You came into my life at the tender age of 9. I didn't know what you were, but you immobilised me, and took me away from the life I knew. I lived in a bubble you made, so thick I couldn't break out. You kept me hidden in my room, existing but not living.
The key to feeling better is to get to the root of the problem and do what you can to turn these negative feelings around. Despite the therapy and medications, people still continue to suffer. And there's a good reason why... actually there are eight good reasons. Sometimes the cause behind anxiety and depression isn't mental at all! It's physical.
This is the reality of a lack of funding for mental health. The over-burdened services, pared down to the bone. There are no beds left, there is little access to counselling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy... All I have to offer is a listening ear. That, and a tissue.
The Christmas period serves up an array of situations that can trigger an anxiety attack. For many of us, spending time with our extended families can cause an increase in stress which may lead to downing that extra glass of mulled wine to get through the day.
Mental health is an economic problem. It is a problem that this country cannot afford to ignore. While we have made considerable progress in the last decade, mental health continues to be a sensitive issue.
Your habits, whether negative or positive, determine your perception of reality. Your memories are not stored in isolation from everything else in your mind...they live alongside your feelings, your thoughts, andyour desires. As your feelings, habits, and goals in life change, your memories also change in accordance with them...
I don't like my labels. I didn't ask for them, and I would certainly rather I didn't have them. But I do. They don't define me, and they're not all I am, not by a long shot. But accepting them, rather than fighting them, has brought me just that bit closer to being able to manage them. So go ahead, label me, it helps. Just don't judge me.
How come some people always seem to be upbeat? They always seem to be smiling, nothing fazes them and yet they inhabit the same world as us. What is it that they're doing perhaps differently? What is the best way to have a great day?
Children nowadays face a lot of societal pressures. We expect them to be achievers in school or sports, have many friends and be better than the next kid. Parents tend to push their children to mingle with other kids, putting them in the spotlight. However, this does not only increase your kid's shyness, it also makes them feel insufficient and affects their overall confidence level.
When you lose someone, you often find yourself in a cliché firing line as, 'It was their time to go', 'Time is a healer' and 'Everything will be okay' are shot at you. Of course, people are trying to help as best they can (which is appreciated immensely), but it is so difficult to digest anything positive when things are painfully raw and you are suffocating in grief.
That blasted phrase is the imaginary pot of gold at the end of the rainbow we've been using to bludgeon ourselves and our self-esteem with for years. It doesn't exist. How could it?
Getting out of bed early is a slightly contentious topic nowadays. How could I possibly get up earlier. I'll be exhausted. I work all day. Please, you're just making excuses. We can all get out of bed a little earlier.
In our bid to buy a flatscreen TV bigger than Mars we've completely forgotten about giving, and what that means. And very often, it's not to people who are automatically given it by right, it's the people who either ask and are completely ignored, or the ones who don't and are falling down the cracks.
I gave it some thought for a week, reading up on the anti-depressants that the doctor suggested and finally made the decision to give them a go. And I'm glad I did. It's probably the best decision I've made in years. Within a few weeks I was feeling much much better. Again it's hard to explain but that feeling of anxiousness has eased significantly.
Our single stated aim when it came to curing the world of smoking was to effectively put ourselves out of business - by curing all the smokers in the world. To really achieve our aim we do need governments to engage with us. With one eye on their treasury coffers one wonders whether there's a government out there genuinely interested in eradicating addiction.
Do fairy lights bring you out in hives? Does the sight of a Christmas tree brightly adorned, bring you out in palpitations and send you delving into the bottom of your hand or man-bag looking for your battered old Christmas list?