How can I support my Friend with a Mental Health Problem

When a loved one is suffering with a Mental Health problem, it may sometimes feel difficult to know how to best support them and you may feel as if your letting them down or not being a good friend. Mental Health difficulties may make some people feel vulnerable, which may cause them to withdraw or isolate themselves from others. Sometimes it may be difficult for the person to express themselves. Try to remember as much as this is a transition and new experience for you, it is also difficult for the person experiencing the mental health difficulty.

Below are some tips of how you can support a loved one suffering with a Mental Health problem :

  1. Provide a Listening ear
  2. Don’t judge
  3. Check up on them
  4. Let them know you care
  5. Try not to get frustrated
  6. Be patient
  7. Research information for better understanding
  8. Don’t try to change them or rush their healing
  9. Uplift them when you can
  10. Be creative in your communication e.g. create affirmations, do small gestures (it’s the smallest things that count)

I hope that this post was able to help or inspire you to help out a friend who maybe in need. Shar x

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I want to come off my Medication

Medication can sometimes be prescribed to patients when Mental Health problems, to help mange how they are feeling and feel able to function in their day to day lives.

Sometimes people may be responding well to the side effects of their medication or they may feel like they have had enough of being on medication for so long. If you are one of these people and you want to stop taking medication it is advisable to speak to your General Practitioner (GP) first before coming off prescribed medication.

It’s important to be aware that your GP should always be the first point of contact and in case of an emergency dial (999 – UK). It’s important to have the conversation with your GP about your views on your medication. Further discussing why you would like to come off medication and if they can support you with this process. Coming off medication with a immediate effect may be detrimental to your health, as this should be a process (weaning off medication) with the support form your GP.

Please speak to your GP of you what to come off your medication. Try not to make any immediate actions before, consulting with a medical professional. I hope that this post was able to help or inspire you, in relation to seeking help for medication. Shar x

How to take care of My Self Care

Attending to your Self-care is an action that you can do to take care of yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually. This can be achieved by yourself or from the help of others. Paying attention to your self care needs can protect, maintain and improve your Mental and Physical wellbeing.

Attending to your self-care needs can sometimes be difficult particularly when you are experiencing a Mental Health difficult. It is common for people to have a lack of interest in pleasurable activities which can be a form of attending to your self care needs along with other elements. Suffering from a Mental Health difficulty can be daunting and very distressing and you may commonly feel like “what’s the point.” Commonly when you are feeling low or anxious, you may have a negative view about yourself, others and the world around you. By practicing self care this can help towards making you feel better, even if in the moment you may not be feeling up to it. Although this will take practice and consistency.

If you are someone who would like some tips on how you can manage your self-care needs, below are some tips on how this can be achieved.

Step 1 – Identify what type of self-care need you want to take care of e.g. Do my hair

Step 2 – Ask yourself if you know how to achieve this, for example

When – Monday 1pm

Do I need any help – Yes my sister has offered to help me

Where – At home

Duration – 2 hours (roughly) How – Washing my hair

Do I need any equipment – I need to buy / use shampoo and conditioner

Step 3 – Turn what you want to do into a goal to help motivate you e.g. My goal this week is to “Wash my Hair”

Step 4 – Break down this goal into manageable steps (easiest – most difficult) e.g. I need to wash my hair, blow dry my hair etc

Step 5 – Attempt to try this goal

Step 6 – Reflect how this has made you feel

Step 7 – Practice this and try to complete another self care goal.

Breaking down these steps may not be necessary but can help make things seem more manageable for yourself, if you find things like this quite stressful.

I hope that these steps were able to help you with trying to attend to your self-care needs, let me know how you got on or feel free to share any tips you may have yourself. I would love to also hear your ideas.

Shar x

End the Stigma

2019 we need to work towards ending the stigma associated with individuals with Mental Health Problems. With so much change going on in society today this needs to be a part of the movement for change. Just because someone behaves a particular way towards someone else this doesn’t mean that they will behave in the same way to them.

In life we are so quick to pass judgement on people without knowing there story, we met people at a particular stage in their life and because it may not be acceptable or in line to our lifestyle we make judgement on these individuals. Along my journey of self development I have learnt to accept people for who they are and to not judge people regardless.

This society teaches us to judge others who are different form us or make judgement on them, it’s ok to have an opinion on people, but if this is negative keep it to yourself. Individuals with Mental Health difficulties can often be portrayed in a negative light by the media and this is why other people will begin to judge everyone else who a Mental Health Problem. By doing this individuals can being to internalise this judgement and act out the self fulfilling prophecy (if you keep telling me I’m bad, I may internalise this and believe I am bad and act out of charter and behave bad).

As I have previously posted everyone in this world has a story, as to why they got to where they are today and there is pain in their struggle and the more we judge others the more pain we add to their struggle. Just because we may not understand there story it doesn’t make them a bad person.

Short and sweet post, but came to my mind quickly so I had to share. Thanks for reading Shar x

My Family don’t understand my Mental Health Problem

Are families are our loved ones, who are supposed to know us best right ? But why then can we sometimes feel the need to ask ourselves “Why don’t they understand me

Sometimes when people experience a Mental Health difficulty and are unsure who to go to, they may automatically contact a loved one hoping that this person understands. If this is you, you should feel proud of yourself, this is a very brave thing to do. As other people may find this quite daunting. Now telling a loved one can be a, good thing or a wish I never said anything (kinda thing).

