What Is Depression?

It’s a cold winter night, the rain is pattering against the window. Draw yourself a bath, a warm cosy bath. This bath has your favourite scents all mixed into one, maybe with a few bubbles. Turn off the lights to let the candles glow brighter, take off your clothes and get into the warmth. Feel all your worries just soak away, anything bad of what happened today, just let them all go.

Suddenly, The water is gone. The candles are out. The cold surrounds you. You are still sitting in that bathtub though. You are frozen there, you cant move. All them scents have been replaced by a musky smell, and the room feels tiny. You are alone, you scream as loud as you can but with no help in return.

The weird thing though… the 1st description is what is actually happening, the 2nd description is what is going on in your head.

~MonstersLivingInMyMind~

14 Reasons Why Not

So you are about to read a blog post I wrote for a website called Mind Your Way. I work closely with the organisation who run this website, I will link the website at the bottom.

Some of you may have spent the summer bingeing on the Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’. This is a series which tells the story of Hannah Baker, a teenager attending high school who takes her own life. The story is told through a series of 13 tapes she left behind for people she blames for driving her to this act.I have experienced my own difficulties with my mental health and for me, watching the show brought up lots of difficult feelings and memories, and I’m sure I am not the only one … It also made me angry as it shows a very graphic, unbalanced and unrealistic view of suicide and depression, which risks increasing the stigma and stereotypes around young people’s mental health, so I felt I needed to speak out.Here are my 14 reasons why not to watch this series! Or at least if you do, then to see it for the fictional drama it is, rather than an accurate portrayal of suicide and depression …

  1. Firstly, the show has an 18 rating in the UK (for good reason!) … but is totally pitched at younger teenagers … say 12 – 15 years, it’s a high school drama … and from my experience, it seems that it is the younger age group who are hooked on it, young people shouldn’t be watching this show without an adult to discuss the issues it brings up …
  2. It doesn’t show a realistic or sensitive picture of what it is like to feel suicidal or depressed, it glamorises mental health problems and it reduces the complexity of suicide to a series of unfortunate events.
  3. People who feel suicidal or end their lives are not doing this because they want to get revenge on others, they do it because of their mental state because they feel hopeless and can’t see a wait out of how they are feeling or believe the pain will never end. Hannah’s mental health is not really explored at all, it’s all about the events that happen to her … and there is no discussion or information about depression and mental health.
  4. The show focuses on a narrow narrative that implies that bullying caused her suicide, but suicide is not a blame game. Bullying does sometimes lead to mental health problems but suicide and depression are complex and there is rarely one cause. Sometimes there aren’t any obvious reasons why people become unwell … and no one thing leads to suicide.
  5. If people believe that suicide is about drama and revenge it might make them have less empathy and understanding of those who struggle with these feelings.
  6. Hannah blames others for driving her to take her life when really she made the decision to go through with this act and chose not to tell people or engage with professional help. This might be hard to read, but lots of people feel like this … and it could make some people feel they are responsible for the deaths of people they know or love.
  7. The message that using suicide as a revenge strategy will achieve the outcome you wanted and make people feel remorseful is dangerous and wrong …
  8. The show could have focused on Hannah trying to get the help she needed instead, she doesn’t talk to her parents … and there are no adults who are shown as caring or helpful … if someone is watching this and feeling suicidal this might make them believe there is no help or hope.
  9. A story of a hope, with a more positive outcome, could have contributed a powerful and important message to young people, helping to show those struggling with their mental health that there is help out there and some light at the end of the tunnel.
  10. The show had very few warnings and a lot of unexpected and triggering scenes including graphic images of violence, sexual abuse, rape and self-harm.
  11. Even after watching the whole series I was not prepared for and did not expect the detailed and very upsetting scene in the final episode … We all know what happened by then and the scene seemed really unnecessary.
  12. If you are feeling vulnerable these scenes could be very triggering and might reinforce or validate ideas about harming yourself or ending your life, some mental health professionals are even worried the show might inspire ‘copycat’ actions.
  13. In the UK, there are strict guidelines around how suicide is depicted on screen, but Netflix is not subject to these regulations as they are a US company. The Samaritans have criticised the show saying “It is extremely concerning that a drama series, aimed at a young audience, can be produced outside of the UK and made available to UK audiences and yet not subject to UK media regulation.”
  14. Depression is a horrible illness and should be taken seriously, we need to move away from the stereotypes that trivialise or dramatise mental health problems and bring positive attention that raises awareness and understanding so that people feel able to ask for the help they need. 13 Reasons Why definitely doesn’t do this …

