Posted in About Me, Mental Health

I am only 27….

I am only 27 years old (or young!) and I have lived through

  • Emotional Abuse and Bullying

  • Physical Abuse and Bullying

  • Self Harm

  • Anorexia

  • Bulimia

  • Binge Eating Disorders

  • Suicidal Thoughts

  • Loss of a Parent

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

And you know what? I am still here!! Mental Illness is a difficult, harsh and life changing problem.

But

You can do it!! We are here for each other, if you are having a bad time, speak to someone – You can do it!!

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Posted in Mental Health

Self Care Developments of the week

I have been forcing myself into certain situations this week. Scary times but this week my accomplishments include;

  • Going to the Doctors,
  • Meeting up with my Sister who I haven’t seen in about a year,
  • Going to the Dentist for the first time in 5-8 years,
  • Gone to the shop during the day,
  • Rang for some support from a local service.

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I sit here on my bed writing this, I am tired, worn out and know there is a lot I should be doing, my days over the last few months have been getting darker and darker but I have made some progress into looking after myself.

I have also been making an effort to fill in my journal, it is a 365-day book I bought before Christmas and I said I will put feelings/drawings/events or whatever I want every day, although I am missing some days, but I am making progress with that too. I had a yummy Easter egg, that is only half eaten at the moment!! Salted Caramel. I love Cadbury eggs but restrained from getting them this year as I end up eating way too much, although I did buy two little bunnies in Lidl and I am proud to say they have not yet been eaten. Although I do need to confess I am drinking way too much fizzy soft drinks (I do not drink hot drinks so I use soft drinks as an excuse to get caffeine).

I have 3 assignments left for University, well until the new academic year starts in October but I am looking forward to getting them completed and sent off (not looking forward to weeks of waiting to hear if assignments are passed, if I do not get certain marks for them I fail the whole year). Whilst I am nowhere near 100% with my health, I need to use the time well to care for myself and get better. I am looking forward to developing this site and things to come.

 

Posted in Mental Health

I did a whoopsie

Having been in an ill, nocturnal state for the past week or so I decided to request my prescription online from the GP- PRESCRIPTION APPROVED!! But me being me at the moment, I thought it was Friday on Thursday so didn’t collect the prescription from the Doctors as thought they would be closed. Then the next day I went out in the car and realised it was Friday so I went to the Doctors and realised it was closed because it was Good Friday so no prescription for me.

.FAST FORWARD TO MONDAY.

I have no Sertraline in the house. I have been on these for months and never missed a dose, until now. I have to see a Doctor this week anyway so I know I need to go out and get my tablets. Although they do need changing so if anybody has advice on reducing Sertraline in order to swap to another medication please let me know as I have heard withdrawal is awful!!

Posted in About Me, Mental Health

Healthwise Wales

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https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/homepage/

Healthwise Wales is working to improve the health and wellbeing services for the Welsh population. They ask that we help them by answering questions about health topics and our own information to help them with their work. Whether you have health conditions or are fit and healthy, you can still help them with their work, no matter your age or health status.

I signed up to Healthwise Wales as I thought it was a fantastic idea when I received a work email encouraging us to sign up.

I received a phonecall and was asked if I would be willing to share my experiences, I never thought about a camera and filming taking place (duh….how else will I share my story). But I am glad I took part (even though I forgot half the stuff I wanted to say and forgot at points how to speak Welsh so ended up doing the ‘Wenglish’ version 😉

If you are interested in finding out more information and signing up to Healthwise Wales then go to;

https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/homepage/

If you click under ‘Research stories’ there you will see my face and the article written.

or click on this link;

https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/research_stories/?id=16

You can also register and help Healthwise Wales.

If for some reason you do not want to follow the link, or cannot access it then keep scrolling to read on this page.

The Below Research Story is my story but published by Healthwise Wales;

Stacie-Mai’s Story

 

A woman from Barry who suffers from anxiety and depression has joined a unique health research initiative in Wales to help fight major diseases, and is urging others to do the same.

26-year-old Stacie-Mai Pemberton has signed up to HealthWise Wales, a flagship study aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the nation to inform new healthcare treatments in Wales.

It is the first large-scale survey in Wales to build a picture of the health of the nation, using detailed health information gathered from people of all ages to help inform future health service planning.

