Author- John Green on his mental health

John Green’s book “Turtles all the way down” which was released October 10th 2017 is inspired by his own news and experience with mental illness, mainly Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). John Green is best known for his book “The Fault In Our Stars” which was then turned into a movie in 2014.

In a statement Green said that he had been working on “Turtles all the way down” for years and that “this first attempt” to write directly about the kind of mental illness that has affected his life since childhood, so whilst the story is non-fiction, it is also very personal.

Green has always been open about his experiences with Anxiety and OCD in the past and he has also been an advocate for the Destigmatization of mental illness

Turtles all the way down book : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Turtles-All-Down-John-Green/dp/0241335434

John Green’s Twitter : https://twitter.com/Johngreen

John Green’s YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers

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Self-Reflection

Blog post taken from my previous blog :

When was the last time you took a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and took a moment to reflect on your life ? For me this is easy to answer as I found that this was what I had been doing from August last year however the last time I self-reflected was in December last year when I was preparing myself for the new year and what is to come in 2018. There aren’t many times when we take a minute out of our busy schedules to take a step back and reflect on life.

Many of us are so busy trying too move forward that we rarely take a moment to slow down and be at one with our thoughts. If your like me I’ve never recognized how important self-reflection is and the impact it causes on life.

Can you really make time for self-reflection everyday ?

Yes, yes you can…

In my opinion self-reflection is one of the best ways to shift your mindset, increase positivity in your life, de-clutter the negativity and discover a better connection with yourself.

Self-reflection has helped me re-discover who I am and put positivity back into my life and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome that this has caused. It has helped me understand more about the way I respond to certain situations and to not be oblivious to my faults.

What is self-reflection you ask ?

Self-reflection is all about creating self-awareness. So many of us find ourselves focusing on getting ahead that we rarely take time to reflect on what is currently going on within us. There are many ways to go about self-reflection, but for me I have always used writing as a way to process my feelings and thoughts as I find it difficult to say the words out loud. By doing this I have found that I am learning more and more about myself.

If I hadn’t taken that step back and looked in the mirror I don’t think I would’ve noticed the amount of negativity I had in my life before hand and the huge impact that had on my life and the impact it had on me as a person. As well as myself, everyone around me has noticed I am happier and more positive about life and the things around me.

It’s amazing to think that a small change in life can have a massive impact…

Thirteen reasons why

Thirteen Reasons Why and it’s reflection of young adult mental health:

I am sure alot of you reading this will have either read the book or watched the series on Netflix and are thinking ‘oh not another review’ however for me thirteen reasons why and myself had a lot in common however some details are too personal to share just yet.

You are introduced to a young man, Clay Jensen and you are joined on his journey to bring justice for his friend Hannah Baker. Hannah is a seventeen year old high school student with a bright future ahead of her, she took her life on a seemingly calm afternoon. Why is this important ? Suicide is the third leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 years old. It is reported that over 6000 people between these ages take their own lives yearly.

It isn’t an unknown fact that teen bullying has been a much talked about subject over the last few years and somewhat more frequently, especially when it comes to cyber bullying. This is one of the worst forms of bullying as the bully can hide behind technology and cause alot of pain from a distance.

Depression, anxiety and personality disorders are being more and more linked to childhood bullying however there is still alot of information being swept under the carpets when it comes to talking about mental health.

“Thirteen reasons why” covers alot of topics that seem to make many adults uncomfortable: rape, bullying and suicide are the main topics that are covered.

Growing up and going through both primary and secondary school, bullying was never really an approachable subject. I personally had a better experience in secondary school than I did in primary school.

“Thirteen reasons why” shows several scenes in which Hannah Baker is bullied by her peers. Classmates sent explicit messages of Hannah around the school and was placed on a list along with other girls in her grade with the title “best arse” and countlessly degraded and paraded round like a piece of meat or a trophy to any guy who could bed her. I know some of you will be thinking “why did she let this photo be taken” however alot of girls are pressured into taking degrading photos for a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘a crush’ and don’t think about the consequences. This is yet again another sign of cyber bullying which is not highly spoken about.

In addition to the excessive bullying Hannah faced daily, she not only witnessed the rape of a friend at a ‘high school party’, but was also raped by the same guy later in the school year at yet again another ‘high school party’. 33% of woman who are raped contemplate suicide, if they are not given the correct support.

