Wednesday, 25 November 2020

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS


A while ago I joined the North Service User and Carer Forum (NSUCF) which is part of my local NHS Trust who provide mental health services in my locality: Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW). At our most recent meeting, we had a Psychiatrist from CNTW’s Crisis Team join us and each Forum member asked questions and put forward ideas. In part of the discussion, myself and one of the Service Users came to the realisation that we really had different definitions of a mental health ‘crisis’ and it inspired me to write this blog post…

DEFINIG IT

For me, I deem myself to be in a mental health crisis when I can no longer keep myself safe. Like, if I struggle and feel unsafe, but I can manage it myself and use the healthy coping skills I’ve been taught in therapy, then I wouldn’t label it a crisis or call anyone for help or support. Me calling the Crisis Team or a professional, usually means I’m unsafe and that I feel as though the hallucinations are in control. As though I have no say in whether I self-harm or attempt suicide because if I did, I wouldn’t do those things. When I’m me, and when it is my thoughts that take up the majority of my mind, I don’t want to die. I don’t want to hurt.

One difficulty in having different definitions is the worry as to whether you’re really ‘entitled’ to speak up or ask for help because there’s the concern that there’ll be people who might judge your crisis in comparison with others. And that they might come to the conclusion that it is completely minor and unworthy of any help or support. That in looking at it alongside another person’s crisis, it really shouldn’t be a big deal and it wasn’t deserving of help and support from others, particularly where this meant the use of NHS resources.

Friday, 20 November 2020

EVERYTHING THE ABUSE ANNIVERSARY HAS MADE ME THINK ABOUT

You can take everything I have

You can break everything I am

Like I’m made of glass

Like I’m made of paper

Go on and try to tear me down

I will be rising from the ground

Like a skyscraper

Demi Lovato – Skyscraper

 

So, November 20th this year, marks fourteen years since the abuse I experienced when I was younger, ‘began.’ Being in such a good place with my mental health has really meant that I can think about the anniversary and still feel safe. And, of course, I’m not the only abuse survivor to remember the dates it ‘began’ or ‘ended’ so I thought that writing this post would not only give those without this experience, insight and make them more knowledgeable when supporting someone, but that it would also show other survivors they aren’t alone in remembering these anniversaries and in the impact the dates have on them…

 

WHAT’S HELPFUL FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO COPE WITH THE ANNIVERSARY

Since the Pharmacy made a mistake with my antipsychotic medication and the hallucinations came back with vengeance, I really saw just how helpful medication is for my mental health and I appreciated how lucky I am to be able to say that. Before I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) the mental health professionals – namely a few Psychiatrists – prescribed antipsychotic medication, but once BPD started being thrown about in conversations, everyone became unconvinced that medication was the right treatment. Of course, every illness (mental or physical) will have a recommended treatment and for BPD, it’s Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). In fact, professionals have gone so far as to say that medication – and hospital admissions – are something to be completely avoided when treating someone with BPD.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

MY DREAM CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS


I’ve seen so many Christmas trees being put up that it’s getting me even more excited and festive! It feels like Blogmas is just around the corner (this year I’ll be publishing a blog post from December 1st until Christmas Day) and so I wanted to start introducing Christmassy content to I’m NOT Disordered a bit early…

I don’t want to spoil the upcoming content, but a lot of the collaborations are with affordable brands, so I thought it’d be cool to do a post where I could really let my dreams and imagination run wild and look through the Christmas decorations from more high-end retailers. Doing this, actually reminds me a lot of my Nana because when I was younger, we would cut things we could never afford out of catalogues and stick them down.

It’s good to do something just for a fun too. Like, being a mental health Blogger; it’s kind of obvious that I spend a lot of my time creating content that’s really deep and which has a lot of emotion to it. I talk a lot about difficult subjects like self-harm, suicide, abuse, rape, mental illness…it isn’t very often that I get to publish a piece which is more light-hearted and enjoyable to create and to look at!

 


For prices & more products: Fenwick

Sunday, 15 November 2020

PAIN & MENTAL HEALTH

 

Even though I’m the one in pain right now, this is yet another blog post inspired by one of my best-friends Marty from www.gumonmyshoe.com!

I think that it’s more than obvious to say most people will immediately think of physical pain when they hear the word ‘pain.’ I mean, honestly? I do too! If I’m talking to someone and they say they’re in pain, then I wouldn’t even think to ask them whether it’s physical or emotional. And I think that’s just one of the many things I’ve realised more recently with me now having four completely different types of physical pain…

The first to come along was my thumb. On Boxing Day last year (2019) I was opening a bottle of prosecco and using my thumbs to attempt to wiggle the cork loose when the thumb on my right hand just drooped down and I was unable to lift it. I was so confident that I’d either broken it or dislocated it that I went to A&E but upon x-raying it, the Minor Injuries Nurse concluded that it was just a muscle spasm and needed warm water to encourage it to start moving again. Two days later, it was literally impossible to do a ‘thumbs up’ position and I was so overwhelmed with the conviction that something was definitely wrong. So I took myself to a different A&E and was immediately seen by a Plastic Surgeon who told me that the EPL tendon had ruptured and I needed surgery so that I didn’t lose function of the entire thumb!

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A MENTAL HEALTH BLOGGER | PART THREE


MAINTAINING PRIVACY & BOUNDARIES

I recently had an interview with Newcastle University and at the beginning of it, the interviewer explained that I could be in control of how much information I revealed to her and that I could decide how much detail I went into. I laughed and told her that talking about my mental health and experiences to over 800,000 people probably makes me quite an open person!

I think that a lot of people would label me– and I totally understand why they would – as being a hypocrite to talk about and encourage other mental health bloggers to maintain a level of privacy and have boundaries around what you will publicise and what is off limits. The possible hypocrite accusations will probably stem from the fact that I talk about the rape and sexual abuse I experienced when I was younger. I guess that it’s a really personal subject for a lot of people and I think that it still makes quite a lot of readers feel a bit uncomfortable.

The way I look at it – the reason I blog about such an intimate experience, is in the hope that it will reassure others, who may have similar experiences, not to feel alone. I hope that in doing that, those people will go on to share their own stories and for some, that might be the first time they’ve done so; which could mean that it aids them in receiving help and support from professionals.