Tag Archives: Anxiety

Guest Post – YA and Anxiety; How Seeing Myself Helped Me by Anonymous


mental health

Mental Health is such an important subject for me and one that I hold very very close to my heart.

I am a huge believer in sharing experiences, being open and talking about mental health issues as much as possible to not only banish stigma but to help others who maybe suffering.

I’m also a huge YA fan and honestly believe that a particular book can change a persons life or outlook on life completely.

So I felt so honoured when I was asked by a very good friend of mine if I would feature a post on their personal mental health journey and how seeing themselves in YA helped them.

My friend has asked to stay anonymous for this post.  I am so hugely hugely proud of them for writing this brilliant honest piece and for being so amazingly amazing always!


YA and Anxiety; How Seeing Myself Helped Me

My anxiety has always been there. For as long as I can remember, there’s been a voice in my head telling me ‘people don’t like you, they just tolerate you’. It reminds me of stupid things I’ve done, even at times when I’ve otherwise had a good night. I like to think I cover it up well a lot of the time – when I talked to some close friends about it a week or so ago, one of them was really surprised as they thought of me as a social person.

And I think in many ways I AM a social person. I love spending time with my friends, I’m lucky to know a lot of amazing people who I can go out with, and the me of my teen years who spent most of them socialising with perhaps one or two other people would barely recognise me now.

But recently; certainly over the last few months, the anxiety has gotten worse. It’s hit the stage where I convince myself that people talking to me are only doing so to be polite. Where if I text someone the day after I’ve seen them and they don’t text me back, I immediately assume I’ve offended them. Where I have to film myself locking my front door so that I can play it back if I panic in the middle of the day and think I’ve left in unlocked.

So I finally decided to do something about it. I saw a counsellor several years ago and the experience put me off; I don’t think we were a good fit. I have always avoided anti depressants because I’ve been worried about them changing my brain. (CLEARLY, it is working so brilliantly well at the moment, after all!)

But despite this, I made an appointment on Monday morning to see a doctor. (Shout out to the NHS, by the way – from the initial phone call requesting to see someone ‘especially interested in mental health’ to the actual appointment took less than two and a half hours!) The doctor, who was seriously lovely, said he’d refer me for therapy and asked if is considered antidepressants. I nodded, and said I’d like to try them. They’re not working yet (which is fine; he made it clear that they WOULD take some time and that things might get worse to start off with) but having actually taken the first step to seeking help has made me feel at least a little better.

So what pushed me into that step? I had two conversations with friends who advised me to go for it after I asked them if they thought I should, but it was mainly reading YA novels that got me to that point. In particular, The Rest Of Us Just Live Here, Am I Normal Yet? and Under Rose-Tainted Skies stunned me by showing therapy and medication positively where so many portrayals I’d seen in the past didn’t do so. Seeing characters deal with their issues in such a realistic way has helped me realise it can be done. (And as well, it’s reinforced that it ISN’T something I can expect to work straight away. I know there’s no quick fix here – but I also know there IS a fix.)

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I’m not in the target audience for those books. I read a lot of YA, but I’ve been out of my teens a while. But they helped me so, so much. If I hadn’t read them, would I have decided to see somebody anyway? Possibly – I have a lot of advantages; a supportive family who know I’ve struggled in the past, a great group of friends who are sympathetic towards mental health issues, and I’ve also read brilliant posts like these on Safe Space about mental health.

http://safespaceuk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/my-mental-health-treatment-journey-part.html
http://safespaceuk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/life-changing-medication.html
http://safespaceuk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/my-mental-health-treatment-journey-part_18.html
http://safespaceuk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/i-love-my-antidepressants.html

But reading books like these and seeing my own issues reflected in them definitely helped to speed up my decision making, at the very least. For people who have less support, I can only try to imagine just how vital these books must be.

So I wrote this post to say ‘thank you’. Patrick Ness, Holly Bourne, Louise Gornall – thank you for your books and for everything else you’ve done to promote good mental health. Thank you for showing me part of myself that I really needed to see. And to Walker, Usborne, and Chicken House, thank you for publishing these books, for pushing them at bloggers, and for shouting about their brilliance!


