Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Overcoming the wall

March 18, 2018

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So exactly 2 weeks ago I didn’t understand what was happening or what was coming. I thought it simply would pass, but suddenly it said BANG. I didn’t manage to do or feel anything, everything was dark. I had hit the wall. Having the flu at the time and the snow made me feel very isolated.

How did i fix it

I went toally back to basics and started again. Remembered a few things that i have been taught recently worked through my list. Did some jobs round the house. On the Sunday I managed to go for a run, and with the help from a couple close friends and my cousins you all helped me a great deal to overcome the wall. You all listened and you made sure i knew i had your support.

So I started off the week on the Monday with this sudden surge of energy and for the last 2 weeks i have been gaining more and more confidence back. I am back being cheeky and happy and i have made many people laugh with my stories. This stregth has come from somewhere and its making me a little scared.

I rememberd how much i enjoy making people laugh, its a gift i had and that gift has returned.

What happened next

I spent time with my Niece and nephew, brother and sister in law last weekend and that put some perspective in my life. The kids are my world and I know they look up to me a great deal and i decided that i am going to try everything in my power to be the best version of myself that i can be.

The last 2 weeks have been very positive for me. This weekend the novolty of having lots of chilling time is wearing very thin, but i kept busy and found some new music which is a passion of mine. I also managed to do a bit of running too.

Conclusion

Its ok to not be ok, its how you deal with that and find the strength to carry on even though the odds are very much stacked against you. Routeen at the weekend is equally as important to me as the week days.

Fingers crossed this week will be equally as positive as the last 2. Thank you to every single person that got me through that weekend that i hit the wall.

My playlist – the power of music in my life

March 18, 2018

111115_musicmental_THUMB_LARGE_UPDATE.jpgA few weeks ago I posted around the power of music in my life. Quite a lot of you have asked for my playlist and here it is:

Groove Armada – Paper romance                                                                                                       Emeli Sande – Highs&Lows                                                                                                                                No Wyld – Odyssey                                                                                                                                 Seal – Kiss from a rose                                                                                                                           Rudimental – Free                                                                                                                                               Jessie Ware, Goldie – Midnight                                                                                                                             Jennifer Hudson – Spotlight                                                                                                                 Rudimental – Powerless                                                                                                                                Paloma Faith – The Architect                                                                                                               Megan Trainor – Woman Up                                                                                                                       Beyonce – Run the world                                                                                                                                      Jessie Ware – Alone                                                                                                                                             Naughty boy – Wonder                                                                                                                                  Lisa Stansfield – All around the world                                                                                               Ariana Grande – Bad Decisions                                                                                                           Justin Timberlake – Say something                                                                                                     Jengi – Without you                                                                                                                                               Mabel – Finders keepers                                                                                                                       Groove Armada – Andhim remix                                                                                                                Jill Scott – Getting in the way                                                                                                                                                            Jill Scott – Golden                                                                                                                                              Jill Scott – Coming to you                                                                                                                       4hero – Les Fleur                                                                                                                                              4hero – Another day                                                                                                                               Sebastien Tellier – La Ritournella                                                                                                 Ludovico Einaudi – Night                                                                                                                                            Ludovico Einaudi – Expierience                                                                                                                             Ludovico Einaudi – Primavera

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The struggle is real

March 2, 2018

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This will probobally be one of the saddest blog posts I have written so be warned.

I am struggling, physically and mentally. I have the flu which is something that will improve with time but mentally I’m in a very dark hole and can’t find the light at the end of it.

I am currently sat on my bedroom floor, I often find myself here I don’t know why it just feels safe. Only one person has taken the time to check on me today which when you feel as lonely as I do almost everyday, is a very jagged pill to swallow. I have come to the conclusion that I am not good enough for anyone. I am sure people will tell me the opposite but thats how I feel, its very real. I often hope that someone will say… get some clothes on kid were going out for the day but nobody has, not for a number of months. I am in a city where I don’t actually know why I am here anymore. Don’t get me wrong I love my flat its beautiful, but I wish someone could share that beauty with me. Drop in for a coffee/cup of tea but nobody does.

I look around at people I work with and it appears there friend list is never ending, always off doing something at the weekends and the evenings they are. That used to be me and thats the bit of my life I loved the most. The thought of a weekend now is like a dagger to the heart. Have you ever heard of anyone who doesn’t look forward to a weekend?

I mentioned this to someone the other day and they said I need to accept that everyone is busy. So say that then, don’t leave my texts unanswered or reply 3 days later saying sorry only just seen this. If you don’t want anything to do with me say that, I would rather the truth than to be fobbed off by words you think I want to hear.

