Why diversity in the blogging community is so important

#ILiveItIBlogIt

I like to think I am a person who advocates for diversity in society and is passionate about achieving equality for every person on the planet. So when I saw the campaign my friend John Sennett was running to promote divesity within the blogging community I was proud and excited  ( I may have even done a fist pump In the air) 

During my time being in the blogging community ive spoken to some amazing relatable people who understand the sometimes troubling times and experiences I have as a women  who is a wheelchair user, has epilepsy and a mental illness, reading there ecxpirence’s and how similar some are to mine has made me feel more “normal” and like I wasent alone in what I was going trough.

I hate using that word normal is this context but the truth is minorities arn’t the normal within society. The media has a big part to play in that . I see adverts promoting  diversity and they are really not! The most recent example I can think of is Boohoo’s #allgirls campaign that was meant to be promoting all girls right to enjoy fashion and have their own sense of style, within the campaign a women who was plus size or disabled was no where to be seen. This is just the latest example I can think of where the media have ecxduded women who are disabled or have a different apperence to what society would consider normal. And I am sure there a many other instances of diversity exclusion that I haven’t regonized because I am not in that minority group. 

We have a chance to change this us bloggers are part of a new wave of media, we can share our stories and support each other in our real lives warts and all without the glossyness that even many bloggers feel the need to present. Im in my 20s now and confident enough to most of the time being comfortable  with my disablities and mental health problems but at school I was not, but if I was to go into my school times it would be a whole different post. However can say that I would have loved to have someone older than me showing how life really is for them as a disabled person.

Let’s change this for the next generation let’s use the power we have as influences to share the life’s we live our real lives and support and love each other for who we are not the normal were told to be! Let’s all take part in the #ILiveItIblog it campaign and let that just be the start of embracing our diversity.

mental health update!

hi everyone firstly i apologise for the lack of posts, i was just starting to get regular readers then i stop posting *well done Courtney*  the reason for the lack of posts however is over the last two weeks my mental health state had decreased.

For those of you who don’t know I have social anxiety, (which is why the blogs called what it is) i noticed my worries getting worse as in just a bit more cautious  with things like going to the uni library on my own about a week ago but i had only just managed to do this in the last month anyway because of fears of being intimidated in a silent place of being judged for being on my own so because it was a new thing for me i put it down to being a fluke or something like that, which looking back now is just putting my self down without even realising it.   Other things that have been different is i had no passion to do anything essays  blog posting and for me this was unusual cause  i love blogging and im so passionate about my course I had no reason for this lack of wanting to do things apart from it will be rubbish anyway which to be honest is a normal thing i tell myself on a daily basis but i normally manage to do it anyway.

I finally came to the realisation that i had hit a bad patch in terms of mental health when i was getting really irritable one night i had a go at my poor mum down the phone and she did absolutely  nothing wrong. Once i put the phone down i felt awful and went to my flatmate “why am i such a horrible person” her reply was “apart from lectures you haven’t been out of the house in 3 weeks, shall we go out for dinner”   i hadent even realised that i hadent been out but a soon as she mentioned going out i was just struck with fear my heart raced, i was shaking and i couldn’t even think of excuses not to go out which im normally pretty good at if im having an anxious day.

These symptoms of not even realising im struggling are new for me cause i normally overthink overthink everything. im not quite sure what im going to do but im going home for a bit tommorow to see if a bit of tlc from my family will work.

Sorry if this has been a bit of a ramble post but if anyone has had this type of thing id love some advice and if anyone is struggling as always get in touch with me (links on the contact page)

Halloween- A time of heighten anxiety for me

halloween-pumpkin-16131777

Halloween is painted as the time of year that’s fun and exciting for children and an excuse to be wild, unique and let’s be honest a different type of “fun” for teenagers. As young child I did look at it like this, through a child’s eyes it was a magical time; when I did really think I turned into a witch (i don’t know if I had a really vivid imagination or it was my mum watching charmed that made me believe I could be a witch) but because I did I felt like I was a character and looked forward to being able to do that every year. However at about the age of about 9 eventually I came to the realisation that I was still just me but in an outfit. At the age of 9, I had no clue why this made me uncomfortable as I didn’t know social norms or anything about mental health but still remember so vividly feeling so uneasy about the fact that people were giving me more attention than I normally would get because of what I was wearing. The thought of judgement didn’t even come into my head because I hadn’t fully developed that concept in my mind yet. All I knew was i did not like the attention one bit!