A huge huge thank you to my friend for being so honest.  I am completely full of admiration and so very proud.  It’s amazing to hear how books, friendship and support can really make a difference!

I really believe that the more we talk about mental health the more together we can crush the stigmas attached, become more aware of mental health and of course give people the courage they need to confide in people and get any help they may need without the fear of stigma!

Below are some links to websites talking about anxiety and offering help and support.  They’re all very helpful and most include helplines/online help within them.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anxiety/Pages/Introduction.aspx

 http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/understanding-panic.aspx

 http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Counselling-NHS-(IAPT)-services/LocationSearch/396

 http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/get-help-now/anxietyinformation/anxiety-disorders/generalised-anxiety-disorder-gad/

 http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/content/assets/PDF/publications/How_to_overcome_fear_and_anxiety.pdf?view=Standard

 http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/

 http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/online-mental-health-services/Pages/introduction.aspx

 http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/mental-health-helplines.aspx

Have any books helped you with any mental health issues?  What books would you recommend for anyone looking for good mental health representation?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment by clicking the reply button at the top of this page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy

Happy Reading

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Guest Post – Anxiety by Faye Rogers


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Today I am honoured to bring to you an inspirational honest guest post from awesome blogger and friend Faye Rogers about anxiety.

It is a truthful post as Faye herself suffers from anxiety and within it there is strength and courage and I have total admiration for Faye for being so open……


 Anxiety

For as long as I can remember, I have suffered with anxiety. There are times in my life that I remember, mostly as a child, when I lived a carefree life. I remember doing things without thought that I would now struggle to do without having a full blown panic attack. The problem is that these are things that other people still do without blinking, such as eating without washing their hands, eating at buffets, sharing a bag of crisps or sweets, shaking hands, high-fiving people and kissing, and getting messy and dirty without fear or worry.

 What you may notice is that the above things have something in common; germs. For some reason, I feel very anxious about germs. I know that the reason for this is because it is something I cannot see or control. I do not know if I have germs on me, I do not know if those germs will cause me to be ill, or worse die and I cannot control the outcome if they do. I do not know what germs other people carry – even though I know deep down they probably don’t have any germs, I can’t stop my brain from thinking that they just might.

 Knowing why my anxiety occurs, however, does not stop it from cropping up all over the place. It is helpful in some respects but not so helpful in others, especially when other people just don’t get it and because you can’t find the words to explain it, can’t get them to truly understand. The biggest problem about explaining anxiety to someone who doesn’t have anxiety problems is that they don’t realise that you already know your fears and worries are not rational.

 The most common things I hear from strangers, friends and loved ones are along the lines of;

– “You really just need to get over it.”

– “But that doesn’t make any sense.”

– “Well, that’s not a rational outlook.”

– “Do you really have to ruin the fun?”

– “It’s fine, just eat it.”

– “Just stop.”

 They’re not saying these things maliciously. They just don’t understand. And that’s the problem. There isn’t enough information and awareness on anxiety for people to know that anxiety is often outside of our control. It is an illness and while it can be controlled, it will never fully be cured. I will have good days and I will have bad days but my anxiety will never fully disappear. This is something that I have come to live with and accept and it has made dealing with my illness a lot easier.

 The fact that very few people understand about anxiety means that I actually struggle to be forward about it. It’s gotten better in the last few years, especially since I went to therapy and did CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for it, but it still isn’t something I outwardly talk about to new people and some people in my family still don’t know that I struggle with anxious thoughts and feelings. So I’m hoping that in a few years time I can stop hiding away because people will understand what I’m going through and be able to help due to being better informed about it.

 So today I wanted to give a few pointers about some good ways to deal with people who suffer from anxiety, just in case you know someone who does.

 – Be sympathetic; Tell them that you understand and allow them to take as much time as they need to, to overcome whatever is causing their anxiety at that given moment. Never rush them. The more you rush, the more pressure they’ll feel and the worse the anxious feeling/panic attack will occur.