If you are feeling vulnerable or experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm I urge you not to watch this show … instead please talk to someone you trust or ask for help – believe me, there is help out there and things do get better, I am proof of that … 

~MonstersLivingInMyMind~

Selfish

They will ignore you until they need you

So recently I have been giving support and help to a friend of mine. This friend of mine suffered from Anxiety, Depression & Eating Disorder. She self-harms and is constantly fluctuating in and out of suicide. So me being me, I said I would support her the best way I could.

Most nights she would come to me in pieces, saying that she couldn’t cope. I gave and gave to her, every bit of help I could give to her I would. Then one night, she self-harmed while talking to me. This hurt me and it’s probably not for the reason you think.

It was not because I have helped her and why would she do this to me, it’s because she never thought about me in this situation. For those of you who are new, I suffer from Mental Health myself and have bad coping mechanisms, and for her to do this, it triggered me. I was 2 months clean, hello day 0 again. I simply said to her she needed to ring CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) and disclose this information to them, or ring 111 to get help and/or information. For the next few

For the next few hours, I kept talking to her, making sure she was okay and ensuring that she safe. A few days went by, and I found myself in a dilemma. I needed her help. I was having a panic attack and asked for some help, and the first thing she was done- she changed everything back to her. There was no Are you okay? What can I do to help you? Nothing. She said My days been bad too, I have tried to overdose today. That is what hurt. How I always dropped everything for her, but this one time I needed someone she couldn’t face the fact it wasn’t her suffering.

Maybe it’s selfish of me to say that she was hurting that day and that she needed support. She made me feel like she could be the only one who has problems though, and that’s when everything just fell into place for me… she only talks to me when she needs me.

~MonstersLivingInMyMind~

Bathroom

I’m laying on the bathroom floor, emotionless, and losing all sense of my way.

How did you get like this Chelsea? Well, this is a good question and one that I’m not entirely sure I even know the answer to just yet. But for some reason this bathroom floor is comforting me, it’s making me feel safe and protected. Before writing this, for 10 minutes I just laid there crying for no reason, but yet, I didn’t feel stupid nor weak. I felt okay afterward.

Normally when I cry, I get mad at myself for losing my shit and tend to relapse into self-harm. For the first time, I didn’t though. I just laid there afterward thinking and feeling more relieved, like that cry actually helped me.

I will be back blogging properly soon, but shit has been going down in my life and I can’t really pick it up at the moment. Bare with me x

Change

I hate change. It’s something that I cant deal with too well, and that’s why I haven’t been active recently. My summer has been full of change, some for the good, others for the bad but I’m just going to focus on the positive.

I was able to step on a bus multiple times a day without having any fear, and with little discomfort being around other people. Something that might be simple for someone else but is incredibly difficult for me. I rehearse the lines of where I am going in my head to speak to the driver over and over and think of every question they could ask me to have the correct answer. Finding the correct seat on the bus as I don’t particularly want to speak or sit next to anyone else due to my personal space issue. Just the simple things.

I quit smoking finally! I have now been vaping and it has made such a good change for me in my life. I have to thank my youth worker for pressuring me into this, as if not for her I would not be doing what I am now, giving up something that destroys me.

I walked into my new college and spoke to various staff members without having one panic attack, nor an overwhelming feeling of Anxiety. This is my biggest change of all of them, as I don’t like being thrown in the deep end. I honestly feel like I’m happy over this, that I have found my little happy place, and that makes me so good and happy.

Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed and rearranged to relocate us to the place we are meant to be.

