Saturday, 28 April 2018

PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that people will develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. For example, people may develop PTSD if they experience combat, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, a car accident, sexual assault and so much more. 

It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally.

Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.

It's normal to feel on edge, have trouble sleeping, have upsetting memories replaying on your brain and other symptoms after this type of event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like spending time with people you care about, working or leaving the house. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months. If it's been longer than a few months and you're still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.

Symptoms of PTSD include:
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event, for example, if you were involved in a terrorist attack in a music venue, you may avoid music venues and the specific place that it happened, as this will trigger memories of the event.
  •  Reliving the event in your head, a flashback.
  •  Feeling low because of what has happened.
  • Always being alert and looking for danger.
  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair.
  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Drinking or drug problems.
  • Physical symptoms or chronic pain.
  • Employment problems.
  • Relationship problems, including divorce.
  • There are obviously more symptoms than this but this was just a list of a few.
Anyone can develop PTSD and more people need to understand that it is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will develop PTSD, many of which are not under that person's control, like personal factors such as your age, gender or previous exposure to traumatic events.

Other things that could increase someones chance of developing PTSD are having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD.

There are 2 main treatments for PTSD which includes:
  • Psychotherapy/counselling: like cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy and trauma focused psychotherapy.
  • Medication. 
To try to help yourself if you think that you have PTSD you could:
  • Talk with your doctor about treatment options.
  • Engage in mild physical activity or exercise to help reduce stress.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can.
  • Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.
  • Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people.
If you have had these symptoms for a while, talk to a doctor about it and they can try to help you.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Do The Crisis Team Really Help?

Crisis teams are part of the NHS who give urgent help to people suffering with mental health problems. But the question is, do the crisis team really help? The great majority of people who have had experiences with the crisis team would say absolutely not. 

A professional such as a GP, Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), A&E department or the police will refer you to a crisis team, before this has happened, the team cannot help you. The crisis team can help you if you are having a mental health crisis in the community, like your own home. They are available 24/7. The team try to make sure you don’t need to go into hospital, but if you are very unwell, you might still need to go.

Having a mental health crisis can mean different things, the general things that people contact for are:
  • thinking about suicide or acting on suicidal thoughts
  • going through psychosis, where you are out of touch with your normal reality, or doing something that could put you or other people at risk. 
A crisis team can offer you help in different ways. They will carry out an assessment to find out if they can help you. The team may arrange regular visits to your home, offer you medication or make sure that you are in touch with other mental health services to get long term support. A crisis team can also support you when you are discharged from a short stay in hospital. Someone from the team may visit you at home to make sure you are keeping well.


BUT...

Many people have had bad experiences with the crisis team, and many say that the team have made them feel a million times worse. Something needs to be done.

Here are only a few of the experiences of some of my mutuals:
"I have had to see the crisis team and I told them if you let me go I’m literally going to kill my self and they just let me go.... it’s an absolute joke, like they wouldn’t let someone leave if they were physically sick, so I don’t know why it’s any different for mental health?"

"I’ve had someone tell me, when I was in hospital, ‘if you really want to kill yourself, stop having incidents get yourself discharged and do it then’ these services are awful."

"They seem to work on the idea that they help support people with mental health issues who have been admitted to hospital to stay out of hospital and not help the people that are in the community and are trying to prevent a hospital visit. I’ve presented at the hospital multiple times over the past 10 Years - and without a doubt, every single one of those visits ended up with me leaving 2/3 hours later with no support or practical advice. They weren’t support, they didn’t even listen to what I was saying before they’d interrupt me and link what I was going through to my something stupid. At the end, all they did was email my community mental health team and let me walk free - even though I was sent there to prevent an attempt on my life. It was only after the assessment one of the nurses told me that people with BPD are untreatable and that hospital care wouldn’t help me. It was a couple weeks after that incident that I found out that nurses have a duty of care to prevent patients that are suicidal by getting them inpatient care - which they’ve failed to do for me every time I’ve been seen by them."

"I remember when I was in hospital with suicide ideation a woman who was looking after me basically said that I don’t deserve my hospital bed and I should leave. The other woman was encouraging me to stay and get help. Some people are ignorant to mental illness, and treat it like a common cold."

"I have severe anxiety and depression, they never helped, they would tell me that I should calm down and ask me why I was depressed, or felt suicidal, which often I didn’t want to speak about, and it really didn’t feel professional, almost like I was speaking to a secretary. I never really benefited from them, they were more of a supplement for long term mental health support, when I didn’t have therapy or meetings with a counsellor, I was told to just go to them when I felt suicidal, but then was told to ring 999 by others. I was really confused about where to go or help, so I often didn’t go for help, and ended up self harming."

"The crisis team are a joke of a service, they’ve brought more crisis to me and should be scrapped and something new put in place. I’ve been told this many of times."

"The crisis team is really shit to be honest- my mum suffers from mental illness and has manic episodes to show she’s ill. The crisis team used to come to the house to assess her as soon as but now they wait a whole day and leave my mum unattended in a hospital which leads to more trouble as she isn’t given proper medical attention."

These are only a few peoples experiences but never have I ever heard a good word about the crisis team. Its so sad that people arent getting the help they need and I think something has to be done to change this.

You can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at your NHS trust if:
  • you are unhappy with how your treatment or care is being handled, or
  • you feel that the relationship between you and a professional is not working

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Social Anxiety Disorder

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety is also widely known as social phobia. To put it short, it is a long lasting and extremely overwhelming fear of social situations, being judged negatively, conversations and many more things.

People underestimate social anxiety's power to cut people off from the world. It can be totally terrifying, but it is commonly mistaken for the simple shyness- it is so much more than this. It is terribly distressing and can have a dramatic impact on your life.

