Mental Health Tag (#MHAW17)

Posted in Mental Health
mental health tag

As its Mental Health Awareness Week (#MHAW17) I thought that the Mental Health Tag would be a really great post to share. I’ve already spoken about my mental health in several other posts, mainly my University Series, but I feel like this tag is a really great, informative way to discuss my own mental wellbeing.

Raising awareness for mental health is a huge passion of mine and I’m so glad to have seen this tag floating around this week. It seems that more and more people are talking about mental health now, which is just amazing!

I found the questions for this tag on the creator, Hollie Rose’s, blog and you can read her post about this tag, as well as her answers to the questions, here.

1. What is your mental health issue?

I have panic attacks, generalised anxiety and depression.

2. Do you have medication and/or therapy?

At the moment I’m on an antidepressant, Prozac, and I’m browsing around for therapy I think will work for me.

3. What therapy/medication have you tried and has any worked for you?

For my panic attacks and anxiety, I tried a beta-blocker which worked really well for me, but I decided to take it in small doses as I felt like I was becoming dependent on them. For depression, I started out on sertraline/Zoloft initially but it ruined my sleeping habits and didn’t work well with my body at all. A month ago I asked to change medication and now I’m on fluoxetine/Prozac which has worked really well for me and given me no side effects at all!

For therapy, I tried counselling at my university which meant I could only have up to 6 sessions. The counsellor I saw was really lovely, but she was more emotion based which didn’t work for me. She would tell me to stop negative thoughts in their track and tell myself more positive affirmations, but a lot of my negativity wasn’t so easily identified and I really struggled with her advice.

4. How long have you had problems for?

I have always been a very anxious person, but I was officially diagnosed in 2014 shortly after starting university. I was only diagnosed with depression in October 2016 but had struggled with low mood and thoughts for about a year before I got help.

5. Does your family/friends know?

A few years ago, I felt really uncomfortable talking about my mental health and afraid it would make me seem stupid. Eventually, I realised that it wasn’t my fault that I was suffering and nothing to be embarrassed about and I managed to tell those around me. Two years later, I’m more honest and open about it than ever (as you can tell from this post & my whole blog really) because I’m sick of the stigma surrounding mental health and feeling like we’re to blame for our own suffering.

6. Does this affect your work and daily living?

Not so much anymore. The biggest impact was on my studies and time at university, but I decided to take a gap year to focus on my health before continuing with my degree. This has meant I have a lot of spare time, and there are some days I struggle to get out of bed and push myself to do the things I know need doing, but they don’t happen as often now.

With work, it’s always been a hugely positive environment for me. I decided to keep my mental health struggles a secret when I started there, which was tough when I was put in situations that made me feel panicky, but also helped me in the sense that I could be the person I always wanted and no one knew any different. Last year, I decided to tell my coworkers (who are the kindest people, they’re more like best friends!) and they were all so understanding and kind.

I also work with kids, so even if I’m having a tough day it’s all put to the side when I’m there because kids don’t care AT ALL about any problems you might be having, and you have to make sure you’re giving them the best support and encouragement. I could go into work after a 6-hour crying spree and with the worst thoughts but leave hours later in the best ever mood.

7. What makes you feel calm?

Taking a step back makes me feel calm. I do this by colouring in, writing/blogging, having a nap, watching funny videos, playing Sims or meditating. I usually use the apps on my phone, either Stop, Breathe, Think or Flowy, which allows me to take time for myself away from any negative situation and let me calm down and feel better.

8. What do you do in a crisis?

In a crisis, I make sure that I speak to someone I trust. If I’m having a really tough time, I’ll usually phone up my boyfriend and explain how I’m feeling to him, which in return helps me deal with the situation. I’m a big talker, and I think it is so important to share how you feel so I usually write down my feelings or speak to someone around me to get it all out which helps me feel better.

9. What advice would you give to others suffering?

Make sure you don’t keep it all to yourself! Whether you write your feelings down, speak to a loved one or contact one of the organisations below, it’s so important to ask for help if you need it. There are also so many people who are suffering too, way more than you think, and usually those that seem the least likely! It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and it’s not your fault.

10. What makes you smile?

Thankfully, there are a lot of things that make me smile! My family, my boyfriend, my guinea pig, my job, and my blog along with all the lovely people I’ve met because of it!

11. Describe your mental health issue in five words.

Quiet, tired, lonely, worry and cloudy.

12. Insert a picture to make people smile.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and finding out a bit more about me and my mental health story. Please feel free to share this post using #MHAW17 on social media if you feel it might be able to help others in a similar position, I would really appreciate it!

If you feel like you’re struggling or need someone to talk to, please chat to someone you trust. Alternatively, you can message me at any time or contact one of the organisations below.

www.samaritans.org // 116 123

www.mind.org.uk // 0300 123 3393

www.sane.org.uk // 0300 304 7000

www.elefriends.org.uk

www.supportline.org.uk // 01708 765200

Mental illness can strike anyone at any time. It’s really important that we are able to raise awareness and make sure that we are able to give support to those who might be really struggling. Mental health is super personal to each person and it’s so important to find out what works for YOU through trying different things and speaking to different health professionals.

I tag anyone who would like to give this tag a try and would like to speak out about their own mental health, although some questions can be removed/changed if you don’t want to talk about certain topics.

Love, Claire xo

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16 Comments

  • Reply Sazra

    I love this! Mental health needs to be spoken about much more. I really want to do this tag, you have inspired me. Thank you.

    May 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm
  • Reply Lola Bellouere

    Ah darling this is amazing and thank you for sharing with me x
    Lola Mia // http://www.lolitabonita.co.uk
    Lola Bellouere recently posted…KEEP THE BAD THOUGHTS AWAY WITH ONE LINE A DAYMy Profile

    May 10, 2017 at 11:57 pm
  • Reply Natalie Benton

    This is such an amazing post; I love it!! I’m so glad to hear that you’re more comfortable speaking about your struggles with MH because once you peel off that Band-Aid, you’ll see that it can be quite empowering! Plus, it helps others to not feel alone which is a BIG PLUS! Well done <3

    May 11, 2017 at 2:23 am
  • Reply Annaleid

    Great that you shared your story and I love your guinea pig !!!:) so cute!
    Xoxo Annaleid

    May 11, 2017 at 8:14 am
  • Reply Tiffany

    Thank you so much for sharing this, if you don’t mind I think I might do this tag on my blog? 🙂 I agree that mental health needs to keep on being spoken about as their is still such a stigma attached to it!

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
    Tiffany recently posted…Mini Kinder Cupcake Recipe & Jocca Cupcake Maker Review*My Profile

    May 11, 2017 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Christine Anne

    Amazing post, thank you for sharing. I always think it’s so admirable when people share their journey – it’s comforting to know that other people are facing the same challenges and overcoming them on a daily basis.

    It’s also amazing what breathing does, I suffer from anxiety as well and just taking a few moments to refocus on my breathing has done wonders.

    XO. Christine

    May 11, 2017 at 5:15 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Thanks so much for sharing! Mental Health definitely needs to be spoken about so much more!

    Sarah | sazsinclair.blogspot.co.uk xx

    May 11, 2017 at 5:18 pm
  • Reply Rachael

    This is a really great tag! I’ve suffered with both anxiety and depression for years but they were hightened after I was in a very abusive relationship. I was on sertaline but I had horrible side effects and was violently ill literally thought I was going to die so I’m scared to try other tablets.. I’ve tried therapy and counselling multiple times and they’ve not helped. Mental health has taken over my life but its so lovely to here someone else’s experience and know I’m not alone!
    Your guinea pig made me smile too!
    PaleGirlRambling xo
    Rachael recently posted…Beauty Sleep RoutineMy Profile

    May 11, 2017 at 5:24 pm
  • Reply abbeylouisarose

    It has been so heartening to see so many bloggers opening up about mental health awareness week, it’s such an important thing to talk about, and will really do wonders to battle the stigma that still (unfortunately) surround mental health issues. I was delighted to read that there are so many things in your life that make you smile, I’m not surprised that your guinea pig is one of them, he is adorable! I too had struggled with low mood and bad thoughts are a few years before I sought help, I’m very glad that both of us have done so! thank you for being so open and honest in this post!

    Abbey 😍
    abbeylouisarose recently posted…Mental Health: Surviving Vs. ThrivingMy Profile

    May 11, 2017 at 5:25 pm
  • Reply Chloe

    Hi, what a great and brutally honest post. it is very important that mental health is discussed more freely. I’m not surprised that your guinea pick cheers you up, so cute, Chloe #TeacupClub
    Chloe recently posted…Review of Tesco’s Lemon & Ginger Infusion TeaMy Profile

    May 11, 2017 at 5:36 pm
  • Reply Aoife

    so glad that your mental health isn’t have such a huge impact on your life anymore and that you made important decisions to put your health first. I also love those apps and the pic is too cute! Aoife x

    May 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm
  • Reply Sophie

    I love the fact that you emphasise that everyone is different and we should all seek things that work for us alone. I hope this post helps people, and I also wish you the best in the months ahead <3

    sophieannetaylor.com
    Sophie recently posted…MISTAKES & BAD TIMES – THEY HAPPENMy Profile

    May 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm
  • Reply Gemma

    Thank you for sharing this. I think that people need to talk more about the journey they go on with coming to terms with their mental health struggles xx
    Gemma recently posted…Tom’s Storytime: A reviewMy Profile

    May 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm
  • Reply Chelsea

    I commend you for sharing this! Personal posts aren’t easy. Thanks for sharing this side of your life with all of us – I personally haven’t suffered from any anxiety or mental health necessarily, as of recently. But when I was bullied in middle school, I did fall into an eating disorder which messed with my mindset. I’ve gotten better &just made it a mission to take care of myself ever since then!

    May 11, 2017 at 5:56 pm
  • Reply Thoroughly Modern Emily

    Thank you so much for opening up to the world and doing your part to raise awareness and fight the stigma ❤️❤️. I’m sorry your first crack at therapy wasn’t as helpful as it could have been, though.

    I’ll have to check out those apps you mentioned!

    xx
    Emily
    emilyhallock.blogspot.com

    May 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm
  • Reply Tabitha Beckett

    Such a lovely post Claire, I can’t imagine how it is but I agree, it’s wonderful that so many people are talking about mental illness now, it allows people such as myself to really understand what others go through. Your guinea pig is so god damn cute, when I move out in the future I hope to get some cute guineas! I hope you’re welcome and thank you for sharing 🙂

    Tab x
    http://whattabithaloves.blogspot.co.uk/

    May 15, 2017 at 10:28 am
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