Category Archives: Life.

Welcome To A New Era, And A Rollercoaster One At That.

Well hi there,

It has been quite awhile, has it not?

Just over a year to be exact.

Over the past year, my life has shaped and transformed drastically. I completed my first year of University, making many friends and connections for life, whilst taking that colossal step in living independently in halls; a seemingly impossible task to someone with severe anxiety/depression. But I did it, and I have no regrets in doing so.

My first year of being an English Literature undergraduate went incredibly well, and as I write this, it shall be a month until I move into my student house with the wonderful souls of light that are my housemates, venturing into the second year of our courses alongside each other. The step of starting medication for my mental health began back in April, and for me personally, it was a good decision that has allowed me to finally feel strong enough to manage my anxiety and fears that have had the possibility to suffocate my mind on a daily basis since a young age. Medication is not an answer for everyone, and all those who have been following me over the past few years shall be aware of all the other ways of healing that I have attempted. Albeit, medication alongside therapy has come to be the best combination for me- I feel that my life is changing in ways that I would never have expected, in a positive manner at that.

My mental health advocacy has stepped up a gear…Okay, maybe about several gears?! Not only have I been involving myself with many mental health projects and campaigns, both in and outside of University, but recently, I was one of few young people who were chosen by Time To Change to be a young champion for this exceptionally large movement over the next 18 months. I cannot reiterate enough how many diverse and amazing opportunities this role is going to give me and I am bloody well going to embrace it. If this gives you any indication about how passionate about this role I am, I even travelled to Manchester and stayed there for the weekend with other Young Champions, receiving my training and connecting with many other amazing individuals- And that is before I even meet the other half of the cohort in a few month’s time! I would never of been able to do this a few months previously.38023508_1171591732990095_3935959715690840064_n

Life is something of a colourful sunrise for me currently and I am blessed to have found myself with an amazing and supportive social circle with people from all walks of life. However, we all know that mental illness is not something that disappears, and I would be lying if I said that my mental health is not a bitch. I am sure that the mental health community will agree with me when I say that it can be easier to hide behind a smile and a well dressed façade sometimes instead of being true to ourselves and others

The difference now, compared to when I last was active on this blog, is that I am managing far better and each day I am learning how to balance Uni, work, volunteering and socialising.

In this new era of my blog, I welcome you all to join me in not only my ventures as a mental health advocate, but more importantly, I hope that my blog will act as a reminder that regardless of your mental health diagnosis, life can be beautiful, even when your mind is fighting against you. You shall see the positives and negatives of living with a mental health diagnosis- What is the point in sugar coating our struggles, especially when mental health awareness is needed more than never in the fight against stigma and discrimination??

Identities are made up of many fractions within a human being, and believe me when I say this, you are NOT defined by your mental health. Life and existence are far more complicated and wonderful alike than first perceived.

Much love,

Rhi. X

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Men’s Mental Health- The stigma must be addressed.

Hello, darlings!

Something that I have very much been wanting to speak about for a while, which has been further strengthened after the death of Chester Bennington, yet another wonderful soul that has been lost to mental illness. I myself have nearly lost one or two men in my life who mean the absolute world to me, and if this blog post can even just raise some awareness or give some help to someone, so be it, because no-one should feel imprisoned by society and their mind.

It is a fact that suicide has become the biggest killer in men under 35, and a large factor in this is the stigma attached to men seeking help- Men I know personally have struggled immensely in speaking out and seeking help. Of course, it can be terrifying for women too when it comes to recovery, but figures in recent years have shown that women are much more likely to search for help compared to men. It truly breaks my heart that in our modern day society, there is such a large amount of men suffering in silence, feeling that they have nowhere to turn and when in such isolation in themselves, this can lead to disastrous consequences.

So why are men are less likely to speak out compared to females in our society? I certainly cannot speak for individuals as everyone is different, but there is definitely a stereotype that men need to be strong willed, not showing distress or a cry for help; unfortunately, these stereotypes have been engraved into us over centuries, causing increasing difficulties in modern day society. Regardless, IT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED- men deserve so much more emotional and mental health related support. Stereotypes in society have caused men to build a wall within themselves in regards to asking/seeking for help and being able to show distress and sadness.