Over the next couple of years, I would not take part in Halloween activity’s just to avoid the attention it came with. This tacit to control my anxiety around Halloween worked well until I got to the point where I hit secondary school and everyone was having Halloween themed parties and trickle treating. Not that I got invited to many parties but I did once and I just didn’t go because not only would I be getting attention by going to a party in costume and now was in secondary school fully aware of what judgement was and I was feeling what I now know to be social anxiety. The invite brought up so many things in my head that could lead to judgements that I just didn’t go. Questions such as what if my costume doesn’t look scary enough? What if it looks too childish ? What if I look anxious and people think it’s because I’m scared of some silly costumes and decorations when really I’m anxious about what their thinking of me? They will try to scare me ill jump even if I’m not scared cause of my nerve damage due to my disability and then I just look like a massive idiot? Even though when I think about it logically I realise most of the answers to the questions above are they won’t I still a week ago had the same questions and worries pop into my head when I heard there is a Halloween party at my uni that I’m unfortunately to anxious to go to.

One Halloween tradition I didn’t turn down and have tried is trickle treating at the age of 13. I was more excited for this at first because even though I was 13 I hadn’t been allowed out to do it before cause mum thought it would be too dangerous for a group of teenagers hyped up on sugar to push my wheelchair in pitch black. (at the time I thought this was highly unfair looking back now and seeing how many times I was nearly tipped out because of a pot hole or narrow path she was crazy to even let me do it even at 13) But back to the point of the trickle treating story and probably the point of the whole post as it was while doing this I figured out why Halloween made me so uncomfortable. I remember feeling rude knocking on people’s doors asking for sweets, thinking it’s not on a normal thing to do I’ve been to friends houses repeatedly and would never ask for anything I’d wait to be offered so how was it ok and not rude or wrong to go up to strangers demanding sweets? I also remember not knowing how to gauge these people’s reactions some would be miserable and just shove the bowl in our faces others would spray us with water. I remember the anticipation of the reaction of the person behind the door was going to be sending my heart racing.

Now at the age of 19, i can analyse all these thoughts and feelings I have around Halloween and no why they make me feel like this, well as good as any non-trained professionals can anyway. As a person with diagnosed social anxiety, the social norms that I had learned to use to protect myself from being judged or looking stupid were gone I just had to do what I felt right or wanted to do in the situation at that time which left me feeling vulnerable and in all honesty terrified.

So to anyone celebrating Halloween, this year do have fun cause I’m sure it’s a great day and I know your right and it is just a bit of fun and it’s my anxiety riddled brain that’s creating these problems but please just be aware that people around you might be feeling like I do on Halloween.

Wow, that was kind of like theraphy, in the end, thanks if you made it to the very end of this post it was a long one. And as always any experiences you wanted to tell me or questions to ask please comment below or tweet me.

Courtney x

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Everyone’s mental health recovery is unique 

Last night I  took part in my first mental health chat on twitter. (#MHchat) What was a very positive experience and left me personally feeling supported was tarnished by a few ignorant comments such as “people should stop banging on about mental health ” and the very noticeably  ignorant  comment “just go for a walk to cure mental health” which shock horror doesnt work! Anyway before I start ranting about the people who made the comments I’ll stop talking about them and move on to the reason I’m writing this post.

