Video Diary: Getting Off Sertraline – 7th & 12th June.

There are a lot of question marks about medication used in the treatment of mental health conditions.  I am currently on Sertraline which is an anti depressant and part of the SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) group of medications.  What does it mean, and how does it work?  I’ll go into that in later blogs.

Like all medications Sertraline comes with a long list of side-effects, some worse than others, and it is this part which raises the question; are they really worth taking?

There is no doubt that the Sertraline has helped me, especially in the early stages, but now I feel that it is actually hindering my recovery.  One of the side-effects I have is night terrors, dreams in which I am really anxious to the point where I am paralysed in the dream.  I often have massive fights in my dreams; it is where a lot of my rage and anger seems to come out. Read more

Stress at Work: The Overloaded Inbox

Modern technology is meant to make life easier, and while in part it does, it is also the cause of a lot of stress, especially at work.

E-mail is just one of those technological achievements.  While it is great to be able to contact someone quickly and is environmentally friendly, it also adds a lot of pressure and expectation which can mean that our minds are never ‘off-line’.

As a recipient, you can get overwhelmed with the volume of e-mails, and as the sender, you can get angry quickly because you expect a fast response, and don’t always get it.

“All those e-mails you don’t have time to deal with could be making you ill” says an article on the BBC website today.  Research has been carried out at the University of Manchester to prove this, which is great because we can’t do anything these days without scientific proof. Read more

Nadiya, Anxiety & Me – A Great Insight to Anxiety.

I really admire the courage it took for Nadiya Hussain to make the documentary about her struggles with anxiety, and I applaud the way it was presented because it showed very clearly that anxiety is complex and not always logical.

Understanding the complexities of anxiety is hard enough as it is, especially for those who have never experienced severe levels of panic, and I think this was handled beautifully, especially when Nadiya met up with her sisters.  These are the people who have been closest to her, and they had no idea how bad her anxiety was; they saw her behaviour, such as counting off the names of her family members on her fingers each night so that none of them would die, but they had no idea why she was doing it.  Their reactions were of genuine surprise; what does a voice in your head sound like? Read more

Marathon Man – My Running Journey, Part 1.

Monday 6th May 2019 will forever be marked as one of the greatest days of my life; the day I completed the Milton Keynes Marathon!

All the books and articles about mental health that I have read say that exercise is great therapy; walking the dog worked, but I wanted more, I wanted to lose the Homer Simpson gut that too much alcohol had given me; I also wanted to achieve something, anything.

I started running short distances because that’s all I could manage, the problem was that I had no idea how far I was going, so I decided to get a running app on my phone called ‘Map My Run’.  The first recorded distance I achieved was 4.75k, which was a pretty good effort.

Motivation was a big problem for me, especially when the depression got bad; it’s easy to talk yourself out of things at the best of times, but when I hit rock bottom I just couldn’t scrape myself off the sofa.  I needed a goal, something that would get me out and running. Read more