There is no doubt that improvements are not going to be made overnight;  these stereotypes are difficult to reverse, like with anything to do with mental health, it is going to take time, a spread of awareness and a better network of support in place. HOWEVER, as readers, as advocates, as members of society, as well as relatives and friends of those around you, there is so much you can do!

Spread awareness through writing, speaking up, and reading. Take time out of your day to check on loved ones and if for any reason, you believe they are struggling, talk to them and help them reach a path to get help, whilst also remembering to look after yourself.

Also, if you are reading this and you yourself are struggling with your mental health, I have attached some links at the bottom, there are a range from some that specifically relate to men and some others that relate to everyone.

To all the men out there who may be reading this; dark times in your life will occur and there is absolutely no shame in asking for help and support, whether that be from professionals or loved ones. You are loved and you are most certainly no less of a man for having a mental health issue or even just showing emotion- None of us would be human if we did not have emotions or thoughts, whether they be positive or negative; it is how you get past the difficult times that is important and even though recovery can be terrifying and certainly not linear,  trying to make that progress is something you should be incredibly proud of. Do not underestimate yourself, you are far more worthy and incredible than you may think you are.

Please know that anyone is more than welcome to contact me, whether you know me personally or not.

Until next time,

Rhi. X

Links to mental health organisations- You can also go to your GP or a crisis team for help:

  1. CALM- https://www.thecalmzone.net/
  2. More mental health information/ figures for men- https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/mental-health and https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-mental-health
  3. Samaritans- http://www.samaritans.org/
  4. Mind- https://www.mind.org.uk/

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

 

 

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

The concept of death absolutely terrifies me.

Hello, lovelies!

I have always been extremely nervous about the concept of death and what is next after you take your last breath. I learnt a while back from my Psychology teacher that when we are children, we all go through a stage where we are very anxious and fearful about death and the feeling of the unknown. I remember very clearly that when I was 7 years old, I became terrified about it and leaving all those I loved behind. Some of it would have been because that is one the parts of growing up, but other stuff also occurred around that time, such as losing one of my bestfriends,  which I think also might had triggered my fear.

Many of us are able to ‘grow out’ of this intense fear and usually do not think about it. For many years, I believed that this had become the case for me and there was nothing to worry about. However, I have found that as I have reached my late teens, this fear has returned.

We all have different views, regarding what happens after death. As someone who believes in spirituality, I hope that there is life after death. I have found times though when thoughts of ‘What if?’ have creeped into my mind. A fear of death and lack of reassurance about what happens afterwards tops up the anxiety that I already suffer from on a daily basis. I have a few friends who also have this intense fear, and trust me, it is an absolutely horrendous feeling. You are given life to use it as you want to and I think the most terrifying bit about it is that it could end at any moment. I like to have reassurance and a definite answer about what is going to happen next. You can never get that with life or death.

I have found that having a fear of death is a subject which we deep down known is common, yet it is never actually really spoken about. I completely get that, because sometimes talking about our fears can possibly make it worse, but we also have to consider that flipping the coin and talking about fears can set a sense of comfort.

It is okay to be scared. Like mental health,  a lot of people seem to think that you should not speak about your issues to others. The reasons for that differ for each person, but I definitely think it has a link to fear. This feeling of being scared is normal and if you want to speak about the worries or fears you have, you damn well should feel comfortable to do so! There is absolutely no weakness in being scared.

Much love,

Rhi. X

 

 

Mental Health Therapy- Session 1.

Hello, darlings!

As promised, I have decided to start a mini series that updates you all about the therapy that I currently am having for my anxiety and depression. Getting help for mental health issues is still very much a taboo subject, and as a mental health activist, I feel like it is only right to help dismiss that stigma and encourage others to get help.

I was absolutely bloody terrified about my first session, because I did not know what to expect and what the outcome would be. However, I found that I had been matched with a very lovely counselor who was very empathetic and listened fully to what I was saying. I was made to feel very comfortable! 

