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Category: Mental Health

High Functioning Anxiety – When the World Thinks You’re OK

High Functioning Anxiety – When the World Thinks You’re OK

When people feel anxious they’ll often get butterflies in their stomach, maybe their heart will race a little and they’ll start to sweat. All of this is really normal when you’re in an anxiety inducing situation. It’s the body’s response to the given circumstance and once that changes, normal service resumes.

What if it’s not that simple though? What if anxiety doesn’t just peak when a person gets scared or angry? For some people heightened anxiety is  a way of life, some people have forgotten what it feels like to live anxiety free for the most part.

For me, anxiety makes up a hefty percentage of who I am . I’m continually in a state of fight or flight, always looking over my shoulder and waiting for disaster to strike. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a ‘woe me’ post, it’s fact. I have an anxiety disorder that if I let it, would control my life. Luckily for me, if this makes me lucky, I’m high functioning. This means that to the outside world I’m ‘normal’. I’m able to look after two young children, run a business and converse naturally. When actually, all I want to do is hide away.

Whilst being high functioning may seem like a good thing, it’s completely and utterly exhausting. Sometime I think it would be easier to hideaway, rather than putting on a front to the outside world. At least that way I’d be able to rest. We can’t change who we are though and the grass is very rarely greener on the other side. I am who I am, anxiety and all.

Writing about anxiety and how it affects my day-to-day life isn’t an easy thing to do. Most of the time I find writing cathartic, but when the subject is so emotive it can also be a huge trigger. One of the things that bothers me most when I write about mental health, is that it never sounds serious enough. I never feel like I’ve done it justice. Anxiety can be crippling, devastating and downright ugly. Everyone needs to know how bad it can get, the more people who talk about it the better. Maybe that way the seriousness of it won’t be diluted by the stigma that surrounds it.

I’m only too aware of how difficult it can be for people to talk about their mental health, or the state of mind of those they love. More often than not it’s easier not to talk about it, because a lack of understanding can make the situation ten times worse. I’ve learnt over the years to accept it when others don’t understand my situation. In fact I’m glad they don’t understand, because that could mean they don’t suffer – that they’re OK. This approach just isn’t sustainable though. The one thing that will help anyone who suffers with their mental health is talking. Talking is educating and only when the world is educated on all things mental health, can we really start to make a difference to the lives of those that need help to combat their demons.

Anxiety means so many different things, to so many different people. The one thing we all have to remember is to recognise the seriousness of anxiety and to let your voice be heard!

 

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Loving The Life Less Lived – A Mental Health Awareness Week Giveaway

Loving The Life Less Lived – A Mental Health Awareness Week Giveaway

Mental Health Awareness week 2017 falls between 8th – 17th May.  In light of this, here at The Tale of Mummyhood, we are giving away a copy of the fabulous book LOVING THE LIFE LESS LIVED by Gail Marie Mitchell.

 

‘Loving The Life Less Lived is an emotional rollercoaster, it’s an honest, often brutal example of how anxiety can affect your life.

It is also a beacon of hope, that acceptance truly does have the power to change your life.’

Author, Shelley Wilson

 


For your chance to win this fabulous book, all you have to do is enter using the form below.  Please do take a peek at the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

Loving The Life Less Lived Book Giveaway

 

 

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Why Podcasts are my New Found Love

Why Podcasts are my New Found Love

Whilst driving and in the gym I’m always plugged in, usually to the radio or the never ending playlists on my phone.  I’m not into any specific genre, so I often vary the station I listen to or the playlist I shuffle through.  However, of late I’ve noticed myself skipping tracks and stations.  I’m bored of the endless rattling on the radio and beat of the latest songs.

Ever since I had children I’ve felt like my brain has needed a little nurturing.  I’m not saying being a parent doesn’t require the use of our brains, it definitely does – just in a different way.  So with my recent falling out of love with music and radio, I’ve ventured into the world of Podcasts.  What a lightbulb moment!  Not only are my workouts and car journeys more interesting, my brain is also getting the exercise it’s been longing for.  I’m learning so much and I love it!

My favourite Podcast so far is Mad World with Bryony Gordon.  Mad World is piped over to us by The Telegraph and each week we get an insight into the mental health of a different guest.  The first episode lets us into the life of Prince Harry, I won’t give away too much but he portrays himself so very well and in my opinion, it’s a must listen!

In the second episode Bryony chats to Mandy Stevens, the former NHS Mental Health Director.  This instalment is so insightful, Mandy leaves no stone unturned when discussing her own battle with clinical depression.  Now well on her way to recovery she is living proof that depression can affect anyone, but also that it can be conquered!  This episode will stick with me for a long time and again in my opinion, is a must listen!

