What help is available?: Extra Support

This post concludes the mini series 'help'. Here are just a few extra tips to help you if you feel you are suffering with a mental illness, such as anxiety.

1. Friends and Family
It's always great to have someone to talk to if you feel you are suffering from a mental illness. One of the best ways you can handle the situation is to talk. The Time to Change campaign gives tips on how to start a conversation about mental illness. I'm sure you will be surprised by the response of your family and friends - in a positive way, just like I was. I know it can be extremely hard to talk about it, however I would really advise you to start the conversation which will change your life and get you onto the road to recovery. Many people are reluctant to speak about their issues, which can be problematic. I don't know your family or friend situation - you may not feel close to them, or don't feel you can trust them. However, please try to find just one person in your life, whether that be your Mum, Dad, Sister, Brother, Grandparent, Auntie, Uncle, Cousin, Friend or even someone working for a charity, if you feel you cannot talk to a friend or someone from your family. Talking is so important, they can begin to support you, you will feel better and hopefully it will mean you can get the services that you need.

2. YouTube
The internet is such a widespread thing these days and we tend to use it in everyday life. However, while I was suffering from my mental breakdown and anxiety a few months ago and even now, YouTube is a great support. At the time I was going through therapy and I thought I was the only one to ever suffer from anxiety, however I went on YouTube and just happened to find Zoella. 

Zoella is a beauty/fashion guru on Youtube, who before I saw her video on anxiety I had never really watched her videos. However now my viewing is a reoccurring thing! The first video I ever saw about her was where she explained about her anxiety. Everything she was saying, I could relate to. I no longer felt alone. I thank her so much for broadcasting that video, because at the time I desperately needed it. Zoe has also written an amazing blog post, which I read last Easter. This too is amazing and it helped me so much. I will leave the links below:
Click here for Zoella's anxiety post.
Click here for Zoella's anxiety video.

Tanya Burr is another well known Youtuber. She has written a brief blogpost about anxiety too. It's not in as much detail as Zoella, but that's understandable because to write about anxiety can be quite a brave thing. I will also leave the link to her blog post below:
Click here for Tanya's anxiety post.

You'd be surprised how many other YouTubers suffer from anxiety and other issues. They may look fine, but everyone is fighting their own battles. Remember; you are not alone. 1 in 4 people suffer with mental illness in any one year.

I hope that this mini series has helped you or started you on your way to recovery. If I had to send any message to you right now, it is to talk. Please, please talk to someone about your mental illness. I cannot stress it enough. After you've spoken to someone about it; whether that be a friend, family member or charity worker you have already started on your way to recovery. Then you can go to the GP who will be able to put you into the right direction to help you on your way.

I hope this has helped and thank you so much for the support over the last few weeks. I wish you all the best.

"It seems impossible until it's done"

Amy x

What help is available: Health Services

If you feel like you are suffering with a mental illness your first port of call should be your Doctor/GP. They should be able to put you into the right direction, whether that be counselling, medication or any other health service. 

1. Your GP/Doctor
Your GP covers a wide range of topics when regarding mental illness, so I will try to make it simple.
If you are having problems in regards to your mental health, whether that be depression/anxiety or any other mental illness, you can go to your GP. Don't be hesitant to discuss it with your GP, I did and it really was my first step on the way to recovery. I know it can be scary, especially if you get extremely anxious or embarrassed, but just think of the improvements you will make. 

2. Counselling/Therapy:
Out of everything I will ever mention on this blog, counselling is the most important step. This list below mentions some of the counselling services I know of and/or have gone through:

A) Private Sector - This can be somewhat costly and can take a long time to search for a private counsellor or hypnotherapist. However, if you are in desperate need, then this is what you should go for. I was put on a waiting list for an NHS mental health service, which I was on for 7 months. Because I was in such desperate need, I had to go private. I saw a hypnotherapist where it was half talking about my feelings and how I was doing with certain aspects of my anxiety and the other half was relaxing and what is known as 'hypnotherapy' This is where your hypnotherapist will read specific things to try and make your brain relax/clear/feel a different way about a situation. It's really not as bad as you think. 

