A mixed bag of bit’s……

Boo! How’s everybody today? hope you’ve all had a good week and my fellow mums and dad’s havn’t cracked up yet?! My first bit of advice for you is don’t do the depression test in the holiday’s……..you are not depressed, its called kids! Just drink gin and try some of my friend Sam’s home-made carrot cake! its the future and deffinatly has an anti-depressant in it!

Right let’s get to the nitty-gritty stuff.  I’ve been doing alot of reading and note taking this week on a number of differnt issue’s, so this weeks blog is a bit of a mixed bag of bits!

As I have a lot of friends that have just had babie’s, trying for babie’s or up-the-duff! I thought i’d share an issue I went through with my first born Freddy.  If I ask you when you’ve had the baby “how are you” I mean how are YOU. Not the chubby little cute thing that crie’s! These lovely babie’s are fine, it is the mums emotional and mental health that I worry about.  And you guessed it I am talking from experience! When I was 20 I fell pregant, it was a complete shock as I was told I couldnt have children.  Anyway I just went with it after deciding against a termination and my pregnancy was fairly normal, boob’s like tambourines, throwing up constantly and swollen feet that looked like monster munch!! It wasn’t my most attractive time in my life! But the hardest part was yet to come.  Being a mum.  As soon as I had Fred I felt no connection, re-gret and an outta body experience.  It was a life that I didnt want.  I had to hold him to look “normal” and smile as people gathered round, but I can remeber looking out of the hospital window and thinking, wonder if I could fit out of there and just jump? I wouldnt have to be a mum then and it will all be over in a second.  Well I didn’t jump (obvs) but I also made the mistake of not talking either.  I bottled it all up and I became totally overwhelmed with visitor’s, people, visitor’s, people,visitor’s people……..I never had a moment to breath and try and connect with this little boy.  I couldnt change a nappy without anxiety, I couldn’t give him a bottle without panicking and I just couldnt be a mum.  Its the hardest job in the world and I just didnt want to be one.  Before I had Freddy my relationship with Paul’s family was great. and Im not speaking out of terms now but when I had Fred I felt overwhelmed with them just being there.  I had changed, I pushed them away because I was convinced they were planning on taking him away from me.  I didnt want him but I also didnt want them to want them? I felt overwhelmed with the fact that they knew everything about children and I knew nothing.  That makes me bad right? NOPE! and I can say no now because I know I was ill.  I was suffering post-natal.  This all went on for a few year’s. I was awful to be around, hard to talk to, wouldnt except help and just kept on struggling without excepting any form of help.

Im not exactly sure what happened next but I got help and mental health professions stepped in and to my amazment didnt take Freddy off me which I thought they would do! they helped and supported me to feel like a mum but more importantly Kate.  Everything is now great, I love my in-law’s dearly, they are my 2nd parents, best friends and people I can trust with every fibre of me bean with my kids.  Fred is now nine and I have a daughter now, she is 2.  If im honest I find being a mum really hard, I get anxious very easily and everyday I have to keep busy, but I love them both to the moon and back and I know they feel the same about me so I did something right!! What Im trying to get across is, dont panic! If you have a baby or have just had a baby and you dont get that “rush” of love they tell you about, dont worry! I actually think its quite normal.  You’re tired, sore and the baby looks minging when it comes out!! but what isnt normal is the sucidal feeling’s, constant anxiety of something will go wrong, people will take my baby away and not feeling anything towards your baby.  Just go to your doctors and tell them, and get the help you need.  Dont wait aslong as I did.  I wish I had because I dont really have many memories of Freddy which makes me feel sad, but now we are making loads!

Who know’s what Mindfullness is? It’s a little gem that helps with anxiety! its very simple and you can do it anywhere at any time! perfect for anxiety because it comes on you when you least expect it.  It is being in the here and now and using all our senses. Touch, taste, see, feel and smell. so for example if a horrid intrusive thought comes into you mind…..STOP….aknowledge the thought and deal with it after.  What can you see? can you feel you heart pounding, can you smell anything? if you’re holding a cup of hot tea, feel the heat from the cup and taste it.  keep your feet on the floor at all times so you feel grounded and safe.  keeping busy with all these senses doesnt allow your brain time to think about what is worrying you.  But it takes practice.  That is why I ask alot of my patients when was the last time you “Just be” just sat with a coffee in the sun, or appreciated that very moment on the sofa in a warm safe house?

Our bodies as Ive learnt are amazing things! and if you dont mind Im just going to pop my geek head on? and tell you about the Autonomic Nervous System.  This bad boy is amazing! and when I learnt what it does it helped with my anxiety loads because I knew I was in more control than I thought.  The Autonomic Nervous system (ANS) regulates unvoluntary muscles that just do their jobs without us even thinking, such as the heart etc.  The ANS is made up of two branches if you like, the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSN)

Each have their own jobs.  So when your body kicks in to panic mode and your heart begins to race, palms sweat and tummy goes funny etc that is your SNS kicking in, it accelarates your heart rate,  constricts blood vessles and raises BP.  But the great thing about or bodies is after a little while your PNS kicks in and begins to regulate things again.  You will start to feel calm again.  You are in control, don’t panic.

