Does depression/anxiety cause addiction, or is it the other way around? I think of Luke, Rick and Bjorn, and the many others I met and became friends with during my stay at New Life, and I wonder, did anyone think to ask them?
People tell you that things happen for a reason, often when the situation lacks any reason at all. I've been thinking a lot recently about life and it's challenges. The way I see it is that you live, you love, you often lose but then you continue to find a way to pick up the broken pieces or smooth the edges in order to live again.
I often hear clients say that once they can accept anxious thoughts and feelings, instead of trying to battle against them, that the feelings start to subside.
It was the first time that I had visited A&E and not had to wait. I was raced into the medical room on a gurney, electrodes were stuck on my body to check my heart was not about to collapse. Blood tests taken to check my liver was still functioning and calculate exactly just what I had thrown down my throat.
A competent Hypnotherapist will have attended a comprehensive training. Ask them where they trained and check it out on the net. Failure to attend a good training will probably mean their knowledge and skill set is limited.
You can be the strongest person in the world and still be struck down with an anxiety disorder. In all fairness, it's usually the strongest and most confident people who suffer from anxiety disorders because they hide their emotions away.
Mental health problems can be so very isolating at times. Last week I was a bit of a social butterfly, catching up with three friends who I've not seen in far too long. Some days it's tricky, there have been times when seeing people has just been really hard and I've avoided certain social situations. This is a message to my friends...
To help distract your child's attention away from exam results, perhaps suggest going out for a walk or for lunch or encourage them to spend time doing something they enjoy whether that's shopping or going out with friends.
We are more than content to share our happiest moments on social media, but imagine a world where we would feel obliged to share out most depressing moments with one another? With this support network, many of the problems that seem unmanageable suddenly become manageable.
I had found myself panicking and dreading it all. For no reason other than the way I was handling balancing my long term pain with trying to be the person I want people to think I am - a sassy PR with a penchant for gin and tonic and not a care in the world, basically taking fake it till you make it a wee bit too far until I knew something had to give.
I'm sociable, I really am. Everyone I meet pegs me as an extrovert, the proverbial life and soul (burning bright but fast). I feed off interesting people like some kind of creature of the night, but afterwards I definitely need to recharge, assuming I haven't run out of battery mid-way through a party and am left standing paralysed in the full beam of small talk (or hiding in the loo, as above).
The key thing to remember seems to be not to give in. No matter how bad it feels, you are unlikely to die. You are afraid. It WON'T last forever. So breathe. Breathe again. Talk to someone.
Mental health campaigner and OBE recipient Ruby Wax recently told The Times: "When people say, 'Should you tell them at work?', I say: 'Are you crazy?' You have to lie. If you have someone who is physically ill, they can't fire you. They can't fire you for mental health problems but they'll say it's for another reason. Just say you have emphysema."
In the high powered, fast moving society we live in and with many companies downsizing, today's employees are expected to do more with less, as demands rise time diminishes, creating an alarming trend of workplace stress and overwhelm.
Last week I did the nursery run on my own for the first time.
My anxiety and depressive episodes in recent years have impacted upon my life considerably. But finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I write to offer a message of hope, a message that hopefully will resonate with many mental health sufferers. It gets better.