Category: illness

Just because depression isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Depression is something that the majority of us will suffer with at some point in our lives. Whether we realize it or not. It comes in different ways for all of us. Some of us just think we’re feeling a little low. Some of us feel like life isn’t worth living anymore.

My experience.

When I first went in about my mental health, the Doctor wasn’t sure whether I was confusing depression with anxiety. Now I look back on it, maybe at the time I was, but I’ve definitely had an element of depression.

I battled for a very long time with my mental health, and I was stubborn enough to not accept the help and let the Doctor prescribe me medication. I was scared I’d be on it for life and become addicted.

A colleague of mine at the time managed to convince me to try it because I’d got to the point where I was nervous about even answering the phone. I was pushing everyone that cares about me away by not talking about my feelings because I felt like it’d just be a burden on them. They did everything I did, worked hard, looked after the children etc. So why couldn’t I do that?

My plan of action.

I finally took the plunge and went to the Doctor asking for medication. I was already on propranolol for my anxiety but that didn’t touch my mood. When I finally gave in I just sat there and sobbed, rambling onto the Doctor about everything that’s built up for me. I felt stupid. So many people in the world are going through so much worse than I am.

I did, however, feel better for just letting it out. The Doctor prescribed me a low dose of sertraline, as what I was feeling clearly wasn’t just my anxiety.

I went back after 2 weeks for a review of my mood. To be honest, in that short space of time I didn’t really see an improvement, apart from the fact that it had helped my anxiety issues slightly!

Within a month of that, I felt like a totally new person. I was no longer crying every day or breaking down over the smallest of things. My patience had improved when it comes to Dinky and his challenging behaviors. Most importantly, I was actually able to smile again.

How do I get a diagnosis for depression?

It’s not something that the Doctor will just diagnose straight away, especially if you’ve not had any past history of mental health. The Doctor will likely prescribe you some antidepressants and ask you come back after a few weeks to check your mood. The Doctor may even refer you to see a mental health worker if you really don’t want to take medication for your depression.

I’m not saying medication is the way forward to cure depression because it isn’t the case for some people. I’m just saying it helped me and still is. I hope to come off of my medication soon.

If you feel like you may be suffering from depression, please go and see your Doctor. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. In fact, it means the opposite. You’ve got the strength to go and tell someone that actually, you’re really not doing okay and need some help. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because depression isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Useful links

Here are some links to find out more about depression, take a mood test, and how you can get the best help for you.

Moodzone

NHS Choices

How To Cope With Anxiety

Please remember that you’re never alone in this. I believe that you can get through this.

#YoudNeverBelieve

I am so excited and proud to announce that I have taken part in #YoudNeverBelieve.

What is #YoudNeverBelieve I hear you say?
Well, I do have some super informative links to share with you but I will tell you a little bit right now.

#YoudNeverBelieve is a campaign to show teenagers that you are never truly alone. Feeling low and helpless is one of the worst things anyone can experience and I’m super proud to be backing this cause to encourage young girls to speak out if they are feeling anything but happy. In this video, myself and a bunch of awesome bloggers confessed some of the things we felt when we were teenagers, and possibly some of us may still feel this way.

We want to create a support network for anyone struggling and the amazing Ella Stearn is the brainbox we all need to thank for this! Please please pleeeeease back this cause because #mentalhealth is SO important.
#YoudNeverBelieve that I used to be scared to go to school.

Watch the video here:


Anyone who knows me will know I am really passionate about mental health. Having an autistic son and battling anxiety, depression and panic disorder myself really fuels me to help others. As soon as I read about this campaign I knew I had to get involved.

Here is where the magic is happening, please donate to this amazing cause – #YoudNeverBelieve

Oh, and one last thing. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. There is always someone out there. Don’t suffer alone.

Much love xxx
Photo credit to the beautiful Amy Thompson xx

The Only Person You Should Try To Be Better Than, Is The Person You Were Yesterday

It’s been quite a few months since I last posted anything on here, and after talking to the lovely Nikki over at keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk, I decided to sit and write a post again!