What it feels like……

A heavy weight on my shoulders, duck tape over my mouth stopping me from speaking, constantly looking out the window waiting for someone/anyone to turn up.

This weekend like most weekends…..

I won’t be leaving my flat ill be just watching tv (staring at the tv) waiting for the Monday to come around. Staring blankly at myself to have some kind of conversation with myself. Sunday ill have a panic attack at the same time that I’ve done every week since the 3rd September 2017 because I am scared of bumping into someone constantly for the next 5 days. Only for Friday to come along and ill get the same anxieties at 4.30pm because I know ill be back here again.

The reality

I am alone, I always will be and I have to accept it whether I like it or not. The struggle is real and I am so lost in myself.

What happened to my life. I can’t keep doing this every week.

The very real pain of losing the best thing that’s ever happened to me

February 25, 2018

I-miss-you.-Not-in-some-cheesy-lets-hold-hands-and-be-together-forever-kind-of-way.-I-just-miss-you.-Plain-and-simple.-I-miss-your-presence-in-my-life.-I-miss-you-always....................jpg

Loosing a best friend in my life has to be one of the most painful experiences I have gone through in my adult life.

Connecting with a friend can feel very much the same as falling in love, as you constantly bring the other person up in conversation when you are not together. And breaking up with a best friend can be devastating.

For the purposes of my blog I will refer to my best friend as Amanda

I met Amanda on on my first day at a shiny new office. Amanda was my administrator for a short period of time, and we found ourselves connecting through hilarity of ourselves. We would spend every lunch break together laughing at our mistakes, things that happened at work and our personal lives and what we bonded over on day 2 was, over a quiche at Gregs and me being dragged to do her returns at H&M, something which then became a regular occurrence over the last nearly 7 years. (the returns not the Gregs). Only Amanda and myself would understand why this was so very funny.

I remember the exact day we began to consider ourselves true friends – we met for dinner and drinks one weekend in September.  We exchanged stories, laughed and disclosed personal details that further cemented our connection. We continued our “first date” into a second and then I moved to the same city where every weekend was date night and day. Each year we acknowledged that anniversary either by text or something special.

Amanda soon became an important person to my life. We would see each other every day at work, most nights after work and most weekends were spent, shopping, eating, watching TV, laughing and having so much fun. We often spent hours on the phone together debriefing on our days at work, then debriefing our evenings that we spent apart before bed. Of course during this time we laughed until we couldn’t breathe, cried because we laughed so hard.

We travelled together every year for a grand holiday, and we also had frequent weekends away and spa trips, we even stayed in a castle in the Lake District.

Amanda, took me under her wing, accepted me for me and assured me and promised me she was here to stay no matter how hard it got and made it ok for me to trust people, she made it ok to let people in and she made it ok for me to be open about my mental health. Amanda also made me fat.

Until something changed…………..

Our breakup happened very suddenly, in the most dramatic and unmistakable way possible. I will refrain from going into the details of what happened because I don’t believe its appropriate or productive and I don’t even know why. We have ended this experience feeling very hurt, confused, wounded and massively misunderstood.

Her life was changing significantly and I was swept away very quickly and the things we bonded over and built our friendship on were forgotten very quickly by Amanda, not by me. I couldn’t be there for Amanda when her life was changing and at the same time Amanda couldn’t be there for me whilst mine was changing too. I regret that.

I thought of her frequently, I no longer enjoy my weekends, I no longer had anyone to appreciate my weirdness and silliness and her absence is felt pretty sharply when I no longer have a sounding board to my life, to share my jokes with, my silliness with and my love with and I’m alone trying to have a random spread for one.

Weeks have gone by now, and though I have other friends, I do not have Amanda. I miss her intensely, with the deep ache of someone who has become a refugee from their home. Amanda has left a huge gaping hole in my life.

Let go and move on you say!….. I have spent much of my life giving up and running away from people I believed who are no good for me. As I have got older I have learnt to appreciate how incredibly difficult it is to meet new people who share your weird sense of purpose. I feel like starting again with someone is not something that appeals to me currently. Amanda always taught me the true value of friendship, and how incredibly important it is to retain those friendships.

Amanda promised me so much in terms of friendship and If I knew then what I knew now I wouldn’t of been so open, but I don’t think I would be who I am today if it wasn’t for Amanda.

I still see Amanda almost every day and its incredibly hard, weird and awkward. She’s scared and I am too.

