All posts by rhiannaelizabethblog

Hello! My name is Rhianna, also known as Rhi. I am an 18 year old Sixth Form student who has a love for English Literature and the small things in life. I created this blog to not only connect with other people about a variety of topics, but to also raise awareness of mental health and be able to share advice and personal experiences. Enjoy and feel free to contact me! X

Education Vs Mental Health.

Hello, darlings!
My deepest apologies that it has been so long, I am currently in the midst of taking my final A-Level exams, so as you can probably imagine, life is busy, busy, busy! However, I will be posting much more regularly and there is some very exciting stuff on it’s way. On that note, I thought I would write a post on education and mental health, whilst also giving tips on how to look after yourself, especially through stressful periods, like exam seasons.

We have all been there, or are currently going through it. Do not get me wrong, I am very appreciative to have had a free, wonderful education that has helped me to develop into the young lady I am today, especially as I love learning, but I would be lying if I said that it has not been a factor that has been intertwined in my mental health situation. As I become a University student in September, I feel that education and mental health do share factors that need to be discussed. Especially in recent years, education has become more challenging for students and in many cases, detrimental to young people’s mental health. Why is that? In my opinion, it is because students are working extremely hard, yet with not much mental health support available. It has only been a recent development that mental health is being discussed in places of education and students are starting to be taken seriously. Further to this, teachers/ lectures are defintely not receiving enough training on how to support young people to high standards when it comes to mental health and that is an issue I am very passionate about. I am from a generation that is seeing the highest ever figures of mental health issues in young people and without significant support and advise from those in education, how the hell are young people supposed to make the most of their education without stable, reliable support?!

I have a large amount of love and kindness for teachers, some of whom have been so important in helping me through issues, but I do believe that there is so much more that needs to be done to protect students!

There have been many times that I have had breakdowns, due to the intensity of schoolwork and not wanting to let people down; I know that many other people that surround me have also had very similar situations, and in the longterm, has been one of many factors that lead to poor mental health. More funding in schools and knowledge about the issues that young people face today are so important, especially in a time where the world needs to be sharing much more love and peace to others and themselves. I thought I would leave some suggestions on how can you can help your mental health whilst in education:

  1. Confide in those you trust- Friends, family, your doctor, your teachers. The worst thing that you can do for your mental health is to suffer in your silence. By speaking out, you are not battling your mind alone, and you will be also helping others who are going through a similar situation. Speaking out will be an influence in getting schools to educate themselves on how to support their students. You also have to take care of yourself, and by confiding in those around you, you are facing the issue, instead of hiding, before your mental health has the chance to escalate.

2. Sleep, food, and water- Your mind will be under a large amount of strain, please try to not allow your physical health to also be taken under.- I know that is difficult when you’re mental health is in a bad place, but even attempting to look after yourself physically will help. Self care is extremely important, as I have preached before and undeniably, if you are taking exams, being physically healthy will make going into them a much bearable experience, allowing you to perform at your best.

3.  Do not over work yourself- There have been many times when I will overwork myself because I feel that there is more to be done or what I have done is not at its highest standard; give yourself breaks. You are doing wonderfully and working yourself into the ground will do you no favours. Yes, it is important to work hard for what you want, but it is also important to have fun and enjoy yourself too! To everyone, student or not, finding a positive balance can lift a large pressure from your mental health.

4. Praise yourself- Being in education can sometimes have negative effects on your self-esteem. Please do not allow that to get in your way. Give yourself praise and some reassurance that you are doing your best and that you shall reach your aspirations and dreams. Try and distract yourself with things that you enjoy to allow yourself to block negative thoughts.

I hope that this post has been of interest to you all, please let me know what your views are of education and mental health!

A little side note; the mental health organisation ‘Time To Change’ recently published a blog post that I wrote for them in regards to their latest mental health campaign; you can read it here!

https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/blog/it-can-be-terrifying-open-about-mental-health

Until next time!