~ MonstersLivingInMyMind~

Hospital

**All comments expressed are just my opinions and what I think. Not wanting to start an argument, just stating what I think**

Let us be honest, the healthcare system in the UK is pretty crap. You know what is not crap though? That we get it for free. We slam our NHS to the ground, I included, but we are all forgetting that the healthcare we are provided with by these amazing doctors and nurses is done for free.

Yes, I know it sucks when you have been in a waiting room for 3+ hours waiting to see someone for all of 10 minutes of their time to be told your fine. Yes, they make pretty big fuck up’s every so often when caring for a patient. With all due respect, they work 12-hour shifts with hardly no breaks, they have one of the hardest jobs in this world, caring for someone’s life, and what do they get out of it? A shit pay with morning people. If you were working 12 hours a day, would you not make any mistakes? Yes, you can’t put prices on peoples lives but maybe we all need to understand that the NHS is under a massive strain, and going to A&E with a cough and the sniffles is not going to help their struggle.

I am not saying I don’t moan about this, I constantly do, but maybe if we just took a minute to evaluate the situation at hand, we wouldn’t be in this shit storm of a mess. Averagely a month, I spend £43.50 on my medication alone. My bank is broke as anything, but I choose to carry on broke because without my tablets I would be worse off, and using more facilities from the NHS.

I did a little bit of researching around. Say on average I saw my doctor 20 times this year, I have just cost the NHS £1854. For an ECG & CBT treatment, I just cost them £210. For each blood test that I have, it will cost around £50 each time to get it taken, sent off looked at, and results sent back. I have blood tests every month.

Holy shite. Look at that. I am costing them so much. So why the hell am I complaining about spending £43.50 a month compared to how much I cost the NHS to keep me well and healthy. I’m not saying that the NHS doesn’t have issues, I’m just saying maybe we need to have a little bit more respect for them.

~MonstersLivingInMyMind~

Practice What You Preach

I coax people out from self-harming, yet I still create new wounds on my own body. I tell people that life is worth everything and not to take their life, but I still sit here planning different ways that I could commit myself. I help to motivate others when their Depression takes over their body, even when I am laying in bed for the 3rd day in a row because I can’t find the strength myself.

The saying goes Practice what you preach, but I don’t. It’s traditionally used in a more ironic scenario like saying to someone Hey! Smoking is bad for you, but then again I can’t say anything. Gotta practice what you preach. Although I’m not using it in that sense, it still applies and implies the exact same thing. I have no problems trying to help others out, but when it comes to helping myself out, I suck at that.

I’m writing this because I laid awake last night convincing my friend that she was alright after her Panic Attack, and speaking my other friend out of overdosing because she cants live this life anymore. Once they went to sleep, I just stared at my ceiling. I realised that I give out all this love and support, but emotionally and physically abuse myself when it comes to my Mental Health. I think I have worked out why though I do this.

These people, my friends, they don’t deserve to be going through this, they are good people who are nothing more than kind and caring to the world and would never damage it. I want to take all that pain they are feeling, and let it come to me because I know that my body will get used to all this pain, just like it has before.

Maybe I should start taking my own advice, or as they say, Practice what you preach

~MonstersLivingInMyBrain~

(PS Don’t forget to follow my Instagram! @monsterslivinginmymind)

Over

“I wish I was a little girl again because skinned knees are easier to fix than broken hearts”

Unfortunately, me and Rhys have split. I decided that I needed to focus on my Mental Health and have my full commitment in my road to recovery so I can learn to love with all my heart. I did the decent thing by phoning him and wrote a full speech explaining my reasons. Still, though, I don’t think he understands and that’s okay. I feel so bad, but I can’t commit to something that I’m not fully into.

Knowing I have broken someone’s heart even though I still love them is horrible, and something I never wanted to do. He has helped me out so many times. The thing is though, I don’t think he got what I was going through. When I said I relapsed, he wanted to facetime me, but I wasn’t ready to face anyone at that prior moment, and he seemed to get annoyed at me through this. When I said that I had signed up to volunteer with YPC, he seemed to get annoyed that he wouldn’t get to see me, although I gave him lots of opportunities to do so.

