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Journal #3 22nd October 2014

Journal entry number three. Please don't read if you feel this may be triggering. 

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

"As far as we're aware, we only get one life. Supposedly this means I should do whatever I can put my mind to, but it's never that easy. Aside from the cliche, the thought of having so much life and killing it makes me sad. In this world we all have choices which can change our destiny; choices which shape the gift of life. Because that's what life is, a gift, which can be taken away just like the popping of a balloon. It's fragile and too often I feel people can forget, myself included when i'm at the depths of my illness. But Death may be just around the corner and yet people still decide to take damaging risks with their life. What we must understand is that although life can be the darkest hell we have ever seen, it can also be the most beautiful thing ever to experience. I just wish I could show people what life can be and although we never know what's around the corner, I hope I'm not going to look back one day and see sadness in my eyes." 

I wrote this when I was sitting on a bus I believe. I was observing all of the different people we drove past and ended up writing this passage. I'm not sure that I was the most depressed I had ever been at that point, but I remember that I wasn't the happiest. It must have been a time when I felt hope but also sadness. A time where I was thinking about my future and what I wanted to make from it. I suppose, a realisation that a future from a time of hell was possible. Something that is also possible for you.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx

Mental illness is a physical illness

Mental illness is often separated from physical illness and thus is often seen to be invisible and not real. But it seems that some fail to recognise that mental illness can give rise to physical symptoms and thus can be under the physical illness umbrella in that sense. 

Anxiety can give rise to physical symptoms that we can feel within ourselves such as tingling and feeling lightheaded alongside the very 'real' fear that we are experiencing. But, they can also present symptoms that people may see from the outside such as sweating, going cold, clammy and shortness of breath. Similarly, depression can lead to looking grey in the face, wearing darker clothing, not sleeping or sleeping too much and eating too little to overeating. For illnesses such as schizophrenia, although only part of it may be the voices that someone hear's in their head, these voices can lead to particular actions in reality which other people can observe. 

What comes from inside our heads which can feel and is very real, can present real physical symptoms on the outside which people can diagnose. They present physical symptoms, just like high blood pressure would or having a broken leg. A doctor could tell you if you were having a panic attack. Yet there are still people out there who fail to believe it's real or to simply get over it, even though physical symptoms are presenting themselves, usually which cannot be controlled. Weirdly enough these kind of statements are not said to someone who has high blood pressure, even though a lot of the time the physical symptoms visible on the outside are limited depending on the severity. 

It's time for people to pay attention to the realness of the situation. Mental illness is always physical, whether it's the symptoms or the fact it affects our reality and it shouldn't be treated any less of that which is on the list of a physical illness. 

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx 

You can handle it.

Recently I've been reading a book which has changed my outlook. A lot of my anxiety has always been fuelled by the fear of failure and embarrassment which makes me avoid certain situations. I get used to being inside my comfort zone and although it has gotten wider over the years, there are still many things that I avoid on a regular basis, which we all know just continues to fuel the anxiety. 

From reading the book, it has taught me that whatever outcome that comes our way, we will handle it. We have done before and we will do again; after all that is how the species has survived. Just think about all of the situations you've been in that haven't gone as you'd planned, such as ordering something on a menu but it being sold out, or being rejected by someone...you handled it all and you're still here today. From these experiences, we have built up better resilience to future situations in how we handle them because we learn from our past. Having the knowledge that I can trust myself in any situation, even if it may take a while for me to conquer them, widens my comfort zone and the things I can tackle. Try and keep it in mind that you can conquer any outcome.

If you think about it, we all have preconceived ideas in our heads about how an event is going to play out and yet it will never turn out exactly the way we planned it to and yet we learned to adapt to the situation we are in - and that's the great thing about humans. It's practically built into us for our survival, even if we don't think so on a conscious level.

Let me know in the comments of a time when you handled a situation which you didn't expect.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx 

Guest post: A new therapy?

What's new in therapy to literally delete your fears?

Let me introduce myself, my name is James Hymers and I work as a fast change therapist helping people become free of whatever is holding them back. I think it's great that mental health is being talked about more and more in the mainstream press, from the Sun to the Times mental health is in the headlines, and on  the TV we can see mental health being talked about too with many sufferers explaining to the nation how they feel on a daily basis and telling their story, this also helps to break down the negative stigma that's been attached to  mental health problems.
I have only one problem with the advice given out by the press and that is that it is so outdated. When we lo
ok at the chosen therapy of the NHS for example it is CBT  it is incredibly hard on the client and takes a very long time, also the success rates are very low with CBT being about 20% that's only one in five clients getting the results they need.
Now I don't mean to sound harsh as anyone who spends time helping others is to be commended I would argue though that there have been a few revolutionary therapies created in the last few years that give amazing results in a much shorter space of time in fact one of the therapies I use can often solve problems in one session in one session !