I found that during the session when I was asked questions, my answers to them just flowed out like a steam train and I felt unable to stop. I did get rather emotional, which I expected would occur. This week was a basic assessment of how I was feeling and how/why my mental health  has deteriorated so much. My next session shall be when things get down to the nitty gritty. I know that having these sessions shall be difficult, but I hope that there will be some progress in finding out what is causing my issues and find some way to improve how I am thinking.

IF I find that talking therapy is not helping or is not at its best on its own, I shall certainly be looking into medication which is another option that can help me cope, though trying talking therapy on its own first is important! Talking therapy may end up not being right for me, and that’s okay because it does not work for everyone, but at least I have taken that step forward in getting help and support. It is interesting that my therapist can already find connections to why I am suffering from mental health issues; some factors I did not think before the session would link to it. If anything, having these sessions may allow me to learn more about myself- Something we all have to learn and talk about in order to progress.

  • Yesterday’s session has made me emotionally drained and fragile today and I will probably feel like this fir the next few days- Something I had been warned of before I started the session by several people I know who are going through the same things, as obviously I am having to talk and think about very personal stuff and what I believe is going to be the best way forward for myself and my mental health.

I have said this many times before and will continue to do- Please do not think you are weak for asking for help. If anything, it makes you exceptionally strong! I am so glad that I am finally recieving help and support through loved ones, my therapist and GP. 

Much love,

Rhi. X

A lil’ Sunday update!

Hello, darlings!

I hope you’ve all been well! For once, this week has been rather peaceful and not as stressful as life usually is for me, mainly because it has been my half term break from Sixth Form. Of course, a large amount of my week has been spent on catching up on Sixth Form work and getting tasks off my list ticked off, but there have also been some fun times as well.

Last Saturday, I took a visit to Bourton On The Water. For those of you who are not aware of this place, it is a large village in Gloucestershire, which has many cute teashops, tourist attractions and beautiful scenery. I swear that is I ever want to just pack my bags and move somewhere peaceful in the distant future, I shall be certainly looking in to moving there! I most definitely highly suggest you take a trip there if you are looking for a day out to a very blissful place.

I’ve also somehow got half of my Christmas shopping done already and it is not even November yet! My mental health tends to make me very stressed and anxious around Christmas time, so this year, I thought that it would be a good idea to try and get presents bought and wrapped early, so then it is one less thing to worry about- It is working so far! On Friday, I also went to my bestfriend’s 18th birthday party, and not going to lie, I was very anxious beforehand as parties with a large amount of people are not the greatest of events for me. Turns out that it was the best party I have ever been to, as I was surrounded by many of my close friends and everything ran really smoothly. The room was filled with peace, love and of course a large amount of alcoholic beverages- My poor head, ahaha! The birthday celebration was not only special because the birthday girl is my bestfriend, but because she has had a tough year, due to fighting Hodgkin Lymphoma (A rare type of cancer) since June. On the feature photo at the top of this blog post, she is the girl in the middle. Luckily, she only has 2 more chemotherapy sessions left and is in remission, yay!! I could not be prouder of her.

I am kind of looking forward to returning to Sixth Form next week, as it will be good to get back into the swing of things. I think it is fair to say though that like many people, I could do with another week off! A part of me is thinking like that because I know that next week is going to be rather emotional for me, as I am finally receiving the help and support I need for my mental health through therapy. I have fought so long and hard for people to realise how much I am struggling and I am both excited, but nervous and emotional about the fact that I am actually being listened to. Lets see how it goes, eh?

Hopefully you have all had a great week and that it shall continue!

Much love,

Rhi. X

Body Confidence: Why is it so difficult to maintain positivity about our bodies?

Hello once again, buttercups!

I am certainly someone who has times when I feel extremely low about myself and wish I was just someone else entirely. I have found though that my low self esteem has decreased over the past year or so. I guess that my issue about how I see myself has been pushed a bit into the shadows by other issues in my life and by the fact that I have more knowledge about mental health than I did a year ago. I have stretch marks, scars and imperfections, but they all make me the person I am and that is okay with me. None of us have positive body confidence at all times during our lifetime.