In the final episode Hannah builds up the courage to speak to the school counsellor and open up about her traumatic experience. Hannah was asked questions like “did you say no?” “was alcohol involved?” “were there any drugs?” what does it matter ? So what if there were drugs or alcohol present ? “Did you say no?” is such a damaging and highly accusatory question, to me this sounds like victim blaming, which seems to happen alot when a rape is reported to the police. Why is this ?

Following Hannah’s unsuccesful session with her counsellor, she is seen going to the post office, and going home, running a bath and pulls out the razor blades she stole from her parents pharmacy while they were present and takes her life. Throughout the series her mum frequently makes statements such as “how did I not know? I am her mother” And the parents of Hannah’s class mates say “my son/daughter is such a good kid, they would never…” and her classmates made statements like “it is unbelievable” but Is it really ? Were the signs not there all along?

For me personally I could spot the tell tell signs of depression throughout several episodes before her suicide, these signs went unoticed by those she was surrounded by daily. Mental health is not spoken about or publicised enough. We as a society need to slow down and look around us and even more so at the ones we are close to and think that anyone can get on with their day to day life however we never know what is truely going on inside. As a mental health sufferer who has felt extremely low and depressed and has contemplated suicide in the past knows what it is like being ignored and not taken seriously when seeking help, advice and support.

Being female and going through so many of these awful and traumatic events I know exactly how Hannah was feeling, however please do not forget that this may also happen to males as well as females and I personally feel this is even more hidden and undiscussed.

My Journey…

Diagnosed 09.12.15
Date : 11/10/18
2 years 10 months
It’s been 2 years 10 months since I was officially diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder a lot has changed however a lot has stayed the same.From a young age I knew there was something making me act “obsessive” and “high tempered” however when I visited my GP between the ages of 13 – 18 years they would all say the same thing “you have anger issues” from the symptoms I would tell them I can understand why they would say this as I have always been high tempered.
In the last 6 months of 2015 my health started to deteriorate. I didn’t want to eat, I struggled with leaving the house, struggled at work and just wanted to curl up and hide in a dark room… After i spoke about the reasoning behind me feeling like this, I finally built up the courage to speak to a professional about how I had been feeling. After pouring my heart out to the professional she came to the conclusion that yes I have “anger issues” however there was a much bigger diagnosis… Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. After hearing those words my heart sank I didn’t know what to say. The first couple of days I was in shock as you can imagine. However I decided I wasn’t going to let this beat me down and started doing as much research as I possibly could to find out more about the condition and how I could get better as such however I knew I wouldn’t be cured as the GP told me I would have both conditions for life and hearing those words have been the hardest words I think anyone could hear. 21 and diagnosed with an incurable medical condition.
The first 12 months were very rocky. Starting and Changing anti-depressants within short periods of time, taking high doses of anti-depressants. My emotions were all over the place! Unfortunately for me taking medication just didn’t help. People around me noticed my mood and emotions became one hundred times worse. I still wasn’t eating properly, I looked pale and had no energy. So I went back to the GP and once again changed my medication as the GP felt I needed to be taking some sort of medication. And to tell you the truth after about 6 weeks I started feeling better, I looked healthier, seemed happier and wanted to start socialising again so for about 4 months things seemed to be going really well, finally I was getting better.
And then… I spoke to soon! In June 2016 my mood started going down hill I started heading back to my old ways of hiding under the covers, wanting to be in a dark room and alone, not wanting to socialise, snapping at anyone who spoke to me or even looked my way. So as you can guess another trip to the GP for me. After an in-depth talk between the GP, i came to the conclusion that medication just isn’t for me and this was like music to my ears. I knew this was going to be a slow process and it wasn’t going to happen over night. The medication dose got lowered over the next 2 months (August) I finally stopped taking anti-depressants. The first few weeks we didn’t notice much change however towards the end of September 2016 I started to feel like myself. Everyone noticed that I got my bubbly,loud and outspoken personality back which was brilliant news.
And to this day 11/10/18 I am still the same bubbly, loud and outspoken girlie girl that got clouded over by anti-depressants. I have such a wonderful future ahead of me, motherhood, being a bride to be and so much more! So for me life currently without medication is brilliant and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Please don’t read this as I am saying that medication isn’t right I am saying that medication wasn’t the right path for me however I know of a few people who couldn’t survive without medication so always do what is best for you and don’t follow in what someone else is doing, think about helping yourself and only yourself. Medication has it’s pros and cons so always read the Information leaflet before taking.