Much love,

Rhi. X

My personal experience with Body Dysmorphic Disorder.(BDD)

Hello, Hello!

Sorry it has been a bit of a while…..A-Levels and generally life has been in full force as of late and therefore, there has not been as much time as I would have liked to be able to blog. However, I am back in full swing, my darlings!

To many of you, you will be probably surprised by this post because you know me and yet I have never spoken about this before to anyone apart from my therapist.This post is to not only raise awareness for this disorder, but also to help people understand that this can affect anyone in all walks of life and you should not be embarrassed to speak about it and ask for support. (Before I go into detail, I just need to say that I have put links at the bottom of this post with sites to visit for support or more information about BDD, as well as Muscle Dysmorphia, which is another type of this disorder). 🙂

To those who do not know what it is is, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a type of anxiety disorder that makes a person have a distorted view of what they look like and therefore spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance.It effects a similar amount of men and women and it is horrible, as the thoughts are very stressful and do not disappear.These thoughts can also have a significant affect on people’s lives.

Body Dysmorphia is something that has certainly reared its head in the past two years or so and in my personal experience, it came full force after my generalised anxiety and social anxiety worsened. I was diagnosed with BDD late last year. Now, I have always been a girl who has been really shy and quite insecure about her appearance and in all aspects of life to be quite honest. However, when my anxiety became worse, so did my insecurity as I spiraled into the void of perfection in my life; I found and still do find perfectionism as a coping mechanism for my anxiety disorders- I feel it allows me to take back some control.

As my perfectionism became stronger as I entered my mid teens, so did my insecurity issues about my appearance, as I was always picking out flaws and wanting to fix them. Even if I had one spot on my face, I would spend ages picking at it to try and make it go away. I would never leave the house without wearing very heavy make up because I believed I looked awful and not pretty or attractive, compared to the rest of the girls that I knew; something which I still feel, but not to such a severe extent. I also was constantly fussing about my height, as I am a tiny 5ft 1′ lass and I absolutely hated being so small because I was under the impression that I was abnormal, compared to others- Comparing yourself to others is a large symptom of this disorder if you had not already guessed….

At one point, I was constantly exercising to try and ‘fix’ several flaws that I saw on my body, which to others were extremely minor details which other people would  not be bothered about. I was constantly looking for reassurance from others about my appearance and that I looked okay to go out in public. Even now, I have great difficulty in believing people if they say that I look nice or pretty etc. I am working on it slowly, but surely though!

I still have days when the thoughts are in full swing, but I now have more days where I feel quite confident in my skin and these thoughts do not bother me as much. I still have a way to go with building my confidence in myself and beating body dsymorphia once and for all, but I have come extremely far and that will continue to improve with support from other people and continuing to face my anxiety issues through therapy and bravery.

Anyway, that was a pretty difficult blog post for me to write, but I felt that it needed to be done for not only therapy for myself, but also a message to other people that you’re not alone and there is help available! I have no issue with anyone messaging me to speak about this further.

Much love,

Rhi. X

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd/#.WMWf0PnyjIU

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/body-dysmorphia/Pages/Introduction.aspx

 

 

 

 

Relapse does not mean failure.

Hello, darlings!

This week has been a strange week for me, and I have been very up and down. Unfortunately, yesterday I had a severe breakdown; something which very much made me feel irritated at myself for because I thought I had done so well in improving my mental health over the past few months.

I am using this blog post to not only articulate how I am feeling, but also as a message that having a relapse does not mean you are a failure- We all struggle and it is okay to have upsetting days. When I have a breakdown/ relapse, I always beat myself up about what has happened because in my mind, I have come so far and having a breakdown means that I have gone backwards in my progress.

