Music & My Mental Health #MHAW17

For me, music helps me so much in related to my mental health, especially when I’m having a bad mental health day. I also love music so much (if you follow me on twitter, you can probably already tell that I love music so much and my music taste is so wide, I LOVE MOST MUSIC!)I find music really chills me out and makes me drown out the horrible urges and thoughts, especially if I play it extremely loud! – a tip I got from my therapist to help stop urges, and it works!

I find music really chills me out and makes me drown out the horrible urges and thoughts, especially if I play it extremely loud! – a tip I got from my therapist to help stop urges, and it works! I have heard from other friends that music also helps them, it’s a beautiful thing, right?!

I thought, why not write a post and tell you guys what my favourite songs when I’m having a bad day, a good day, in need of energy and when I feel good!

Music for when I have a bad day:

  • Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better
  • WALK THE MOON – Shut Up And Dance
  • The 1975 – UGH!
  • The xx – Angels
  • S Club 7 – Reach
  • Pvris – Holy

Music for when I am having a good day:

  • Ian Carey Project – Get Shaky
  • Christine and the Queens – iT
  • Clean Cut Kid – Vitamin C
  • The xx – Say Something Loving
  • The Cranberries – Dream
  • Theia – Roam

Music for when I need energy:

  • Skepta – Shutdown
  • The 1975 – Heart Out
  • Fickle Friends – Say No More
  • Cascada – Evacuate The Dance Floor
  • S Club 7 – S Club Party
  • The Veronicas – Untouched

Music for when I feel good:

  • Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous
  • HOLYCHILD – Happy With Me
  • Kesha – Your Love Is My Drug
  • The 1975 – Loving Someone
  • Sia – Cheap Thrills
  • The Wombats – Greek Tragedy

I could of literally probably list about 50 songs per list but you know… that’d be too long and you wouldn’t read it.. right?

If music helps you, then stick by it! If it doesn’t, try and find some songs that cheer you up, I guarantee music can help in some way, it’s a beautiful thing!

Liam

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What having mental illness’ feels like. #MHAW17

I thought, with it being Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 this week, I felt like asking my followers/people on twitter what they would tell someone if they had to explain how it feels like having mental illness’

Here’s what I got from all my amazing friends on twitter! (Some chose to be Anon)

 

“It’s like you’re screaming and no one can hear. You almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important, that without them you feel like nothing. No one will ever understand how much it hurts. You feel hopeless like nothing can save you. And when it’s over and it’s gone, you almost wish you could have all the bad stuff back, so you can have the good” – @amylouiseblogsx

 

“It feels like you’re suffocated, suffocated by your own self. By your own mind, by your own brain. It also feels like your brain is turning on you, making you feel all these horrible thoughts and negative things. It makes me feel like I am alone in this battle. It makes me feel like nobody likes me and everyone finds me so annoying and pathetic as I am struggling so much” – Anon

 

“With BPD I have no idea what’s coming next. I can go 0-10 in a matter moments. I have periods of stability and periods of depression. Living with MH problems is so hard because the right support isn’t out there. If treatment was more accessible lives would be made much easier” – @ohevieee

 

“Yanno when you’re playing sims and you take the ladder out of the swimming pool so they can’t get out and drown? That.” – @rosiebsteele

 

“Living w/mh problems is like you’re drowning in the sea of your mind yet to everyone else it’s like you’re swimming. it’s exhausting.” – @LiVNiZZZLE

 

“Don’t judge people. You have no idea what’s going on in somebody’s head. Living with a mental illness is a daily battle. You need to focus on getting through each day. Not every day is a challenge, but when the good days come around they are amazing” – @louisechatters

 

“For me, struggling with your mental health is like being let down by a good friend. You’ve an influence on them, but most of the time you’ve no conscious control. Disappointment creeps up on you when you least expect it, and no matter how hard you commit you always seem to revisit that feeling of being let down every so often.”                – @gemcals

 

