Anxiety Attack…

Anxiety

Day 22 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. When anxiety takes hold full force, it can be a terrifying and crippling experience. Today, Jack boldly shares his experience with a period of acute anxiety.

Acute Anxiety Attack

I had got to the place where I accepted that mental health issues affect people, but I wasn’t ready to believe that I would be one of them. Third child in as many years and we were not sleeping well. I was run down and had a virus. It was February 2015 and I was not prepared for what happened next. Continue reading

Mental health first aid

Day 21 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Thank you to everyone who has supported this blog so far, it is so important we talk about and share our experiences of mental health and wellbeing. Please do keep sharing…you can contact me via the contact box found on the “About Counselling” page on this website.

I read a fantastic article on mental health first aid so have decided to share it today. I really love the points about genuinely listening and being slow to offer advice; we must not underestimate the power of simply being heard. 

Here’s the link: Mental Health First Aid

The Cold Cure for Depression

cold water swimmingDay 19 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. One of the best things about working in the mental health field is hearing stories of how people have learnt to cope with and manage their mental health. If you have such a story (or any story relating to mental health/wellbeing) I still have plenty of space left to fill!

Here’s a remarkable story from Paul, of significant pain and resilience. **WARNING** the blog briefly references instances of extreme violence. If this is likely to trigger your own PTSD symptoms, then please consider reading this when you feel safe and able to manage this effectively.

The Cold Cure for Depression

If I told you that within 10 minutes I could cure your anxiety and depression I would imagine you’d tell me to go and ‘jump in a lake’ right?

Anxiety and depression can come from many sources, here is my own unique road to pain: Continue reading

Bipolar In The Family

Bipolar-Disorder-mood

Day 18 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Yesterday, we heard a courageous story of what it was like to grow up in a household with someone battling alcoholism. Today, Penny has shared her story of growing up in a household with a parent suffering from Bipolar. It’s a frank and highly personal story which truly highlights the impact of living with mental health, and the dire need for the right kind of support.  Continue reading

Living with an addict

alcoholic familyDay 17 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Addiction features quite a bit on my blog as it’s something I feel passionately about and forms the best part of my day to day work. Today, Felicity shares her painful story of what it meant to grow up in a home with someone battling alcoholism. This is a truly moving story, and I applaud Felicity for being kind enough and brave enough to share it with us. Continue reading

Pause for thought 


Day 15 of my 40 Day Blog challenge. So I’m two weeks into the challenge, although I should really say we are two weeks in. I have been blown away by the number of people who have already contributed to this blog and what started out as quite a naive idea for Lent, is beginning to take on a life of its own. 
So today I thought I’d pause for thought. We’ve heard a number of stories, most from people I know, and most I wasn’t aware of. 

And that’s the point isn’t it. Most of the time we soldier on, suffer in relative silence and can feel so alone. 

We often hear about the statistic that 1 in 4 of us will suffer some kind of mental health issue. Personally I believe this is more likely the number of people who end up gaining treatment/support for their mental health. The truth is, our mental wellness is very fluid, and even the most resilient of us can suffer poorer spells of mental wellbeing. 

I liken it to having a cold, but mentally. For whatever reason, be it life events, trauma, biology, most of us will experience seasons in our life where we struggle to connect with our sense of self we are so used to. And this can be a really challenging time. 

Some of us will suffer severe and enduring mental health issues such as schizophrenia, personality disorders (an awful way to label an illness), bi-polar etc. I imagine most of us think of these types of illnesses when we talk about mental health. Yet others of us, if not most of us, will go through seasons of varying mental health, and it seems that we still don’t have much of a language to be able to talk about this. 

I am thrilled that through this blog, numbers of people have been able to talk about some difficult issues. Today I’d encourage us to think about our own mental health, to consider those times in our life when we have struggled and also to think about what helped to get you through, how did you get support, what helped things to change?

It is so important that we know the kind of support we need when we are struggling, and it helps us to know this in advance. 

I’m really looking forward to hearing more of your stories, please do get in touch if you’d like to contribute. 

Birth Trauma

Trauma

Image: “The Birth Trauma Tree” courtesy of Emma Sasaru at www.UnfoldYourWings.co.uk

Day 14 of my 40 Day Challenge. Again we have a topic about which it seems so few people have much awareness: Birth Trauma. WARNING: the following story contains narrative about events which may act as a trigger for your own PTSD if you have had a similar experience. Thank you Dawn for being so brave in sharing this.

Birth Trauma

I had a happy marriage, an almost two year old and had just welcomed my second daughter in to the world by emergency C-Section. That sounds common enough right? But, unless from this point I get more graphic, you won’t be able to understand how and why for the next 11 months after this event, I suffered with PTSD from the minutes that followed. Continue reading