As I write this, it has been around 16 hours since my breakdown and is about 11am on a Friday morning. ( I thought I would write this morning as I have a busy afternoon planned.) I am drained and I feel rather crappy, but I also do not feel as awful as I did last night just after my breakdown. Last night, not only did I sit on my kitchen floor in tears because life is rather overwhelming at the moment, but also because I felt so angry at myself for being so anxious and upset. I do not feel so angry today. Rather anxious and depressed, but I am not angry at myself for breaking. Last night, I thought that no-one loved me and that my life was a mess. I also do not feel that way today, but instead realise that the reason I did feel like that is because my life has been extremely stressful lately and I am rather insecure at the moment, due to many changes in my life, including moving to Uni in September, as well as so much going on in my day to day life.

We are all trying to cope with life’s expectations and this can be 10x harder when you struggle with mental health issues. Like many people, I need to learn not to beat myself up when I relapse and have a breakdown. The one thing I am proud of myself for this time, compared to back in July, is that I actually talked this time and I didn’t allow myself to become so isolated. I believe that is progress. Yes, I still have a large amount of things to work on, but compared to last year, I am doing much better.

Recovery is not linear, and that is the unfortunate fact about it. However, through all the tears, breakdowns and stress that mental illness brings, you can fully recover. Even when you fully recover, you can still relapse, but even if you relapse, you still have more understanding of your mental health and how to cope effectively in the future, compared to past situations.

I am so proud of how much I have progressed over the past few months, and all of you should also be proud of everything you have achieved. We may fall once in a  while, but we get back up stronger. I still have a long road ahead of me, but I am doing well. Never see yourself as a failure for relapsing, you will achieve your goals and ambitions in time, even if you feel overwhelmed and confused sometimes. I may have to cope with anxiety and depression for the rest of my life, but everyday I learn more about myself and further learn to love myself and who I am!

Right, i am off to have a nice hot chocolate and a biscuit…

Love yourselves and remember; you will have bad days, but you will  also have many more good ones!!

Sending you all love,

Rhi. X

 

We do not speak about loneliness enough.

The topic of this post is pretty self explanatory when you look at the title, and it is the undeniable truth. We do not talk about the subject of loneliness enough.

Stereotypical images that are perceived in our minds about loneliness are incorrect. The shadow does not just creep onto a certain group of people. No, loneliness affects us all and that is bloody terrifying. You can be one of the most sociable and happiest of those that you know, and you can still suffer from loneliness.

We are all in different walks of life; trying to find where we belong. Of course there are struggles, and loneliness can be one of them. It does not matter about your age, ethnicity, lifestyle and personality. Like anything to do with our mental health, it can prey on anyone at any point. I am sure many of you will have seen Tumblr posts about being surrounded by loved ones, yet feeling alone? Yes, I know it is so clique, but it is also true! I personally believe it is because that if we go for a long period of time without having conversations that allow us to express our emotions and thoughts, we become lonely in ourselves, regardless of how social we may be.

Having poor mental health and loneliness are often linked. I also believe that you can have good mental health and still get feelings of loneliness sometimes, because it is a natural human feeling. As a society, we avoid the topic of loneliness and I do not really understand why. I guess it is because we do not want to be a burden to others or for people to be judgmental.

IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT IT THOUGH. We are a species who should be connecting with each other, and that is why we usually become lonely when we are not satisfying our mind and soul. We all have traits of being stubborn when it comes to wanting to avoid feeling vulnerable and needing to express emotions. The thing is, if we do not talk about loneliness and seek comfort/support from those around us, it can have such a detrimental effect on our mental health. I would say I am in the category where my mental health can cause me to feel lonely, and I am one of those people who can be surrounded by friends and family, yet feel so empty on occasions. For other people, their loneliness causes them to have negative mental health. No individual is the same and loneliness affects people in different ways. Unfortunately, loneliness works in a vicious cycle.

If you click here, you will be redirected to the Mind website that has a lot of useful advice about coping with loneliness, as well as tips to how to get out of that cycle! The one piece of advice I would give is to reach out to those around you; even if it is just sending a message. Please do not suffer in silence. Also, if any of you would like to personally contact me, you can find all the ways you can do so via the contact section on my blog.