This is a more common problem than you may think, it usually starts during your teenage years and gradually gets better for most people as they get older, although for the majority it does not go away on its own. Many people take medication to take away the symptoms of social anxiety, for most people this is beneficial but for some they have to try numerous medications before they find one that is effective.

Because of the nature of social anxiety disorder, it being a mental illness, many people do not seek help for it as they fear the doctors for one, being judged and not being believed. 

Many people who suffer from social anxiety disorder are forced to avoid social situations completely from the overwhelming fears that surround it, therefore isolating them from everyone and everything. Because it is so hard to understand something that you do not go through yourself, it is hard for people to talk to others about the disorder as no one seems to understand and it is usually shrugged off as shyness.

If you dont have social anxiety disorder, you're probably thinking that everyone has worries and is shy sometimes, right? Yes, right, but someone with social anxiety disorder feels that way on a much larger scale, that multiplied by a million. But it isnt just in the moment of the situation, it is hours, days, weeks, months before it, during it and after it.

Social anxiety disorder affects your every day activities that many people take for granted, for example, walking into town on your own, walking through a crowd, paying for something in a shop or having a simple conversation with a teacher. It also affects your relationships, meals will be difficult, parties and just meeting someone in town for a bit. Work and school life will also be greatly affected, presentations will be a no go, interviews will be avoided, jobs may be declined due to frequent interaction with others and every day will be a struggle.

It can make people with social anxiety disorder feel so alone, like an outcast. Even if they are surrounded by people that they have known for years, they can still feel so alone and as if no one actually wants them there. They convince themselves that everyone hates them and that they annoying and a burden. One reason for this is because they literally dont know how to engage in conversation, are terrified to and fear embarrassment.

Social anxiety disorder can cause more problems further than the anxiety. Money problems due to avoiding getting a job is common, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are sadly frequent due to the lack of hope for the future too, eating disorders can stem from it, depression and so many other things. 

Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder
- People who suffer with social anxiety disorder find it extremely difficult to do things with people watching as they may feel like they are being watched and judged all the time, for example, swimming with a lifeguard on watch, walking down the street and crossing at a zebra crossing, attending the gym ect.
- Avoiding or overly worrying about things like phone calls or answering the door to the post man is a big thing that people who have social anxiety disorder do.
- Eating infront of people is very hard for someone who suffers with it as they constantly feel like they are being watched and judged, even if they're not at all.
- Restlessness can be an obvious sign of anxiety, pacing around a room, shaking the leg, clicking a pen, tapping, ect, which is a very prominent symptom of anxiety.
- They avoid meeting strangers or making friends when others would normally do so, for example, in school.
- It is difficult to concentrate if you suffer from social anxiety disorder, for the most its because their brain is constantly occupied by thoughts that they dont want and whilst trying to get rid of those thoughts, they are not concentrating on what they should be doing, thus finding tasks like homework difficult.
- People who suffer from social anxiety disorder can be very irritable, especially if this is by people who do not understand their situation.
- They can constantly feel on edge and uneasy in any given situation.
- A sense of dread for the future is particuarly evident.
- Worring about embarrassing yourself, even if it is with someone you trust, for example, a significant other or family member, such as crying, blushing, messing up when you are speaking, sweating, falling over ect.
- There are many physical symptoms of anxiety including feeling sick, getting rashes over the skin, excessive sweating, shaking, tiredness, dizziness, shortness of breath, dry mouth, stomach ache, pins and needles, muscle aches, difficulty falling or staying asleep, panic attacks and heart palpitations.

Treatment For Social Anxiety Disorder
There are a few treatments available for social anxiety disorder ranging from therapy to medication, but usually if you have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder you are advised to try psychological treatment before you are prescribed medication.

CBT therapy is often the first thing that the GP will offer. CBT therapy is one of the most effective treatments for social anxiety disorder but some people are unwilling to try it and it doesnt always work for everyone. CBT helps you to understand how your thoughts, problems, behaviour and feelings all affect each other.

Mindfulness and applied relaxation are alternative types of phychological treatments, which may not be as effective as CBT or medication but they are worth a try.

Anti-depressant medication which is usually a type of medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, such as serotonin or escitalopram

Think You Have Social Anxiety Disorder?
Please visit your doctor to get the help you deserve, no one should be scared of living their life.

Marble Arch Co.

Marble Arch Co are an upcoming streetwear clothing brand, set up by two lovely women, based in Torquay, South Devon. 

Their products feature a range of printed t-shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts, and sweatshirts. From this they are planning to expand very soon and introduce new accessories such as snapbacks, beanies and phone cases with their unique designs on.

Their clothes are designed to be comfortable, which they totally are (!) and current, which from the photos I have put in below, I think we can all agree that they are current, sophisticated and so 2018.

The prints consist of a range of designs from geometric patterns, to sketches, to simple crest and logo designs, which are so well designed and unique. My personal favourite is the rose t-shirt, which they very kindly sent to me. It is super comfortable and goes with absolutely anything (literally) which is the best part about it.









 



The lovely people behind this kindly sent me a t-shirt, which you can see on me below. It is super comfortable and to my surprise, its longer than I expected, which I love. This t-shirt would be good for literally anyone, men, women, kids, teens, ect. It also comes in a range of sizes too, so its accessable for all!






They currently have a 15% discount on t-shirts at the moment, you can get yours by using the code EASTER15

They are also running a competition over on their facebook page if you want to enter that. You can win a free t-shirt. All you have to do is like their facebook page, tag someone who you think would love their designs and share the post- simple! Show them some love.

Where can you find them?
Instagram: @marblearchco
Facebook: Facebook.com/marblearchco
Twitter: @marblearchco_
Email for any enquiries: Marblearchclothingco@gmail.com