Understanding Depression – The Blurt Foundation

*From the Blurt Foundation*

There’s an awkward and painful shuffle that happens when we have depression; we crave connection yet we fear we’ll be a burden to those we care about, and so we withdraw from connections. Asking for help is hard too, as we’re not always sure what help we need. Rates of loneliness and isolation are increasing at a frightening rate; please know that when you reach out to reply to someone in the comments, it makes more of a difference than you might realise. Feeling heard and understood, and being on the receiving end of some kindness, can foster hope which is something that’s precious. 

Practical Ways To Support Someone With Depression

Practical Ways To Support Someone With Depression

Depression: Activities That Can Help Us To Feel Less Alone

Depression: Activities That Can Help Us Feel Less Alone

10 Lies Depression Tells Us

10 Lies Depression Tells Us

Dear Friend (Is It Still Okay To Call You That?)

Dear Friend (is it still okay to call you that?)

A Letter To The Friends Who Don’t Understand Mental Illness

A Letter to the Friends Who Don’t Understand Mental Illness

Self Kindness

From The Blurt Foundation

We’re encouraged to be kind to ourselves, but self-kindness isn’t always easy. Especially, if it’s the polar opposite of how we usually think and act. When our self-worth is low, which is really common when we are unwell with depression, then it’s hard to feel worthy of kindness – from anyone.

The way we treat ourselves can often be poles apart from the way we interact with our loved ones. We would never dream of saying certain things to our friends, but say them to ourselves constantly. If our family members experienced certain things, we would wrap them in words of encouragement, comfort and reassurance, but when we experience them, we punish ourselves – sometimes without being conscious of the negative self-talk. And that’s the bit that’s hard to unpin.

Read more: https://www.blurtitout.org/…/self-kindness-isnt-easy-sounds/

#selfcare #depression #ajourneythroughthefog #blurtfoundation

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Taking back control of your life and health.

When you suffer from a chronic illness or have mental health issues, it can feel like you have no control. I have always found this to be the most frustrating and challenging part about being ill. My deteriorating health spiralled out of control so rapidly I felt overwhelmed. Each day I felt like my body and mind were betraying me and conspiring to make my life a misery. Each day I would tell myself ‘just get through today, tomorrow will be a better day’ but there are only so many times you can tell yourself this when in reality the ‘better days’ were nowhere to be seen.

The reason I started this blog was because, I wish I knew then what I know now. When I’m writing I pretend I am talking to the broken and suicidal woman I was 4-5 years ago. I hope by sharing my experiences and knowledge I can help others and give people hope. With small steps you can gain back some control over your life and health.

*Steps to taking back control*
(Words of encouragement to the ‘broken’ me)

1. Take small steps. Tackle one symptom at a time.
When you have a complex list of medical conditions it’s unlikely that you will find one remedy for them all. If you try to find a remedy for all your symptoms at once you will be disappointed and feel overwhelmed.
Therefore, you need to decide which symptom is having the biggest detrimental effect on your health, and tackle that first. For me, that was anxiety. Anxiety affects my ability to cope with everything in life including pain, fatigue and stress.

I started taking CBD oil and practicing mindfulness meditation in an attempt to reduce my anxiety levels but along the way I also noticed improvements in many of my other symptoms.

2. Try not to give into frustration.
Try not to get frustrated if you health deteriorates. The severity of symptoms for conditions like ME and fibromyalgia can fluctuate quite dramatically day to day. It’s not a step backwards, just part of the journey.

3. Don’t isolate yourself.
When even speaking is exhausting and painful, it’s easy to feel isolated. Reach out to family and friends. If you don’t have a solid support system, take steps to build one. I withdrew from all social contact for many months because I feared the negative impact it had on my physical health. For days after speaking to friends I would be exhausted. But my mental health suffered from this isolation. Sometimes it’s worth the pain and exhaustion for a few minutes of interaction with friends and family. Laughter often causes me pain but I still enjoy a good guffaw.

4. Educate yourself.
Learn as much as you can about your condition. Knowledge is power when it comes to getting the best treatment available and keeping your sense of independence and control.

5. Do what makes you happy.
As much as is possible, keep doing the things you like to do. You’ll stay connected as well as boost your self-confidence and sense of community.

