Gooood morning folks! Now, if you follow me or my blog you’ll know I am super open about my mental health problems and I’m a huge advocate for mental health awareness, ending the stigma and educating people on the symptoms and options for mental health problems. I don’t think you can ever talk about mental health too much, there’s always someone willing to learn or who needs to learn. I found The Mental Health tag on Anxiously, Me blog and instantly wanted to do it myself. Please go and check out Anxiously Me’s post here as well.

What is your mental health issue?

I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

Do you have medication and/or therapy?

I have never taken medication, even though I was prescribed it once. I had CBT on the NHS and then saw a private counsellor for over a year. I don’t any more but she’s always there to have the one off appointment with if I need it.

What therapy/medication have you tried and have any worked for you?

Well CBT didn’t really do anything for me. The only way this really helped was getting me out of the house occasionally and doing something which scared me. Which is obviously important but on a whole, the therapy itself didn’t help .My private counsellor was more “talking therapy”. She didn’t get me to fill out any graphs or charts . She set me small, manageable goals, talked about my problems and went deeper into why they manifested. This helped massively for me.

How long have you had problems for?

I was diagnosed with anxiety in 2012 so around 5 years now.

Do your family/friends know?

My closest friends and family do. I don’t know to what extent my extended family knows but to be honest, I don’t really care. If they know, they know.

Does this affect your work and daily living?

Yes, massively. I struggle leaving the house on my own. But if I’m out with other people, I’m absolutely fine. I struggled with a job because it was making me so anxious and I also had to quit a college course and placement because it was stressing me out too much. Luckily, I made the most of the situation and started my own business so I now work from home. But I’m not ruling out getting a part-time job as well.

What makes you feel calm?

Reading, watching YouTube, drinking water, having my mum around, yoga.

What do you do in crisis?

If I’m having an anxiety attack, which is rarely anymore, I prefer to be alone. Having no music or TV on and being as still and quiet as possible and focusing on my breathing. I like the 7/11 technique (7 counts in, 11 counts out). I also use Bach’s Rescue Remedy spray if I need t and take Kalms tablets daily to keep the edge off.

What advice would you give to others suffering?

First and foremost get help. Doctor, therapist, family member, calling the Samaritans. Anything. Just get help. It’s scary but it’ll help and will feel like a huge weight off of your shoulders. Also, don’t let one little set back stop you in your stride. We all have set backs because life isn’t going to be perfect all the time. Forget about it and move on. Don’t dwell. Find a “safe haven” as well. Something to do or a place to go when you feel really bad.

What makes you smile?

Books, blogging, my best friend, my dog, my parents, yoga, a nice meal, a warm bath, a clear night sky, an interesting documentary, feeling productive.

Describe your mental health issue in 5 words โ€“

Frustrating, improving, challenging, annoying and unrealistic.

If you have any questions about my mental health or want any advice or support for yours, please do leave a comment below.

106 Comments

  1. […] discovered this tag via Jenny in Neverland, who I don’t believe is the originator but who has inspired me to have a crack nonetheless. I […]

  2. […] saw this tag on Jenny in Neverland and I knew that I had to do it! I’m very open about my mental health, but I’ve never […]

  3. Amazing that you have the courage to do this tag, & I totally relate with the whole struggles of daily living and getting out of the house. Gave me the courage to use this tag on my own blog. <3

  4. Hey. I think think this is amazing and i can relate to a lot of your experiences. I took inspiration from this for a post idea on mine that i will post shortly. I hope you don’t mind x

  5. […] age since I last talked mental health so I thought I would do the Mental Health tag that Jenny from Jenny in Neverland completed a while ago. I saw it and thought about how much I wanted to complete it but I have only […]

