It's difficult to explain an illness that can't be physically seen and one that initially swooped down on me and then held me prisoner without any notice period or early warning call.
It's such a shame that it takes the death of a hugely famous actor/comedian to get the conversation happening to such a level. However, if we must find a positive from this tragic tale, the exposure of his struggles may leave some people with a greater understanding of the illness, and those who are masking their troubles may be encouraged to talk.
Experiencing a deep breath into the abdomen is not only relaxing; it's been scientifically proven to positively affect the heart, brain, digestive and immune system. Once the breath is moving in the abdomen, the upper lungs can be activated so eventually the breath is full, connected and active.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS as it is more commonly known, is not a glamorous condition. I know that sounds like quite a negative statement to open with, but it is the truth as I see it. It is something that affects a large number of women in the UK, yet only receives very limited and stereotypical media coverage.
Having weathered several episodes of depression with an incredibly strong man by my side, I've seen first hand the impact it can have on a partner, and consequently on the relationship.
What you wear affects you psychologically. It can profoundly alter your mood. It also influences how others respond to you. And the visual illusion created by cut and fabric dramatically changes the appearance of your body. Your clothes can affect your job prospects, your love life and even your self-image.
One in four people - so on average, someone in the typical two parent, two children family - will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. Yet even though so many people are affected, mental illness carries a devastating stigma, which can harm sufferers in every aspect of their life.
Like most of you reading, this I am on the professional treadmill of getting around four hours real sleep a night whilst juggling your iphone, kids and personal lives with any of the proverbial plates crashing at any possible moment.
My life was a train wreck, but I was committed to recovering, and over time, I learned how to manage my illness so effectively that it doesn't negatively impact upon my life anymore. Below are 14 self-care practices that I learned from various therapists, doctors, self-help books, athletes, artists and my parents that helped pull me out of the abyss and lead me to happiness.
Wow, I thought. Life is great! GREAT! And for a moment I was flooded with happiness and joy about how well everything was going. And then, as it always does, sheer dread kicked in. This can't last, I thought. Oh my God, I'm too happy. Things are too perfect. It's just a matter of time before the other shoe drops. Horrible, awful things happen to people all the time. I should know.
Originally, I wanted to name this post "Aimlessly Attempting to Crawl My Way Back to Center," but I thought it was too defeatist sounding. It is how I'm feeling as of late though. I feel like the balance and grounding I had found has become hazy, muted, diluted.
If you are lonely, have few social outlets, low self confidence or self esteem, then the summer months can be challenging. You may find it difficult to go out on your own, if others are out as couples, families or groups of friends, and you have no one to share the summer with. Seeing others apparently living the life you wish you had can make you feel worse about your own situation.
Sleep has been so undervalued that being deprived of it has become a boast. However, when you factor in The Third Metric, this anti-sleep mentality suddenly seems ridiculously skewed. After all, what's the point of attaining all that solvency and influence if you're so tired you stumble through it all like a zombie?
"After all this time might I be Bi-Polar rather than still suffering from PTSD?" was the question I posed to Anton Kruger, my psychologist, in March of this year. The reasoning for my question was that it is coming up for 14 years since the train crash which is a significant amount of time. Surely I must be over it by now?
Our bodies are cleverer than our minds. When we are truly tired, we will fall asleep. Sleeping is a natural action. You don't have to do anything to get to sleep. It is not humanly possible to stay awake forever. The one topic that mustn't be on one's list of worries is sleep itself. That is what can stop you from sleeping and make you ill, both physically and psychologically.
Having someone to help you reach the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is one of the best things about being in a relationship. But when your lover crosses the line from "supportive partner" to "therapist", it can have catastrophic results - both for the relationship, and also for your health.