“Living with a mental health illness can be more than crappy. I have had some very dark days, days were I wasn’t sure I wanted to the the sun rise the next day. Some days I don’t get dressed, some days I don’t talk to anyone. The self doubt the low self worth can be isolating and extremely demoralising. That said there is a light. There are so many amazing people out there ready to help and support you. Mind, Samaritans, Rethink Mental Illness, to name just a few. Not to mention the online peer to peer support you can find. Please remember you are worthy, you are loved and there will always be some who will listen. You are not alone.” – @Mike_Douglas_

“Living with a mental illness is a constant challenge. Every day is different, some are easy but some are very difficult. It can be almost humiliating knowing that you don’t have full control of your brain. Normal things people take for granted such as going to the shops or calling a friend can sometimes be impossible, making life very lonely. But, the more you learn about your illness, the better you can make your life. I have found self-care routines that help and medication helps to stabilise my mood.”             – @OceanofFearXx

 

As you can see by all the awesome people telling how hard it can be to live with mental illness’ you will be able to tell that it is extremely hard, so if you have a friend or a loved one suffering from their mental health, be sure to be there and make sure they don’t feel lonely!

Liam

 

 

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CBT: Thirteenth Session

I was really calm before this session, mainly due to the fact I had propranolol (it helped me so much, I was the calmest I had ever been in months, it was absolutely amazing)

After having a pretty good week, meeting a really good friend, challenging my anxiety and going two weeks without any sort of SH, I came into this session really confident, happy and calm.

As usual, like every session, I filled out the GAD-7 PHQ-9 questionnaire. Scores keep slowly coming down! Woooop! This session was mainly filled with body confidence, getting higher self-esteem and things related to this.

We spoke about being on propanolol, I explained how good I felt after having it yesterday, and my therapist said that since I am now on something to take away the physical symptoms of anxiety, now I can challenge in mentally and start beating it and controlling it, which I am so excited to do!

My therapist explained this “Big I, Little I” technique used in CBT. It is a really good technique! You draw a big I and write positive things about yourself, may it be your body, your personality etc. It is something used for BDD at times and just self-esteem improving and such!

We managed to come up with all of this in the session! I am surprised as I felt like I had nothing positive to say about myself, but with just talking about myself to my therapist, we came up with so much! It’s my goal to fill the Big I in before my next session!

18308711_215050212320994_613236514_n

(excuse my horrible handwriting and the horrible picture quality!)

I’m trying to be as positive as I can, as I feel like positivity is key when you’re fighting your mental illness’ So, positive positive positive for the next few weeks!!!

Liam

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Living with a speech problem

I’ve been unable to speak properly all my life, I’ve had years of speech therapy but it hasn’t worked, one bit. I have dyspraxia but I have not officially been told if it’s linked to my dyspraxia. Something has to have caused me to not be able to speak, but no consultant has found out why. I can’t pronounce certain letters like G, Q, K, V and others. I also stutter so much and speak very fast, people say I speak too fast so much, but I can’t control it. I wish I could.

I get annoyed with myself so often for not being able to pronounce things properly, and when people ask me to repeat what I said – everybody does this, even family (I can’t blame them for asking, if they don’t understand something, they would ask as they want to know). I get so angry with myself but I need to learn to not, but it’s a really hard thing to learn, hopefully, I’ll get the hang of it one day. I can’t help that I have a speech problem, but my god.. what I’d do to just get rid of it somehow.

Countless years of speech therapy, attempting so many different methods and it’s not worked.  If I remember correctly, I didn’t learn to speak until pretty late, like 5 or 6?

My life with a speech problem has been hard, it is the cause of my social anxiety (80% certain) Bullying, people asking you to repeat every single thing most of the time. It’s certainly very frustrating.

Bullying has been a big problem, especially in high school, I expected it to be honest, but it was constant throughout high school. Comments, people purposely not pronouncing things right when I come into the room, or into the area. People mimicking me, telling me to “learn to speak properly” A comment which has been said many, many times. If I could… learn” I’d actually love to be able to speak properly, it’d change my life, completely. It has been something which people just seem to notice and say things about, it stops me from going out because I am scared of people not understanding me, people saying things and judging me.

I wish I could speak properly like people can do. It’s something that has affected my life in many ways, it has made me have so low self-esteem, it’s made me scared of going out, and possibly the cause of most of my MH problems really. If I was able to speak properly, would I not be so afraid of what people think about me? Who knows…

 

Liam

 

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

CBT: Twelfth session

// TRIGGER WARNING – SELF HARM //

This post was meant to go up yesterday, but I actually went out and socialised! Shock! I had a great time and challenged my anxiety in multiple ways!As I made a list in the previous session, throughout the week I was trying to tick things off, and add things onto it. I found it really motivating to do so.

As I made a list in the previous session, throughout the week I was trying to tick things off, and add things onto it. I found it really motivating to do so.

I filled out the usual GAD-7 PHQ-9 questionnaire. The scores are going down slowly, which is great! We focused the session on what we can do to get the scores down. She mentioned that my depression can go down with doing things, challenging it. Not staying in all day where it’ll get worse and then the self-harm starts again. I’ve only self-harmed once in two weeks! I am beyond happy about this, things are looking so good it’s brilliant I LOVE IT! We also talked about the CBT formula and the cycle of depression, which I am apparently slowly breaking! Woo!

I mentioned how I seem to be so agitated and I tend to just snap at people lately, even my parents and sisters. I seem to snap for some reason. It makes me feel so crap when I just shout at them but I have no reason why I do so. I also explained how I sleep so much and it’s not making me feel any better, so she wants me to set up a schedule, for each week – I had one with my previous therapist but with my relapse of SH and being moved up to higher intensity therapist, I didn’t really stick by it.

The schedule for this week included getting up at 10 am, prevent boredom by doing things I love – reading, blogging, writing, fishing, listening to music etc. Go out with a friend, which I did yesterday and it was the best day for a long time! It also includes me buying a journal which I’ve already done – god I am getting this scheduled one brilliantly!!! I told her about my low self-esteem and how I feel about myself. She then mentioned trying a “positive qualities log” as she explained how people may say nice stuff, but when you’re struggling it just goes over your head and you don’t really take notice. This log should help me with that. I have to write everything people say positive about me, may it be in person, on twitter or anything!

After the schedule idea was explained and it sounded really good, I think it’ll help a lot. We talked more about my irritability, and like my snapping at people. She mentioned a stress ball and asked what I do to chill… I then realised I don’t really do much to chill and that’s where I could be going wrong. I need to chill out more.

I went on to how I feel about my depression getting better, but my anxiety is still really bad. I know that I am going to ask my doctor about propranolol to reduce the physical symptoms but I also need to make my anxiety go down with other things, not just medication. We are hopefully going to look at that soon – if my doctor does give me propranolol that is!

As always, thanks for reading!

Liam

 

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CBT: Eleventh Session

// TRIGGER WARNING – SELF HARM //

I went into this session the best I’ve felt in a long time. I only self-harmed once in 7 days. I am so proud of myself for being clean for 7 days. I told my therapist this obviously, and she was so made up and she knew I was going to be so much happier when I start going out more. I went for a meal last Friday, a party on Saturday and wales on Sunday. That is such a big step for me with my social anxiety!

My therapist did say that once I start fighting my anxiety and panic attacks and start going out more, my depression will get slightly better over time and my self-harm should do.. and it is!

We basically just talked about what I did the last week, and what I wanted to. There was no CBT involved really, it was just talking and I love it when the session is like that, it’s ace to get things off my chest! I told her about my blog and volunteering with time to change. I also told her that I’m starting to really have an interest in mental health, however, I’ve not done any a-levels and spent my time in college training to be a chef so my life can only go down one route, but as my therapist said.. there’s always time to change! I can always do a-levels whenever I want to! Or even a counselling course!

She asked me to write a list of things I wanted to do. At first, I listed about 3 things as I was struggling, but we got talked about what I want to do and the list was massive!

