manup

Depression,Mens Mental Health,Suicidal

Date : September 28, 2016Comments : 0

Man up…seek help NOW!

Man up! How many times does a man hear those words in his life when he is in emotional and/or mental turmoil after experiencing an untoward event? Men, in particular, are told to hide their emotions and ‘be strong’ but maybe this is why we are seeing a rise in horrendous stats of which kills men under 45 now isn’t cancer, it isn’t aids and it isn’t even heart attacks…it is suicide! In fact , according to  the independent on male suicide rates

“…of the 6,000+ British lives lost to suicide each year, nearly 75 per cent of those are male…”

This is a shocking stat, this is just in Britain let alone the whole world and for far too long many people have been suffering emotionally and mentally in silence, the stigma surrounding seeking professional help and advice MUST end.

In this blog post we discuss what it should really mean when someone tells you to ‘man up’…

 

Continue reading “Man up…seek help NOW!”

pills-1173656_1280

Depression

Date : September 21, 2016Comments : 0

18 – “A Pill To Make You Numb” – Coma White – Marilyn Manson

I have spent months trying to pull myself out of this black hole, fighting the urge to hurt myself, trying all sorts of weird and wonderful new things in order to try and silence the demons, faking the smile for so long that I feel like I’ve forgotten what it’s like to smile naturally. I kept telling myself that things would get better but they haven’t and after barely making it through the last week, I realised if I was to survive this, the only way was to get myself to a GP.
Continue reading “18 – “A Pill To Make You Numb” – Coma White – Marilyn Manson”

tablets are not the cure for everyone

Depression,therapy

Date : September 18, 2016Comments : 0

Help depression not just through anti-depressants but through exploring therapies

Back when I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety in 2011 to help depression , my initial treatment was 40mg of citalopram (the highest dosage allowed) and to add me to a waiting list to see a mental health nurse (which took three months after I had been taking Citalopram).

The tablets, on the other hand, were instantly retrievable from the local pharmacist and within two or three weeks did had an improved effect on my depressive mood. Several months after taking the anti-depressants but all I was diagnosed as severely depressed by my nurse (three months to get that diagnosis ) and 4 hours of CBT. Continue reading “Help depression not just through anti-depressants but through exploring therapies”

The Wrong Way Round - On the Death Of A Child

anxiety,Depression

Date : September 14, 2016Comments : 0

17 – “I hope you know you’re not alone in that hell” – Better Than Yourself – Lukas Graham

Tomorrow – 10th September – is World Suicide Prevention Day. Please talk – because you deserve better than to struggle in silence. You are not alone, I promise.

Things really aren’t good at the moment, the cloud remains heavy despite trying everything I can to shift it. I don’t feel able to write much, but I wanted to share something which reminded me why it is that I do my blog, why it is so important to raise awareness and remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Persistent depression surrounds me

In the midst of the summer holidays, the demons were loud as I expected and even though we were away from home, there was no escape from the persistent depression that follows me around. My Husband and I were sitting in a quiet corner of a play park while our eldest had fun on the swings, our youngest was sat with us enjoying the sunshine. As is the modern way, instead of talking to each other, he was on his phone checking Twitter. He mentioned he had a message from the mental health charity Time To Change, who had shared my blog on both their Twitter and Facebook pages. This was huge for me, they are a big name in mental health and for them to think my ramblings were worth sharing was quite overwhelming.

Over the coming hours and days, I watched the Facebook likes/shares (and the Twitter equivalent) increase in number. I found it quite daunting, to know that so many people were reading what I had written and I was worried about what response it would get.

Anxiety high as I read comments

It took me a long time before I felt able to read the comments – my anxiety (for no logical reason) had me convinced they would be full of abuse. When I did read through though, I was incredibly touched. So many people saying those words we all want to hear “me too”. Just two words that mean so much when the depression makes you feel so alone. There were of course a handful of people who didn’t agree with what I’d written, they weren’t nasty about it, we just have different opinions, everyone’s battle is unique.