Much love,

Rhi. X

 

 

Helping someone who is mentally unwell, whilst also looking after yourself.

Hello, lovelies!

As someone who has both mental health issues and knows other people who are in the same situation, I think it is really important for there to be knowledge about how to help people who are struggling. However,  I also believe it is extremely important to be kind to yourself during difficult times like this. Adulthood can be tough and undeniably difficult to know what to do, without causing harm to yourself.

In many circumstances, professionals are needed:

Sometimes, people need more support than just their friends and family; more professional help has to become involved. This does not mean you have failed as a loved one to the person, you just want them to be safe and to help them. The harsh reality is that mental illness cannot be cured completely and can be absolutely terrifying. The majority of you lovely lot that are reading this post are not health professionals and that is completely  okay. If you feel that immediate help or a GP needs to be contacted because you think the person is at risk, you have every right to do so. It is better to contact someone than to risk the situation becoming uncontrollable. At the end of this post, I have linked useful links that you can contact if you are worried!

Try not to blame yourself:

When you are connected with someone who is mentally unwell, it can feel like you are responsible for that person and any relapse that occurs. Many of us can forget that mental illness is vicious and can make anyone feel like they are isolated and drowning at any time; sometimes there are no warning signs. As a loved one; you are doing the best you can and I am sure that the person you are looking out for really appreciates that. It is important to realise that things can happen and if they do, please do not blame yourself because you cannot solve everything!

On that note, there is nothing wrong with taking a step back:

As I mentioned briefly at the start of the post, I have been on both side of the coin regarding mental health. Through my personal experience, I have learnt it is important to take a step back sometimes and look after yourself. Of course you want to be there for the person because you care and do not want them to suffer, but how can you do that fully if you do not look after your own mental health? Taking a step back from the situation allows you to give yourself self-care and love; it also gives you time to think about  if you can go back in that situation and/or if you need to get a professional/someone else involved. There is nothing wrong in doing so. Allow yourself to have your own space.

I found this quite a complicated post to write because I personally find it really difficult to take myself away from situations and people, when I know it is having a negative effect on me. But hey, maybe this will be a learning curb for both me and everyone reading this!

If you are concerned about someone or yourself, here is some important information to be aware of:

Call 999 if you are in need of immediate help.

Call 111 for non-emergency help.

Mind and Samaritans both have helplines which can be contacted if you need help for either yourself or someone else.

Hope this post has been of help or of interest to y’all.

Much love,

Rhi. X

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a love letter to you all, today.

Hello, darlings!

We all have those days when getting out of bed and getting through the day appears to be more difficult than climbing a mountain. Regardless of if you suffer from a mental health issue or not, some days seem near enough impossible. So, here is a little love letter to you all, reminding you that you’re a strong and that you can make today and every day after a success.

  1. Sometimes we have to have difficult experiences, in order to have amazing memories.

I am a believer in the term ‘Silver lining’. The term which is a metaphor for optimism. None of us are perfect and we all have a complicated pasts. All of us will have had difficult experiences and that can make us feel worthless or  undeserving of love and respect. I can honestly saying that these thoughts and feelings are not the truth and as much as life may seem to be punishing you, that is not the case. How you do you think we grow? Yes, we need to be allowed water and food like all other living creatures, but we also grow and develop from our own experiences. All those moments of negative situations allow you to learn and to become a better person. Work hard and continue to strive for happiness; you will get their. I promise.

2. Kindness does exist.

In a world where we can be bombarded with violence and hate, imagining people being kind to others seems nothing more than a dream. Just because the media and some people do not believe in kindness, it does not mean that the rest of society doesn’t either. Even the smallest bit of kindness to others can make their day and can also make your day brighter. I always try to go out of my way to make others smile and to be kind because we are not robots; we have feelings and emotions, all of which should be respected. I do not believe that anyone is born evil. Maybe by just spreading kindness, we are allowing the world to become a happier, less hate riddles place. On an another note, it can be such a nice feeling for our mental health to be surrounded by kindness and to feel a little bit less isolated in a far too chaotic place. KINDNESS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT CONCEPT.