He said to Rhi I want you to talk some sense into her! and yes I know he is hurting, but that hurt to hear. Like my Mental Health was nothing to him. I had my full sense with me, I hadn’t slept for weeks from just worrying over this relationship, I relapsed from this relationship, and he just couldn’t see it. And yes, this is selfish of me to say, but I’m just a human who has got shit going on in her life, and yes I hurt a guy who was so pure, but you can’t stay in something for all the wrong reasons.

I spoke to him this morning, and I could tell I have hurt him. I wish I could fix broken hearts, and anyone he dates in the future, they are lucky as hell, because he is one hell of a decent bloke, who would not harm a fly. If you do read this Rhys, please know that it’s not your fault, I just need time to fix myself.

~MonstersLivingInMyMind~

Ignorance Is Bliss

I just want to share some statistics with you that I was seen and heard of:

In 2016 a survey was taken about Mental Health, and it shows us that 5.9 in 100 people suffered from Anxiety, 3.3 in 100 people suffered Depression, 4.4 in 100 people suffered from PTSD. It doesn’t stop there though, oh no. 2.0 in 100 people suffer from Bipolar disorder, and 2.4 in 100 people suffer from BPD. And not to alarm any of you but 20.6 in 100 people had suicidal thoughts resulting in 6.7 of them attempting this, along with 7.3 in 100 people Self Harming.

How amazing are these results? We have actual evidence to prove that people suffer from Mental Illnesses, but yet many people live in the Ignorance Is Bliss. Society refuses to believe that Mental Illnesses are real, but yet just under 20 people out of 100 are attempting, and much succeeding, in suicide. So please tell me how you can’t see this? How can you not see that people are suffering, and your just standing by like nothing is happening?

You may think 100 people is a lot, and that these numbers are insignificant. So I decided to work this out. There are 60.14 million people living in the UK alone. So rounding this down to 60 million, and taking the Depression statistics, I decided to average work out how many people in the UK suffer from Depression. 18,181,818.2. So rounding it and all that, 18,000,000 people in the UK alone suffer from Depression. What the actual hell are we on about. And these are only the people who have declared they have this, imagine how many people are out there that aren’t declining this.

 

Forgive my maths if this is wrong, but my point is still standing in all of this. Its stupid that we can’t see what is right in front of us, and why aren’t we getting the right help? We need to change things. We can’t live in the Ignorance Is Bliss anymore.

 

~MonstersLivingInMyMind~

Head

It’s all in your head!

How many times have you heard that? That these mental illnesses are in your head? That by just thinking positively you can change the way you act and think? But we all know that this is not the case, in fact, it is far from it.

Unless you go through a Mental Health issue, then you won’t know how any of this feels, and you certainly won’t understand how by Just Smiling won’t cure Depression. If I’m honest, I’m sick of this. Having people tell me to my face that it’s all in my brain, and if by thinking of cute kittens doesn’t work, going to take a jog outside. I love kittens, but they won’t cure my Disassociation and going for a jog outside won’t help me get through my Eating Disorder. You have to understand that some people need specialist help.

I saw my dentist the other week, lovely lady she was who really took her time and patience with me. When having an X-Ray of my tooth done, my Anxiety hit sky high for some reason, and I slowly started to silently cry. While doing this, her assistant was telling me to just do deep breaths, and concentrate on her voice. They honestly helped me get through this. At the end of the appointment though, she said something that made me instantly annoyed at her though. She helped me throughout this whole appointment, and her assistant was amazing, but by saying these words, it hit a raw nerve. Its all in your head Chelsea, just remember that.

And let me clear something up about this, YES I KNOW ITS IN MY HEAD, ITS CALLED A MENTAL ILLNESS!!! You can tell me as many times as you like that it’s in my head, it’s not going to make a single bit of difference. I wish you could see it, man I do, because then maybe I wouldn’t feel like I’m going crazy. Just because it’s in my head though, doesn’t make it any less real, and everyone should respect this.

We need to start taking Mental Illness as serious as Physical ones as well.

~MonstersLivingInMyMind~