What is next for my blog?

What is next for my blog_

Hey guys!

So as you probably know I have taken some time away from my blog and social media and I have kept myself to myself over the past few months. At this moment in time I do not feel ready to talk about why that was or what I went through to make me do that, however I am sure in time I’ll open up about those things and help others if I can.

What I will say is that around 6 weeks ago my doctor, my family and I decided it was best for me to go back on antidepressants and anxiety medication after some severe things that had happened which meant my mental health started to deteriorate. Mental health is always something I have been very open with on my website and social media because I believe it is nothing to be ashamed of and if my story can help just one other person in their journey then I will feel like it wasn’t wrote for no reason.

I am sure she won’t mind me saying, back at the end of last year I had someone email me quite upset and explained a lot about what they were going through with their partner and they didn’t feel as though they had anyone to talk to but they were directed to my website by a family member of mine and after reading my mental health posts they wanted someone to talk to. Her partner had a mental illness and she didn’t know how to cope with it or how to go about it so wanted my advice. I am in no way an expert in mental illness and I would never say that I am, however I was there to listen to her and help her when she was at a low point and I am so happy now that her and her partner are so much better than ever. Things like that are why I do my blog, because someone felt in their darkest moment that they could email me and that to me is an incredible feeling.

I am starting a few series on my blog over the next few weeks. One will be all about mental health, talking to people about their journey and seeing it from other peoples point of view, not only my own. If you are interested in taking part in this series please do email me at zoesmith-x@hotmail.co.uk and I can give you some more information. Do not worry if you aren’t a confident writer, we can work together to create something you’re happy with. You can also remain anonymous if you wish to do so.

The second series I am creating is all about crime and mysteries. Inspired by Bella Fiori on YouTube, who is incredible by the way and if you haven’t watched her Mystery Monday videos you definitely should do! I love watching her videos about crimes, unsolved and solved, I love reading about crimes and researching, so this series will be all about crimes, criminals and all of those kind of things. It will include, the crimes, theories, suspects, court cases, evidence etc. The criminal posts will be all about what the criminals did, evidence, interviews, court cases, prison sentences etc. I am super excited for this because I love reading these sorts of posts so I will be creating some that has all the information all in one post instead of people having to read 10 posts to understand a crime. If anyone has any ideas of cases/criminals you want me to research and write about do message me on social media and let me know!

Now my head is a lot clearer I am ready to start writing again and I am honestly so excited to get up and running again!

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Borderline Personality Disorder

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Hey guys!

Today I  am writing about a mental illness/disorder that I knew absolutely nothing about until a psychiatrist diagnosed me with it last year during my visit to Canada. Borderline personality disorder or BPD as it is known is an illness/disorder that I was completely unaware of so when I was diagnosed I was petrified, I had no idea what it was, how you get it, is there treatment? If so how do you treat it? I had no idea whatsoever and I think it is so important for people to have the knowledge as on average 1 in 20 people will have this disorder and like me, they probably won’t know what it is.

So firstly, what are the symptoms?