  6. Happened upon your blog and love it. As a child & teen trauma survivor, I had depression and battled suicidal thoughts for many years. In fact, my first serious attempt was at age 9, my last was at the age of 17 so I clearly understand what you write – both personally and as a 30 year trauma therapist. I think it is great that you share your message because it is therapeutic for many others as well. When I was an angry, isolated, depressed, and suicidal teenager, my attitude became so toxic that I hated myself and, as a result, I started speaking my mind very directly and abruptly without discrimination. I never listened to my adoptive parents who said to โ€œtone it down a littleโ€ even though I knew that I was being hurtful. I guess my thoughts were “if I am mean to everyone first, they can’t be mean to me”. In fact, in my autobiographical memoir called โ€œShattered to Shiningโ€, I talk about the ways that both not speaking my true feelings & speaking my true feelings abruptly affected my life and how my anxiety held me captive and made me a control-freak, and much more.. I can now look back and see that much of the toxicity I carried around was a defense mechanism โ€“ a survival skill of some kind. Finally a mentor told me “The Best Way to Get Even is to Become a Success” and that helped change or shift my mindset. It allowed me to develop empathy and compassion and, as a young adult, I was able to “tone it down a little” – not because I was told to but because, as I healed, I actually wanted to. Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your bare, thought-provoking content.

  7. Spledid read love! I only just recently (as in middle of 2017) started opening up and talking about my anxiety and my panic attacks. It felt beyond empowering and i never thought people would be so supportive. When im terrified and crying because i feel there are monsters with me, people repeat over and over that there’s no one there. They’re just…good god they’re just charming, really! Anywho great work love! I love writing and reading about MH and MHI so WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY IS hon you just got a follow (i wish that didn’t sound as passive aggressive as i think it does) xx

  8. I was wondering whether you got annoyed when people tell you what to do about the challenges you face with your mental health (the challenges you used to face if you don’t anymore) ? And have people’s opinion actually impacted you getting better or was it more of a personal internal process? I know that I get so fed up with people when they tell me that all will get better and that I should try eating cause that helps. But I could be in the wrong *shrugs shoulders*

  9. “Find a safe haven”- such an important one. Having somewhere that you feel comfortable has been so helpful in me managing my mental health issues. Thank you for being so open, and hopefully in doing so encouraging others to do the same!

  10. Thank you so much for your inspirational post. It’s amazing that people such as yourself are opening up about mental health issues. I have had mental health issues for a while now and it’s people like yourself who help me to open up that bit more. So thank you very much for being open about it because it will really help me. Oh and btw this is such an amazing and beautiful post:)<3 Xx

  11. It’s great with more and more people standing up and fighting the stigma. I like that you keep of the meds. I have bipolar and try to use photography and exercise. And meditation. My girlfriend is studying to become a yoga teacher so I try to hang along on that as well! ๐Ÿ™‚ best of luck to you!

  12. Wow, that was an amazing article! I really wish we could break the stigma against mental health as well

  13. Jenny in Neverland… Just by reading your opening on this posts, I felt as if I was reading what I wrote. I have been through the gambit of mental health disorders, want to break the stigma of such, want to educate with coping skills, meditation, spirituality, and keep people informed on mental health disorders alike. I look forward to following you in the future. Have a great evening, Beckie

  14. Hi Jenny!

    I recently graduated college so I am about to start my first job and I am terrified. One day I want to have the opportunity to work from home but have no idea how to even begin that journey. For now I want to work through the terror of going to work and dealing with bosses but eventually I would love to stay home and hopefully blog or do something similar! Any advice would be amazing since I am driving myself crazy being so anxious all the time.

    1. Do you have tools and coping mechanisms for you anxiety? Medication or counselling? Yoga, meditation, herbal remedies, breathing techniques anything like that?

      When you find yourself thinking about something that makes you anxious try and switch off and focus on the moment. I’ve found that has helped me loads. It can take some practice!

      I’m afraid I don’t have any advice for working from home as I don’t know what your strengths are; I don’t work from home as a full time blogger, I’m a business owner too but earn small bits and pieces from my blog but it’s not my main source of income not by a long shot.

      If you wanna talk further please feel free to email me and we could have a better conversation!

      jenny.in.neverland@hotmail.co.uk

      1. I just started counseling so I am hoping that helps! I was thinking about starting every morning with a little bit of yoga before going to work. Maybe I will try some herbal remedies! I am not into the heavy medication at all.

  15. Hey I really enjoyed this article, and the questioning style of it was very engaging but more than that I liked how open you were and I definitely think many others suffering from anxiety would benefit from this. Im starting a blog on mental health, as like you say the more people talk about it the better! I’ve also worked with customers who suffered dreadfully with anxiety so I feel the more they see others discussing their issues the less stigmatized they will feel, and share support. Well done!