The world of Podcasts is such an exciting place, I find myself searching for new content to listen to at every opportunity.  I’ve also started to listen to them more when I’m working and even just pottering around the house.  I’m about the venture into blogging Podcasts, hopefully I’ll learn a thing or two about what I should actually be doing with my little corner of the internet!

Do you listen to Podcasts?  Please leave your recommendations in the comments below! 

 

 

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Love the Life You Live

Love the Life You Live

It’s human nature to look at a perfect Instagram feed and immediately assume that person’s life is better than your own.  Its part of our make up to compare what we have, to the person who seems to have it all.  It’s estimated that the average person spends one hour and forty minutes browsing their social media pages each day.  How much of this time do we actually enjoy though, and how much of it do we spend beating ourselves up?

Social media is an outlet for many people, it allows them to be whoever they want to be.  Instagram allows us to take images, crop out the mess and apply that filter that makes us look like we just stepped back into our teenage years.  Facebook allows us to check ourselves into those swanky cocktail bars, where the images we post show us having the time of our lives.  When in reality, we don’t really want to be there.  We are knackered from chasing around after the children all day, we don’t really like the people we are with and we definitely could have done without spending that money.

Social media portrays perfection.  It’s a liar, perfection just doesn’t exist.  My favourite social media feeds are the ones where imperfections are celebrated.  The ones that don’t hide the fact that the house is upside down and the toddler has dinner on her t-shirt.  I love the ones where the bad is celebrated along with the good, proving that we aren’t always living the high life.

Looking through another’s feed often leaves us feeling down about our situation.  It leaves us with a yearning for more, for better than what we have.  It’s so easy for our confidence to be knocked, by assuming that life behind the lens is as ideal as it seems.

If we delve deep into our hearts to find out its true desires, often we are holding onto them for dear life already.  We have love, we laugh, we have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.  We watch our children sleep peacefully at night and we have everything.

Social media is fun, but letting it get under our skin is dangerous.  Step back, take stock and love the life you live.  Regardless of how perfect you think someone else’s life is, take time to realise that you’ve already made it.

 

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Postnatal Depression – Daring to Talk about Mental Health

Postnatal Depression – Daring to Talk about Mental Health

Writing about postnatal depression isn’t easy.  I’m torn between wanting to write about it, not quite being ready and worrying about what people will think if they read it.

Depression is a tricky subject.  It shouldn’t be, but it is.  People don’t always like to talk about it, sufferers often feel ashamed to admit it.  The stigma that is attached to mental health is as hard to deal with as the condition itself.

As a previous sufferer of depression I am well versed in the signs, symptoms and effects that it can have.  For this reason it wasn’t a shock to me when I started to feel depressed soon after Baby J was born.  Most probably before.

I felt like I was the one who had to bring up this little baby.  I shouldn’t need help.  Battling with colic, reflux and a second pregnancy all at the same time wasn’t my wisest move.  I wouldn’t change my situation now, but I didn’t allow time for my body or mind to recover.  I didn’t have a traumatic birth but I gave birth nonetheless.  Having a baby is massive, hard, tiring and painful.  No matter how strong you are, giving yourself time to get over it is essential.

Having hyperemesis during both pregnancies didn’t help.  I’ve written all about it here so I won’t go into too much detail, but the strain on my body mentally and physically was too much.  Torturing myself because at the time I didn’t want to be pregnant, but knowing that it was wrong to feel that way was incredibly difficult.

Having postnatal depression is like living with the Devil constantly on your shoulder.  I paint a smile on my face for my children, I am a good mother.  I give them everything they need and more.  The Devil doesn’t let me believe it though.  He sits on my shoulder and tells me that what I’m doing isn’t good enough.  He is a constant niggle that leads me to believe I am not happy.

Postnatal depression leaves me feeling like I constantly need a break.  When I get a break I can’t relax.  I should be with my children, leaving them must mean I am a terrible mother.  We all know this is untrue, but if depression was based on rationality it wouldn’t be as much of a problem.

I am lucky that I am educated in this field.  I have qualifications that help me recognise depression.  I know the skills and techniques that need to be put in place to combat it.  I have had intensive therapy, from this I know myself inside out.  I know what to do and how to do it, I just wish it didn’t take so much time.

I am constantly told that life with two under two will get easier.  That I need to enjoy this time because school is just around the corner.  It doesn’t make a difference though does it?  Depression won’t just go away because time will pass quickly.  I can’t enjoy every second just because I’m being told that I should.

As I work with my demons to get them back in their box, I urge anyone who may feel the same to speak out.  Admit that you are depressed, say those words.  It’s the first step to recovery.  A vital step to allow you and your family to move past what could be the most difficult time of your life.

It’s time to talk about mental health.

 

 

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