6. Take one day at a time.
I know it’s a cliche but it’s important to take one day at a time. Some days, just to survive, I could only think about the next 5 mins. Worrying about tomorrow can be depressing and can also increase anxiety.

7. Stop fighting yourself. Don’t beat yourself up.
When I do too much, or I let stress affect my health, I often beat myself up. My favourite phrase, that I repeatedly told myself when my health was at its worst was, ‘you f**ked up!’ I blamed myself for my crash or deteriorating health. But it’s not my fault I’m ill, just the same as it’s not your fault. Be kind to yourself.

8. Take time to remember how bad you were and congratulate yourself for how far you have come.
During the bad days, when my physical health deteriorates and depression hits, I make a conscious effort to remember how bad my health was 4-5 years ago. By focusing on that, I can see how far I’ve come. It often lifts my mood and makes the bad days easier to manage.

9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Admitting you are not coping and that you need help does not mean you are a failure, quite the opposite. Asking for help shows strength and means you are taking positive steps to gaining back control over your life and health.

10. Try not to worry about what other people think.
Only you know what it feels like to be in your body. No one else will truly understand, even if they want to. They cannot feel your pain, exhaustion, anxiety, fears. They do not know the battles you face everyday and the strength it takes just to survive. They may think you are exaggerating or just lazy, but that doesn’t matter. It’s your journey not theirs.

11. Rest and Pace yourself.
Resting does not mean you are lazy. You are giving your body what it needs to recover. You don’t have to do everything at once. Pace yourself and enjoy the little moments in life.

12. Have realistic expectations and celebrate each little achievement.
It’s taken my body years to get this weak and exhausted so it’s likely to take years for it to repair itself. Rest, look after yourself and celebrate even the smallest achievements. By just surviving you are winning!

13. Finding a balance (Acceptance with a fighting spirit).
The push/crash part of a lot of chronic illnesses can be very frustrating. When you feel well enough, especially after a long period of being incapacitated, you want to do everything. But this only leads to a hard crash. I find when I’m active, my physical health deteriorates but my mental health improves. When I rest, my physical health improves but my mental health deteriorates.
So I often experience long periods of activity followed by long periods of exhaustion and depression. Try to find a balance

14. Remember you are not defined by your illness.
Living with a chronic illness can be all consuming. It takes over your life and it’s often hard to differentiate between your illness and the real you. You are still the same person you were before you became ill, you just have a few additional challenges to deal with.

15. You do have a future. Things can and will get better.
No matter how desperate life seems right now, there will be a time when you can laugh again, when your life will be worth living again. I remember the first day in years when I could finally see a future for myself, it was such an inspiring day and the memory keeps me going when I have bad days.

Living with chronic illness can be stressful, but you can take steps to manage your condition and maintain a good quality of life. Learn as much as you can about your illness and treatment needs. Make time for activities and relationships that leave you feeling happier and supported, while avoiding people and things that stress you out. By adjusting your expectations and practicing self-care, you can make your health and wellbeing a priority and take back some control. Take Care x

#ajourneythroughthefog
#invisibleillness
#chronicillness
#mentalhealthawareness

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What can CBD treat? Success Stories


While conducting my survey “What can CBD treat” I came across some positive and inspiring CBD success stories, which I would like to share with you. If you would like to read more about the survey, please click here.

If you would like to find out more about CBD please read my post What is CBD? FAQs.

The following are comments taken from my survey “What can CBD treat?” and detail the positive impact taking CBD has had on the participants health:

“(I have) Osteoarthritis, low mood, poor sleep. The inflammation, stiffness & pain gone. Sleep brilliantly and much more chilled & happy. 12 year old dog with arthritis now like a pup. Both of us take no pharma meds now”

“(CBD has helped) Low mood, depression, less anxious, pain in joints from menopause, deeper sleep. Knee pain. Got my sense of humour back!”

“I have chronic migraine (constant migraine with about 2 acute attacks a week) and Constant daily headache. CBD has eliminated the constant nausea, reduced the amount of constant head pain and I’ve only had one acute attack in about 5 weeks and that was triggered by an occipital nerve block injection which also caused stiff neck and the CBD balm got rid of the stiff neck”

“Our 15 yr. old very large dog, with severe arthritis in his back legs is now actually running! stiff legged but still running and a much happier chappy”

“I have a rare autoimmune that causes inflammation to blood vessels. CBDA has controlled the IBS and gut inflammation, reduced the number of bursting blood vessels I get, soft tissue ulcers, joint pain. I’m less tired and sleep better with the CBD element”

“I have anxiety and insomnia. I can now function with the help of CBD for my anxiety and have not have an attack since starting taking 1 drop 2 times a day (with no intention of upping the dose). I have found that I can manage to live my life ‘normally’ and leave the house on my own when it is not for work. My insomnia has not been helped at all”

“arthritis from 6 yrs old, 2 failed operation on hips and shoulders, subluxations due to eds, rheumatoid arthritis coming in hands, acid reflux, restless legs, pain and insomnia…. terrible side effects to meds that didn’t work so turned to alcohol as well….. of all meds, no longer suffer restless legs, insomnia 80% better now just have a bad night now and then, quality of life improved, less pain, more mobility”

“I have fibromyalgia, bpd (borderline personality disorder) AD (adjustment disorder) DD (dissociative disorder) cbd gives me a new life it’s still difficult as I take no other medication but I highly recommend it for pain but especially for mental health it helps calm any ‘bad’ thoughts, still can’t communicate face to face but that’s socially awkward 😂 or just don’t like people lmao”

“Taking it for chronic vestibular migraine. It has helped but as a bonus, it has also helped with psoriasis, arthritis and menopausal hot flushes”

“ME: Chronic pain and spasm / inflammation in my neck / shoulders (caused by bulging discs and nerve impingements). I’m now virtually pain free. Also helps with my ADD and with anxiety.
MUM: Osteoarthritis in her knees. She is seeing a big reduction in pain over time.”

“My dog has epilepsy, and CBD 100% controls his fits. I also know a human who is using it for the same reason, and with success.”

“Diabetes-A1C is now normal. Inflammation in my knee causing much pain is gone. All around aches are gone. Not as stiff or sore. Anxiety is so much better! And an all around better feeling of wellness. What it did not help is stomach issues like reflux or heartburn (though they are better than before just not much difference) And my gray hair? Ya, it’s STILL gray!!! ;)”

“Our 15 year old son has Aspergers, PDA and severe anxiety. The effect of CBD on him was immediate. The first time he used it was when we traveled to the east coast last summer and normally a trip like that would cause him anxiety such that he would need to stop and urinate every 20-30 minutes along the journey. On that occasion, we didn’t stop once and he was able to go to the beach immediately on arrival, where he normally would take a day or 2 to recover after the journey before venturing out. We try and get him to use it everyday (but aren’t always successful) and it has made life a lot less stressful for him and us as a consequence.”

“My 13 yr old daughter using CBD to treat bad joint pain from EDS. She has brain fog, fatigue also. Her joint pain is 90% decreased.”

“Chronic lumbar/lower half pain & arthritis . Cbd takes the edge of the pains & lifts mood. Never 100% pain free, but most days the cbd knocks it down a few levels to a manageable degree”

“I suffer from PTSD, bad anxiety and depression. I use cbd 500 oil. One drop twice daily. Life changing ! 😊
My 11yr dog cried and yelled getting in the car. He is running around like he was 5 🐕.”

“I have Fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. My husband has degeneration of shoulder joints due a new replacement right shoulder very soon. We both have benefited and no longer take opiate pain killers. Not a cure but life is so much better😁

“I’ve recently started using CBD oil as I’ve got Parkinsons and it’s been absolutely amazing it’s helping my anxiety my cramps my sleep relaxation and my movements/mobility and I’ve only been taking it a week!! So happy I started using it I’m sure it has many more benefits yet to come…! I also use the CBD balm for aching/painful joints…”

“I have severe CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, IBS, anxiety and panic attacks, migraines, depression and insomnia. CBD has successfully lowered my pain and anxiety levels, helped my insomnia, fatigue and reduced my IBS symptoms. CBD allows me to manage my symptoms more effectively than any prescription medication I’ve tried. I can finally see a future for myself.”

Thank you to everyone that contributed and for giving me permission to publish your comments. It was so uplifting hearing all of your success stories.

Has this inspired you to try CBD?

#ajourneythroughthefog
#CBD

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What can CBD treat?

I have been taking CBD for over a year now and have found it effective for a lot of my health conditions and symptoms. However, it’s not a miracle cure and there are some symptoms it hasn’t helped. I was interested to find out if other people had had similar experiences, so I conducted a survey. If you are new to CBD you might benefit from reading this post first: https://m.facebook.com/story.php…

In the survey, I asked what conditions the participants suffered from, what symptoms were improved by CBD and what symptoms had no improvement.

Results

The following is a list of the results. (I’ve listed them in order of prevalence rather than alphabetically)

Effective:

Anxiety (16)
Chronic pain (15)
Fatigue (9)
Fibromyalgia pain (9)
Insomnia (8)
Joint pain (8)
Depression (6)
Arthritis (5)
Brain fog (4)
Low mood (4)
Osteoarthritis (4)
Epilepsy (3)
IBS (3)
ME/CFS (3)
Muscle pain (3)
Headaches (2)
Nausea (2)
Migraines (2)
Muscle Spasms (2)
Restless legs syndrome (2)
Sciatica (2)
ADD
Asperger’s
Balance issues/vertigo
Borderline personality disorder
COPD
Diabetes
Dystonia
EDS
FND
Hip Dysplasia (pain)
Menopausal hot flushes
MS
Nasal tumours
Nerve inflammation/compression in spine
Pancreatitis
Parkinson’s
PDA
Polymyalgia
Psoriasis
PTSD
Reduced mood swings
Stiffness
Ulcers

Slight improvement:

Fibromyalgia Flare pain (2)
Migraines (2)
Dysautonomia
Nausea
Nerve pain

No Improvement:

Insomnia (3)
Tinnitus (3)
Migraines (2)
Nerve Pain (2)
Social anxiety (2)
Acid Reflux
Anxiety
Depression
Intrusive thoughts
Kidney stone pain
Phobias
PMT
Vertigo

Conclusion

It’s encouraging to see how many conditions can be effectively treated with CBD. As you can see, there are some conditions on more than one list, which just goes to show how individual we are. However, there are a few that appear more often in the ‘no improvement’ or ‘slight improvement’ list, which may suggest CBD is not as effective for these conditions (Tinnitus, migraines, nerve pain, Fibromyalgia Flare pain and social anxiety) This could also be explained by saying the participant hasn’t yet found a CBD product with the right levels of cannabinoids and terpenes, or the right dose to be effective.

There are a handful of conditions which appear numerous times on the ‘effective’ list. (Anxiety, Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia pain, Fatigue, Joint pain, Insomnia) It could just be because these conditions are more common, but it’s encouraging to see how effective CBD can be for treating conditions that many of us suffer from, and for which conventional medicine can sometimes be ineffective.

Please note this is not a complete list of all the conditions CBD can treat, just the ones reported by the participants of my survey.

While conducting my survey I came across some positive and inspiring success stories, which I would like to share with you. Please click on the link to read these inspiring stories:https://m.facebook.com/story.php…

What are your experiences with CBD? What are you successfully treating and what symptoms has CBD not been as effective for?

#ajourneythroughthefog
#CBD

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Is 3am the most desperate hour of the day?

I felt compelled to write the following after reading the most recent update, on a case of a local young woman who went missing on Boxing Day.

It has been documented that suicide rates are at their highest between 2-3am. I can fully understand why, as I have come very close myself, on a number of occasions.

I suffer from chronic insomnia along with depression and anxiety. 3am is when I am at my most desperate. Here’s why; If I haven’t slept by 3am, I know I’m not going to sleep. I’ve already lain awake for hours with anxious, depressing and possibly suicidal thoughts, running through my mind. The accumulative weight of these thoughts is unbearable by 3am. I still have hours to wait before I see or speak to anyone else. My physical pain is at its worst at this time. I’m exhausted and don’t feel like I have the mental strength to last the night. The night seems so long and I feel so alone. And all my problems feel amplified at night.

But I know from experience that if I can make it to sunrise or until I can speak to a loved one, things do not seem as bad. The desperation I feel at 3am lifts with the sun’s rays.

If you are reading this and regularly experience this desperation, please find the strength to make it to sunrise. If you don’t think you have the strength, please call a loved one. I can assure you, they would prefer to be woken up at 3am, than face a devastating phone call the next day. If you don’t want to worry someone you love, please call a helpline like the Samaritans. Do whatever you need to do to distract yourself to survive until morning. However alone you feel, there is always help out there, but you need to ask. Take care.

#ajourneythroughthefog
#mentalhealthawareness
#youarenotalone

https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us

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