Do you suffer with depression and/or anxiety?
This blog is about recognising the signs for your symptoms of depression and anxiety, if you can.
For me… One of my internal processes begins with me getting stressed, then that stress becomes out of proportion as I become over anxious about even small things. But lots of small things build the stress, like bricks. To the outside world people might think that I am over-reacting to something small, but for me it’s not the small thing that has just occurred, it is just the LAST thing I can handle after the last brick topples me. After that I get a day of feeling more energetic and happy, dancing and feeling positive. Then I might come down with the crash of a depressive stage, but it will only last for a day or so. I know it well enough now that even if I feel like my life is terrible and I have no future worth having, I do know also that it will not last long and ‘tomorrow is another day’. Things will definitely get better. I have reminders around the house, or chat to people who can remind me to try to ensure I don’t forget. However, it’s easy to ignore if I feel too down.
So, that is a typical routine for me. How about you? Could you write a journal so that you can analyse your routines? Could you mark on the calendar good days, sad days, great days, bad days? Could you write notes and pin them to your fridge to help remind you that things will get better? Do you have someone you can call, see or chat to on-line who can help remind you?
Try to think of ways to recognise, acknowledge and act upon symptoms that are negative or positive that can help you feel better in the long term.
I am in the process of editing my book of tips to cope with depression and anxiety, and this is an excerpt. I will announce publication on my blog when it’s ready!
Chronic pain is what my GP called my back, shoulder and neck pain this week. I’ve had it for fourteen years and it just isn’t what I want to hear. I write this not to complain, as I have a lot to be thankful for, but just to share as I know I am one of many who live with chronic pain and are told there is nothing we can do about it.
In that fourteen years I have been to many specialists…
Osteopath – I saw an osteopath originally after a static line parachute fall went a bit wrong and I first had a problem fourteen years ago. I twisted as I threw myself out of the plane and was spun back apparently when the parachute opened. I couldn’t move my neck for a couple of days, but with osteopath treatment it eased. I was very physically fit then and worked in a very busy, physical role in the hotel industry and I continued to after my neck recovered.
Rheumatologists – Using a cortisone injection (which took my pain away for two weeks) they decided that Radiofrequency Ablation was the cure – a probe is used to burn away the problem nerves.
Physiotherapist – Said the arches of my feet were too flat and they used a mould of my arches to make a shoe insole to raise them.
Chiropractor – Told me I have one leg longer than the other so I am out of kilter, therefore my back is out of kilter and also that my neck was too straight when looking at an Xray of my upper back and neck. It should be curved.
NHS Pain Management Clinic – An MRI scan showed that there is severe exit foranimal narrowing on C5-C6 on …….Continue reading Living with chronic pain – do you?…
I have suffered with depression and anxiety for many years, and I use my experiences of coping to help others. I am currently editing my first self-help book on the subject and I wanted to share with you the letter U in the book, which is written alphabetically. U for understanding and empathy…
By ‘understanding’, I mean our understanding of how we are with others’ might affect them, so that we can become more self-aware. And by empathy, I mean understanding how someone else feels, so that we can understand them better. Empathy is like a comfort blanket we can offer someone without the emotion of sympathy, which is where we say how sorry we are or sad we are that someone feels a certain way. Empathy is far more powerful than sympathy when it comes to helping others’ so next time someone gets angry, sad or upset, try to understand why they might feel …….Continue reading U is for Understanding and Empathy…
“Counselling is not advising, gossiping or argument about anything. That’s chatting. Counselling is unbiased support”
Titus and I
Counselling occurs when a person (client) seeks the help of another (counsellor) and engages in private conversations with them in order to resolve issues in their life. A therapeutic relationship is key where the client feels at ease to share their problems with the counsellor and the counsellor listens, seeks to understand the problems from the client’s point of view (empathy) and gives them the space to explore their feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Important within this relationship is that the client is active and ready to engage with the counsellor in sessions. If they are not, then counselling does not occur. It is not about having a ‘chat’, it is about exploring issues, looking at thought processes, and a desire to change negative patterns.
I have had counselling on numerous occasions, as a client, and have mainly been open and honest about myself, my issues and negative personality traits as I see them. However, with one counsellor, I was not totally honest and held back information about my behaviours so as to protect myself. This stopped a counselling relationship to fully occur and I could not be helped with some of my issues. …….Continue reading My understanding of what is meant by the term ‘counselling’ and my approach to counselling. My counselling level 4 diploma course…
Every day I hear people moan, see people moan on-line, and most certainly moan myself. It is very easy to say what
I am thankful
we don’t like, what we want changed, what’s ‘not good enough’. Whether it’s a trip advisor review, a complaint about the government, a gripe with a family member or a friend has let us down, we just don’t seem to stop.
So, today I want to say thank you.
Thank you to all doctors, nurses and NHS staff who mended my dad’s diseased heart, via a triple heart bypass.
Thank you to all doctors, nurses and NHS staff who whizzed my mum to hospital after her fall, who mended her broken femur, put all her ribs back together, kept her alive, cured her septicaemia, found out her lithium was too high… who basically saved her life.
Thank you to the staff at the dementia home who helped us all to realise my mum’s dementia isn’t so bad yet and enabled her to get back home.
Thanks to dad for finally agreeing to have mum back and for looking after her – she is now thriving, and everything is much happier than it’s been in many years in that house. They get out a lot, mum is on her feet, her mind is better (dementia at bay for now), I see them; all is good.
Thanks to my friend, Anita, for sending me such a kind gift in the post. …….Continue reading It’s all too easy to moan, so today I am saying thank you! NHS, mum, dad and the UK…
I was in counselling session with a client today and he was saying that he wants to change his life yet fears change and taking risks in case of negative outcomes. He says that it is safer to stay the same. He can stay in his comfort zone if he doesn’t take risks or make changes even though he knows it is not a comfort at all. He feels he doesn’t want to push himself.