The list is:

  • Go out more – challenge my anxiety
  • Start working again
  • Read more – it’s a good distraction for me
  • Going out alone – don’t be afraid to go out by myself
  • Go to London – meet some of my really close friends from twitter!
  • Meetup in July – try and go to a meetup in July.
  • Blog more, and do media for time to change.
  • Host talks – Something I’d love to do, express my passion in mental health and host talks in youth centres, schools etc.

I never realised this until yesterday. It’s good to have a list of goals what you want to do, it keeps me motivated, and whenever I feel low, all I have to do is look at the list to get motivated to feel better.

I’d recommend making a list of things you want to do, I am always adding things to it, it’s not a list of what you need to do as soon as possible, it’s just for motivation purposes and it’s helping me already!

As always, thanks for reading!

Liam

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CBT: Tenth Session

// TRIGGER WARNING – SELF HARM //

This session was my tenth ever CBT session! Wow!! We went through my depression going worse and my self-harm, and the self-harm cycle. It was a really good session, really eye opening and I learnt so much.

I told her about the last two weeks, how depression and self-harm have gotten worse and about how I hardly went out. She explained that not going out is just feeding the depression and making self-harm worse. It’s time that I really push myself to start going out more. She mentioned propanolol to me and how she thinks it’ll help me a lot going out etc, so I’m going to ask my doctor about it next time I see her!

We had a look at this cycle, called the “self-injury cycle” It includes six steps in the cycle. This just carries on and the self-harm carries on. I need to try and break this cycle by starting to do things, so the depression doesn;t get worse, if I start doing things it should help break the cycle!

  • Mental anguish, the first step. I know, what a weird word?! It just basically means what goes through your head at the time. For example, self-critical thoughts, images etc.  For example, for me, it’s self-critical thoughts mainly.
  • The second step, emotional engulfment another word I didn’t know what it meant. It just means what emotions are you feeling, especially distressing emotions. I feel anger, sadness and upset and I feel disappointed in myself too.
  • Panic stations, the third step in the cycle. What are you feeling, what happened next? feeling out of control, numb etc. Then, the next step in the cycle is action station. In what way you self-injured, how, when where?
  • The next one is action stations. What way did you do it? Why? What reason?
  • Feel better/different, the fifth step. Relief, euphoria etc.  I feel calmer and a sense of relief and release of all my emotions.
  • The last step, grief reaction. When did you feel bad about yourself? self-disgust, self-hate. shame etc.

We went on to discuss this even further, and we both filled it out with the thoughts I think and other things. She said it’s important if I feel the urge, to be around people, as she noticed that I told her I only self-harm when I’m by myself. Funnily enough, I didn’t realise that, eh that’s why I’m in therapy right? To understand my messed up brain, and to learn how to control my mental health!

I came out of this session feeling so confident, happy and just all the good feelings you can feel. She told me to go to the party on Saturday, to enjoy myself and just feel how good it is to not go home because you’ve had a panic attack. Something I have to stop, if I stop that, there will be little to feed the depression, so my self-harm should get better.

As always, thanks for reading!

Liam

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

March Moods

This month has been actually pretty alright, a few really bad days but really good things have happened so it’s been a good month!

The song that sums up my month is: HOLYCHILD – Happy With Me

I may as well start with my therapy this month. I’m finally feeling like it’s going to work. My new therapist is absolutely amazing and so kind and understanding, I know I was worried that she wouldn’t be, but I always worry! I haven’t had CBT for two weeks, but I’m actually really excited for the next session! I’ve never been excited for therapy before… things are actually going well for me and I am so happy, it’s great how things going well can make you feel so much more positive.

This month has been full of good news. The first thing was that I found out I’m officially a time to change media volunteer! This is something I have wanted to do since starting blogging, raising awareness for mental health and beating the stigma around it! I’m so excited to start and can’t wait to do media! I’m also a contributing editor for mental movement magazine too! You can find my posts for them, here.

I’ve had bad days this month, like usual. I’ve been struggling a lot lately, but you know what? Recovery isn’t linear. Bad days will always hit us, but it makes us stronger as a person. We’ve survived 100% of our bad days. I’m feeling confident as I am writing this post, that I will get better and manage my mental health soon!