People aged 16 and over and living in Wales are asked to complete short questionnaires every six months as part of the project, which is led by Cardiff University and backed by the Welsh Government.

Once registered, participants are then invited to help inform relevant health research on specific conditions, their management and treatment.

Stacie-Mai, who works as a peer mentor for Welsh mental health charity Hafal, began to suffer from anxiety and depression when doctors struggled to diagnose her appendicitis.

This, combined with previous insight into different healthcare issues gained while working for the Welsh Ambulance Service, made Stacie-Mai sign up to HealthWise Wales.

She said: “My appendicitis wasn’t a textbook case of the illness, so when I went to the doctors with complaints they struggled to diagnose my illness. I was upset and frustrated and developed depression and anxiety. I was finally diagnosed and operated on, and my appendicitis cured, but I felt very mentally fragile.

“Supporting people who suffer from mental health issues at Hafal has meant that I’ve realised things about my own mental health too. I know now, for example, that there were also more long-term reasons for my depression and anxiety, aside from the appendicitis.

“Trauma from my early childhood, such as losing a parent, have definitely contributed to my mental health issues. Knowledge and education on mental health is vital, which is why I feel so passionate about improving the NHS by supporting initiatives like HealthWise Wales.

“The NHS is a great service, but there is still room for improvement. For this reason, I am committed to initiatives like HealthWise Wales that strive to paint a clearer picture of the changes that need to be made to improve the state of healthcare in Wales, and I’d urge others to do the same.”

 

Posted in Mental Health

Not really sure what to call this one

I’m not really sure where to start, I am still off work but I cannot really discuss that here.But I am still here, even if I am quiet, I seem to have fallen back into a nocturnal state.

However, one great thing happened at the start of the year, we finally moved into our own home, no more tenancy agreements, no more over-priced rentals and a home that is our own. I just feel so bad that even though I have accomplished something I have always wanted, I am still not happy.

I am lost, I am hurt and I am sad. But I do not know why. Those that do not understand keep asking “What is causing your anxiety?” or “What is causing your depression?”- I’m sorry but if I knew the cause it would not be an issue. Seriously, do not tell me you understand and then ask me stupid questions.

My body hurts and I do not want to do anything, apart from stay inside with my dogs. I have tried my best to start making the house a home but I know it is not enough. I feel that everything should be unpacked, all rooms cleaned and any maintenance or DIY should be done. I should be out running every day and making an effort but I just do not want to. What is wrong with me?

Until next time.

 

 

Posted in Mental Health

I put pen to paper….finally

One thing I have always wanted to do is write a book, my english and grammar is not great but that is why proof reading is a must!!

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I finally put pen to paper and started an introduction and chapter ideas.

I want this book to be personal, yet helpful and of course the main topic in the discussion is my most passionate subject; Mental Health.

I want to be a person that makes a difference, if I can change the life of just one person then I can be happy.

I also put up an important image on my social media which I will also put here ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️

I have no idea how to publish a book and whether it will be a e-book or hardcopy but a dream of mine has always been to see a book in a shop with my name on it. Who knows, maybe this will just be something I write and keep safe or it could just be the start of something amazing.

What topics would you want to see covered in a book about mental health?

Posted in Mental Health

Sertraline oh Sertraline….

So having spent the last two days in the bed I have got myself up and retreated to the sofa to watch tv with my pooch and wife.

So I have not left the house but it is cold and the effort to get dressed is too much.

I have been thinking about my Sertraline, whilst there have been several days or events I have attended and I am less anxious or OCD symptoms have subsided- I find myself having more bad days and a cycle or really happy days where the world is my oyster, I can sign up for races and challenges and do loads of Uni work along with extra courses and enquiring about new courses to do. But then everything comes crashing down, sometimes for no reason at all and a couple of times something has triggered a downward spiral.

I saw the CMHT and have been discharged from their service after the assessment for re-referral from the GP if I need them. Although they have suggested some treatment but no point referring until I have moved as it is different health trusts. They have also suggested my medication is changed- saw a GP but not my usual Doctor as she wasn’t working but my dose has been increased to the max dose of 200mg to try and if then there is no improvement then we will need to switch medications. I had over two months worth of tablets here so I would rather try the high dose rather than waste the tablets by returning them to be destroyed by the pharmacy.