It’s understandable to go to people who are close to you because who knows you better, but unfortunately sometimes these people can be the ones who know the least about Mental Health Problems. Mental health is a sensitive topic and sometimes people may not know or feel comfortable to address these type of situations or even know how to provide the right support.

Not getting the right support from loved ones, you may automatically think that they don’t care or don’t want to be there for you and this can be difficult on both sides. Mental health can be difficulty to understand particularly if you haven’t experienced it for yourself or you have no background knowledge on this. However It’s important to try and understand that everyone may not understand you and that doesn’t make them a bad person and it doesn’t mean they care less about you, they just don’t have the knowledge needed to understand the best way to support you.

Have a think to yourself…If you don’t have much understanding about your Mental Health how can others know more than you. I’m not saying that your loved ones shouldn’t support you because they should by all means. The message I’m trying to convey is; sometimes the people you turn to may not have all the answers and that’s ok. That’s when the professional come out to play 😊

Thank you for reading, have you ever experienced this topic of conversation before. Would love to here from you and how you managed x Shar

We all have a Story to share

In life we all have a story to share. Whether your story is sad, scary, disturbing or embarrassing it doesn’t matter because your story, is what makes you special and unique.

Hearing other people’s story about Mental Health is what motivated me in wanting to encourage this more in others, hence why I started my business. Whether you may believe it or not, someone in this world needs to hear your story to help them heal, learn or become a stronger person. In life we grow and learn more about ourselves and other by sharing stories.

When it comes to Mental Health difficulties, often people feel hesitant, afraid or embarrassed to share their story which is totally understandable (read my post of what does it mean to be vulnerable). If this is you I am here to tell you that someone does want to listen to your story and yes this may not be everyone but if you can inspire, motivate and encourage one person in life that’s more than enough. You thinking that people don’t care about what you have to say, is your perception and sometimes our perception may not be a reality. Not only will people feel inspired by your story, but telling your story can be healing for you.

If you have a story and you feel afraid to speak because you are scared of judgement, always remember that your story is what defines you and that you are beautiful regardless of what other people may have to say about you.

We are all beautiful ❤️

Thank you for reading.

 

Is it Stress or Mental Health Problem

Thinking that you may have a Mental Health problem can be very distressing and confusing. Particularly if this is the first time you are having these thoughts, or even if this may not be the first time and you’ve always had an idea of this it can still be troubling.

Before I continue I will explain the difference between Mental Health and a Mental Health problem. We all have Mental Health however we don’t all suffer with a Mental Health Problem, this can be triggered by various external situations or events that happen your life.

Mental Health – Mental Health is a person’s state of emotional wellbeing. Your wellbeing is linked to your tolerance of stress levels and how you mange dealing with adversity

Mental Health Problem – Mental Health Problems refers to a range of Mental Health conditions, that can be triggered by external situations or events. When a person is finding it difficult to manage stress, or daily functioning this may result in a Mental Health Problem, which can affect your mood, thinking behaviour and how you feel physically.

Before you start to think that you have a Mental Health Problem, it’s also important to understand what stress, because chronic stress could trigger a Mental Health Problem, if not managed or treated accordingly.

Stress – Stress is a feeling you may experience of being under too much pressure.

Stress can sometimes feel like a Mental Health Problem, due to the symptoms being similar to depression and anxiety. Stress can sometimes make you feel unable to cope or manage your, thoughts, feelings and behaviour. However if you have the right tools stress can be managed.

How to identify if you are experiencing stress:

Step 1: Write down what you think is the problem

Step 2: Write down how this problem is making you feel

Step 3 : Are you able to mange this problem if you have the right tools to help you.

Step 4 : Ask yourself how long have you had this problem for (has it been longer than 6 months)

Step 5 : Don’t rush when doing this exercise, try and take you time going at a pace that is convenient to yourself.

If you feel that you are able to manage what has been causing you to feel stressed. Below is some practical problem solving tips that will hopefully help you.

How to manage stress with Problem Solving:

Step 1: Write down the problem

Step 2: list as many solutions you can think of to solve this problem (anything that comes to mind, it can be as silly as you like)

Step 3: list the pros and cons to all the solutions you have just thought of and number them form 1-(no. of solutions). With 1 being the most likely solution.

Step 4: Pick the suitable solution

Step 5: Make a plan of how you are going to utilise this solution

Step 6: Take action

Step 7: Reflect

If you have followed this steps above and believe that you are experiencing more than stress. Here are some examples of how you can maybe identify if it is more that stress. Try not to self diagnosis yourself with anything, as it is advisable to seek professional and get an assessment if you need further. However being able to identify how you are feeling is important and will help when being assessed by a professional.

How to identify if you are experiencing a possible Mental Health Problem:

(Disclaimer, I am not a Clinical Psychologist although I have qualifications within as a Therapist, I am able to assessing, providing suggestive diagnosis to patients. I am also experienced in providing treatment for low level Depression and Anxiety based on this)

– Mental Health problems, may have an impact in either of the following, how you feel physically, your thoughts and behaviour.

– Your symptoms, may cause significant clinical distress or impairment in social and occupational or other areas of functioning.

– Mental health problems generally last for a period of 6 months (this is dependent on the problem)

The 3 signs can help you identify if you may be experiencing a Mental Health problem but always seek professional advice.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope I was able to make things clear for you, in being able to identify whether you maybe experiencing stress or a Mental Health problem.