Constant Battle !

“Constantly battling my own mind is hard enough,

without trying to argue with people who

don’t agree that I have depression and anxiety.”

Welcome Back!!

It feels like I have been away from the blogging world for far too long however I haven’t been in the right frame of mind and couldn’t formulate a sentence or paragraph that somewhat made sense.

But here it goes… The last few weeks have been really difficult, trying to carry on with your typical every day activities has been a real struggle. Having to dig deep to find the energy needed for my brain and muscles to work otherwise my body will completely shut down and won’t re-boot. I have been asked what has been getting me down and I honestly haven’t been able to give an answer as I do not know myself why I am fighting a losing battle with my mind.

Constantly battling my own mind is hard enough, without trying to argue with people who don’t agree that I have depression and anxiety because it isn’t visible. I have found that it is important to surround yourself with loved ones who care about you and acknowledge your mental health conditions. It’s best to have a stable support system around you, even if it’s just one or two people who you can trust and count on. However this is easier said then done because when I am feeling at my lowest I tend to push people away and just want to be left on my own inside a dark room hiding away from the outside world.

When I have reached the lowest of the low I feel broken inside and isolated from the world. It’s difficult to explain what that feels like but I can tell you that when I eventually find my way back to being me again I look back and a whole new set of emotions escalate… now I am left feeling ashamed, idiotic and embarrassed. I know I shouldn’t be feeling these emotions after a “melt down” or “panic attack” but honestly I do.

#self-awareness

Self awareness is one of the rarest of human commodities. Being aware of your own patterns

If you are experiencing a mental health problem of any kind, you can contact Mind.

Website : mind.org.uk 

Info Line : 03001233393 (open 9am – 6pm, Monday – Friday – except for bank holidays)

Email : info@mind.org.uk 

To support the charity, visit mind.org.uk/get-involved 

A letter in time

Dear Time,

You aren’t necessarily alive and it’s impossible for me to ever interact with you or even have a vocal conversation. I can’t tell you all about the good and the bad. You can’t listen to me reflecting on the challenging, the proud or the rewarding. I can never ask you to slow down so I can prepare for what you throw my way next. I don’t have a crystal ball or a time machine.

The thought of you really does scare me, because I never know truly how long we have together. You move so fast and before I know it you have vanished. However distant some memories are they never seem to fade or feel any less real.

You give everyone the chance to fall in love, forgive, heal and grow and even experience the good and the bad things in life. You cure people of illnesses and give people wisdom they otherwise couldn’t have. You enable ageing and developing. The world is better and stronger because of you.

There is no way of controlling you. I never know if you are staying or going.

Everything you have thrown may way has made me stronger and the person I am today. I will never stop fighting.

Depression and low mood

Taken from my original blog written in 2017…

Welcome back!

I really do not have any excuses as to why I haven’t been active for a while. But here I am back healthy and ready to write…

You don’t have to feel depressed to feel low and It’s extremely common to have days where you are feeling sad, a little empty and not knowing why is the worst part. None of us like to feel this way and it’s important to understand that there are ways to bring yourself out of feeling low. Even when suffering with depression, you are still able to help and change your mood. You have to want to do it. I know that’s easier said then done but trust me when you really want something you’ve got to do it.

I have found on a number of occasions that given a low mood kind of day all I want to do is lay in bed and do nothing however I have found that this would actually make me feel even more depressed than I did before. I have learn that if I want to lay in bed I definitely shouldn’t! I don’t know about you but for me I would be feeling down so I would give myself a break and lay in bed or have a nap but 70% of the time I would then be left feeling guilty for doing this. I think it’s because I know deep down that if I do something about this I would be feeling 100% better.

Every one deals with depression in their own way so unfortunately I can only advise you on what I have found helpful and not tell you what to do. I haven’t suffered from depression and anxiety as long as I know others have, however I have been suffering from depression and anxiety for nearly 2 years diagnosed but sighted for 5 years.
Eating the right foods and drinking plenty of water is a great way of dealing with a low mood. Healthy body, healthy mind.