Whilst for many, the thought of Christmas conjures up images of mince pies, mulled wine, sitting cosily around the fire, this isn't the case for everyone. There are numerous reasons that someone might not look forward to Christmas - mental health problems being one of them.
I was talking to some young people at work who were a bit stressed about Christmas and they seemed so shocked at the idea that my Christmas wasn't going to just turn out like some kind of ideal homes perfect picture of a happy festive British family. I
Autumn is my favourite season; the colours, comfy layers, snuggly fires and adventures on frosty mornings. As it gets further into winter, my enthusiasm waivers a little. It can be hard enough to motivate yourself on a good day when the sun is shining and everything feels a little easier.
The thing with having an anxiety disorder is that it is not, as it might be thought, a temporary unpleasant feeling that rises and then gives way to calm. Moments of panic followed by months of peace. It is a full-time occupation of the mind.
If it wasn't for these struggles, I wouldn't wake up every day and ask myself how I'm going to utilise every second to make sure I'm doing what makes me happy. If it wasn't for these struggles, I wouldn't cherish every moment spent with my family as if it was my last.
Dealing with any depression or mental health issue during a time of general good cheer and celebration can be markedly more challenging than at other times. The Christmas period, although wonderful, can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming too. Here are my top five tips for reducing symptoms and improving mood.
My head is a mess. I want my Mum, I need her, but I also want to not want or need anything. I want to be independent and get my life back and do everything and be everywhere; but I sit here at my desk and just thinking about going to the supermarket feels like planning a trip to the far side of the earth and fills me with panic.
Yes, I'm aware that you won't listen, you want to be confident, educated and independent. I am not asking you to corrupt your dreams, just to look around and find time to enjoy the journey.
Of all the therapists I have seen, all the psychiatrists who have treated me (or at least tried to) trying to find out the cause of my eating disorder, one word is always at the forefront. Invisible. Ever since I could remember, I have felt invisible to people. 'Felt' is an understatement. I am invisible. Or at least that's what it seems like to me...
In 11 years working a pre and post natal exercise expert throughout London and West Essex I've seen a lot of pregnant and post natal mums. Probably close to the 500 pregnancies now. And what's the most common question? When will I get 'me' back again?
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that people should talk about this more, because we all know it to be true but we all contribute to the problem. I'm not saying to post about everything bad in your life.
I get it. We live in a fast-paced society that is always pulling us in different directions. We're having to take the kids to school, work, play, maintain relationships simultaneously because we only have a few hours a day to do it all. So we're all incredibly busy.
Nobody has sung at me. I wasn't woken up with gifts, or breakfast in bed. I doubt there'll be a cake, unless the cafe at work decides it needs to use up all the eggs before the weekend. I'm going to work, and I'm continuing on with my day. But I am celebrating. I am celebrating harder than I celebrated my 21st birthday.
High cortisol levels can create a partial shutdown of our immune system, making us more vulnerable to threats of illness, it can cause intense hunger and insane cravings, and it can add stubborn fat to our abdomen.
Publicity has been central to raising awareness of the issue and bringing the conversation about mental health forward. Social media channels, campaigns and key celebrity figures have highlighted this change in thinking, which continues to be overlooked by the government.
We've all experienced doubts, worries and anxiety; it's normal. Whatever it is that worries you and makes you anxious, it can be an annoying distraction that makes you feel uncomfortable. But too often, anxiety can make you physically unwell and leave you unable to think about anything else whatsoever.