3. Your mental health will never define you.

You will have days when you will just want to shut yourself out from the world and that you will never truly be happy. I would have had this exact mindset a few months ago when my mental health was at its latest- Forward on to today, even though I have to struggle with my mental health disorders every day, I am currently preparing to go to University in September to study English Literature and to become a teacher. You can be happy and achieve your dreams, regardless of your health  or any barriers that will make an appearance throughout your life. Please keep believing in yourself!

4. Even the smallest of tasks are great achievements.

We all have a tendency to beat ourselves up if we do not succeed in all the tasks we had set ourselves for the day. As a society/ community, we should be celebrating even the smallest of tasks that we achieve, because it enables us to become more motivated to embark on the bigger tasks that we may face. You and all those around you should be proud of all your achievements, big or small. You all have so much ability and intelligence to achieve and no-one has the right to judge you for what you decide to do in life. BE YOU. X

5. As difficult it may be to believe sometimes, you are so bloody loved by others.

Especially if you suffer from a mental health disorder, it can sometimes appear that others do not love/ care for you or that you are not worthy of love. I know it is so difficult to refrain from being sucked into that mindset, but if you only take one little bit of this post, remember that you are wonderful and that to others, you are their world and life would be a darker place if you were not in it.

6. Embrace your talents. 

It can take a long time to realise that we should embrace our talents and show them to others. I love the thought of people being proud of themselves and the talents that they have worked hard towards. Supporting the talents of people around you, as well as yourself can create so much beauty and love throughout the community and the talents that people have. Embrace everything about yourself. 

I really hope that this post makes your day and that you remember that you are truly delightful and deserve greatness in life.

Much love,

Rhi. X

 

Rhi’s Book Review Series: Futuristic Violence & Fancy Suits- David Wong.

Hello, darlings!

I thought I would finish 2016 off with a book review of something that was recommended by a good friend of mine. A book which I am so glad I read because I could not put down after I became absorbed into its pages.

Futuristic Violence & Fancy Suits has it all. Adventure, the image of a possible future society, characters that have personalities that you are fully drawn to, and of course violence. Tone wise, this book was extremely fast paced and I felt that I was also on this adventure with the protagonist, Zoey Ashe. What intrigued me the most was that it reminded me a bit of a television show ‘Black Mirror’.  To those who are yet to watch it, Black Mirror goes into the depths of modern society, disturbing truths of humans and the ever evolving world. Futuristic Violence is a book that also goes into the depths of humans’ obsession with having power and being the highest in our social hierarchy.

Regarding the plot, David Wong has very much thought it out in detail and that is shown in his writing. As it is fast paced, there are times when the plot is a bit too chaotic in my opinion, but the majority of the book is very understandable and likable! As a lover of books, I reveled in all the imagery and fine details that Wong embedded  and it is apparent that you find yourself forming personal opinions of characters, which I think differs from each reader, due to different personality traits. Futuristic Violence is a book which caters for all readers, which is so important when wanting to create a piece of work that is able to be enjoyed by all!

This has been the first book by the author that I have read, but I shall be sure to make sure that I set my eyes on other work that he has also written. Undeniably, Futuristic Violence can be read multiple times without becoming tedious.

To finish this blog post, I would just like to wish you all a Happy New Year! It is truly amazing how much support I have received since my blog’s uprise in August. There is some very exciting endeavours that shall be occurring in my life and on this blog in 2017- I cannot wait to share those creative projects with you wonderful human beings!

Stay safe and I think we are all in agreement about having excitement that 2016 is nearly at an end. 2017 shall hopefully be a much happier and exciting time for us all.

Thank you!

