So today is the 21st January 2019 and it is known as Blue Monday, a day that is meant to be the most depressing day of the year. I talk about mental health here on my blog so when I saw The Spoonie Mummy did this I thought why not do the mental health tag on Blue Monday?
1. What is your mental health issue?
I have chronic depression which started when I was about 14 and generalised anxiety disorder I have always had that
2. Do you have medication and/or therapy?
Yes I take antidepressants and I have most of my life, on and off I have had different types of therapy but right now I am lucky enough to be in long term therapy for chronic illness.
3. What therapy/medication have you tried and has any worked for you?
I have done one on one counselling, intensive group therapy, CBT, all have left me with tools that I use daily. The most important thing that worked for me was realising I am in control not my thoughts, and mindfulness hence the name of my blog! Being in this moment and aware of my thoughts helps me catch negative thinking early as well as any behavioural changes that can signal a flare.
4. How long have you had problems for?
I think I was born with my anxiety disorder, I have always been a very nervous person and yeah it was diagnosed about ten years ago. My depression first started at 14 when our next door neighbour died, I started drinking a lot and not caring about myself as I should. My mental health problems reached a peak just after I graduated as a nurse and when I first got sick. I would pray a car would kill me, and I had a breakdown and was put on suicide watch at one point.
5. Do your family/friends know?
Yes though they have not always been supportive or understanding I have always tried to be open about how I was feeling. I have been most open online, but they know where my blog and You Tube channel are so I do not hide anything.
6. Does this affect your work and daily living?
Yes, I cannot work due to my unpredictable physical health, but a big part of it is also my mental health. I have sensory overload if I go somewhere very busy or loud, I have panic attacks about leaving the house alone so I am mainly housebound. I wish I could say my physical health is the worst but having an anxiety disorder holds me back so much more.
7. What makes you feel calm?
I love to meditate, I play games on my phone or ipad to distract myself and I usually have a crystal in my pocket to hold. I have found that breathing exercises help me a lot when I feel a panic attack coming on or I start to get panicked.
8. What do you do in crisis?
I usually will try to remember the reality of the moment I am in, usually the thoughts that lead up to a panic attack or breakdown are not the reality of the moment. I will then breath slowly in and out and focus on just that its a lovely simple form of meditation that will help me ground and relax. I also use essential oils and crystals if I have them with me.
9. What advice would you give to others suffering?
Be open, if something is bothering you or hurting you tell someone, the more we bottle things up the less we can see a way to help ourselves. If you open up to someone you trust they can give advice, it can be a teacher, family member, doctor, an online friend even the Samaritans… whoever it is just be honest and open and it will help to get it out.
10. What makes you smile?
Small things, like getting out in nature, a good film or TV show, my dog and my husband and most of all gratitude. If I am being thankful for what I have and looking at everything with a grateful attitude smiling comes much more easily!
11. Describe your mental health issue in 5 words –
12. Insert a picture to make people smile –
I hope today is anything but depressing, but if you ever need to talk I am always on social media so just message me and I will do my best to be there for you.