mental health awareness

Why I push away the ones I fear to lose

I know I get too attached. I always feel like I can’t trust anyone, but if I do, I start to get attached which comes along with the fear of losing the ones I need the most. And then, somehow, I always happen to push away exactly these people. That’s what happens all the time.

And here’s why.

I know I have trust issues, I usually never trust anyone. But sometimes I start to trust people and suddenly they become an important part of my life. I get obsessed, and that’s when I get so afraid of losing them, that it seems like the only option I have is to push them away.

I don’t want them to recognize how much they mean to me, because it might freak them out a bit and they might distance themselves, but at the other hand I want them to know how much of an impact they have on my life.
I don’t want them to think I’m obsessing over their exsitence, but I want them to know that they’re cherished as a person.
I don’t want them to get annoyed with me, but I want to talk to them or spend time with them.
I don’t want them to think I’m like some kind of stalker, but I for sure want them to know that I don’t hate them.
But most of the time that’s probably exactly what they think of me.

Those people are often teachers, therapists or others that did something that helped me or that I appreciated. Most of time I don’t really talk to those people, I probably don’t even say hi when I walk past them, because I am too shy.
I’m 24/7 afraid that someone I like hates me.

I am so terrified of being hated, forgotten or left, that I think I have to be the one who leaves first, because it hurts less to leave than being left.

But I’m not strong enough and so I keep losing people. And I always lose them. Maybe if I told them how important they are to me and that I want to stay in touch, some of them wouldn’t leave completely.

I hope you always remember someone out there appreciates you and your existence in their life, even if you don’t get to recognize it. 

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mental health awareness

A friendly reminder

Mental illness doesn’t take a break over the summer holidays.

Just because we don’t have to go to school doesn’t mean we’re suddenly doing okay. Our fears and thoughts don’t stop the moment we get out of school for a few weeks, they don’t care about relaxing or swimming pool time.

Having a lot of time now doesn’t always make us feel better and less depressed or anxious, no sometimes it makes us feel even worse, because we’re lacking the daily structure and have even more time to overthink.

Just because we don’t have to get up for school doesn’t mean that getting out of bed is easier when we’re on summer break. No, it might be even harder because we’re not forced to get up in order to be on time.

Not having to go to school gives all of us a lot of free time, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll be able to do things all day. We still get stressed and overwhelmed, we still fear the stuff we fear when we’re going to school and we still struggle with daily tasks.

Being on summer break doesn’t make us able to do fun things with our friends all the time. Often we don’t get to enjoy the stuff mentally healthy people enjoy, we might get exhausted or upset very easy and still need to plan our activities.

If you or someone you know struggles with mental health problems, please remember: Holidays or breaks don’t magically cure our illnesses, we’re still struggling and that’s totally normal and okay. Healing takes time.

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mental health awareness

What being inpatient really is like

I might or might not have written this to convince myself that going inpatient isn’t as scary as it seems. Yes, I’ve been inpatient before; no, that doesn’t mean I’m not scared of doing it again. So here you go:


Thinking about inpatient treatment for mental illness, the first thing that comes to peoples minds is probably a lot of scary stuff.

Sure, it is scary as hell, but since you’re fighting a war inside of your mind, fighting to get your life back, doing things you never wanted to do and so on, that’s pretty normal.
It’s okay to be afraid, it’s okay to fear it, because IT IS SCARY.

But there is so much more to this.

Being inpatient on an open station isn’t sitting in your room in a hospital gown crying all day, it’s walking around in pyjamas all day every day and nobody cares what you look like.
It’s playing video games with other patients and fighting about who gets to be Peach in Mario Kart to distract yourself, trying to get into the staff wifi for free and watching at least two movies a day.

It isn’t eating the same gross hospital food alone in your room everyday, it’s sitting at a table with your friends, eating like a family and building stuff with bread and tooth sticks.
It’s playing games like “Who am I” on the table, so those with an eating disorder have something other than food to think about and those with social anxiety have something to talk about to the others.

Staying in the hospital over night isn’t always hearing the alarm go off, people screaming outside your room or ambulances arriving every night.
Sure that happens too, but sometimes it’s sneaking out of your room at midnight to wish your friend in another room a happy birthday.
Sometimes it’s begging the staff to allow you to stay outside of your rooms until midnight and them being okay with it.
Sometimes it’s staying outside until locktime watching the stars and listening to music.