I’m now working full time which is amazing, I only started the hours last week, and I’m absolutely exhausted, but looking forward to almost double my part time pay at the end of the month!

I feel like things are slowly coming together at the moment. Back at the end of last year things were pretty dark for me. I felt really poorly a lot of the time, I drank way too much and I just lived to pay the bills. Since then as you may already know we have moved. Things didn’t change too much after that, I felt a little like things were the same but in a different location.

Then, about a month ago I’d just had enough of feeling sorry for myself. I’ve barely touched a drop of drink (apart from a few Saturday nights when I want to relax) and I decided to set myself something to work towards.

Here are a few things I’ve planned to do/already started:

1. I don’t currently drive so I’m aiming to be driving by the end of the year (I realise how ambitious this is!).

2. We have a cellar, and recently our favourite wine bar (which happened to have an amazing pool table) closed, so we’ve decided to convert our cellar into a home bar. We’ve kind-of started already. We’ve managed to clear out all of the crap that was in there (I will be doing a progress post in the future so I will post photos there) and all that is left in there now is some of Mr Pie’s family’s belongings, which will hopefully be cleared soon.

3. Continue with improving my health. Without even trying I’ve managed to lose 8.5lb since the end of March. Which doesn’t sound like much, but the only thing I have changed it that I’ve been walking Dinky to school and then to work around the corner rather than taking the bus on the school run. I can tell the difference already, and the walking wasn’t with the intention of losing weight, it was due to anxiety preventing me from wanting to travel by bus. So I’d like to continue improving my health.

4. Keep fighting the anxiety. I recently went to the Doctors regarding my anxiety. I was having night terrors, waking up shaking, sweaty, paralysed, the lot. I get anxiety every day but normally battle through it with hyperventilation and lots of chewing gum. After a long chat with the Doctor I decided to give medication a try, a low dose of beta blocker has made me feel 1000000% better. I think just knowing that I’ve got the medication there is making me feel at ease. In 2 weeks I’ve only had to use it 3 times which I don’t think is bad at all!

5. Blog more. Even only halfway down this first post back after months of not writing anything I feel good. Definitely need to blog more.

So five things that I really don’t think is unachieveable, infact I’ve already started 3 of them, and I finally feel like there’s something to work towards or look forward to. I’ve had the above picture saved in my phone for months, and everytime I’ve felt a bit down looking at it has helped, even if I did nothing straight away, I do feel like I am always trying to better myself, which is never a bad thing!

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do to pull yourself out of the dark place?

Much love xx

I admit it, I’m depressed.

I haven’t posted much recently, apart from my weight loss posts my blog has been pretty much dead.

I guess I’ve been feeling a little lost. I have so desperately been trying to work on myself, not just losing weight, but my general happiness. If I’m honest, it’s rare at the moment if I think to myself “it’s been a good day”.

I’m not entirely sure on why I’ve been feeling like this. Maybe it is to do with my appearance, I think at least some of it is anyway. I look in the mirror and truly hate who I have become, I can’t understand how anyone can find me attractive. Anyone who has read my blog recently will know that I’m trying to do something about it, with trying to lose weight alone, and also more recently starting Slimpod, but so far I’ve not really had any success. The thing is I know exactly why I’ve not had much luck. I eat when I’m stressed, or low or angry or even anxious, which unfortunately is most of the time at the moment. I also enjoy a drink (or many more) on a more regular basis than I’d like to admit. I think that’s because it takes me away for a few hours. It’s never when Zak is around but when he is at his Dad’s myself and Mr Pie do tend to go out and go a bit mad.

That’s not who I am though. In general I am a very happy person. I get stressed like most people do but not to this extent. I’ve felt like this for a while, and people are noticing. Mr Pie said that it’s rare to see a smile on my face, or even just a natural face without emotion. That’s when I realised I need to try and do something.

I’m pretty sure I’m depressed, but I will refuse to take anything for it so I haven’t got it diagnosed. I’m not at a point where I don’t see the point in living, but I do really often get days where I just don’t want to leave the house, because if I leave then there’s probably going to be some sort of crap piled onto me. I don’t feel good enough, as a parent, a girlfriend, a friend and as a family member. I’m constantly trying to do things to be a better person, to make people proud of me, but no matter what I do, I still feel completely useless.