Why is it so difficult for us in modern day society to maintain positive body confidence about ourselves? The most obvious reason is down to media and the effect that it has on people, especially those of a younger age. However, I believe that it is not all just media’s fault.

Even though media may be a factor, there are other reasons why someone may have low body confidence. Past experiences, peer pressure and the lack of teaching about body confidence are some examples on why someone may not have confidence, regarding their physical appearance. I think the lack of teaching aspect is a massive factor, which like many topics that are not spoken about in schools enough, certainly need to be addressed. Furthermore, low body confidence has a tendency to link to the chemicals in our brain, especially for those who suffer from body dysmorphia  or an eating disorder. It upsets me that there are so many people out there who are suffering from low self esteem about how they see themselves. I guess that we have all been thrown into this loop where we feel that we are not good enough, especially for those around us, even though it should only be us that we feel that we need to please.

We know that we should not please those around us, yet there appears to be that urge that we should feel guilty for feeling damn good about ourselves and not caring about what other people think. We need to learn how to love ourselves again and be the sassy, wonderful humans that we all are.

If you do feel like your low body confidence is affecting your day to day life, PLEASE GO AND SEE YOUR GP. I have attached some links at the end of this blog post about where to get help and important knowledge to be aware of if you think you or someone you know may be suffering.

I hope this blog post about my personal opinion on body confidence has been of interest to you all!

Much love,

Rhi. X

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

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/eating-problems/#.WAzEwOArLIU 

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/eating-disorders/Pages/Introduction.aspx 

 

 

The Little Things That Make Me Smile.

Hello, darlings!

I think it is always important to do the things that make you happy, as long as you are not harming yourself or others, of course.

As many of you are aware, my mental health has taken a large drop recently. Luckily, I finally start my therapy on November 3rd, yay! I will most certainly be starting a mini series to keep y’all updated about how it is going. Anyway, until I start getting proper help and support, I am trying all I can to smile at even the smallest of things that I see and do. Obviously, this is quite difficult when you are suffering from mental illnesses, but it is always good to try and practice mindfulness. So, I thought I would do a blog post today about the things that make me smile!

  1. Sunrises/Sunsets- I think we can all agree that the sight of a sunrise or a sunset are some of the most beautiful views that we can all experience in our lifetimes. Not only are they wonderful to look at, but they show that there is always a silver lining, regardless of how small it is.

2. Being surrounded by those you love and feel comfortable around- I often feel rather overwhelmed by people and just want to be left alone, but I do try and socialise with others. Being surrounded by those who you care about and feel comfortable around can be such a comfort and make you feel that little bit more peaceful and safer.

3. Hot chocolate/ Ice cream- These two things are the ULTIMATE comfort, regardless of what your mood is. I don’t know why, but they just make you feel satisfied and snuggly inside.

4. Long walks- I always appreciate long walks, whether they are in a city/town or in the countryside. I also love listening to music whilst walking (Or in any situation to be quite honest), because it allows me to escape from the stress of my life and the world around me for a little bit. Cannot beat a bit of The Weeknd or Bon Iver, aye?

5. Watching your favourite films or television shows- It does not matter what genre it is, watching your favourite film or television show helps you to feel emotions which acts as a relief and takes a weight off your shoulders!

6. Reading and Writing- I am a pure English Literature enthusiast and lover, so reading and writing are most certainly things that allow me some relief from what is going on in my mind. Not only do you learn about yourself from English Literature, but you also learn a large amount of knowledge from other people!

7. Autumn- Those who know me also know my ridiculous love for Autumn and everything about it. I don’t why I love it so much, but it gives me feelings of happiness and reminds me of how beautiful nature is. I certainly believe that people need to appreciate and show much more love towards nature than what is currently being shown.

I guess what I am trying to say that regardless of what is going on in your life and mind, it is important to at least try and find something that makes you smile even through the really crappy times that you may be experiencing. Please feel free to share the things that make you smile!!

