SOCIAL MEDIA

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Our Reactions Matter - A Personal Story

One must realize that everyone is different. We all have different problems and we all go through situations in life that no one may understand- this was my problem. I had a friend (let’s call her Lisa for this purpose), whom suffers from bipolar disorder. This type of mental illness can only be understood if you understood the person first of all.
 Lisa was a close friend of mine, I regularly visited her and we went out during the weekends when we had the opportunity to. We were also part of a friendship group with three other girls and we were all really close. However, this friendship started to crumble, as we were becoming closer friends by the day. This was mainly because we didn’t know how to react to Lisa.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Self Harm and Telling A Teacher


A lot of people wonder who to tell when it comes to self harm, and sometimes telling a parent is daunting and the idea of a doctor is too serious. So why not a teacher? As some of you may have read I initially told a teacher about my self harm and it was actually one of the best things I decided to do. I am, of course talking from experience and so I cannot vouch that everyone's experience will be as positive as mine.
Firstly telling a teacher and confidentially; it does depend on your problem and also your situation and age. I would presume that if you are quite young (12/13) then legally there may be a need to pass information onto a third party, eg a doctor or parent. It also depends on your school, each school has different regulations when it comes to these sorts of issues. If you are worried then ask beforehand, is this confidential? Then, depending on the answer you are given you can choose whether or not you proceed to tell them. With a doctor, if you are over the age of 16 then you are guaranteed confidentiality unless you are a danger to yourself or others. Teachers have been trained in dealing with self harm issues and so they do in a sense understand.
So here is my experience with telling a teacher about my self harm.

 I was 16 when I first told a teacher about my self harm. I think what I was most scared of was her reaction, but she was so calm that it reassured me. It wasn't until I had explained what had been happening that I started to panic that my mum could possibly find out. But due to my home situation (mum having a brain tumour and dad not being around) the teacher agreed not to tell my mum. It stayed this way for about 3 months. However, my self harm did get worse and eventually got to a point where I was a danger to myself. This is when I was told that I needed to tell my mum and that if I didn't that this particular teacher would have to. So I eventually mustered up the courage to tell my mum. Once mum knew, I made the teacher aware that I had told mum about what was happening. I was then asked for my mum to send some sort of confirmation to the school that she did know (in case I was lying to the school.) By this time I had now started sixth form but I was still at the same school. As I progressed into a new year I got a new head of year and she then needed to be aware of what was happening. I really didn't want more people to know, however once again, looking back I realise that the more people that knew the more support I was able to receive. So my new head of year knew and here began my "recovery" and never did I expect to be so supported. I was called in regularly to check up on me and my home situation however, I wasn't really in recovery because I was still self harming, just in new places so no one would know. Eventually it leaked that I was still at it but these two teachers carried on respecting my wish not to tell my mum due to my home situation. However, after a rough night a couple of weeks later, I went to school the next day to be told that they would be phoning my mum regarding my self harm. I remember this day all too clearly. I thought I was going in for a general chat with my old head of year but that wasn't the case. So there began weekly phone calls between my head of year and my mum ( I didn't actually know about this until a couple of months ago). But I think it is thanks to the support I received at school that I was able to recover. A technique I found helpful whilst recovering was counting the days that I hadn't self harmed and my head of year seemed to follow that. She would call me in and ask how many days and then I would answer, and because she knew how many days it had been she would then know if there had been a relapse or not.
Telling someone is the first step in recovery, be that a friend, teacher, parent or doctor. However, telling a friend is tricky because they might not actually know how to help. It is for you to judge who you are most comfortable in telling. Once you tell someone you will feel so much lighter as you won't be weighed down by this secret and you can begin the journey to a happier you.
Stay strong lovelies

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

My Story: Recovery (Part 3)

I was referred to CAMHS (child and mental health services) and whilst I was on the waiting list I was given a counsellor in school. My sleeping pattern slowly began to improve and I was able to eat again. I started to get my life back on track. I was diagnosed with anxiety and I was given ways to change my thinking patterns. I was with CAMHS for about 4 months before I was discharged. I learnt that my self harm was a need for control, when things fall apart in my life, I would self harm as a way to be able to control at least one type of pain. Life was getting better. I was accepting that dad wasn't really in my life, mum was getting better and I was happier. I did well in my AS exams and continued my studies.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

My Story: Mid Teens (Part 2)

Until I was 15, one night in November I had an open evening to sixth form. Mum had a hospital appointment and so couldn't attend so my dad came with me. It was his first time setting foot into the school and I was so excited to show off that he was there, the school thought he was non existent and it was great to finally be able to show him around. I got home, knowing the subjects I was going to take for my A levels, buzzing and happy.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

My Story: Childhood (Part 1)

So this blog has been up for a month now and I have been asking you all to share your stories and I guess you guys may like to know what led me here. So here is my story.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Barely Breathing

Hey my names Alex. I'm 16 years old and I live in the UK. When I was around the age of 12 I realised I wasn't like everyone else...