What I have learnt from this whole experience is…… things happen to our lives that are unexpected that can throw everything off. There is no plan to life. Life is far too short to hold grudges or negativity towards people.

Amanda if you’re out there I miss you and when you are ready ill be here ready to build something new.

Life too short kiddo!

 

The Power of Music in My Life

February 10, 2018

Music has always played an important part in my mental wellbeing. Anyone that knows me I always have my headphones in, always have something playing and my neighbours also have the privilege of sharing my varied tastes in music. In low points recently I forgot what impact this has on my brain, this is why its now on my self care list when I am feeling stressed.

The types of music I enjoy the most are, house, jazz, classical piano, soul, and R&B.

Today for example, I had a list of jobs I wanted to get done today, so I stuck Spotify on, and played some house music and I had a little shimmy and a dance round my living room. It certainly got the endorphins going.

Some people who are lucky enough to be very close to me know to make me put music on when they sense I am not feeling to great emotionally.

The Science

One of the ways music affects mood is by stimulating the formation of certain brain chemicals. Listening to music increases the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s “motivation molecule” and an integral part of the pleasure-reward system. It’s the same brain chemical responsible for the feel-good states obtained from eating chocolate, orgasm, and runner’s high. Interestingly, you can further increase dopamine by listening to a playlist that’s being shuffled. When one of your favorite songs unexpectedly comes up, it triggers a small dopamine boost.

Conclusion

Music definitely is a huge part of my life and notably has a substantial effect on my mental health. It often helps me to make decisions for myself. I do recommend that if you are feeling low, stick something on loud and dance it off. Then decide what to do.

Making playlists is an excellent idea and share these with people in your life, I have done this for a few people, you never know, your playlist might just lift someone else mental wellbeing.

Its also worth noting too that I randomly found my iPod last week that has made me feel a bit more happy.

Mental Health: The Science behind low mood and anxiety

January 28, 2018

I have recently been considering the science behind mental health. I recently watched a documentary on BBC iPlayer about Charlotte Church’s mum which inspired me to write this blog around Serotonin and the affects on our body.

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Seretonin

Serotonin is a chemical nerve cells produce. It sends signals between your nerve cells. Serotonin is found mostly in the digestive system, although it’s also in blood platelets and throughout the central nervous system.

Serotonin is made from the essential amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid must enter your body through your diet and is commonly found in foods such as nuts, cheese, and red meat. Tryptophan deficiency can lead to lower serotonin levels. This can result in mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression.

What does Serotonin do?

Serotonin impacts every part of your body, from your emotions to your motor skills. Serotonin is considered a natural mood stabilizer. It’s the chemical that helps with sleeping, eating, and digesting. Serotonin also helps:

  • reduce depression
  • regulate anxiety
  • heal wounds
  • stimulate nausea
  • maintain bone health

How to treat the deficiincy clinically

Low levels of serotonin in the brain may cause depression, anxiety, and sleep trouble. Many doctors will prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to treat depression. They’re the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant.

How to treat it naturally 

  • Exposure to bright light: Sunshine or light therapy are commonly recommended remedies for treating seasonal depression.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can have mood-boosting effects.
  • A healthy diet: Foods that can increase serotonin levels include eggs, cheese, turkey, nuts, salmon, tofu, and pineapple.
  • Meditation: Meditating can help relieve stress and promote a positive outlook on life, which can greatly boost serotonin levels.

Isn’t it strange that something found in my gut can lead to mental health disorders. “Eat more cheese, nuts and red meat, exercise and get some sun” I hear you say! I already do those things so it doesn’t seem that clear cut to me.

My conclusion:

It seems to me that GP’s go straight to the clinical solution of handing out medication rather than looking into the science behind some mental health disorders (specifically low mood and anxiety). Is it really conclusive after a 10 minute consultation to decide SSRI’s are the solution and a bit of CBT will be enough. It sounds like its a one fits all solution.

I would love to find out if I have low levels of serotonin in my body. It might help me to work out what I need to do more of to increase those levels naturally. Whilst I agree in some aspects medication is great, understanding how that works is even greater but we can all do natural things to help ourselves.

I then went on a tangent looking into how vegans, vegetarians and pescatarians get their natural sources of serotonin. It intrigued me because someone I follow on instagram has decided to go plant based vegan for a number of months and I’m not sure what impact that has had on his mental health. Maybe ill ask him.

As my yoga friend says “it just goes to show what you put in your body does lead to a healthy mind”.

Credits:

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin