24th July, Week 8 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

For how to join in with these prompts, visit Beckie’s blog post.

I am doing prompt 1 and prompt 2.

Prompt 1

This question was by Nova, of Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.

Write a narrative of what works for you when in the midst of a crisis, such as anxiety/panic attack or a manic episode. Please give an example of what happened and how you broke free from it.

My readers know that I can suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

My last panic attack was when I was volunteering. Most readers will remember this particular one, as I blogged about it. It was the time of having issues with my old energy supplier, Spark Energy. I was checking my emails and this particular email I found in my spam folder, from a company that was chasing debt on their behalf.

Now as it was in spam, I had my doubts whether this was all genuine, because one, I never heard of this one and I already received a letter about the same thing from a different debt collector.
Two, I wasn’t in debt, as I paid my bill every month. But this company had my details to know they knew me. I was already suffering anxiety with the stress Spark Energy caused me, in addition to other stresses in my life around that time and I started to shake not long after reading this email, as well as feeling sick with it. I had my water to hand, which I kept sipping. I tried to ignore my anxiety brewing, which I could feel was going to turn into a panic attack.

After 10 minutes, I could feel my heart racing, but surprisingly, I wasn’t breathing in a panic state. I assume this is because of past experience and learning new ways to manage it.

After half an hour and not feeling like anything was getting any better, I said to one of the workers where I was volunteering that I wasn’t feeling well and, why and that I think I won’t be any good carrying on working there today. He didn’t like the idea me going home, while I was as I was and asked what usually helps me keep calm? I said water for one, which I have been sipping for past half hour. He then started to act daft, (in a good way,) to get me to laugh and I was chatting and laughing back. In the end, my anxiety reduced and I felt I could carry on with my volunteer role. I had lost my appetite at lunch time, so I had to force myself to eat. But I didn’t go into a panic attack, because of how this person helped me with this one, after I said I wasn’t well.

That is just one example for me, how I got out of an anxiety attack.
Others have been just focusing on my breathing to slow it down. It took some time, but I got there.

I have also suffered from PTSD, because of  my childhood and so through counseling I learnt new techniques, should I have PTSD ones. These were using my senses; sight, touch, taste and smell. These have come in handy for anxiety/panic attacks too. So I guess this is why I never went into a full blown panic attack, that I expected.

Anxiety is always a part of me. Mine is there at times, but ignorable in a way. I mean as in that I know it’s there, but I carry on doing what I am doing. Like I have always done. That fighter instinct in me that I have had since a child.
Other times my anxiety is not there and then there are situations that can bring it on, as one example above.

For anyone you witness having a panic attack, just see what you can do to help. If they are not able to answer, just talk to them, keeping calm yourself until they are able to say. Don’t touch them, unless they gave you permission and certainly don’t hug, because if they are like me, they will need space to feel they can breathe.

Prompt 2

There are two pictures in this prompt, which you can pick one, or use both of them.

I chose this one.

Visual of the image is that of heavy rain with the sun shining and pouring on a plant up against a rock wall.
Visual of the image is that of heavy rain with the sun shining and pouring on a plant up against a rock wall.

I chose this one because when I see this photo, I feel refreshed, just like I would if the rain poured down on me, while the sun was out.

The cooling rain making me feel refreshed, washing my worries away, while feeling a gentle warmth of the sun.

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Blog post re-share: Why Those of us That Can, Must Fight — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

I would like to share this post with my readers, from The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

I also agree with the first commenter in that blog post too, by Alanpenrose5654.

Do take a read of this blog post and the comments. Also, if you are not already following this blog, I totally recommend you do.

I hope that all of us in the mental illness blogging community have the same goals–to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. I believe that to keep the fight going and maybe educate those that have never walked a day in our shoes, it is imperative to share your story. We are all unique, and though we may share similar symptoms of our collective illnesses, it is how you deal and your past that might help future mental illness sufferers.

via Why Those of us That Can, Must Fight — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

My very personal posts of 2016, that started off this blog.

If it wasn’t for offloading and using this blog as part of my therapy to accept what happened to me, then I probably would not have started this blog. Writing this blog has helped me to move forward and some things that were really troubling me, to let go of the guilt that I should not have had to start with.
Most of these following posts all have a trigger warning of some kind, stated at the beginning of the post.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

#If depression were a choice

#If depression were a choice, I would not have witnessed as a child of the ups and very bad downs of my mum’s mental health. I would not have worried whether she would disappear again, like before.

If depression were a choice, after seeing how it affected me personally as a child and, also how it affects other people and their families, then I would not choose depression myself. Because after all, it is no fun.

If depression were a choice, I would not struggle to get out of bed some mornings, or sometimes worry about the day ahead.

If depression were a choice, I would not have wished at one time that I was dead and that I was of no use to this world.

If depression were a choice, then I would choose to not have depression. But unfortunately it is not that easy.

If depression were a choice, then I would not have needed the doctor, counsellor or my medication.

If depression were a choice, then my mind would choose to stop dwelling on things.

If the bad experiences of childhood (including bullying, if I did not have enough already,) and early adulthood had not happened, then I would be able to stop my brain having the memories of those days and re-living them.

Until you have been in my shoes, or other people’s shoes of people suffering mental health, then you do not know. So please do not judge.

What I experience to another person it is different. I know how my experiences affect me, but it does not mean I know fully how it affects the next person. I can only be there to support, or to just listen.

Receiving comments of the following I write below, that I have heard personally myself over the years, are not helpful at all.

  • You can choose not to dwell on things
  • It happened to you a long time ago and so you should put it behind you
  • There’s no point living in the past
  • Isn’t it time you moved on?

So until you have been in our shoes, suffered what we have suffered, you will not know how exactly how our past affects our mental health. So do not judge, but listen to our stories and try to understand how it affects us.

If depression were a choice, then I would choose not to have depression.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Talking therapies

As you know from reading this blog, I have had counselling in the past, the last two sets of sessions being very helpful for me.
This was because after the counsellor who I had for my first of theses two sessions, identifying my childhood past being the cause of how I was now.
Since these sessions have ended, I have been writing this blog as my continuing therapeutic way of dealing with things, as well as other things, like learning something new, remembering to give self-love.

I recommend talking therapy to anyone who is struggling. Talking therapy can work alone, or alongside antidepressants from your doctor, depending on the individual.

I recently learnt that someone closer to me was not doing well as I thought. After this person asked for advice, which I gave, I could see there was a bit more to it then the person was letting on, so I asked further. The person wouldn’t answer this question, as was concerned how I would feel ashamed of them, of their response.
I reassured that person, that I am sure you have done nothing to be ashamed of and that the advice I gave before would not help alone, as I could see whatever this issue was needed to be addressed. This would mean if they felt they could not be open with me, then to speak to a counsellor where you will not need to feel worried about being judged, because they are there to listen.
On answering further questions about what to expect in counselling sessions to reassure this person, because they have never seen a counsellor before, I printed off the necessary information, so they could self-refer. I hope this person does follow it through, because I know this person would benefit from it so much.

If you are feeling the need to talk to someone and have no one, or not confident in speaking to a friend, or family member, then please do speak to a counsellor. They are not there to judge, they are there to help.

I do recommend talking therapy, because you are in a neutral place where you do not need to worry about upsetting, or worrying a friend or relative, so you can unburden yourself. A place where you also won’t feel judged.

For more information on talking therapies, please visit this page at Mental Health Foundation.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

The Run.Rabbit.Run. PTSD award

I have been nominated “The Run.Rabbit.Run. PTSD Award,” by Courage Coaching. This has been a lovely surprise to receive with this blog not even a year old yet. Thank you Courage Coaching. (This award was previously known as the Blogger Recognition Award).

run-rabbit-award

The rules:

  • Thank the blog who nominated you, share the link and award on your blog.
  • Write a brief story on how you started blogging and any advice you would give to a new blogger.
  • Select nominees (max 15)
  • Advise nominees.

 

Why I started blogging

I started blogging as a releasing outlet for what I was feeling, which has now turned out to help others, or be an inspiration. My blog has reflected as I change accordingly, which I hope to keep my blog positive, but like anyone with depression, it could change on my down days etc…

Blogging became therapeutic for me and continues to do so and I have come across many lovely followers here since bringing my blog to WordPress.

Advice to any new bloggers

Advice I would give to a new blogger is to just be you, as this will reflect in your post.

I would like to nominate the following for The Run.Rabbit.Run. PTSD Award

These are just some of many, I have picked, that I love to follow for different reasons. I know some already have this award, so I don’t expect them to do it again and others that I have nominated I don’t know if they have. But enjoy the award either way.

5 Tips to support someone

These are some top tips that Heads Together campaign put together, to help us, after visiting a helpline service run by Young Minds.

Young Minds offers support and advice to any adult worried about the emotional behaviour, or mental health of a child or young adult up to the age of 25.

By clicking on Heads Together link above, you will be able to download your copy and share with others and also read about The Duke and Duchess visit to Young Minds helpline.

Panic Attacks

As someone who has suffered panic attacks myself, I’d thought I’d share this useful post.

It is hard when having panic attacks, but with the right treatment and support, they will get better and you can overcome them in time.

 

 

A Schizoaffective Story

A panic attack is a sudden and overwhelming feeling of extremely intense anxiety, which is disabling to the individual. A person who experiences panic attacks in a chronic manner, may have panic disorder. Panic disorder often occurs in conjunction with other severe mental illnesses, such as substance abuse disorders, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia. However, it can occur on its own.

Quite often, you may see the terms ‘panic attack’ and ‘anxiety attack’ being used interchangeably, however this is not necessarily the case. Anxiety attacks tend to intensify over a duration of time, usually during periods when the individual is experiencing excessive worry; whereas panic attacks tend to occur suddenly and with no reason.

The causes of panic disorder are not entirely understood, though it is believed to be cause by a combination of factors, including both environmental and biological factors. These factors include:

– family history

– abnormalities of the…

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