Being there for a really long time isn’t missing home every single day and wanting to escape all the time.
Sure homesickness is real and will come along quiet often, but eventually you’ll meet the most wonderful people in there, with which you’ll be in contact for the rest of your life and still talking about the time you spent inpatient together 20 years after.
Maybe it’s finding out that you’ll consider this place your second home for the rest of your life and that it will always belong in your heart .

It’s experiencing things you’d never imagined before, good and bad. But it for sure isn’t just scary.

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mental health awareness, Phobia

Specific phobias

Did you ever fear something so much you would have rather died than having to experience that thing?

That’s what it’s like to have a specific phobia.

Everything I do in my life is meant to prevent on experiencing my fear, every thought I think is checked at least twice in case it could make this thing happen.

I can’t even write about what my biggest fear is, because when I write or talk about it it seems even more real and even more like it’s gonna happen in any moment.

I am ashamed, of my fear and of myself. I know that these thoughts don’t make sense, I know that my fear seems irrelevant to others and I know that my phobia is what holds me back from living a happy life.

Not even one simple action like putting a glas on a table isn’t thought through a hundred times. Did I ever do it like I’m doing it right now and was I afraid or did the thing happen? If I do it like this now, will I be afraid or will this thing happen? If I do it like this now and I will be afraid or the thing will happen, I won’t ever be able to do it like this again, because it will happen again. If I won’t ever be able to do it like this again, I will get afraid and the thing might happen.

My thoughts never stop. My mind is currently working and creating “What if” sentences. I can’t make it stop. I can’t make it stop, because if I don’t think about it, I will be afraid and the thing might happen.

At times it gets worse and I become really afraid. I won’t be able to function like a normal human being, I might escape or try to interact with you, I might talk a lot or not at all, I might sit still or walk around trying to breathe, I might tell you what’s going on, but most of the time I won’t.

I have to get through this and I most probably will get through this, but I never know for sure if I really will.

Sometimes I want to give up, I don’t want to exist anymore or I want to die, because then the thing won’t ever happen again.

Sometimes I just want to hide, forever. I want to find an option to make sure this thing won’t ever happen, at all costs.

Sometimes I just want this fear to go away, because I would like to do something randomly and not think about the same thing all the time, sometimes I just want to know how a normal life feels.

Please, I beg you to never ever ever play down someone’s fears or to even make fun of them. If you’ve never felt like that before, you won’t be able to understand, no matter how hard you try. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Try to find out what comforts the person, what lowers their fear and what you can do to help them a little. Even if it’s just talking random stuff or sitting across the room; the best you can do is to respect the persons fear and to try to minimize the harm they do to themselves, mentally and/or physically. 

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Mental Health Awareness Week

[mhaw] ❁ Why not having an ED could’ve made me develope one

[Mental Health Awareness Week – Post 2]

I never had an eating disorder. But everybody always thought I had one.
And that’s the problem.

I was born underweight and I was underweight my whole life.
When I was only 1 year old my mother got asked if I get enough to eat, when I was 3 years old I was told I eat like a bird, when I was 7 years old other girls started to comment on my body and when I was 10 some of my classmates first started to get jealous.
When I was 12 my teacher (!) said that they’d wish to weigh as less as I did, when I was 13 years old, I was forced to eat more than I wanted by someone that doesn’t even belong to my family.
Even when I went inpatient for therapy, I was under an eating disorder treatment and it took me 9 weeks of resistance until they started to second-guess themselves. I had to eat on the tables with people who actually do have an ED for 12 weeks, my weight was checked twice a week for 85 days and even when I was released they still didn’t completely believe me.

I got commented on my weight by family, friends, classmates, doctors and strangers every day my whole life long. I was asked if I have an eating disorder almost once a week, I was asked how much I eat and if I go running or to the gym.

No. I was like everyone else my age. The low weight is in my genes, I wasn’t doing anything for it.

But when you hear things like this every single day, you start to think about it.
Most of the time it was just annoying, sometimes I felt complimented, but I still wanted to gain some weight.
Some day I started to feel like I wasn’t allowed to change anymore. I thought I had to stay that way so people wouldn’t stop liking me, I thought that if I gained weight people would dislike me, because I’d be like everyone else.

I can be very lucky that I can control these thoughts and that I eat what I want, when I want, but someone else might have been even more uncomfortable with how they look and would have started to diet.

What’s saddest about this is, that even teachers, those that are rolemodels to so many young children, were telling me that they wished for a weight like mine. They didn’t know if I had an eating disorder or not. I was lucky that I didn’t have one, but there are so many people out there that do, and they receive the same messages all the time.

Think before you speak.

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Mental Health Awareness Week

[mhaw] ❁ Zoloft

[Mental Health Awareness Week – Post 1 – Talking about Zoloft]

As Zoloft is the most prescribed antidepressant and the second most prescribed pychiatric medication, a lot of people in the mental health community know about it or take it themselves.
Everytime someone found out I also take them I was asked a ton of questions about my experience with it. I was asked on tumblr, facebook, instagram, just random chats, ..

So let’s talk about it.


First of all, what the hell is Zoloft?
Zoloft or Sertraline is an an antidepressant used to treat
Depression, Anxiety, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), Panic Disorder (with or without Agoraphobia), Social Anxiety, Phobias, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Eating Disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating, Body Dysmorphic Disorder and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

How does it work?
Sertraline belongs to a group of drugs called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), it is also a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.
So basically what it does is increasing the dose of the sertraline and dopamine in your brain. Those neurotransmitters are chemicals that relay signals between the cells in the brain.
Clients with depressive or anxiety disorders do produce way less of those chemicals, so by upping the dose in the brain sertraline is thought to improve the symptoms.

I’ve been taking Zoloft for almost 1 and 1/2 year now. I started with 25mg/day, at the moment I take 175mg/day. The highest dose you can take per day is 200mg.
My psychiatrist prescribed it to me before having an ECG and a full blood count done, but only because of the bad state I was in. You should really get those things done before starting your medication, because otherwise it could be extremely dangerous.

At the first 1 or 2 weeks I didn’t recognize anything besides not being able to sleep and my OCD being worse. Week 3 and 4 were the hardest, I had a lot of side effects like being extremely exhausted but having insomnia, being really hungry or not hungry at all, feeling nauseous and dizzy all the time (great for my phobia – not), having to yawn like every 2 seconds which is embarassing and exhausting, not feeling present at all and stuff like that.

But after 1 month I started to feel less anxious and less depressed, getting out of bed and the house was easier, my phsyical symptoms almost dissappeared and my therapist said that I seemed to be a lot more present and “alive”.

Having the meds and not wanting to go to the psych ward I started going to school again, which I definitely wouldn’t be able to do without meds.
I could start therapy after like 2 months of taking Zoloft and was able to get inpatient in a different hospital that was 10(!) hours away from my hometown (imagine having agoraphobia and being that far away from home for 1/4 year).

Everytime we upped my dose I had like 1 week of side effects, but felt better after my body got used to the higher dose. As I already said I’m currently taking 175mg and we decided not to stop or switch to another med yet, because it’s a really high risk.


Something you really should know about Sertraline is that in the beginning it quite often increases the amount of suicidal thoughts someone is experiencing and it’s known to be able to lead to suicide, so if you’re experiencing these sideeffects you should immediately tell your doctor!

 

 

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mental health awareness

Real Anxiety

How my anxiety affected me producing a short film about anxiety

I have struggled with social anxiety since I was in kindergarten.
Now I’m 18 and still struggling.
But things have changed.

Now I’m able to speak up and raise awareness about what I and a thousand others suffer from.

Therefor I decided to produce a short film about anxiety for my 2-year-school-project.
Well, being in front of the camera I recognized I’m even more uncomfortable than I want it to seem in the video.

Most of the anxiety scenes in the short film are staged, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t anxious doing all this.
A whole bunch of the raw material is just me awkwardly talking to the person behind the camera, jumping up and down doing weird stuff with my hands and not being able to think because of the panic in my head.
I have more than 1 hour of material that doesn’t show anything besides me sitting on my bed dissociating and staring at the ceiling the whole time.

But none of this is included in the short film.
It’s raw, it’s real, it’s personal and it’s embarrasing to look at. I look horrible, I do not have any control and I’m an open book. I’m hurtable.

BUT THESE SCENES ARE THE MOST REAL ONES. I want the world to recognize the ugliness of anxiety attacks, I want the people to keep an eye on their family and friends, I want them to know the signs.

Continue reading

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