I am really weary and nervous about switching do a different medication because I don’t know what to expect. I am scared to side effects like my hair breaking and falling out that Citalopram caused. I’m scared it will affect my work, relationship or driving, along with fertility and weight. I am just scared.

I am positive about the work I am doing to secure a future in Mental Health for myself but I feel my own mental health is an unsolved mystery and I don’t want to live like this anymore. I want to be happy and I want to teach; stand up in a room and present, attend parties without heart palpitations and sweating like I have had a bucket of water thrown over me. I want to get up and get out and not hide in the house and do nothing, or think about ways to hurt myself or force weight off or even give up and pile weight on.

Although on a positive note I start bereavement counselling this month. After so many losses in the past 14 years and not grieving or speaking about them I think it is the right time to start healing those wounds. But only time will tell.

Posted in Mental Health

Today is a bad mental health day….

After a few months of silence here I am, although I have been slapped in the face with a ‘bad mental health day’.

Now I cannot go into the reasons for this but I woke up this morning after a night of tossing, turning and very strange dreams. Anxiety and depression have come and hit me right in the face-meaning no work for me today.

My anxiety is being made worse also by the fact that I feel like I am letting people down because I’m not in work, when I should be.

I don’t really know what to do, I am a bit lost if I am honest. I work and I study ( which I have always done so the added work from Uni keeps my brain active and benefits me) but my health both physically and mentally is taking its toll on me.

I know I will get there but maybe a bad mental health day is the minds way of saying stop- take some time to yourself.

These are todays plans (apart from switching to tea as I don’t drink tea or coffee) ;

Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s see how it goes.

S xx

Posted in Mental Health

8 Pieces of Advice for Anyone Starting College With a Mental Illness

Find my Published Article on The Mighty @

https://themighty.com/2017/08/advice-tips-starting-college-university-mental-illness-depression-anxiety/

“What’s that? Anxiety? Depression? Oh, I had that and I know loads of people that have it too — you’ll be fine!”

Ugh.

Yes, anxiety and depression is becoming more commonplace, perhaps because they are being talked about more, better diagnosed and less stigmatized. Although, stigma still exists in my opinion. We are all different and anxiety and depression affect us in similar yet different ways. But mental illness shouldn’t stop anyone from going to college; whether online or on campus.

Here are my top eight pieces of advice for anyone starting college with anxiety or depression:

1. Take baby steps.

You might feel pressured as a freshman by others drinking, joining clubs and being outspoken in class. This does not mean you have to be the same or do the same things. Your study is your journey and you need to take it in small, manageable steps. Set goals one step at a time.

2. Don’t be a hermit.

No matter how hard it is, even if you aren’t taking part in the “traditional college experience” (whatever that is), do not lock yourself away. This doesn’t mean I’m telling you to go out and talk to everyone, but perhaps, take a walk, go to the shop, gym or library — just get out of the house. And remember to be vigilant and be safe.

3. Take advantage of student support.

Most colleges will have student services. Make use of them because that is what they are there for. Ask about well-being courses, counseling, assessments, support or third parties that can help you or offer support when or if you’re struggling.

4. Undertake a learning difficulty assessment.

This obviously is not relevant to everyone, but I would definitely recommend it, even if it is of the slightest interest to you. These assessments are long and involve a one on one discussion with an assessor, but they are not just there to diagnose dyslexia, they assess for other things too. And school can help you apply for the funding to cover the cost.

5. It can be scary, but that’s OK.

College can be scary. New rooms, new teachers, new lecturers, new materials and everything is different. But it will get easier, take a deep breath and walk into that room.

6. It is OK to cry.

There will be days you don’t want to get up, go to a class or an activity, and you just want to fall apart. It is OK to cry. It may be embarrassing at first, but once you start, you will let go of so much built up emotion and things will probably seem better.

7. Talk.

Talk to someone; whether that is a friend, teacher, student support or a stranger, have someone to talk to. Or things might build up. It is so hard to share and talk about, but there is always someone willing to listen. Sometimes it takes a while to find them, but they are there.

8. You are number one.

This is the most obvious — but it is the first thing we forget. Look after yourself. Go for walks, take a moment to breathe, meditate, read or whatever takes your fancy. And of course, remember the basics: wash, eat and do your work. You are number one and need to keep yourself as healthy as you can.

You are worthy and you can do it!