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Our Mental Health Blogs

Psychiatry is a Tool. Use It.

Psychiatry is a Tool. Use It.

“The meds don’t work!” I hear it a lot. From rational people. It’s shorthand, a way to tell me that psychiatry has failed them. Unfortunately it’s also used as a vantage point from which to argue that psychiatric medications are universal bunkum. I find this insulting; It implies those taking medication for mental health issues are at least a little clueless, prone to hypochondria. One step barely removed from calling the lot of us hysterics. So much for a century of scientific research and advocacy.

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My Crazy Meds Are Crazier Than I’ll Ever Be: Psychiatry, Anxiety and Depression

My Crazy Meds Are Crazier Than I’ll Ever Be: Psychiatry, Anxiety and Depression

Psychiatric treatment is a relationship between you, your mental illness, your drugs, and your doctor(s). That relationship is what matters most when it comes to ensuring medications treat actual mental health issues.
Taking the meds out of clinical practice and studying them in a lab is not only difficult but results in mixed outcomes. The kind we see reflected in the studies which the press pick up on.

Just this week I’ve read that the drugs don’t work, that it’s all a big fraud, and that the next Big Pharma pill will cure everything.

Psychiatry, like democracy, is the worst form of treatment except for all the others that have been tried

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Anxiety: Why You Think You’re Crazy but Probably Aren’t

Anxiety: Why You Think You’re Crazy but Probably Aren’t

Feel free to question my emotional competence but I’m not insane. For that matter, most people with mental illness are not insane.

This may be obvious but for many it’s not. Anyway, how many times have you thought, ‘oh goodness, I must be really losing it this time’ during the course of mental health difficulties?
It’s a common concern that can dramatically increase the amount of anxiety a person experiences. It may also inhibit their ability to trust, and to ask for help.

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The Real Health Cost of Anxiety Disorders

The Real Health Cost of Anxiety Disorders

Happy is what brings healthy, and viceversa, so it can’t be that much of a surprise anxiety and depression have had some pretty rough consequences on my health; High blood pressure at 25, on-and-off flings with anemia, near-constant sleep deprivation.

I may as well have an imp bouncing up and down on my kidneys whilst someone tells my nervous system to pump out all the stress hormones its got, so I can feel normal, or at least prepared. Like a Girl Scout on crack. That’s PTSD hypervigilance for you.
It’s also that sometimes our bodies express what we are otherwise unwilling, or unable to say.

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Mental Illness and Other People’s Standards

Mental Illness and Other People’s Standards

On acceptance, anxiety and guilt

Life with mental illness isn’t always fun. Not just because I have a real illness, and that real illness really does affect my life but because some folks have trouble accepting this. I’m not entirely sure why except they don’t like the thought that someone with mental illness can “zomg, look just like them,” and still be quite unwell.

That’s the thing about invisible illness: Once revealed, people around you may feel conned, manipulated, lied to. Even though you’ve done nothing wrong.

Yeah, I’m guilty of being unwell in the general vicinity, of having mental health issues and having a life anyway. Sorry about that. Next time I’ll wear my “mentally interesting” t-shirt so you can detect the crazy, before it gets in your Coke.
*passes the tin-foil hat*

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Mental Health Isn’t a Trophy. Wellness Is Not a Prize

Mental Health Isn’t a Trophy. Wellness Is Not a Prize

Sometimes anxiety makes it seem perfectly acceptable to throw the baby out with the bathwater, in search of calm and peace. Even if that results in hating myself because it feels like I’m  reaching for something I can never have. So what’s the solution? Be someone else, of course!

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A Cure for Anxiety?

A Cure for Anxiety?

What would it be like not to live with anxiety?

Most days all I’ve got is a deer in headlights expression to go with the sign that says ‘wrong way, go back!’ so no, I don’t have a cure for anxiety. But I have some ideas.

I think about that John Lennon song, Imagine – in that kind of world, anxiety wouldn’t exist; Maybe it never existed. Maybe I’m not afraid.

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Top 10 Reasons Mental Health Suffers at Christmas

Top 10 Reasons Mental Health Suffers at Christmas

or, why I should’ve gone to Hawaii

  1. The amount of time I spend watching films that feature Colin Firth and/or Sandra Bullock to offset the moodiness and irritability ignited by the festive season – whilst paying for wholly unnecessary items on my Ebay account.
  2. The pressure to invest in one day of no-regrets, wholehearted good cheer and joy. It doesn’t come naturally to those of us who spend most of the year dealing with the symptoms of anxiety and depression.I love Christmas. I just don’t buy into the myth that it’s the one perfect day of the year.
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Mental Health: It’s Kind of Like Gravity…

Mental Health: It’s Kind of Like Gravity…

…you don’t notice it’s there, until you’re falling.

That’s the experience of mental illness – in a nutshell: You’re either flying, or falling. It’s hard to stay in one place, difficult to nail down exactly what’s wrong because it’s such a core thing. So much the experience of the world, rather than the experience of one symptom or other.

My illness may be invisible, but that doesn’t mean I have to be. Let me repeat that. Give you time to catch up:

Your illness may be invisible, but you don’t have to be.

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“Just” Depression. “Merely” Anxious? Patience is a Virtue.

“Just” Depression. “Merely” Anxious? Patience is a Virtue.

…and similar ideas with which I struggle.

Sometimes, I struggle. I feel so far away. From everything, especially mental health.

Getting up, getting ready to face the world, wondering just how close the edge is, today. It all takes patience.

When you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, when thoughts will barely stay in your head, let alone make sense, when the fog sets in…It takes patience. Inhuman, incalculable patience.

Fighting the good fight sometimes means losing your way

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