Alastair Campbell: Depression & Me. Another Great Mental Health Documentary.

This was another great documentary by the BBC for Mental Health Awareness Week; and again, it was great to see a public figure being so open in sharing their struggle with a mental health issue.

Like most words related to mental health issues, depression is wildly misused.  As we saw with Alastair Campbell, depression is not just feeling sad or unhappy for a short while; it is a long term, daily struggle and it can make your mood change in split seconds.

The main question raised by the documentary was the use of medication as a treatment.  It was plain to see that the medication Alastair was taking only helped to reduce the feelings of depression; his family were shocked that he could switch from feeling fine to being in a depressed state in just a matter of seconds whilst being on medication. Read more

Gardening to Aid With Anxiety & Depression.

Since moving house I have loved spending time in the garden; I have found that it really helps my mood (unless Leo is busy digging holes in the already struggling lawn).  I can feel super stressed but just going outside to sweep up some leaves or do a bit of weeding can help reduce my anxiety and stress levels.

Not having a garden was always a down side to living in London.  Some of the flats I lived in had a balcony or some sort of outside space, however this was no substitute and whenever we visited our friends, the Saunders Family, I would love being in their garden and it always made me long for one of my own, and now I have it….. wooohoooo!!!

As Kim and I are renting the house there is a limit to what we can do, however we have already achieved a lot when you consider the state it was in when we moved in.  A lot of pruning and trips to the recycling centre later, and now it’s a space that we all love to be in, especially Leo. 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

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

The Importance of Balance in Life.

What happens when we lose our balance?  We fall over.

This is the same when we lose balance in our lives however; the physical act of falling over is replaced with illness.

Balance - by Emily Sea on Unsplash

If you stand on one leg you feel your body wobble and you immediately try to correct the wobble; if you fall over, you make a quick movement to stop yourself falling flat on your face, such as moving your legs, or putting your hands out; your body will do this automatically so you don’t have to think about it. Read more