Much love,

Rhi. X

Yesterday, I was featured on the radio, talking about mental health!

Hello, everyone!

Just a  very quick blog post to let you all know that I was on my local radio station yesterday to talk about mental health in young people. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p048kl6r is where you will find the interview, which begins at 1 hour 22 minutes on The Andrew Marston Show.

It was such a wonderful experience to be involved with and I am really glad that BBC Hereford and Worcester was so interested in the topic of mental health and the youth mental health charity that I work with.

I am so bloody excited for the near future mental health projects that I am going to be involved in; being a mental health activist is so wonderful. It took me ages to come out about my mental health disorders and that was whilst having to deal with a large amount of stigma and fear about what was going to come next. I never learnt about it whilst being in high school. I learnt through social media and close friends of mine. Young people are not given enough support and advice, regarding mental health, and that is a large reason why there are so many people suffering to extreme points.

I hope you all enjoy the interview! Just a lil’ heads up that the next blog post that goes up on my blog on Thursday is a wonderful guest post from the lovely Eleanor about Psychotic depression.

Much love,

Rhi. Xcuzk7zow8ae5-bu

One of my favourite days of the year: World Mental Health Day!

Hello, buttercups! Hope you’re all well.

Today is my favourite day of the year. No, it is not Halloween (Even though I love that too.) Today is World Mental Health Day; a day of raising awareness and support for mental health and everyone affected.

From a personal viewpoint; I have been through it all. I have had breakdowns, stigma and am a large sufferer of mental health issues. All of which I know far too well and have to deal with on a daily basis. From the outside, I appear to be a normal 18 year old getting on with life. On the outside, my mind makes me cripple with fear, sadness and anxiety. All of these aspects about my appalling mental health make life so much more difficult, especially as I am an student and my life cannot just stop because of the crappy disorders I suffer from.

However, I try to make a positive of this never stopping storm in my head. Not only am a student, but I am also an mental health blogger and work for a mental health charity called Strong Young Minds which raise awareness and support for young people in my county. To celebrate World Mental Health Day, me and one of my closest friends were involved in a pre-recorded interview to talk about the charity, mental health and our own experiences. I shall be sure to put up a link to the interview when it is released (Hopefully tomorrow)!

Why did we decided to be interviewed by the radio? Well, the answer is simple. We want to make a difference to the mental health community. Both me and my friend, Nicole, have to fight the wrath of mental health issues and we want to help others. During the interview, we also spoke about stigma and what we believe needs to change so young people receive more support and mental health is not stigmatized against. I absolutely loved this experience and I hope it is of help to people when it is released, eeekkk!!

My mental health is very much a see-saw at the moment. I am starting therapy sessions soon, which may lead to medication too if needs be. I am glad that I am finally receiving help after such a  long period of time of dealing with constant breakdowns and being unable to cope well with life in the slightest. There are over 200 mental health disorders that are out there so far, all of which affect people’s lives to an extremely large extent. I know many people, some of which are extremely close friends,  who are mentally unwell, and I will tell you now, they are all absolutely wonderful people. Mental health issues do not just go away, it is not like breaking a bone and it eventually healing. People who suffer from mental health issues will have to cope with their disorders for the rest of their lives. Sometimes, the disorders will turn their ugly face and other times, they will stalk in the shadows. They will always be there though.

For many years, I have believed I am crazy and weird. I know deep down that is not the truth, I am just struggling a lot and need support/ help, which I am beginning to get. Please know that if any of you are struggling, let someone know. Whether that is a friend, family remember, doctor or a mental health community. You are not weird and deserve so much in life.

Look out for the link to the radio interview, which shall hopefully make an appearance tomorrow or Thursday!

Much love,

Rhi. X

 

More Love Letters Project!!

Hello, hunnies!

I hope you’re all well! I decided that for today’s blog post, I would talk about a wonderful project called ‘More Love Letters’.

Founded in 2011 by Hannah Brencher, the aim is very simple. The aim is to write letters of kindness and love to strangers all over the world! Anyone can nominate someone to receive a love letter bundle, allowing that simple act of kindness from people to make a difference to others’ lives. I came across this project whilst researching projects to get involved in, which embrace positivity and that need of helping of helping others. Hannah began the project after she started suffering from depression when she moved to New York City. One day, she noticed another lady feeling the same way as her self, so wrote her a letter. From then on, her love of writing letters for other people increasingly grew, creating this wonderful project. Not only did she create moreloveletters.com, but she also wrote her own book about her journey to creating the project, which is called If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers. Furthermore, she is the co-founder of another cute project called If You Find This Email, allowing anyone all over the world to leave their emails on the website about anything that they want. The emails that are posted on the website by people talk about their experiences and their open feelings and thoughts of people who have been or are in their lives. I bloody love this concept because it acts as a type of therapy for people, allowing them to express themselves and the emotions/ thoughts that they have in their minds! Both of these projects, as well as Hannah’s book are so inspirational and motivational, especially for those like myself who suffer from mental health issues and/or are mental health bloggers/ activists.

I have always tried to spread happiness and love to everyone I meet, because it is so important to remember that we can all go through so much crap and that being motivated by other people to carry on through the day can certainly make a large difference. The trait of the kindness not only can help others, but also has a positive impact on the person who is spreading that happiness onto other people. In the long run, happiness can be spread so easily by just a few kind words if we just take a few minutes out of our day to compliment someone or have a lovely conversation with another individual/ a group of people.

I hope I have built an interest from you lovely lot about this glorious project- The main reason that I wanted to speak about this today was to show that there are so many ways that you can spread happiness and kindness!

Much love,

Rhi.

 

I am a sibling of someone with special needs, and I would not change it for the world.

Hello once again, you lovely bunch!

I decided that I would do a spontaneous post today, a subject which is very much close to my heart.  I am the sister of someone who suffers from special needs.

There is so much stigma attached to people who are disabled/ have special needs and I would be lying if I said that it did not rile me up. However, in recent years, I have learnt that death staring at people is not going to help, and it is much more effective to talk instead and educate them.

From what me and my family are aware of, my brother, Daniel, has suffered from special needs since birth. It is extremely difficult to say what he suffers from, because both us and doctors do not really know.  ADHD is very likely one factor, but obviously there are probably other conditions that may be involved. Communication with Daniel can be difficult because he is unable to verbally communicate, so everyone who knows him tries to use different techniques in order to understand him, such as sign language or using PEC cards. PEC cards have different pictures of objects, food and activities on, which my brother can then point at to show what he wants to say.

There are so many different conditions out there, making it difficult for people who do not know my brother or others who disabled to know what to say. I completely understand. You want to communicate and get to know the person in question, but you do not want to accidentally cause offense or upset. Am I right?

My advise, regarding that, is to just be honest. The individuals and those close to them will respect you more for it and then it removes the elephant from the room. You will then be able to educate yourself on knowing someone who is disabled and build a strong bond with that person without worrying that you are going to hit a nerve.

Being a close family member of someone who is disabled can be very difficult; I will never deny that. There has been tears, anger and anxiety throughout the years. There have been times when I was younger when I wanted all these family issues to disappear. I am 18 years old now, and I wouldn’t change any of that heartache. I have seen Daniel go through some unimaginably awful stigma, and things became even more difficult when he had to go to residential special school.However, I have seen my younger brother turn into a wonderful, intelligent young man who has so much love for everyone he comes across. What really warmed my heart is when I saw him go over to one of my bestfriends on my birthday and give her a little cuddle!

Of course there is always that anxiety about what the future holds for him, but that will be focused on by my family and others who support him when those challenges arise. I am proud to be his older sister, an advocate for him, as well as being his bestfriend. In all honesty, every disabled person that I have come across have been some of the kindest and most lovable human beings that you could ever meet. For anyone who has a tendency to mock those who are disabled; please think more carefully and thoughtfully.

Much love,

Rhi. X

My Experience With Contraceptive Implants.