What is the name of this therapy I hear you ask?   The Havening techniques™ is a revolutionary therapy created by Dr Ronald Ruden  a leading neuroscientist from America. This method is designed to change the brain to de - traumatise the memory and remove it's negative effect from both our psyche and body.The therapy uses the application of touch to change the way memories are stored and remembered and disconnects negative emotions from these traumatic memories, once the negative emotion is removed you can not see the memory in the the same way as you used to and it can not affect you like it did, this creates an astounding change in behaviour as peoples problems are literally deleted and they can now feel so much better and get back to enjoying their lives.

If you would like to see  this Revolutionary therapy in action and hear what the clients had to say about it, you can watch a short video I had made of myself working with clients here, in it you can see clients before during and after a session of Havening therapy, some have large problems and some small and they all have a great result. I have been working with the Havening techniques™ for about two years now and was in the first fifty people in the world to be qualified and I am still amazed at the results for clients. In fact Havening has been put through clinical trials and had some incredible success rates in fact in one study it came out at 99% effective.

For  more information about Havening take a look at the main website in the USA Havening.org
and for more information about myself and the therapies I offer take a look at my website www.jameshymers.com

You are not stuck with how you are feeling now, you can become free of your past and create a better future.

James Hymers fast change therapist. Windsor Berkshire

Thanks James for writing this post! Although I found CBT very effective, I understand that it takes a lot of willpower and may not be for everyone. I am always happy to share various different ways to get help and even though I haven't tried these techniques myself, I hope they will help someone. 

Guest post: Ryan

Dear Anxiety,

How quickly you've grown.
I remember your birth. I was confused by your arrival yet my mind accepted you - with no input from me. You were an extrovert in the early stages of life: not present during the day but made sure you were home at night.
My pillow became your pillow, I began sharing the sheets with you, less so because I wanted to and more so because you'd refuse to sleep without me next to you. You were becoming too comfortable and I couldn't figure out how to ask you to leave. An unwelcome stay which turned my home into a prison and my body into its' amusement park.
As you matured your interests broadened - it made time for me difficult to say the least. I would try to sit down for a minute and relax but you'd become hyperactive in times of silence. You'd cry for attention if I ever tried to ignore you. In the unlikely moment of clarity, where the fog of your presence had lifted, I felt whole again. I felt as if I could remember the importance of caring for me without also worrying about your needs.
Your need for me became an unhealthy obsession. Despite you being ever-present in my mind, I never noticed your insatiable appetite for destruction. I always blamed myself for cancelling dinners, re-arranging plans or for not picking up the phone: I was too frightened of what my friends would think of you. I never stopped to realize that you deceived me. Your viscous lies were the catalyst to my downfall but I couldn't let you go. You were so deep-rooted in my flesh, my veins and my thoughts that you and I were no longer two separate entities.
I always put you first. Why didn't you ever take me into consideration?
By this point, nothing else had purpose in my life. You were always around: at work, in the car, in the park and in my bed. It took away all my energy coping with you, day-in and day-out, you were draining me of all that was good. I accepted the fact that my life would never be normal without you in it. I think you knew that too.
I remember the day when I considered talking to somebody about you. Despite your attempts to dissuade me from ever opening my mouth about our time together, I had to take a chance. I wasn't afraid of your temper anymore, I could deal with the repercussions: whatever they may have been.
I let the phrase 'I need help, please, can you help me understand...' leave my lips. It felt like barbed-wire was being pulled from the pit of my stomach, up through my throat, out through my mouth: cutting everything on its way out. You, my dear friend, displayed your anger in full-force that day.
You made sure that my heart raced, so that my words stumbled in hopes that I would lose my breath and succumb to your rage.
I finally knew who my unwanted guest was. It turned out you have many forms and frequently visit other people to make them feel like me.
All this time, you made me feel alone. You made me feel isolated: like I wasn't normal. And just like a rebellious teenager, I began ignoring your instructions, I started fighting back - I believed in myself.

The more I fought back, the more I started enjoying normality, the less power you had over me. I would put myself through excruciating pain by doing all the things you prevented me from doing: you made everything difficult for me, but that didn't matter. Your stay was coming to an end and you fucking knew it.
Over an 18-month period we wrestled nearly every day but I grew stronger after every throw-down. Confidence began to replace the fear in my stomach, my smile began to replace the tears and the separation between us was becoming a reality. I knew that I was worth more and that you were not forever, I determine when you're welcome: not you. Not anymore.
It's funny - as you packed your bags and left - I felt thankful for you. You taught me so much about strength, about appreciating life for what it is and for showing me courage that I never thought I had.
I have no regrets about letting you in, I am not ashamed that I looked for help and I'm proud of the experiences we shared together. Without you, my old friend, I wouldn't be the determined, compassionate and understanding man that I am today.
You visit me far less frequently these days and you often only stay the night. The next time you decide to stay, you'll find this note. A note commending you for your efforts and thanking you for your tremendous ability to bring the best out of me.
I will always speak about you now. I'll make sure more people know about our time together - the good and the bad.
For now, I'll end this note with a thank you. You will be remembered.

Yours sincerely,