autism · journey to recovery · mental health · mental health blogger · mental illness · personal journey · Uncategorized

Mental Health and Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful, happy time but when you’re suffering with mental illness, it can be difficult to feel joyous. Mental illness does not take a day off. It does not care about your feelings, or what you may be celebrating. It does not care about Christmas Day, or your birthday. It does not want you to feel happy. It does not want you to feel joy.

There are some mental illnesses that make Christmas even more stressful. For example, Christmas can cause severe triggers for eating disorders. Last Christmas, I was so irritated. Everything was about food. Breakfast whilst opening presents, a big Christmas dinner and pudding, and a Christmas buffet at night. By the end of the evening, my stomach felt so bloated and the smell and thought of food made me want to heave so much that I had to go sit in the bathroom with the lights off for over an hour.

It’s not only Christmas that can trigger and make worse mental illnesses, but new year too. With a new year comes a new, older age. With a new year comes new things, new changes and new situations that can cause anxiety. With new year comes new year’s resolutions…which can be severely dangerous for those in recovery for eating disorders. Today, I have been in recovery for around 11 months. During this time I have relapsed 3 times with 1 relapse being severe. With new year’s resolutions comes weight loss targets and people complaining about their bodies. It’s extremely difficult to talk about weight and diets when you’re suffering with eating disorders. You may be in recovery, but you never recover. This year, I feel so fragile. I feel close to the edge of relapsing in the new year. I feel close to restricting food and severely exercising. I feel close to feeling disgusted again by food. I don’t want to get dressed because of the disgust I have for my body.

Please, be mindful to all those with mental illnesses today and during the new year period even if they seem to be coping well. You can hide a lot behind a smile.

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autism · journey to recovery · mental health · mental health blogger · mental illness · personal journey · Uncategorized

The end of daylight saving time affects your mental health…

When British summer time came to a close the other week, we changed our clocks back. During this period, research has found that more people are diagnosed with Depression than any other time during the year. The month of November is associated with higher levels of low mood and more people suffering from poor mental health. This is possibly due to the end of daylight saving hour. This may be because the hour change disrupts circadian rhythms – something which has been tied to depressive episodes in the past.

In fact, throughout the end of October and into November, my mood dropped. Low mood, irritability, anger, frustration and sleeplessness all made their appearance. When the clocks go back; it gets darker sooner and the day seems to go so fast.

When its dark, I feel more depressed. Almost as though the darkness creates the shadows; erases all the happiness. Is this what causes such low mood during daylight saving hour?

We probably benefit less from the daylight in the morning between 7 and 8, because many of us are either in the shower, eating breakfast or sitting in a car or bus on the way to work or school. When we get home and have spare time in the afternoon, it is already dark.

So if you’ve started to feel low recently, consider it may be down to the clocks!

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