During the chat I saw three reoccurring questions and topics being talked about these were:  How they were scared /unsure how to get treatment? If they needed treatment? What kind of treatment to choose? So as I started this blog to help people I thought I’d do by best to give advice and reassure people on those issues because I know from myself if someone like the people on twitter belittle mental health issues it can make you even more unsure of your own very REAL  problems your  going through. But please don’t listen to them and listen to people who understand and want to help you. But PEP talk over and onto giving that help by trying to answer  the 3 questions I mentioned earlier.

  • Scared to get treatment and unsure how to?


Many people are scared to get treatment for mental health problems due to the negative stereotypes relating to the type of people who get mental health treatment, and the negative connotations to the treatment itself. All I can say is people judge and make assumption on things they don’t understand. I know from personal experience it can be very hard to rationalize in your head that people are saying unhelpful  and sometimes very mean things about mental health or your personal mental health because they do not understand what you’re going through, because at a time where you feel your most vulnerable and insecure ignorance can be so damaging. But please do be brave enough and confident enough to seek treatment because if the reason you are not seeking treatment for your mental health is other people’s comments then in the long run your going to do more damage to your own health by not  getting treatment than any comment could! And of course all mental health treatment is confidential so even though it helps to have a support network when having treatment nobody even has to know your having any. On topic of how do you get mental health treatment I’m not medically trained so even though I have been through the process i would not want to give you misleading information so i will leave some links relating to UK mental health help at the bottom of this post.

  • Do I need treatment?

The thing I’d personally think about to answer this question is how much is your mental health effecting your happiness and daily life. Mental health is a subjective thing only you can feel and know what you’re going through no one can read minds so unless your showing physical signs of hurting yourself or others no one has the right to tell you if you should or should not get treatment. ( I know its controversial to say people have the right to send you to treatment if you self harm but that’s just my personal opinion) A common thing i see is people saying i dont think im unwell enough or desrve to get treatment. Well it doesnt matter if you look at your friend/family member and think well their mental health seems worse than mine so I don’t need treatment. This is not the case! First of all just like people can’t read your mind you cant read theirs, you might have exactly the same severity of mental health issues but their just more open to talk about it then you or they show more physical symptoms than you do and again you can see physical things not mental making it seem like they are more severe. But secondly so what if they are worse than you? Should  you not get the right to treatment to make you happy and live your life without the barriers that mental health brings just cause somebody else has it worse? Of course you should still get treatment you only get one life and that life is yours no one elses so you owe to yourself to be as happy and do as many things as you want to in your life. So to sum up you need treatment if you feel your personal quality of life could be improved by having it.

  • What kind of treatment should I have? 

To a certain extent this is again your choice. I’ve seen lots of people say that drugs make them feel numb or CBT didn’t work for them or relaxation and breathing therapy didnt work for them ( I tried the relaxation approach it didnt work for me ) but try at first at least to ignore other people’s opinions on treatments and listen to the professionals  because like i said mental health is subjective it  might not have worked for them but may work for you. However if you try the treatment plan suggested by a medical profesional  and it isn’t working for you i would always suggest telling them or getting a second opinion because as i said they will be medically trained so have a good idea how to treat your condition but mental health is so personal and subjective that only you know if you are improving or not. About the types of medical  treatment again i am not a trained professional so i will make sure the links i leave below explain them for you.

That’s all the questions i wanted to answer. Thank you so much for reading. I am being a complete hypocrite here because if someone has made negative comments to be about my mental health i would never have been able to say the things i have said to you to myself! I hope one day the ignorance sounding mental health can stop i didn’t want to go into too much detail bout what happened on twitter because i didnt want them to get anymore attention so instead i thought id piss them off by banging on about mental health even more while trying to help people in the process as always leave what you think in the comments. Tweet me or dm if you want to chat at anytime my username is @mrssykeswannabe

nhs pages : how to acsess nhs mental health services

a list of mh disorders for more info

non medical support: young minds a site with mh info for children and teens

childline free confidential support for anyone under the age of 19

samaritans free confidential help for adults

mind a charity providing mh support and info

 

Courtney