I explained the reverse psychology of risk taking… By NOT doing something/taking a risk, we might actually be taking an equal risk.
“If I look for other relationships, the outcome might be that they leave me, or it doesn’t work out well, or they might pass away and make me feel sad and lonely. (negative automatic …….Continue reading To risk or not to risk – both are just as risky actually! ‘Balancing Risks’ in your life….
Today is 26th July 2015 and it has been thirteen weeks and one day since mum, in a strange state of mind, fell down the stairs and badly damaged herself.
my plant pots July 2015
Tomorrow she is going home from the care home she ended up in after her long hospital stay.
I have mixed emotions about this, but hope, with all my heart, that it will work out well. We have converted the lounge into a lounge/bedroom as she cannot get upstairs, and mum will have a carer come in four times a day to help her. My dad will also support her as much as he can.
It is fair that she goes home, and is able to give it a go, as this hadn’t been an option originally, and I have been promoting her return, but she is already ‘playing up’ to my dad and other family members. She has also been verbally abusing care workers in the care home. It can be excruciating. I hope this is not a dementia related trait.
So, am I walking on eggshells as I have done all my life? No.
I have, through a laborious (but totally worth it) recovery from my own mental health issues, found a new balance. I still topple as any scales might, but basically I am balanced. Behind all the mood swings, she is my mum, and she essentially has a good heart. She has mental health issues. She also has a new diagnosis of Vascular Dementia so the future doesn’t look terribly bright, but we must live for today.
In the past three months and one day, I have cried many tears (including today), argued many points, dealt with doctors, family, nurses, care workers and social workers, I have listened to mum and dad’s varying points of view, seen a lot of upset and depression at play within both of them, and visited twenty eight care homes trying to find mum a more suitable …….Continue reading Thirteen weeks and one day; an update on my mum and her dementia diagnosis… Resilience, time for you, and is there anything you don’t like about your personality?…
I am always promoting mindfulness and how to be ‘in the moment’, but today I tried another exercise – Being mindful about
what I can remember from the last week in terms of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. It has worked well for me, in order to be in touch with recent goings on so maybe it will work for you… It can be great writing therapy… It is also a great way to learn how to write in a more ‘real’ way; getting the reader to ‘feel’ your writing… (just take one from your list and describe it as fully as possible – more in my next blog)
Sight – aerial views out of the aeroplane window, beautiful Cambridge, crowds of people in shorts and dresses, ice cream melting down the cone, sun and blue skies, my cat, hamster and fish, Michael’s face and hair, rain, lightening, clouds, mum’s blue eyes crying, the injury on her head, elderly residents in care homes, frail, disabled and sad looking or smiling, care workers laughing with kind faces, green trees and beautiful flowers of all colours…
Sound – the hum of the aeroplane, people speaking across the radio into my headphones, an elderly woman shouting ‘help!’ over and over in the care home my mum is now living in, birds singing outside my bedroom window, the dustbin cart and crashing of bins being emptied, flies buzzing in the house (ugh!), Titus purring rhythmically, music and chatter on the radio, tv programmes, hairdryers and chatter in
Sandra and Titus Dean
the hairdressers, buzzing electrical instruments in the dentist, car horns, alarm clock, cooking timer, mum crying, mum telling me she prefers my hair blonde…
Smell – Urine and air freshener in care homes, musty old smells, obnoxious effluvia’s, baked potatoes, sumptuous fruits of red wine, smelly bins in the heat, the fresh smell Titus brings in from outside in his fur, Indian food, garlic, deodorant, fish and chips…
Taste – fish and chips with salt and vinegar, creamy ice creams, lemonade, lager, white wine, red wine, garlic bread, salmon and cucumber sandwiches…
Touch – My cat’s soft fur, my hamster’s even softer fur, Titus walking over me in bed to wake me up, heat!!! My fan blowing a breeze at me, the air conditioning in my car, wind blowing through the car with the windows down, sweaty body, aching back, aching ankles and feet, headaches, my hair being washed and massaged, cold water showering over my body, a hot hairdryer on my head, alcohol relaxing my brain, …….Continue reading Mindfulness after the event; what can you remember in the past week? Plus it’s a great writing tip and writing therapy!…
I am just starting my counselling course research project. I have chosen ‘creative art therapy’. Writing and
gotta keep smiling through adversity
Photography therapy will be my main subjects. I cannot wait to start as I have gained so much from writing and photography as self-help to overcome adversities in my own life since I was fourteen. I have written diaries, unsent letters, journals, blogs, memoir’s (published) and taken thousands of photographs to capture scenes, moods, expressions, views, good times, not so good times and my travels. I have a lot to give the project and look forward to reading all the research that has been done on a professional level. I had considered writing a self-help book about creative art therapy, so hope this will help me achieve that too.
I have kept a diary since I was fourteen. When I wrote in it, it was like telling a good friend, so it was a release, but because no-one would ever read them, I could write exactly what I wanted – how I really felt, thought, behaved, without worrying about anyone else’s bias ideas. I could also read diaries from the past and bring back memories, or use them to help me to understand past events.
I wrote unsent letters to people (alive or passed away), to tell them how I really feel about certain things. An unbiased, get it all out style with an almost formal approach to it, yet full of my emotions, thoughts and feelings, all laid out on the paper in the written word. Permanent, yet unsent. The person will never see the letter, yet it’s a great release to have written it.
I have, at times, drawn doodles, and I think a lot can be drawn from what and how you doodle – like a drawing from …….Continue reading Creative Art therapy, Writing therapy, unsent letters, photography, drawing, PTSD, trauma, anxiety, Depression, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, relationships, self-esteem……