Hello, my darlings.

I thought I would have a conversation with you all about my experience with contraceptive implants- Birth control, as well as sex,  are topics which I believe are very important to speak about!!

Now, where to begin? When I was 16 years old, I decided to go on birth control. My decision in doing this was not only for the common reason that many girls have which is wanting to have protection which does not necessarily have to be just condoms, but also because of issues with my menstrual cycle. Since having periods from the age of 12, I had been one of those very unlucky ones who suffered really badly every month. Man, there were even times when I had to go home from school or social events because I was so ill and was also in a lot of pain. Basically, it really was not fun for me!

There are many types of birth control options which you can consider, whether that is for protection, period pains or both:

There is also the “Pull out method (Withdrawal)”, but I personally do not believe that it is a good method to use.

So, originally I wanted to go on the pill. I am pretty good at taking medication and remembering it, so this seemed like a pretty good path. I had heard that it was a help for those who suffer from their periods, as well as being a good protection. I went to my GP and had a conversation about it, in which by the end of the appointment, she subscribed me a type of pill (My apologies that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the type of pill I was put on!) There are so many different birth control pill brands out there! For those of you who have not been on the pill,  you take it every day for 21 days, then stop for seven days, and during this week you have a period-type bleed (Also known as spotting). 7 days after, you start taking the pill once more.

This is when things start getting stressful….Right, the first few days of me taking the pill, I felt fine and as healthy as ever, but there was a catch. Some people’s bodies are unable to cope with the pill being in their system and therefore become pretty sick. By sick, I mean actually throwing up and having digestive system issues, if you get what I mean, and it was actually a rather terrifying experience. PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS IS  A PRETTY RARE OCCURRENCE AND MOST PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THIS ISSUE!!! Anyway, after going through this ordeal, I obviously did not want to carry on taking this type of pill and did not want to try other types, in case I was ill once again.

At this point, I became interested in the possibility of having the contraceptive implant as an alternative. I was extremely apprehensive of this possibility  as I am unquestionably dreadful with needles or anything similar. However, I had a lot of confidence from my GP that it would not take long to do and I would not need to have it replaced for 3 years.

Two days after this discussion, I had my implant surgery. I was absolutely bloody terrified beforehand. I had never had this done before, so had no idea what to expect and if it would be a painful experience for me as I am hypersensitive to needles, which means that my pain tolerance to them is not good in the slightest. My GP and the nurse was absolutely delightful throughout the whole experience.  I had to be administrated local anaesthetic in my left arm to numb it, which is where I was having the implant. Most people find the procedure perfectly fine and not painful in the slightest. However, because of how high my hypersensitivity to needles are, I certainly did not find it a fun experience. Having the actual implant did not hurt at all because my arm was numb from the anaesthetic, it was actually having my arm numbed that caused me a large amount of discomfort.(Once again, this is not the case for many people!!) h9991503_001

The whole experience only took 5 minutes and I was so grateful to have such lovely staff with me. I did end up having a fainting episode straight after because I was very silly and got up too quickly and I have a tendency to faint after being probed with needles, oops! I am glad I have an implant because it is much easier than having the pill and it has stopped my periods until I decide to have it removed or whatever. Many girls who have the implant either barely have periods or just do not have them at all, which has made life so much easier for me!

I am not sure if I am just going to have the implant renewed after the 3 years are up (I have had it for nearly a year a half now) or if I am going to have it removed and try using a different pill to see if my body just generally does not like any of them or if it was just that specific type. I also need to take into account my anxiety disorder because I cannot tell if the implant is making it worse or if it is having no effect on it. I have decisions to make about this, but it is something I do not need to think about until nearer the time.

I hope this has been interesting to read- Like I said at the beginning of this post, it is so important to talk about birth control and not to treat it as a taboo subject. I was never taught in detail about all the different birth control options, I learnt through social media and my own research instead. I feel the same about other topics which relate to sex, but I am sure I shall make posts about that in the near future! 🙂

Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions!

Much love,

Rhi. X