This month has been one of the best months this year. It’s mad how good news can make a month really good! April shall be good! More CBT, my birthday and the weather should be improving slowly! As I’m writing this, it’s 18 degrees! That’s hot for us!

As always, thanks for reading!

Liam

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Struggling.

I’m struggling right now, and I thought it’d be helpful for me to try and explain it in words, and write a post about it, basically to vent!

The last few days have been bad. I got my fluoxetine upped to 40mg a day on Monday, and ever since I’ve just felt really bad. Horrible thoughts are stronger than ever, urges are really really strong. I don’t know if the higher dosage is making me feel this way or it’s just a bad week and coincidentally happening after a med increase.

I feel like I don’t deserve all the support I get, I feel like I’m worthless, pathetic, idiotic and downright stupid for feeling this way every single day. I feel like everyone hates me and finds me annoying. I haven’t had therapy for two weeks. I think I could have really done with it this week. I hate how much I rely on therapy, I know I shouldn’t rely on it but I can’t help but do so.

I don’t know if I’ll truly ever feel better. I hope so but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon. I have a good day or so, however it just goes back to normal, crappy days and it pisses me off so much. It’s my birthday next Friday, and I don’t want to do anything for it. I just want to sit in bed. I hate everything at the moment.

I am fighting so hard, every single day and I don’t think I can take it much longer. It is incredibly hard to even get out of bed most days.

 

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goals

I feel like everybody needs a few goals in their life to look to and strive forward to. I am bad at making goals, so this blog post is going to be a post about my goals, and what I want to do with myself after I am able to be in a good place with my mental health, and being able to manage it.

As you know, I struggle with my mental health, I’ve struggled a lot recently. My therapist was talking to me about goals, but not much because I haven’t really been interested in making them, as I have little to no self-belief and motivation, but I thought about it and managed to list what I want to do before the end of next year.

Motivation is key, and once you have the motivation, it helps so much. I am slowly but surely getting more and more motivation, it’s important if you have good, understanding and kind friends around you, they will help you gain motivation!

1] Go London

I have wanted to go London for years, but I always stop myself as I always overthink about going, how busy it would be, how I wouldn’t know where I was going, that I would have a panic attack and probably get lost somewhere and then social anxiety creeps in. I am determined to get over social anxiety and go London for a day or two. I really think I could enjoy it once I’m ready.

2] Start working again

Last year I got my first ever job, I was a chef. I had a passion for food that I thought nobody could stop, but sadly, my mental health did. I was so high functioning but it got too much for me, and I had to quit. My parents and sisters are bugging me to get a job, however, my therapist thinks it’s too early. It’s a big dilemma. I want to start working as soon as I can, It’ll give me something to do as well!

3] Go to a meetup

I am so grateful for all the friends I’ve made from the mental health blogger community on twitter. I’ve found so many supportive people. I wanted to go to the #TalkMH meetup in London sometime in April, but I think that’s a bit too soon for me, and it makes me so sad as I really want to go. I am determined to meet people from twitter, though. They are all supportive and great people.

4] Socialise more

I want to be your typical, 18-year-old lad who goes out with his friends on weekends and has a great night. My mental health stops me, I always panic when I go out and overthink about everything. I want to be able to manage it so I can actually go out, go for meals, go for drinks and just enjoy going out instead of staying in and only going out for therapy.

5] Volunteer for Samaritans

Samaritans have helped me so much, time after time whenever I text or ring up, they are so understanding and helpful. I appreciate how much the charity does for so many people in this country. I would love to volunteer for them one day, in a few years hopefully. It’ll be a great thing to do.

I know it’s hard to be motivated and make goals when you’re in a bad place, but just try to do it, it gives you something to look forward in doing, don’t make them too overly ambitious but don’t make them too easy! Challenge yourself!

Those five goals are the ones that will be pretty hard to do, but not impossible and I will do them. Slowly but surely, I’ll cross one off at a time, and one day they will be all done!

As always, thanks for reading!

Liam

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments