A Big Change – Physically Great; Mentally All Over the Place……

Kim and I have recently moved from Chiswick to Henlow in Bedfordshire.  To say it is a massive move is an understatement; both of us have been in London for around 20 years, so moving to the countryside is a big change.  While I grew up in the countryside, Kim lived in Johannesburg, so the change is something she has not experienced before.

The move has been a physical and mental challenge; there were times of joy and periods of immense stress, but in general the move has been the best thing we have ever done.

We were in a 1 bedroom flat and now have a three bedroom house with a garden!  Just having space is incredible; for the first time in a long time I feel as though I can actually breathe. Read more

Anxiety and the White Knuckle Roller Coaster Ride.

I’m not sure I always feel like I’m in the seat. Sometimes I’m only holding on by one hand and flying out behind the roller coaster. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t feel that way. – David Morse

Everybody experiences stress in their lives, and life is always full of ups and downs; how you deal with these challenges is important to your health, both physically and mentally.

In the past I would have said that I was pretty good at riding the rollercoaster of life, but since I have been struggling with anxiety and depression the ride has become terrifying, and I often feel that I am just going to fly off the rails and crash into the abyss.

When you suffer with anxiety and depression you forget that life has its struggles and that anxiety is a natural reaction to some situations.  It is very difficult to gauge what is a normal level of stress and how much is attributed to your condition. Read more

Sick Days are there for the Taking – The Problem of Presenteeism.

We’ve all been there at one time or another, struggling into work when we basically feel like s**t.  We sit at our desk taking whatever medication we can, whilst feeling miserable and wishing we were at home in bed.

Drained - Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash

If you look at your contract of employment, you may find a section which refers to sickness, in particular to sick days.

Sick days are quite simple really, when you feel unwell, you can take time off to get well and still get paid!  Read more

Mental Health in the Workplace; the Statistics.

Each year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publish statistics on work-related stress, depression or anxiety in Great Britain; having looked at the reports from the last three years, the reading is not good, and it seems as though companies are still not taking this subject seriously.

Here are some of the main summary statistics from the HSE reports for the last few years: Read more

Time to Science the S**t out of this.

Science was never my strong point at school, and I wouldn’t say that it has been something I have been interested in since I left school; so, if you’d told me that I would be enjoying learning about some of the science behind Anxiety, Depression and Addiction, I would have laughed and shrugged it off as nonsense.

“So in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option.  I’m going to have to science the s**t out of this.”The Martian

When I had my first panic attack I honestly believed that something had snapped in my brain (I told you I wasn’t much of a scientist); all I remember was feeling scared and broken.  During the early stages of my illness I had no idea what was going on, all I knew was that the stresses at work were causing it.

My learning started when I attended CBT through the NHS.  My therapist gave me some booklets that contained some really useful information on the basics of what was going on in my head and body, but this information only covered the tip of the iceberg. Read more