I constantly feel tearful, and it’s definitely more than just hormones. It used to take me a lot to cry, but now I cry every day, sometimes over something that looking back on it, seem so pathetic

I have the motivation to change, but I am one of those people that caves as soon as something goes wrong. I really want to make a change, I’m pushing the people closest away and I don’t want to do that. I guess this is a cry for help, because I really don’t know what to do.

My Anxiety – Let’s get honest

Anxiety kicks in at the completely wrong time!! It’s taking me a lot of bravery to post this, as it is a very personal matter of mine. I find it embarrassing, and most of all, I feel like it shows I am weak, but I have had enough of feeling like this now and I need to get it out there! Maybe some of you will relate to this!

I’ve suffered with anxiety for years now, but it’s getting progressively worse. It all started off with my emetephobia (fear of vomiting). My anxiety would only flare up if I felt sick. Then when I’d not long had dinky, we moved to a house, and it got really bad, I don’t know whether it was the fact motherhood and the fact I now had a tiny precious being to look after had finally sunk in, or whether it was something else, all I know is, I dreaded being alone, especially at night.

After me and Dinky’s Dad split, I was referred by my doctor to cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) to work past it. The therapist identified the key behaviours I was displaying when I felt anxious which were:

-Chewing gum
-Sipping ice cold water
-Excessively deep breathing
-Getting away from the situation I was in (for example, if I was out and I had an anxiety attack, I’d go home, because it felt safer)

    She then suggested that every week I try and cut out each of these methods, to challenge myself, using those techniques may have temporarily got rid of my anxiety, but the next time I had an attack it felt worse. She explained to me that anxiety will only get so bad, and then you will calm down, and if you could ride out the worst of it, you will feel better in the long run, and as time goes on the length of the attack would become shorter. She also told me to ask myself every time I felt anxious “what’s the worst that could happen?”. When I thought about it that way I couldn’t give an answer, all I could say was something bad, so I used that technique every time I felt anxious. The first week I decided to stop myself escaping the situation, which, if I’m honest I found quite easy as that was always my last resort. The next week I cut out the water and the deep breathing, which I found a challenge because that week I had one of the worst attacks I’ve ever had, I spent the whole night trying to ride it out, and my therapist was right, it did go, and in the end I was fine. So the next week I confidently stopped chewing gum altogether, and every week from there on I felt stronger and more able to deal with it. I can honestly say after the 6 sessions I felt like a new person. She also recommended I use self help sites and the best place to start is www.nhs.uk

    It never went away but I knew how to deal with it, and now, nearly 2 years on its back, and with a vengeance. It mostly occurs at night, and the slightest thing sets me off. I still use the calming techniques, but they don’t really help anymore, I can’t help but feel like something terrible is going to happen, my heart races, I feel sick (which is awful especially when dealing with emetephobia), I shake, I feel faint and I sob my heart out. Mr pie is amazing at dealing with me, he tries to take my mind off it and most of the time it subsides pretty quickly, but there’s the odd times where I feel like I need to just get out, go somewhere, anywhere. I’ve started feeling like I’m pushing the closest people to me away, because I hate being seen that vulnerable, I like to show that I’m a strong person, and I loathe the thought of people pitying me.

    So on a Thursday my boy goes to his Dad’s and me and Mr pie go to the pub in the evening and chill (everyone deserves a break right?!). Normally I’m absolutely fine and I relax easily, but tonight for some reason I’m struggling to be here, I’m trying to fight it and keep my mind off it. Weirdly writing this post has calmed me down. I’m sure you’re all thinking “why not do what you did before?” – my answer is, I don’t know, it somehow feels harder this time.

    Even though I know anxiety is a common illness to suffer with, I feel like I’m the only one who ever feels this way. Am I being crazy? They say it’s a battle that can’t be won, but I’m determined to because I’m so sick of being like this.

    I’m really interested to hear from anyone who suffers with anxiety like I do, I’d love to hear any tips because honestly, I feel so alone.

    Much love xxx