  16. I’ve just started my own blog detailing my journey with mental health. It’s so great to read about other people’s journeys. I hope to read more of your blog <3!

  17. Such a lovely post. It’s not easy speaking about Metal Health. I still haven’t posted anything directly onto my blog about it yet! I am so happy for you that you keep fighting it every single day! So glad that you have got it under control. xo

      1. I can imagine you feel so much better after getting so much off your chest! I might do..Just not yet! I’ll have a think about it xo

  18. I really enjoy reading tag posts, and this was really helpful for me too ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve tried CBT and another therapy on the NHS which was basically CBT & talking therapy together, but none of them really helped me at all. I’ve been curious about seeing a private therapist for a while now, and your post has made me feel a lot more encouraged to give it a go, so thankyou x

    Sarah | Raiin Monkey

    1. If you have the means to, I’d highly recommend a private therapist! It’s so much more personal and honestly, I didn’t come to think of her as a therapist anymore – just a friend I was going to for a chat xx

  19. Well done for being so open about it! I have anxiety too and relate to much of what you said. I actually have a job in retail now and am able to interact with customers so there is hope! โค

  20. I love this post and I’m so glad you have written it. So helpful for not only me but other people who can get an idea of how you feel, and maybe even help them realise they are in the same situation! I love that you’re open about it and I wish I could be too!

      1. Definitely, and I think people being more open about it could make a difference to the world. At least we can hope so!

  21. I love that you’re open about this! I’m trying to be more open about my mental health (depression, anxiety, ptsd and currently undergoing checks for bipolar) any tips to be more open would be great.

  22. Thanks for sharing, a very interesting read, and encouraging that you’re breaking down the stigmas. I hear you….I have GAD, Post Traumatic Stress, Complex Trauma, and Severe Clinical Depression – I suffered for years, and only within the last few years found the courage to speak up to my doctor and get help – it had kind of come to a crisis point. People close to me discouraged me from doing so in case it would impact my job, but amazingly my work have been supportive, and I’m also trying in my own little corner of the world to break down the stigmas although it can seem ‘scary’ at times. I blog about mental health too, as well as other things. Wishing you all the best….keep up with those breathing techniques….I find it helps with my PTS (no D!) as well as the anxiety. Take care and stay strong. xxx

  23. I suspect I might be living with high functioning anxiety and/or depression. Because my problems are far less massive than the rest of my family it has taken me a long time to identify and accept that something is not normal. So far just identifying it has helped a lot, and I’m working on being more positive (for other reasons, but it’s also helping a lot).

    1. Have you found help somewhere? I hope you have a good support system around you. Identifying that you have a problem is the huge first step and I agree can help massively.

      1. Right now I’m managing on my own. I’m hesitant to go to counseling for several reasons, most of which are probably not good enough, but I’m using them as excuses anyway. But my husband and I have talked about it, and if it gets worse we will definitely seek help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I Love this tag!! It’s so important to talk about mental health and I agree with you but it can never be talked about too much! Well done for being so open xx

  25. Absolutely wonderful post, Jenny. Amazing of you to be so open and share. The only way we can combat the stigma surrounding mental health issues is to talk about it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  26. Well done to you for actively managing your condition. My husband had CBT through occupational health several years ago, and we had nearly two years with a private counsellor. I am now once again trying to help him through work challenges and our mission to sell our house and buy a bigger one. I think I make him worse with my big ideas and family plans, but we are growing and we need to move!

  27. It’s inspiring how honest you are in this post – I’m sure it will motivate others to be more open about and accepting of their mental health issue/s ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Good for you girl! I love how upfront you are about your mental health. It was such a taboo subject when I was first going through it all.

    I wish I could go without meds but after 22 years on and off them I am better with them. I tried counselling and it wasn’t for me. Apparently, the type of issue I have is hereditary. Both my mother and her mother had it and I am concerned for my daughter but thankfully, like yourself, I am open about it where as my family weren’t so at least my daughter will have me to support her.

      1. She is old enough now to know I have something that affects my mood and take pills because they keep me from being a psycho. Actually what the tablets do is what she says not us ๐Ÿ˜‚

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