Much love,

Rhi. X

Carrie Fisher: An inspiration to the mental health community.

Hello, you lovely bunch!

I hope that Christmas has treated you all well and that you’re all ready for 2017 to commence!

We have unfortunately lost many inspirational people over 2016; people who allowed us to become the individuals we are today and to not feel ashamed of our own being. Yesterday saw the horrible news of Carrie Fisher’s passing. Of course, Carrie was an amazing actress  who we all remember as being the courageous Princess Leia, but Carrie was also someone full of inspiring wisdom  and experience throughout the 60 years we were blessed with her presence.

Not only did Carrie have to battle the possessiveness of addiction, but also had to learn how to live healthy with Bipolar Disorder. As many of us know, trying to find your place in the world whilst also being shadowed by mental illness is certainly a difficult task. Life was not an easy path for Carrie and she had struggles along the way, but I will tell you why I saw her as not only a princess, but a queen as well.

The reason is that instead of just saying ‘Fuck you’ to everyone in her path, she decided to become a mental health advocate and to help people through their own struggles with mental health. I think we sometimes forget that people like Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, George Michael and the many other inspiring people in the spotlight are not just there for entertainment purposes. They are human beings who are very much like everyone else. We all have heartbreak, memories and talents.

She has helped save many people, including myself, just by speaking about mental health and helping us realising that it is okay to not always go through life with a smile and positive thoughts. Our wounds are created through our experiences and on many occasions can help us shape the way to becoming better individuals than we were before.

We are all heartbroken by her loss- 2016 has been a year that appeared to be full of it. However, we can all carry on Carrie’s legacy:

  • Speak out openly about mental health and why it is important to TALK.
  • Do not be afraid to cry or go through tough experiences- They allow us to grow.
  • Make sure to look after both yourself and those around you- Self-care is vital and it is also important to look after those around you. Even a simple compliment or conversation can make someone’s day. You never know what may be occurring in someone’s life.
  • Do not feel ashamed in grieving over those we have lost this year, but please do not give up because of it- Unfortunately, life is full of comings and goings and that is the tough truth. There is nothing wrong in grieving, but when you feel strong enough, turn it into positivity and as said above, continue those legacies and help people.

Lets begin to create more light; not darkness. I will always preach that we need to look after each other and use our experiences to make the world a more beautiful and peaceful place for all!

Rest in Peace, Carrie. We are all inspired by you and all your work. You’re a wonderful starlight.

Much love,

Rhi. X

Looking after your mental health over the Christmas period.

Hello, darlings.

So as I write this, it is only 8 days until Christmas Day! It has come about so quickly this year!!

Like myself, many of you see this festive period as very exciting, but possibly worrying as well. Our mental health is very important to look after all year, but this can be a struggle at Christmas, because we are all trying to go out of way to stay positive as we do not want to ruin the fun for others.

What we have to realise is that it is okay to have low days and that it is okay to not always joyful, as forcing our minds to do this could lead to further struggles with our mental health in the near future. Of course, it is good to try and not give in to your mind and to enjoy the festivities the majority of the time, but it is important to look after ourselves as well! Here are some tips:

  1. Allow some time for yourself- I know this can be difficult, seeing as Christmas is a very chaotic and busy time, but having 5 minutes to yourself can allow you to collect your thoughts and get back on track. Even going to the bathroom or taking a walk and just sitting in a quiet place can give you the space to breathe.

2. Do not feel guilty if you are not joyful at all times during the festive period- I for one worry about the possibility of having a low during Christmas, and many of you who struggle with mental health issues will probably agree with me on this. You do not want to risk spoiling the fun for others, so you end up risking your mental health instead.

Please do not do that. Instead, speak quietly to a family member or friend that you trust about what is going on in your head. Those who care about you and your mental health are not going to stop if you’re going through a blip during Christmas. We are human and we cannot always show happiness; sometimes we just need a good cry, a hug and some yummy chocolate.

