Let’s talk: Mental Health...

11 Nov 2019

Hello everyone,

I am currently starting to write this post with no idea where it is going to go, I am basically writing down what comes to mind and having a real chat as the first episode of my new 'Let's Talk' series. So In this series I wanted to share with you just how I am doing in the world of mental health and how maybe by these chatty blog posts, I could help at least one person. I have always said that I wanted to keep it real on my blog/Instagram/Youtube, just because I know social media can make a lot of peoples lives look perfect and we all know perfection is not real...

Although perfection is just make belief, you can sure as hell try to be the best possible person you can and make sure you experience true happiness in your life. I thought I would start this series off with my experience with mental health and what I have had to overcome through out pretty much all of my teen years. Right now at this moment in my life I have just had the lowest two days I have had in a very long time, so right now I am feeling so much better... I just wanted to ay a little disclaimer, that I am not a professional, I am just someone who is telling my story of what I have experienced with my mental help, however, if anyone ever needs someone to talk to or you can relate to anything I have written about today, please do not hesitate to message me as I am so happy to chat... 

I never really knew If I would ever talk about what I have gone through and of course I will not be going into immense detail as of course it is a very personal thing to all of us, but by myself talking about what I have been through, I hope would inspire you to talk to someone about your worries, anxieties and your mental health.

I am going to start with where I first began to experience anxiety. I have always been a very worried person, worrying from things like food not being cooked properly, getting food poising, being sick etc. So much so to the point where I used to have to ask my mum every time I ate chicken if it was cooked properly even though I knew it was perfectly fine, I needed the reassurance from her. I  remember in year 8 I began to have worries that made me feel anxious and worries that were not normal for a 12/13 year old girl. I used to worry about my family members dying or something bad happening to the people I loved. Every time I experienced one of these thoughts I would tell my mum. So much so over time it all began to get too much for my little old brain and of course my mum too. I think this is where it became a ritual for me to tell my mum every time I had a horrible thought.

This is when I began ocd rituals. I remember my friends telling me what was meant by touching your forehead when someone said 'touch wood' and you could not find any wood to touch. After this I would constantly touch my forehead when I had a horrible thought. It got so intense that before bed I would have to go around my bedroom and touch my head and touch all of the objects on my window sill. If I did not do this, I genuinely feared that something bad would happen to my family. I would spend up to 3 minutes going around my room before I finally got into bed and went to sleep. Sometimes If I woke up and went to the toilet at night I would have to do the ritual all over again before I could go back to sleep. 

I went to the doctors and  the doctor referred me to CAMS. (If you would like to know a little more about CAMS' please click here to find out more) CAMS is basically a 'service that provides help for children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing'. I dont think I am going to go into detail about the CAMS treatment in this post as I could go on forever. But please do let me know if you would like to see a post or video where I talk about it in more detail. But one thing I will say is that the one piece of information that truly resonated with me was this, the lovely lady who I had been attending the sessions with said to me 'what makes you so special that you think you can control what happens to someone by touching an object'. Now this was the one thing that made me realise, actually I don't need to touch all of the things in my room before I go to sleep because I dont have the power to determine if something bad will happen.

Of course this was not just an easy switch, I still often did these rituals, however they were not so intense and I had learnt to control it a little more. I would just like to clarify that I have never been fully diagnosed with OCD, however, from what I have been through and research I have looked into, it is quite clear that I have experienced obsessive compulsions through out almost my whole teen life. 

I have always had worries and I do not tend to experience ocd physically anymore. Don't get me wrong I often do little things here and there but mainly in my head. I wanted to talk a little about what I go through now I am a little older. So of course I have spoken a little about horrible thoughts. Now I suffer pretty badly with Intrusive thoughts. Im not going to go into depth about my intrusive thoughts as its something I suffer with to  this day and something very personal I hold close to me. At first I was so worried about why I was having such horrible thoughts but I have now come to realise what they are, they do not mean I am a bad person or mean the thoughts that pop into my head. I think these have been one of the most major struggles I have ever had to face in my life growing up. They can make me feel so low and guilty. I was saying to sam that I often feel like I am wearing a pair of negativity goggles and I feel so uncomfortable in my bedroom and my own home. The more I worry about the thoughts the more saddened I get from them and the deeper into the hole I get.

So of course thats just a brief overview of what I have been through. I remember a friend at school saying to me 'oh cristy you have such a perfect life' and I remember thinking that she had no idea what I have had to go through in my head. Of course I absolutely love my life and I am so so lucky to have such incredible family, friends and Boyfriend Sam. But sometimes you do truly never know what people are going through, an Instagram feed may look perfect and full of pretty outfits, smile faces and adventurous times, but we all have our struggles. 

If you read anything from this blog post I highly recommend it be this part. Although I have experienced these things in my life, I have always tried my very hardest to get myself out of a rut. For me, of course I had CAMS therapy when I was younger, however this was only across a 5 week period. I Can honestly say how I have gotten through this is the support of my Mum, family and my boyfriend sam. About 80% of the time I am smiley happy cristy who is truly absolutely loving life. However I often have waves of negative and shitty times. I am not saying my hard times are the shittest because I know people are in such worse situations. But I am incredibly proud of myself for how I have handled the negative times. I feel like I need to write a whole other blog post about self help and how I managed to get through it. Of course i still have sad days but I can assure you I am a ok. 

These past couple of days I have been reading up on OCD and intrusive thoughts, what I have read has truly helped me come to terms with what I have been going through, so this blog post I have written in hope that it may help you too. If there is one thing I have learnt is that as cliche as it sounds, please talk to someone. I would have never have gotten through what I did if it weren't for my Mum and her listening to all of the things I told her. I am also so grateful that I have the most supportive, wonderful boyfriend I could ever wish for who truly is an angel. I have told my Mum and Sam what I thought to be the most craziest of things, so if they can listen to me, someone will listen to you too.

Thankyou so much for reading this, I hope you can find happiness and relief in this blog post, it is probably the most important thing I will ever write....



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