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learningtobebipolar

Mental illness of any kind is not an easy road. It is one that is full of roadblocks and flat tires. But it is one where so much power can be found. Both for ourselves and for those around us. I have spent much of my life not feeling like I belong anywhere and like everything I say and do is just different. I have often been called “difficult” and have spent much of my life wondering why I feel this way and why I do some of the things that I do. Since my journey to true health is just beginning I hope to be able to bring a light into someone else’s life. And I hope that I will have the strength to continue this journey no matter what it brings and hopefully have ability to bring some awareness and comfort to someone else along the way.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog For Mental Health 2014 | learningtobebipolar.

PsychConfessions

I feel like I’ve broken some kind of unwritten rule by trying to be open about my mental health disability to members of the academic team.

It’s strange, because you’d think that there would be less mental health stigma on a clinical psychology course, yet in some ways there is more stigma. It’s as if psychologists should somehow be immune to mental health problems (despite the fact that 1 in 4 people have a mental health problem). As trainees, we do not speak openly about our own mental health. Stigma also manifests itself in less subtle ways. The other day, whilst having a group conversation at university, another trainee noticed a packet of diazepam in my open handbag. She looked up at me and awkwardly apologised for looking in my handbag and then zipped it up, to ‘protect my privacy’. Would she have had the same reaction if it had been paracetamol or an inhaler that she’d spotted in my bag? I doubt it.

Luckily, some people are amazingly supportive. My clinical tutor recently told me that my own experience of mental health problems will make me a better therapist, as I know what it’s like to be on the ‘other side’ and receive therapy and take medication. I hope that she’s right.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit On being a Trainee Clinical Psychologist with Mental Health Problems | PsychConfessions.

What Rhymes With Sarah?

There are layers to everything – layers upon layers upon layers. Maybe you’re lucky and you don’t find life too hard or maybe you’re unlucky and you find everything very, very hard. Everything you think and say and do is made up of about a billion different factors and if you’re depressed, it can take some serious unpicking before you know what’s going on. Don’t rush to find answers – sometimes they will come to you out of nowhere. If you push too hard to ‘figure everything out’ too quickly, you’ll make mistakes and feel worse. It’s OK to be confused – the mentally well (much like the physically well) are lucky, not somehow ‘better’ than you. . .

Don’t ever, ever, EVER worry about how you are living your life. You’re not missing the boat or the bus or any other kind of form of transport. You’re not ‘wasting time’ being depressed. These are not the best years of your life. Let go of any idea of how things are supposed to be and any year can be the best of your life. There is no right and wrong, there is only a series of moments. Enjoy yourself when you can and be nice to yourself when you can’t.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Advice for 14-year-old me, living with depression | What Rhymes With Sarah?.

Wounds to Feel

My mental health history started when I was 8-years-old. Genetics, life events and transitions shaped the progression of my chronic depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

I have been in and out of counseling most of my life, with little effect. Only last year did I become aware that I could not bear life’s pains any longer, and could not continue to distract myself away from them. I took leave from my job and spent 3 months in intensive outpatient therapy to treat Binge Eating Disorder. Of course, this disorder is born of anxiety and I have been working for the past year on being aware of what my triggers are and healing my broken heart.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project | Wounds to Feel.

DeeThomson.com

Life is a series of swings and roundabouts, highs and lows, ups and downs and I guess lately I’ve felt kind of on the back foot. I’m pretty sure I know why, but knowing why, and knowing what to do are two very different things. Part of the problem for me is change, things are changing and I don’t like it but there’s little I can do about it. I known what I’m currently doing isn’t working, so I know it’s time for a change, I’m re-reading a book at the moment, which highlights one man’s journey with depression, it’s a good book (hence the re-read) but it is raising a few questions for me. . .

I guess selfishly I’d always assumed my depression was something that I went through, I’m not saying I thought I was the only sufferer … I just hadn’t really thought about the impact my depression has on others. Smiles are apparently contagious, and in a similar way depression can be too, it’s hard to keep your own life on track when you’re worried about someone else. I don’t want my friends or family to feel like this too, which is why this time I’m taking some real steps to help myself.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit July 15th 2014 | DeeThomson.com.