3. Remember that you  have fought through past tough experiences.- Whether you have been through tough times at Christmas or at any other points during the year, you fought through it and got out the other side.

4. Keep in the routine of doing the things that make you happy.- The highest worry that I get when it comes to Christmas is that I am out of routine, allowing my anxiety and depression more opportunities to peer in. To try and avoid your mental health bringing you down, allow yourself to keep up with the things you love doing. That could be a hobby, exercise, going on day trips with loved ones or involving yourself with social groups. Additionally, make a plan of things that are going to be happening over Christmas, so you can lessen the risk of becoming too overwhelmed, whilst being able to enjoy yourself.

Hope this blog post has been helpful! Please feel free to comment what things you have planned over Christmas and how you are making sure that you look after your mental health during the festivities!

Much love,

Rhi. X

 

 

A life update and a start of a journey with medication.

Hello, darlings!

The past week or so has been extremely odd, as so much has occurred in such a short time period, regarding both general life things, as well as my mental health.

First of all, I have got myself long term work experience with my local library/heritage center. What I did not expect is to be asked if as well as doing stereotypical library work experience, if I would also like to help tutor the Young Writers’ group! As many of you know, I will be beginning a BA Hons degree in English Literature in September, which I then want to use to become a secondary/ sixth form teacher, so this opportunity is great for me.

Sixth Form work wise, it is going great! What nearly made me cry last week was that on a recent parents evening, all my teachers exclaimed how proud they were of me, how much I had overachieved at my time in Sixth Form, and that I am predicted extremely good grades. Knowing that I am making people proud makes my heart flutter, especially everything I have endured over the past few months with my mental health.

Now we get onto the nitty gritty mental health bit of my highly confusing life. Not going to lie, my mental health is still not in a good place; my anxiety disorders are the cause of this. As much as CBT has been helpful in allowing me to learn more about myself, it has not been has helpful in helping me to manage my actual anxiety. So, this time last week, I decided to revisit my GP and talk about other options, which could help me manage, especially through the fast approaching exam season in May that I know will be here in a flash! I am so appreciative of how empathetic and considered my GP was today- Coping with mental health issues can be very scary, so speaking to someone who understands and listens is so important! We decided that for me to go forward and to manage the physical symptoms of my anxiety, especially my panic attacks, it would be a good idea to try Beta Blockers for at least a short term period.

What are Beta Blockers?

Beta Blockers stop the effects of different types of adrenaline, which are known to cause the physical symptoms of anxiety disorders. You can read more about Beta Blockers here. Obviously, as said in the link, they are not a psychiatric medication, so only manage the physical aspects that is embedded in anxiety; hence why my GP also gave me loads of information about different organisations and ideas that can help me manage the more psychiatric aspects.(Therapies similar to CBT). The main reason that it was decided for me to not start on antidepressants is because there are many side effects involved and can take a few weeks before they start working. Furthermore, it can take several attempts to find the right balance of medication when dealing with antidepressants, so starting on a low dose of propanol instead (A type of Beta Blocker) is the best way forward for me at this moment in time and it will hopefully make life much easier for me, whilst my body figures itself out. If you had said to me a few years ago that I would get proper help for my mental health and doctors would not patronise me, I would have thought you were lying. It has taken me a lot of courage to ask for help over the past few months and I am so proud of myself that I have gone through CBT and am trying medication.

Remember that nothing works the same for everyone. Some people prefer therapy, some people prefer medication, and some people prefer both. Do what you feel is best for you- It may be a struggle at first, but if you keep talking to your GP, you WILL get help.

Please do not give up. I have so much pride for anyone who is suffering from a mental health issue. You are not weak, you’re just struggling a bit and that is perfectly okay. Mental health stigma is slowly being defeated- We still have a way to go, but we will get there and if my positive experience today is anything to go by, things are starting to change. I have been met by a large amount of negative stigma over the past few years, especially by the NHS, as many of you probably have, but I do believe that if we keep spreading awareness and being the the wonderful people we are, mental health will no longer be slammed at. Also, I know it can be easy to push away loved ones whilst you are going through a difficult period in your life. Please try not to, your mental health will be easier to manage if you have support from those around you.

Until next time!

Much love,

Rhi. X

 

 

 

 

Rhi’s Book Review Series: We’re All Mad Here: The No-Nonsense Guide to Living with Social Anxiety.

Hello, lovelies!

Here is another book review of mine, which I thought I would share! My dear friend, Claire, has recently published her own book! Not only has she written about her experiences with living with mental health issues, but also about how she has learnt to manage with how her mind works.

I have come across many books in my time about mental health, some of which I have loved and others that I have not because I have found I have not clicked with the deeper connection of the writer. I can honestly say (And I can assure you I am not being biased) that this particular mental health book is probably one of the best that I have come across to date! You all know that I very much have a massive passion for Literature and books.You all also know that I definitely speak my mind when it comes to whether I agree with what a writer is trying to convey. Claire does this beautifully!

As a fellow anxiety disorder sufferer, I can certainly relate to Claire’s experiences and the many struggles that have to be overcome before recovery can start to occur. However, I would say that this book is not just for those struggling with their mental health, but also for those people who may know someone who is struggling or generally just wants to gain more knowledge about mental health and why it is so important for us all to support each other.

The book also can connect with both those who have a love of reading and those who do not. ‘We’re all Mad here’ does not have a massive amount of pages, so it is something you can read in about a day and not have much of an issue with having space in your bag to put it. Furthermore, it balances the right amount of serious and humour aspects, which in my opinion helps readers to connect with the book and the writer; making it extremely difficult to put down!

I obviously do not want to give away the key bits that are in the book, but I will say that you will not regret reading it.

To buy this wonderful piece of Literature, you can get it here!

If you would like to see Claire’s interview on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ with Phil and Holly, you can find it here.

You can also follow her on Twitter, her blog,  and Instagram.

See you all soon and enjoy the book!

Much love,

Rhi. X

Mental Health Therapy- Part 2.

Hello, everyone!

Hope you’re all well! Yesterday, I had my second therapy session. For those of you who have not got round to reading my first post, you can find it here.

Not going to lie, the therapy session was extremely intense, but in a positive way. I certainly learnt a large amount about myself and that means that I am starting to learn why and how my mind thinks and works! Not only this, but I began a specific type of therapy called CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.) For those of you who are not aware of what it is or have not experienced it, it is a type of therapy that challenges the way a person thinks and try to find solutions to block those unhealthy thoughts and behaviour that may come with it. CBT is commonly used for people suffering from anxiety disorders or/ and depression, which I both suffer from.

Through this, my therapist started to work with me with relaxation tools to try and help me prevent panic attacks when they arise, as well as teaching me tips on how to cope when in a situation that I am not comfortable with. I found these tips very useful, but obviously I will only be able to see if they work by putting them into practice.

Regarding the things I have learnt about myself and my mind this week, there is actually quite a lot! Not only did I realise that not only am I suffering from depression, as well as generalised and social anxiety disorders, but I am also suffering from a panic disorder. I am a bubble of anxiety, ahaha! On a serious note, this does explain a lot and even though it is a scary concept, I am glad that I can finally explain why I feel some of the feelings I do and why I suffer from panic attacks so often.

I also came to the realisation that I definitely have attachment issues, which is one of many causes for why I suffer so strongly from mental health issues. Furthermore, there are many other branches and triggers which are causes of my deteriorated mental health, and that’s okay! It is quite alarming, but it is also a relief that there are reasons and I can finally start to find them. Recovery is an intense, but interesting path, and it is making me realise that I am not ‘crazy’.

I hope this progress continues in the next session.

On a side note, I sent of my university application off this week and have already received offers for 2 of my 5 choices, yay!

Much love,

Rhi. X