 – Don’t make their anxieties small; Avoid telling your friend that they’re “being silly” or that they should “get over it”. Because we are trying to do that but it’s not that easy. A lot of the time we don’t understand why we feel the way we do so we don’t know how to get over it and telling us we’re being silly makes us feel small and makes us believe our feelings and thoughts are not worth your time.

 – Don’t be judgmental; We need to know that you’re not going to tease us for the way we feel or look down upon us, especially if our anxiety is hindering something we’re doing or need to do. These actions will make us feel alone, depressed and, incidentally more anxious because now we’ll be fearing our uncontrollable reactions around you.

 – Listen to us and try to calm us down; A lot of the time talking about what is making us anxious can help to reduce it. When we’re anxious, it’s possibly that we’re waging a war in our own heads about how we’re feeling. The rational side trying to calm us down while the irrational takes full control. If you hear us and don’t belittle our thoughts but try to help in a calm, gentle and supportive manor, you may be able to help to. But please do not feel insulted if you don’t. It is not you, it is the illness.

 – Understand that anxiety has physical attributes; We may have a problem in our brains but it can manifest itself into physical problems. These can be gut issues, nauseous, symptoms of heart attack (but despite thinking we’re having a heart attack, we’re not), shaking, pacing, shortness of breath, freezing up and sweating. If we tell you we feel anxious and starting getting physical attributes, just try and keep us calm but most importantly, just be there for us.

 – Don’t force us to do anything; You may think that getting someone who is anxious to face their fear has the potential to help and it definitely can but only if said person is ready. By forcing us, either physically or emotionally, you may be crippling our anxieties later and making what could be passed quickly to manifest into a full blown panic attack. Would you force someone with diabetes to eat a bowl of sugar? In this case, if we say we don’t want to do something, let it slide and move on.

 – Treat us like humans; Please, don’t act differently around us. We’re still us. We’re still humans but we just need some time sometimes. We may need to not walk on the cracks in the pavement, or not share that bag of crisps with you, we may need to wash our hands three times at once and at least twelve times a day but this is just our way of stopping the anxiety from crippling us completely.

 – Read up about anxiety; Research it. Find out more about it. Perhaps suggest we go to therapy because it could help but remember, don’t force it on us. Therapy will only work if we’re ready to go and do it. Be informed and educated and that way, we’ll feel supported, loved and less like a burden and thus may finally have more good days to bad ones.

 I’m sorry if this post feels like I’m badgering at you, I’m not trying to do that. I just know that some people don’t think before they say and do things because they just don’t know what is happening underneath it all. I also want to say that if you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone. It’s tough and it’s hard but I am certain that we are strong and will continue to survive. Our anxiety may never fully go away, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to beat us down.

Below are some links to websites talking about anxiety and offering help and support.  They’re all very helpful and most include helplines/online help within them.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anxiety/Pages/Introduction.aspx

 http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/understanding-panic.aspx

 http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Counselling-NHS-(IAPT)-services/LocationSearch/396

 http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/get-help-now/anxietyinformation/anxiety-disorders/generalised-anxiety-disorder-gad/

 http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/content/assets/PDF/publications/How_to_overcome_fear_and_anxiety.pdf?view=Standard

 http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/

 http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/online-mental-health-services/Pages/introduction.aspx

 http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/mental-health-helplines.aspx

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About Faye

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A Daydreamer’s Thoughts was founded on September 15th 2011. It is a blog that consists of book reviews, film reviews, book articles, film articles, author interviews, guest posts, features, and memes. It is run by Faye who enjoys the task immensely and is always happy to communicate with her followers.

You can follow Faye on twitter using @daydreamin_star


I would like to say a huge big thank you to Faye for featuring on my blog today and for being so open and honest.  I really believe that the more we talk about mental health the more together we can crush the stigmas attached, become more aware of mental health and of course give people the courage they need to confide in people and get any help they may need without the fear of stigma!

Looking for some Mental Health reads?  Click here

For more about Mental Health and Mental Health week – please visit http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ or any of the links above!

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