See I told you it was a mixed bag of bits and bobs! My advice to you is, learn about your body.  No what works for you and doesnt work for you.  Dont compare to other’s, you are an individual and bloody brilliant!

Look after yourselves.

Kate xx

Depression and Toast!

Now then you lovely lot!

Really appreciate you calling back in! Hope your week has been good? This week I thought Id discuss Depression and Suicide. Another jolly topic!! but again, if I don’t keep talking and you lot don’t it just reinforces the stigma.  So lets start.

So Depression, you’ve all heard about it, read about it, know somebody that’s suffered with it or maybe you’ve suffered with it yourself? Whatever the way, you know what it is, so why don’t you talk about it? I suffer with it and I don’t give a shit who know’s!! Maybe you’re ashamed, embarrassed? but if you fell and broke your leg you wouldn’t be would you? Again that brings us right back to that little word called “stigma” So do you know what depression actually is? It is a change in brain chemistry that has been triggered by stress, genetics, substance misuse, grief, hormonal changes and many other reason’s.  But it is a serious condition that is taking many lives and effecting many people.

Depression is not something you can just “snap out of” or “pull yourself together”  can someone with a broken leg just heal it then head out on the lash?! no! so why do you expect someone with depression to? It is a bleak, dark, lonely, numb and scary illness.  You could win a million quid and be offered David Beckham on a buttie and still that wouldn’t make you “snap out of it” ( you must be ill then! )

There are many types of Depression, Bi-Polar, Reactive Depression, Clinical Depression, Post-natal Depression, Adjustment depression and more.  I’ve suffered and still suffer with Clinical Depression and probably will do for the rest of my life, but with medication, a healthy life-style and opening my big gob to pretty much anyone that’ll listen its all under control and I’m hunky dory! But it was when I didn’t do those thing’s, I became ill.  I can remember one night in particular Id planned to commit suicide,  Id had a lovely day with Paul and believe it or not I felt at total peace because Id made a decision.  But I had a bad turn and Paul had cottoned on to my plan.  He rang my mum and within seconds she was flying down the motorway from Yoga! I cant quite remember the rest because I was given Valium by some doctors, but what I do remember is my mum holding me super tight on my bed and saying ” If you want to kill yourself that’s your choice, but in the morning you wont wake up, you wont see the sun rising, smell the toast or hear the birds tweeting” I realized I had a choice, to fight for a boss life and smell the toast or not be here at all.  I chose toast.  My mum and Paul saved my life that night.  That wasn’t something I could snap out of, it took for me personally to take time off work, medication and plenty of intervention from mental health services which then lead on to me having Psychotherapy.

If you are suffering, why? don’t suffer anymore.  I want you to choose toast! Depression is a bastard, it’s a horrible illness that can happen to anyone, even the funny happy people!

So do you think you have it? or know of somebody that may be struggling.  What are the signs and symptoms…….

  • Tiredness that wont budge
  • Sleeping has changed, cant get to sleep, stay asleep or waking early
  • low sense of personal worth
  • Lack of concentration
  • Repetitive thoughts of suicide
  • Intense thoughts of guilt
  • Behave towards others change’s
  • Locking yourself away or the opposite, going out to much. Avoidance
  • Self-harming

Doe’s your mind also dwell on negative thoughts such as:

  • Things are getting worse for me
  • I’m worthless
  • No one would miss me if I was dead
  • I make too many mistakes
  • I’m a failure

If you answer yes to any of those above bullet points, have you told anyone? You need to talk to someone.  You must go and see your GP they can offer help, not just medication but Psychotherapy just like what I do.  You have two options, you can either go the NHS route or go privately, the only difference is you get seen quicker when it is private and also there is no restrictions with how many you have.  I do private therapy so if you are interested please don’t hesitate to contact me on here or e-mail me. There are a number of different therapies out there but what I am trained in is Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as you may know it is.

If You or somebody you know is suffering my advice is:

  • Talk.  Tell someone, anyone.  Get it off your chest and begin to make a change
  • Go and see you GP and see what options they have
  • Exercise it can just be a walk in the park, but by getting out and about it burns off excess adrenaline but also releases those happy hormones called endorphin’s
  • Eat the right food’s, its amazing what a healthy balanced diet can do with a bit of cake thrown in every now and then!

Emergency Number’s 

  1. Samaritans 08457909090
  2. Merseyside Police 101
  3. Drugs dependency 0151 709 0516
  4. Wirral Alcohol service 0151 488 7240
  5. Age UK Wirral 482 3456

So I really hope I haven’t waffled on to much! I hope I have helped a little? Please don’t hesitate to contact me If I can help in anyway I will.  If you would also like to book in for therapy you can also do that.

