made me think somethings got to change.  Later that day I had a panic attack and we spoke a bit more after that and that gave me the confidence to say yeah, fuck it! I'll do it! And so here I am.