  • Fear of abandonment: People with BPD are often scared of being abandoned or left alone. Even little things like a loved one being late home or going away for a few days can trigger an intense fear. It often leads to begging, being clingy, starting fights for attentions, being overly jealous, tracking your loved ones movements or even something like physically stopping you loved ones from leaving, ie; blocking a doorway etc.
  • Unstable relationships: People with BPD often have relationships that are intense but short-lived. You fall in love quickly, believing that each new person you fall in love with will be the one to make you feel whole, however you end up quickly disappointed. Your relationships either seem perfect or completely horrible with absolutely nothing in between. People around you often become emotionally confused from your rapid mood swings.
  • Unclear or unstable self-image: People with BPD often have an unstable sense of yourself. Sometimes you feel good about yourself, but sometimes you completely hate yourself or even can view yourself as evil. You don’t have a clear idea of who you are or who you want to be or what you want in life. As a result of this you may frequently change your jobs, friends, lovers, values, goals or even sexual identity.
  • Impulsive, self-destructive behaviours: People with BPD may engage in harmful or sensation-seeking behaviours, especially when upset. You may impulsively spend money you can’t afford, binge eat, drive recklessly, shoplift, engage in risky sex or overdo it with drugs or alcohol. The risky behaviours may seem like they’re going to help you feel better in that moment, but they hurt those around you over the long-term.
  • Self-harm: Suicidal behaviour and deliberate self-harm is common in people with BPD. Suicidal behaviour included thinking about suicide, making suicidal gestures or threats or actually carrying out a suicide attempt. Self-harm includes all other attempts to hurt yourself without suicidal intent. 
  • Extreme emotional swings: People with BPD commonly suffer with unstable emotions and moods. One moment you feel happy and the next you’re angry or upset. Little things that other people can easily brush off send you in to an emotional tailspin. These mood swings can often be very intense however they tend to pass fairly quickly, usually lasting just a few minutes or hours rather than long term like depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness: People with BPD often feel empty as if there is a hole or void inside of them. With extreme cases you may feel as if you’re ‘nothing’ or a ‘nobody’. This feeling is uncomfortable and people with BPD often try to fill this hole with things like drugs, food, alcohol or sex but nothing feels truly satisfying.
  • Explosive anger: People with BPD may struggle with intense anger and short temper. You may so have trouble controlling yourself once the fuse is lit. You may yell, throw things or become completely consumed by rage. It is important to note that this anger is not always directed outwards, you may spend a lot of time being angry at yourself.
  • Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality: People with BPD often struggle with paranoia or suspicious thought about others’ motives. When under stress, you may even lose touch with reality – an experience known as dissociation. You may feel foggy, spaced out or as if you’re outside of your own body.

Something to bare in mind is that Borderline Personality Disorder is very rarely diagnosed on its own, it is often associated with depression, anxiety bipolar, substance abuse and eating disorders, however saying that it can still be diagnosed on its own, it is just very rare to do so.

Now onto the causes, how does Borderline Personality Disorder occur? 

There are many complex things happening in the BPD brain and researchers are still trying to untangle what it all means. But in essence, if you have BPD your brain is on high alert, things feel more scary and stressful to you than they do to other people. Your switch is easily tripped and once it’s on it hijacks your rational brain and makes you act in ways that aren’t always appropriate to the situation at hand. It may sound as if there is nothing you can do, after all what can you do if your brain is different? But you can in fact change your brain but training yourself with new coping mechanisms and self-soothing techniques. With time and dedication, you can change the way you think, feel and act.

Because personality is connected to identity, the term ‘personality disorder’ might leave you feeling like there’s something fundamentally wrong with who you are, but a personality disorder is not a character judgement. In clinical terms a personality disorder means that your pattern of relating to the world is significantly different to ‘the norm’. In other words, you don’t act in ways that people would expect and this causes consistent problems for you in many areas of your life, such as relationships, career and feelings about yourself and others.

Now onto three self-help tips.

  • Calming the emotional storm: You need to stop trying to fight, avoid, suppress or deny what you’re feeling, give yourself permission to feel the way you feel, no matter what those feelings are. Just experience your feelings without judgement or criticism. Let go of the past and the future and focus on the present moment. 
  • Reduce your emotional vunerability: You are more likely to experience negative emotions when you’re run down and under stress. That’s why it is important to take care of your mental well-being. You can take care of yourself by avoiding mood-altering drugs, eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, minimising stress and practising relaxation techniques.
  • Learn to control impulsive and tolerate distress: When you feel overwhelmed by difficult feelings, borderline personality disorder means you’re so desperate for relief that you’ll do anything for relief including things you know you shouldn’t be doing such as cutting, reckless sex, dangerous driving and binge drinking. It is important to recognise that these impulsive behaviours serve a purpose, they are coping mechanisms for dealing with distress, they make you feel better even if it’s just for a brief moment. Regaining control of this starts by learning to tolerate distress. It is key to change the destructive patterns. A key way to doing this is finding a quiet spot and sitting in a comfortable position, concentrating on your breathing, taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in slowly, pause and count to three then slowly breath out and continue doing this for several minutesYou could also watch something on TV that you enjoy, throw yourself into work, calling a friend for a chat, exercise or do something you enjoy that keeps you busy.