Thank’s for listening, I’ll see you all next week and in the mean time…….Eat Toast!

Kate xx

Up your’s Anxiety!

IMG_4451 So then you lot! Anxiety, we here the name all the time lightly thrown around but do you know exactly what it is? How life crippling and mind consuming it can be? For those of you that suffer with it, then you’re doing great. But for you lot that don’t know what it really is and would like to learn more so you can understand a friend, loved one or just that “odd” person that is a bit weird! then sit back and have a read!

Anxiety unfortunately is not something that can be cured, but it is something that can most definitely be managed.  Yes with medication but more importantly YOU.  You can take control of that mind of yours and stop putting up with the shite it throws your way! ( that’s the technical term!) Anxiety comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, here is a little photo for you to give you an idea:

IMG_4450Imagine anxiety as an umbrella, then underneath the umbrella is all the different types you can get.  But which ever one you are suffering with is just as important as the next.  It means you are struggling, and you have a fear or worry about something.  So what are the signs of Anxiety? and why does that happen? It all goes back to dinosaur cave man stuff, long before us creatures arrived!

  • When Anxiety kicks in your blood thickens, this happens to ensure we don’t bleed out! our bodies are preparing for something called fight or flight.

Our tummy’s and other vital organs close down ( this is why the thought of food makes you feel yuk) and your blood goes to the bigger stronger muscles in order to fight, arms, legs, lungs (and this is why sometimes you hyperventilate) so when you think your dying because you don’t have enough oxygen, its the opposite. You actually have too much!

OK so you may also experience, sweating, shaking, blurred vision, sickness and feeling weak.  Its all totally normal and a part of anxiety, so when you think your body is out of control, it isn’t its doing what its suppose to do. Protecting you. So ask yourself, what’s the matter? what’s worrying you?

How often does this anxiety or panic attack occur? daily, weekly, hourly?

How intense is it? Rate it out of 10.

How long does it last for when one kicks in?

And where were you when it started? and what thoughts where going through your mind.

Its these thoughts that we internalise that make us feel and behave in the way we do.  So YOU have the choice, you can either internalise it, feel shit and never ever deal with it, or face it.  Keep a diary, purely for your anxiety and ask yourself those 4 questions when it kicks off, become your own teacher.

I have to do it on a daily basis.  My anxiety used to consume me and my mind,  I just accepted it for so long and never thought it would go away, so we became good friends! and I welcomed it in with open arms, made it a cuppa and well and truly let the bastard get comfy in my mind! Up until maybe 2 or 3 years ago, I just had a ” I’ve had enough moment” and with all the training and experience I’ve had (eeeeeeee listen to me!!!) I thought right Kate come on, lets deal with this.  My anxiety is around health issue’s and catching bug’s, I still have it now but the difference is now I know I’m in control and more importantly I don’t self harm any more so I’m safe! I do my deep breathing, I exercise now which burns excess adrenaline so it kills the anxiety, and I’ll talk, mainly to my fella who is sick of my voice, and now he just pat’s me on the head whilst on the Playstaion and say’s ” Its OK Kate, you’re not dying tonight love!!”  So the next time someone say’s to you they feel anxious, or have had a panic attack or are suffering with one of the anxiety conditions that appeared under that umbrella, don’t ignore them.  People who ignore it are carrying on the stigma. Break, talk about it and remember, YOU are OK.

Thanks for reading, see you next week

Kate

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Eh up you lot!

Thank’s for taking the time out and popping in for a nose! It’s great to see you.  So what’s this all about I here you ask? Well I’m a Therapist……I am Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based, but I also like to touch on mindfulness.  People often get shocked at what I do because it’s quite a serious job, an important role and I don’t come across as serious or responsible!! so why do I do it? well because I’ve experienced my own “stuff” and I am so glad I did.  Even though at the time my depression nearly ended my life, the story is, it didn’t! I’m here to tell the tale.  I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the years and done the long training, essay’s and case studies but what I learnt most from was life.  So trust me, if you’re going through something now, you are learning.  Learning what you like, what you don’t like and what you would do differently.  I have a huge passion for people, of all walk’s of life.  I don’t care if you’re a Consultant Surgeon or a bin man! If I like you I like you! I love working with people, and beginning in changing their mind set’s for a greater and more in control future.  My intentions for this blog is to talk about a different topic each week,  and try to normalise mental health, take away that bloody stigma that is attached, if you suffer with “mental health issue’s” you woof like a cat and bark like a frog!!! NO! if you have a headache you take a paracetamol right? if I was to have a cast on my leg you’d except that? so except the fact that I’ve had a broken head!! its now fixed…..but I will continue to look after my head! what ever the issue is, lets jump in at the deep end and deal with it.

Please Keep reading,  Sharing and feel free to ask any questions.

Just Be……

Kate