Shall I Compare Me to a Shark?

As I mentioned in my last blog I have started an introductory course in counselling; during the introductions we were asked to say which animal we were most like, and then yesterday we had to talk about that while another person listened.

I had really struggled to decide which animal I think am like, and thought that I had avoided the question until it came up again yesterday.  In a way, I am glad it did because it meant I had to come up with something and then try to explain it.

The one animal that came to my mind was a shark, which seemed quite odd to me because I am not a fearsome predator at the top of a food chain; I would probably have thought I was more like a sardine, something small and insignificant, but I kept coming back to a shark. Read more

The Isolation of Anxiety & Depression

One of my main anxious fears is being around people, and talking to people.  When I first had my breakdown I struggled to leave home and could not walk up the local high road without feeling anxious; my body would be tense, I would look down at the pavement, and move quickly, just to try and avoid people.

Things are slightly better now; I can go out and not have the same level of fear that I did.  This is probably down to the fact that I am living in a different area.  In Chiswick I was in a block of flats, so the chances of bumping into a neighbour were greater, plus there was always the chance of seeing someone I knew when on the High Road or out walking Leo.  Where I am now, no one knows me, and so the chances of having to stop and talk to someone are a lot less. Read more

Anxiety and the Brain, Part 4: The Amygdala Pathway

The Amygdala is a tiny piece of the brain, but don’t let it’s size fool you, it is actually one of the biggest, most important pieces of the anxiety puzzle.

Located near the centre of the brain; it is the source of many of our emotional reactions, both positive and negative.

It also forms and recalls emotional memories; understanding this is key to making sense of your own emotional reactions. Read more

Demons of Darkness – Olivia B

Things have been a real struggle recently; the depression has hit hard since Friday and it literally paralyses me so I cannot do much of anything.

I was browsing the internet whilst on the sofa and found this poem; I have no idea who the writer is, but I thought I would share it because it reminded me to keep fighting the demons, even when they push you to the bottom of the mountain that you’ve been desperately trying to climb…… Read more

Anxiety and the Brain, Part 2: Introducing the Cortex and the Amygdala

Trying to get your head around anxiety is really difficult; in some cases it can be a complete mystery to both those suffering, and to those seeing someone suffer.

As I have mentioned in previous articles anxiety does not always make sense, but after reading the next few articles on Anxiety and the Brain, things will hopefully become a bit clearer.

In these articles I will be referencing a brilliant book called ‘Rewire Your Anxious Brain’ which has been a life saver in helping me to get clarity on what goes on up there.

To start with, it is important to differentiate between Anxiety and Fear because it can be easy to confuse the two: Read more