Tag Archives: #MentalHealth

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

 

 

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