B) NHS Mental Health services - Through my own experience, this is by far a much more meaty type of counselling and really worked for me. I think each area of the UK will offer different kinds of services, so you will have to do some research to find out. In my first session I was assessed with anxiety and depression charters and my therapist decided based on my condition which method was right for me.

C) CAMHS - This is only available in certain areas of the UK, however it's known to be a great and helpful service for people suffering with emotional and behavioral issues. This is a service which again can help you, but I do not have any experience with.

There are many other services out there, but your GP will be the most informative with this topic.

3. Medication
Medication is another option in helping with your health. Doctors seem to try therapy and other methods first before medication. However, if you feel you are in desperate need of it because therapy isn't helping or you feel you need it in conjunction, then you should go to your doctors to discuss your situation. There is a range of medication out there to deal with anxiety/depression and not all of them will work for you. You may need to try a few before it really works. Your Doctor/GP is the best person to talk to and will advise you about what to do.

Recovery is also based upon you. Recovery is extremely hard and there is no denying it. Counselling/therapy and other methods takes will power and can be very hard when you are in a situation like this, however time will pass and you will get there. Keep going, I know you can do it and I know it's hard, but you've got this.

Good luck and best wishes,
Amy x 

What help is available?: Charities

This is going to be a mini series which is going to be spread across many blog posts. I'm probably going to write the most important information you will need if you are suffering from anxiety and any other related conditions. If this helps you, please share it to others. Help is the first step on the way towards recovery.

Charities and organisations

There are many charities and organisations out there which offer advice and support in regards to mental health and other related issues and problems. Here, I'm going to list my favourite charities that I have looked at and used. Of course there are many more than the list below, but these are my top ones:

1. Time to Change - I mentioned this in a previous post. I'd argue that this is the best page around at the moment. Time for change is a campaign that tries to reduce the stigma of mental illness. You can write a pledge, volunteer in real life or online and in turn read people's stories and get help. Click here for the website.

2. Childline - For all of you who are under 18, Childline is also a great refuge. You may think childline is just a support for children who are suffering certain problems, but as a matter of fact childline is there to offer support on just about anything. Not only is there information, but you can chat to a professional which is fully confidential either online or on the phone. Click here for the website.

3. Rethink - Rethink is another mental health charity, which is more about informing you about your condition, people's stories and what you can do to get onto the path of recovery. They also offer crisis links to which you can phone or email, if you feel there is an imminent risk. Click here for the website.

4. Anxiety UK - Anxiety UK is extremely helpful, not only because this is probably the condition you are suffering with, but it also offers detailed information and support. Not only can you learn about the condition, campaign and read each others stories, but you can contact them through phone, email and chat. They also offer therapy services. Personally, I'd find this most useful for information and advice. Click here for the website.

5. Mind - Mind is campaigning for better mental health. Like many other mental health sites it offers a crisis helpline and an info-line. There is lots of information about how you're feeling and how you can take part to improve other people's mental health. Click here for the website.

I hope this information has helped you in some way. Remember to share it to others if you think  they could make the use of information. Don't forget you can contact me through twitter, E-mail or here through the comments.


Amy x

My anniversary

It has been one year to this day that I had my first ever panic attack. Not something to celebrate, but rather a time of reflection. Since that day, I have had a rollercoaster of events. There have been many improvements in this year in regards to anxiety, but there have also been things I've needed to work on. This time last year, I had no clue that I was going to travel down the path that I am now on. Little did I know that my anxiety was going to get worse and that I would have to start from the very beginning. However, if I look at January  when I had my breakdown and couldn't leave the house to now, it shows an improvement. I am gradually getting on public transport, gradually improving my attendance at school, I can leave the house, talk on the phone, ask for things more often, buy things and i'm gradually ending my second break from driving lessons and are soon going to pick them up again. I've also completed my AS levels and managed to overcome a German speaking exam and first aid course along the way! These are only some of my achievements this year, I hope to continue to improve. Recovery is a very hard journey; you can be very confident one minute and not the next. However, I'm working really hard towards full recovery.

I know it is GCSE results day today and I hope that you all got what you deserved and wanted. Remember; grades aren't everything and 'work hard, play hard!' 

Amy xx