Next, onto diagnosis and treatment. It is very important to remember that you cannot diagnose borderline personality disorder on your own. So if you think you or a loved one may be suffering, it’s best to seek professional help at some point. BPD is often confusing or overlaps with other conditions so you need a mental health professional to evaluate you and make an accurate diagnosis. 

The support and guidance of a qualified therapist makes a huge difference in BPD treatment and recovery. Therapy has the potential to be a safe space where you can work your way through your relationship an trust issues and try new coping techniques. You should feel safe with your therapist and feel as though you can trust them to help you and guide you through, someone who makes you feel accepted and understood. You must make a commitment to therapy, attend your sessions and work hard with the therapist.

I did a lot of reading and research into BPD when I was diagnosed because I had no idea what it was or how I had got it, but once I did the research I started to realise that it was not my fault, it’s just a part of my life and brain. I worked hard learning coping mechanisms and techniques to deal with things better than I used to and overall I am a lot happier now than I ever was. With the help of my parents and my boyfriend I am finally in a good place and a happy place. 

One thing I would say if you think you could be suffering from BPD or if you know someone who could be, it is definitely push it with the doctor for a proper diagnoses. For 18 months I was put on anxiety medication and anti depressants in England with my regular doctor and therapists and it was only when I went to Canada and seen a doctor and psychiatrist out there that I was actually given a solid diagnoses and told I no longer should be taking the anti depressants or anxiety medication because it wasn’t needed and wasn’t helping me. I think the NHS is very special in our country, but sometimes the diagnoses with mental illness isn’t always accurate. In my case the doctor just threw tablets at me and assumed they would make me better and I have heard a lot of similar stories, so definitely push for a proper diagnoses if you think you have BPD, push for a session with a psychiatrist or therapist and don’t give up until you receive the help you actually need and not just tablets.

I, for one, am so grateful to the psychiatrist out in Canada for helping me to finally get a diagnoses to be able to work on because in the past 6 months or so I’ve worked on it all and I am now a million times better than I ever was. 

Another thing I would say is if you know someone suffering with BPD support them and help them through because it is honestly such a horrible place when you have something wrong with you but you don’t know why or what or how and everything just spins around in your head. I am fortunate enough to have a really strong support network around me, my parents, my best friends and my boyfriend have all supported me, listened to me and understood me, they’ve helped me through and I am honestly so grateful to each and every one of them for everything they’ve done for me.

Mental illness is something I am passionate about talking about and spreading awareness because so many people suffer in silence and are too scared to speak out in case they are judged and that shouldn’t be the case. Speak out, get help and don’t be scared to admit something isn’t right. Today’s post is something very close to my heart and I hope you have all at least learnt something from it.

Thank you for reading!

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Disclaimer: All information and facts were read and reworded from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-disorders/borderline-personality-disorder.htm

 

Mental Health Awareness Month

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Hey guys!

Today I am writing about all about mental health. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that last year I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety after going through some pretty vile things, which to this day I don’t wish to talk about because I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. When I first met my councillor and I told her everything, she even said to me out of every person she has ever seen, my story was probably one of the worst, which was a shock to me if I’m honest because I had tried to take it in my step but obviously some people just break.

This month I have been discharged by my councillor and she is in discussion with my doctor regards to me being taken off my anxiety tablets and anti depressants so overall I am towards the end of my mental health journey for now. I have always been very open about my diagnoses because I believe there is a stigma attached to mental health and that shouldn’t be the case. Thousands and millions of people all around the world, every single day are diagnosed with a mental illness but they will never tell anyone because they’re worried about being judged or being categorised by people and to me that isn’t fair. 

Mental illness is a huge thing, it always has been and probably always will be so why are people so afraid to talk about it? There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to mental illness. If someone has a physical illness such as a throat infection they aren’t judged so why is someone who has a mental illness such as depression judged? I honestly think as a society we need to be more understanding and compassionate towards those with a mental illness and to everybody in general. When someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, it is not only that person who is effected. The friends and family and support network around that person also feel it, it can put a strain on relationships and friendships. I know for me personally, when I was at the peak of my illnesses I pushed people away, no matter what they did or how much they tried to be there for me I was having none of it, I just wanted to be on my own all of the time and I ended up secluding myself so then I was even more depressed than I was in the first place.

