At 19 years old I was hideously unprepared for the caring role thrust upon me. Yet, when my girlfriend's health deteriorated overnight, I willingly stepped up to meet the challenge. We're now married and I give my wife full-time, around the clock, care. Along with millions of other carers in the UK, the avoidable cost of caring has changed my life beyond recognition.
Understanding Psychosis destabilises such hope-crushing ideas that schizophrenia is a brain disease. How? Firstly, the report takes seriously the main biological theories, weighing up the evidence base before concluding that there is no proven biological abnormality associated with schizophrenia.
So how do you solve a problem like bipolar? Therapy, medication, exercise, amongst other things. I can't vouch for medication and exercise ('cos I never do any), but therapy is wonderful...once you find the right therapist.
What a shocking thought that with hundreds of thousands of women giving birth in the UK every year, how many of these women will be entering into motherhood with no knowledge of maternal mental health issues, but will, unfortunately, be one of the one in 10 diagnosed with one?
These are my five steps to recovering from a mental health problem, these steps are on my own personal experience and I hope it helps you.
How conscious are you in your experience of daily life? Do you have fun? Do you create exciting projects and share your time with those you love? Or are you unhappy? Are you always complaining about loss? Are you waiting for somebody else to make the move that will take you out of your comfort zone to a better place?
Toxic emotions are stored in the drug store buried deep in our inner world. Open the door and you'll find bottles of fear, shame, excitement, stress, self-hate, lust and worry. The more we thrive on these emotions, the harder it is to live without them.
People in the UK are taught that alcohol is the best way to help us bond, socialise, become more confident and let go of that stiff upper lip. We've also learned that alcohol can comfort, console and reward us when times are tough. Alcohol is portrayed as an elixir in good times and bad, the answer to everything.
They are going to be feeling frustrated, confused and completely overwhelmed sometimes if not most of the time so it is important that you know some hurtful things that they say to you, they do not mean so don't take it too personally as it is just the illness talking and they will most likely apologise sincerely for it sometime after it has been said.
If we're ever going to be able to defeat prejudice and make mental illness a less taboo subject, there's going to need to be a clearer understanding of it. Here's part two of my A-Z guide to the unifying aspects of the illness.
What is stress? Stress is a naturally occurring chemical imbalance built into our body to allow us to function when the time calls. It's triggered when we need to perform at a higher level of attention and responsiveness. Unfortunately within business, with tighter deadlines and demands many business owners opt to work at this level more than the body is able to cope with...
Emotional wellbeing is fundamental to every stage of a child's life - from starting school to entering adulthood - but a shocking number of young people are suffering from mental health problems and not receiving support to fulfil their potential. Action for Children recently conducted research revealing no signs of improvement for these children, with 91% of professionals working with vulnerable young people in our services seeing levels of mental health problems either rising or staying the same over the past year.
Gradually as I began to get better, you would read aloud longer passages and poems to me as you had done when I was a child. You had always kept a commonplace book of snippets of poetry, prayer and anecdotes that had particularly struck you, entitled 'Consolations'. I devoured the collection as if it were ice-cold water offered to a parched traveller.
The very receptors that are sending signals to our brain subconsciously tell us whether we are wearing shoes or whether that hand is really pleasant to touch, or 'That skin is so soft, it brought back fond memories' or even as simple as 'He feels safe'.
Ask yourself this; Do you want to feel miserable? Do you want to 'blame' the weather for the whole season just so you can feel bad? I doubt it. So we need to think about the bad weather differently.
It's a complicated subject - it can mean different things for different people, it isn't talked about anywhere near enough, and there's often an overly simplified, one-sided portrayal of it in the media. If we're ever going to be able to defeat prejudice and make mental illness a less taboo subject, there's going to need to be a clearer understanding of it.