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A Stronger Person



My story begins at age 4, with my parents divorce. After years of split custody my mum remarried, had another child and I moved to live with her. Things turned sour as my mother struggled with bringing up myself and my little brother. She developed issues with alcohol and her mental health declined. I turned to comfort eating to deal with this and by the age of 13 I had ballooned to 17 stone.
 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Mental Health and Social Media

So I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and came across a post that related  to self-harm. This then sparked the question in me: is social media a good or bad development for mental health issues. So I did some research, typing in self harm (With a slight change to the spelling, as Instagram doesn't allow the hashtag self harm however to not trigger anyone I will not write the exact spelling I used.) into the search bar of Instagram and I was shocked at what I found. A whole community of people posting (at times) very graphic photos of their self harm. What shocked me most when I clicked onto one of the profiles was that it was the account of a 13 year old girl. Somebody who could be self harming for a number of reasons but choose to join the community that found itself online, gaining likes for her destructive behaviour.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Disney and Mental Health






We all grew up with Disney characters, be that with princesses Belle or Cinderella or with more modern stories such as Bolt or Finding Nemo. However, if we start to look behind these characters and their perfect worlds we can actually see a reflection of mental illness in them. So is their world really perfect? Or are they just like all of us, pretending everything is perfect when on the inside that isn't the case?

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Two Sides Of Me


    



Where do I start.... I ask myself this question because my life has been one of ups and downs and twists and turns. I wish it was one on a straight path with a clear purpose and sense of direction but it’s been all the contrary. It’s been a life with goals that appear to be clear but fuzz up and fade as the days and months pass and my mood swings from mania to depression. Yup! I’m bipolar.


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Decay



*Trigger Warning*

My arms are the first thing to go.
On comes the arguing, the digging, the accusations,
On comes the weighing, the fidgeting, the revealing Google searches.
On comes the constant questioning and the contrasted urging.


Men and Mental Health

I was scrolling through my Facebook earlier and found this. I realised that this would make an important post. There is a stigma against mental health in general. However, men seem to completely shut down when it comes to mental health. In my suicide prevention week post there was a fact that shocked me: the majority of men who kill themselves are between the age of 40 and 50. These are not teenage boys who have high levels of testosterone and who are struggling with school or just fitting into the world. These are men who have families and jobs and are suffering from mental illnesses but can't talk about it.


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

On The Other Side



I am a normal 29 year old girl. I live in North London and have an incredible life. I have an amazing family, complicated in its make up but bolted together by love. I am blessed to be surrounded by talented, clever funny friends and get to do a job that I love every day. I have the freedom to travel, which I do, I like my appearance and I am lucky enough to be financially stable. To top it all off, last week I married the man I have been in love with for the past 12 years in a beautiful ceremony in the south of Spain. And yet… and yet I don’t always find it that easy to feel the happiness I always should. Please don’t get me wrong I always know when I SHOULD feel pure happiness but it’s not always that easy.


Suicide Prevention Week


The suicide prevention week runs between the 6th and the 12th of September in the hopes to raise awareness about suicide. Every year 800,00 people die from suicide which equates to someone killing themselves every 40 seconds. According to The Samaritans in 2013, there were 6,708 suicides in the UK alone, the majority being men between 40 and 50.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

An anxious child

I was always an anxious child, I always seemed to see things from the dangerous perspective and I grew irrational fears of things.  Fears that would lead me to avoid certain situations completely; sleepovers, the cinema, theme parks, phone conversations unless I had a script in front of me or anywhere where anyone could be ill (school during the times where there were plenty of illnesses going around were hell). A lot of these fears I would hide from people because  I was scared they would judge me on having such a limited life.  I truly believed I would grow out of this.