My anxiety is still bad at the moment, not half as bad as it was, but I still flinch if a male gets too close or moves quickly or moves their hands towards me, I feel like that will probably be with me for the rest of my life and that is something I just have to deal with. And some days I will wake up and have a bad day, feel down, overthink the past, wonder why what happened, happened, but I don’t get myself worked up over it like I used to. Sometimes things happen in life and you will never ever know why and that’s fine, don’t dwell on it because it’ll eat you up alive like it did me.

As it is Mental Illness Awareness Month I thought I would write this post because I truly do believe that more awareness needs to be raised. Whether you’re homeless on the streets, middle class, upper class or a billionaire celebrity, mental illness can hit anyone. If you ever feel like you aren’t yourself, whether you’re lethargic, not just tired, but physically and mentally unable to do things without feeling rubbish, if you have no motivation to do something you love, if you can’t sleep or you oversleep all the time, if you don’t feel like your smiles or laughter is genuine, if you can’t walk the street without feeling paranoid someone is going to hurt you, honestly anything at all that is out of the ordinary for you speak to someone. It could be nothing or it could be something. Don’t leave it until it’s too late. 

In January this year I tried to commit suicide, something I haven’t ever spoken about online. But at the time everything had went wrong, I felt like I had nowhere to turn, everything had finally hit me and dragged me to my lowest. In the hospital I was told 2 more tablets and I would’ve died, which looking back was scary as hell. Seeing my family sit around me, heartbroken is what hit me the most. Why was I doing this to them? Yes I would be out of the pain I was in, but wouldn’t I just be leaving that pain and more with them? That wasn’t fair on any of them. So I vowed to my parents and my brothers I was finally going to sort myself out. I was going to walk away from a toxic relationship, I was going to move back home with my family and I was going to focus on myself for once and stop trying to help everyone else.

And now 4 months later I am in a relationship with someone who has taught me to love myself again, someone who loved me when I couldn’t even love myself. Someone who has walked back into my life and showed me that whatever is meant to be will always find a way back. It’s took 4 years for Reiss to walk back into my life after us both going our separate ways after talking for months. Now he’s back in my life and he’s helped me through the roughest period of my life without even knowing it. I am living at home with my parents and brothers, I have my little Puggle Daisy who is by my side every single day keeping me busy. I have a group of friends who have my back and look out for me when I need them and I am finally back to the old me. The me before everything happened. 

I think all I want people to take from this post is that yes life can be horrible, it can drag you down and keep dragging you down until you hit rock bottom, but no matter what happens there is always a way out. Don’t give up because if you hit rock bottom you can only work your way up now. I didn’t see a way out, I’ll be honest, I thought everything would be better for me and for everyone else if I wasn’t here. But if that suicide attempt wasn’t an attempt and it was a success my family would still be grieving, I’d never have reconnected with the love of my life and I wouldn’t be doing what I love to do, blog an write and work with incredible brands. I never ever imagined 4 months ago I could ever be happy again, but I am and I truly believe that anybody going through something tough can come out the other side, I really really do. 

There is so much help out there if you feel like you can’t cope with something, so use it. Two of the charities I couldn’t praise enough are Mind and Sane. If you don’t want to talk to them and you feel like you could harm yourself contact your doctor who can put you in touch with a mental health crisis team, they will visit you and help you through the crisis period. If it is out of hours for your doctor go to your local hospital, most hospitals now have a mental health team on 24 hour call so whatever happens there is always someone you can turn to. Don’t keep it to yourself, don’t think it’ll just pass, don’t think you’re on your own. Open up, talk and stop thinking that people will judge you. Anyone who judges you is not a true friend remember that. A true friend will help you and support you and be by your side until you overcome what you’re going through.

I really hope this post helps at least one of you. As I have always said, my messages are always open if you want to discuss anything or ask any questions.

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