Time to change

In addition to the reactions directly on the Time To Change post, there have been a number of new members to my private Facebook group. Initially I set it up just so people could follow my blog, but it has turned into something much more than that. It is a safe place for people to talk, to share battles and frustrations, to tell of victories that others who don’t struggle with a mental illness might not see the same way. To help and support each other through the sometimes seemingly impossible task of making it through another day. It has been so lovely to have new people come along to the group as a result of the Time To Change share. It helps me to speak with others who understand how I feel, and I hope it is helping others to realise they are not alone in their fight.

Depression can make you feel isolated

Depression and other mental health illnesses make you feel isolated. You push your friends away because you feel like a burden to them. You can’t always explain clearly to those around you how you feel, but you’re desperate for them to understand and tell you that they love you. You’re not lazy, rude or unsociable, you’re exhausted, struggling, scared and feel alone. It is so important to talk, to say how you are feeling. It doesn’t matter who to, whether it’s someone you’re close to or in a group on Facebook where you know no one. Saying it out loud is not a miracle cure but I do think it is an important step to taking back some control from the darkness.

Its time to share

I’ve come across some incredible people since the Time To Change post, some are still in the early days of their journey, others have been fighting for years. What bonds us though is how much we want to be honest about our battles without fear of judgement – 900 odd Facebook shares of the original post prove that given the chance, between us, we can end the stigma surrounding mental health illnesses.

Please feel free to contact me / join my private Facebook support group –

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/510466005808498/

 

Stigma

Healing,Life Experience,Negative Thoughts,Psychology,Suicidal

Date : September 4, 2016Comments : 0

Stigma

During my clinical practice this past week, one subject has come up several times with several different clients; that of the stigma of being labelled with a mental health condition and the  unconscious fear of being seen in a different light by others because of such a pronouncement.  Dr. Carl Rogers, the founder of the person-centred approach to psychotherapy, wasn’t an advocate of the use of labels.  Some people can find labels try to put them in a box they don’t want to be in, which only tells half a story.  I don’t find labels all that useful either – after all, each client is an individual, with differing reactions to what is happening in their lives now and to what has happened in their past.

Power To The Client

Some people can be reluctant to tell others that they have sought out counselling, and in my experience this is often because many don’t know what happens behind the closed door of the therapy room, whether that be in a physical location or in cyberspace.  What I hear a lot in my job as a therapist is that “counselling isn’t at all what I thought it would be!  I don’t know what I expected, but if I’d have known what’s involved I would have come years ago“.  The confidentiality side of counselling is important, as it gives the power to the client over who they tell of their attendance in the therapy room.  It also means that the client can disclose things that may be hurtful to or misunderstood by others in their life, without the fear of upsetting those they interact with on a daily basis or those they share a home with.

A Common Problem

With the diversity and equality training that takes place in many of the large multinational companies operating all over the world, it is clear that there is a need to remind people that although we may all be different in some way, we are all equal.  According to research by the Office for National Statistics in the report Measuring National Well-being – Health, 2013, approximately 20% of adults here in the U.K. suffered with symptoms of problem anxiety and depression in 2011.  With common mental health problems being so widespread, it is a wonder that they are not more universally accepted as a part of the varied tapestry of everyday life.

Scary Picture

I sometimes think that the stigma present in some quarters is a throwback to the scary picture of ‘madness’ or ‘insanity’ associated with the harsh and inhumane treatment of people with mental health issues at certain stages in history.  To be ‘crazy’ is a serious matter when it involves the taking away of your rights and your voice.  Thankfully, services in many countries have advanced now to a point where a lot of societies are at least aiming for mental and physical health to be given equal priority and consideration.  There is a long way to go, perhaps, but arguably the change is happening.

Accepting Themselves

Individuals – and especially those who have been the recipient of a label – can be powerful advocates of just what mental ill health entails, and what it doesn’t.  To challenge the stigma and incorrect perceptions that can surround mental wellbeing issues is important for the many who are suffering in silence, so that they may feel able to seek help with their troubles.  A non-judgemental, private relationship with a professional counsellor can leave people feeling accepted for who they are.  For some this is the first step towards accepting themselves, just as they are.  If a friend told you they were struggling with mental health issues, what would be your reaction?

~ Rob Oglesby MBACP B.A. (Hons) BSc

 [Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com]