Fit For Work, Just Making it All Up?

When you are listening to someone talk about their mental health problems, it is always important to remember that the route cause is specific to them, it is created by their own, individual, experience.

I mention this because I am going to try and explain the reasons why I say I cannot work.

Most of what I am about to write may seem trivial to some of you, you may even have gone through something similar and don’t have a problem; if that is the case then I am very happy for you.

You may think I am just a weaker person. Read more

Wading Through Treacle….

At the moment everything feels like a massive challenge.  Having to make major changes to your life is bloody difficult at the best of times however, when the changes are forced and not really of your doing, it makes it even tougher to come to terms with.

I have tried to keep myself calm and relaxed by keeping busy, but I find the constant barriers I face have a really negative effect on my mood and how I feel about myself and my capabilities.  The speed of progress is painfully slow and this dents my motivation to a point where I just want to sit in a dark room and watch TV.

“Sometimes, I feel like one who is on the sidelines, who has missed life itself.”

– Nelson Mandela

I feel as though the world is going on around me and I’m just stood watching.  I want to get off the sidelines and into the game, but there is so much to contend with.  My confidence is shot to pieces, I don’t even know if I can play the game anymore; I don’t even know what game I am meant to be playing.

The engine is seriously running out of fuel, and that’s where the treacle comes into it; just trying to do anything seems to take so much effort. 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

Anxiety and the Brain, Part 9: Useful Examples of Amygdala-based Anxiety.

The book I have been referencing for the Anxiety and the Brain series (Rewire Your Anxious Brain) has some examples of how anxiety can affect someone, and why amygdala-based anxiety does not always make logical sense.

The Anxious Teddy Bear:

A lady was presenting a teddy bear to her grandson, who was running happily toward her.  Then he suddenly fell and split his lip open on the driveway.

Now he experiences amygdala-based anxiety whenever he sees a teddy bear.  Because the perfectly harmless teddy bear was associated with the pain of the injury, the teddy bear became a trigger, leading to a fear of teddy bears. Read more