Tag Archives: Life.

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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