We all have mental health.

mental-health-begins-with-me-world-mental-health-day-picture“If we don’t act urgently, by 2030 depression will be the leading illness globally – Mental Health Foundation, 2016. 

As promised, I’ve written a blog post in honour of #worldmentalhealthday.

 

Anyone who knows me knows that mental health is incredibly close to my heart having suffered with depression and generalised anxiety disorder since I was 16. I also know many people who have suffered/do suffer with their mental health, I work in a children’s and adolescents mental health hospital, and have worked and volunteered in care homes and mental health forensic services in the past.

 

I know firsthand that mental health illnesses do not discriminate; they can affect anyone, which is why it’s important that it’s something that everyone is aware of and open to talking about.

 

This blog post will explain what mental health is and how everyone has one, and as a result of this how mental health affects everyone. I’ll also briefly go over the signs and symptoms for poor mental health in general (however plenty of my other blog posts have the symptoms of specific mental health illnesses written in detail), i’ll talk about mental health first aid and how you can be the first point of contact for help for your loved ones, and then i’ll list several ways as to how you can help your mental health stay as healthy as possible.

Today is world mental health day, so if you haven’t before, today is a good day to start talking, to start listening, and to start breaking the stigma.

Continue reading “We all have mental health.”

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The Brain, The Body, The Behaviour – Depression

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What is depression?

It is reported that globally 350 million individuals suffer from depression. There are two main types of depression;

  • Recurrent depressive episodes; this is where an individual suffers from repeated depressive episodes, which can last for up to two weeks. Thier episode can be characterised as mild, moderate or severe, depending on the severity and length of their symptoms.
  • Bipolar disorder; used to be known as “mania”. This is where an individual has “up and down” episodes, ranging from depressive with the common symptoms of depression, to manic which is where the symptoms are the total opposite – impulsive and reckless behaviour, elevated mood, increased need for sleep, overactivity.

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The natural antidepressant

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Everyone knows the physical benefits of exercise. We’re brainwashed about it from the age of 7 in P.E. lessons and after school clubs. Lots of us love it (including me, when I have the motivation anyway). However many are sickened by the mere through of exercise: Go to the gym? I bet you can think of more entertaining things that result in sweat. Running? Ladies, I expect you’d rather keep your boobs inside your top and away from your fact at risk of knocking you out. Sport? The majority of us lack the talent (or the gorgeous face, lets be honest) that David Beckham owns.

I personally disagree with these views, I do enjoy my exercise, but I can see why people think them and do not want to exercise. Exercise is hard work, and the societal pressures to have the “perfect body” are actually probably enough to put people off exercising and sit at home instead and order a pizza and either feel sorry for yourself or perfectly content and happy with not exercising (I like the thought of this too actually, balanced lifestyle right?). I don’t blame you, really, having the “perfect body” is not everything, and definitely not at the top of my list of priorities. However, exercise is not only good for the body, it’s good for the mind. The topic of “exercise” is a good one to start viewing your body and mind not as separate things, but one.

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Are our minds more powerful than drugs?

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A meta-analysis by University of Oxford has looked into the effectiveness of mindfulness as a treatment for depression, and found that the Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) prevented people relapsing back into depression withing 5 months as well as anti-depressants. However, what does this mean? And what even is mindfulness? And are you even aware that you’re reading my blog….read on to make sense of it all.

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We are failing the children

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I can remember, vaguely, being 9 years old. It was 2002, Enrique, Shakira and Atomic Kitten were dominating the charts. I was in year 5 (I was a baby of the year) and I was already excited to get to high school in two years time (God knows why, as soon as I started I couldn’t wait to get to college…oh the vicious cycle of education)

More to the point, I was, luckily and as far as I can remember, a happy 9 year old. I had a few years to go before my mental health deteriorated. However, unfortunately for some, mental health has a way of affecting peoples lives before they are old enough to understand it, and before they even finish their childhood.

Continue reading “We are failing the children”