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Mental Health Awareness, Mentally and Physically Abuse

Mental Health Awareness by Muddled Up Mummy

Today (10th of October 2015) is World Mental Health Day. So to do my part in trying to create and spread awareness I want to share with you my story. I am the person behind ‘Muddled up Mummy‘ and I call it ‘Behind the Smile.’

Please feel free to ‘share’ this to help create more awareness on Mental Health.

By the way, it’s long but very much worth the read. If you don’t have time to read it now, please save it for later.

Behind the Smile:
Mental Health AwarenessFor those of you that have met me, I’m sure you’d probably say I seem like a really happy go lucky kind of person. For those of you who haven’t met me, I’m sure you’d probably say similar. After all, I am a very optimistic and a positive type of person. You can probably tell this from my posts on Muddled up Mummy. But there is more to me than meets the eye. Behind the smile, there is a whole other person. A person who has been through more than most people you know. So let me introduce to you the real me.

I was born in Perth WA Australia in 1984. I was born into what seemed like the perfect little family. To onlookers, it would have been. Behind closed doors, though, it was far from that. At first things seemed good. Well for a bit they were. Then my brother was born and soon things turned really sour in our perfect little family scenario.

First it started with my Mother. She was mentally and physically abused by the person who was supposed to love her. After a couple of years, my father kidnapped my brother and I and fled to the capital of Australia, Canberra.

My mother soon followed, but he wouldn’t let her see us. She was devastated, and the fact that she already suffered from poor mental health didn’t help. As time went on my father got worse. He was hurting everyone, even his own kids.
Once he put me in hospital in the Intensive Care Unit, fighting for my life. What he did to me is a bit too much to share, though, but so you all know it wasn’t pretty, and I was only 4.
Another day he was sick of me and put me in the car boot while he was driving.
My brother and I were living in fear. Every mistake we made suffered costly consequences at the hands of our so-called father.
This went on for quite some time until authorities finally stepped in, and we were saved and went to live in foster care.

We soon started seeing our mother, and that eventually became every Saturday. She was the most beautiful soul, and I knew this already at such a young age. It was sad for us though as she suffered from Bipolar disorder and really couldn’t take care of us full time. So, when we did see her we really looked forward to it. We adored her so much. In my eyes, she was perfect and could do no wrong.

At the time though we didn’t even know she wasn’t well mentally. Then one day just before I turned 11 she passed away from a burst an aneurysm in the brain. I felt an angel had been taken from the earth. I was so sad. Yes, even angry.

God had taken one of the most beautiful souls on earth, and it had to be my mother.

I took this out on my foster mum because, in my eyes, she would never be, or could replace MY MUM.

I was really down for many years. I was never the same after my mother died.
As I got older, I started to date. I was in 3 serious relationships over a period of eight years. Two of them were disasters. The other wasn’t that great either – full of violence and mental abuse, name calling, control, alcoholism and cheating.

These were just some of things I had to endure. After I finally got free from this vicious dating spiral, I realized I‘d been dating versions of my dad and lost a lot of trust in people.

After years of torment, I developed a mental illness. Although doctors believe now, I had problems with my mental health from a young age as I would always struggle. But, after my entire trauma from both my childhood and from adulthood, I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)

I tried to take my life many times and was in the hospital a lot. Slowly though I started to understand it was trauma from my past catching up with me and invading my life like a virus I couldn’t shake.

With a lot of support, I got my life back on track. It took a lot of strength and plenty of counseling, but I got there. But, this wasn’t the end of my struggles. It turns out I had Bipolar.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder a couple of years ago but, they say it’s been around for awhile and just wasn’t being treated.

I hated getting this label. It made me feel like I must be some kind of crazy. But, you know what; it really doesn’t make me crazy at all. I can’t help that I have this. They say it was probably passed down to me because both my parents had it.

But each day after finding out I would wake up, realize I have this label, and it would get me down. So one day I decided to ditch the label. I decided I am who I am, and not the label I’d been given.

So this is me.
I’m intelligent and witty.
I’m not bipolar.
I have a positive outlook on life even if I have some really down days.
I’m not bipolar.
I can actually be pretty funny.
I’m not bipolar.
I’m good looking.
I’m not bipolar.
I’m an amazing mother.
I’m not bipolar.
I’m a great friend, partner, sister, daughter and aunt.
I’m not bipolar.
I am me.
I’m not bipolar.

So, although I have this label that I don’t really like, I try not to focus on it. I focus on all the other things that make me myself. I take my meds and get on with it. But, I do have days that are really fucking hard. I have anxiety attacks at times. Some days I don’t really feel like talking to anyone. But amongst all this I’ve decided Bipolarity doesn’t define me. It doesn’t make me a freak. It’s just something I’ve been dealt, and I’ve learned to be OK with that. So OK with it, that I’m now sharing this.

Most of my family and friends don’t even know I have this illness. This fact will probably even surprise some of them. I used to be so ashamed because of the stigma behind Mental Health that I didn’t want anybody to know, but not anymore.

There needs to be more awareness about mental health, and this is my part in spreading it.

There will probably be a few of you that will dislike my page because I’ve shared this. But my hope is most of you will ‘Share’ this post and help spread the awareness.

Mental Illness doesn’t define a person. But you still need to be aware it’s there. It’s a struggle, and if you think those with it can just suck it up and learn to be happy. They can’t. It doesn’t work like that. So please share my story as awareness is a key to removing the stigma and being more open about the struggles that some people face.

Also thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

Now click ‘SHARE’, and also make a note of yourself that you actually don’t know someone and their struggles unless they are open about it. So spread some awareness so more people feel they can open up. Also, try to be more understanding when they do, because if we can all do this it just might save a life.

Also here is a link to a short film I made a couple of years ago about my life.

Feel free to check it out at http://youtu.be/rZFmo6pWq7c

To follow more of my journey, come over and ‘like’ my page. I am a first time Mummy sharing the good, the bad and the totally muddled up world of parenting. I also share a whole lot of inspiration & some humor as well. So why not come over and check out Muddled Up Mummy and if you like what you see, how about giving us a ‘like.’

Holistic Treatment for Anxiety

Alternative medicine based on evidence?

The scientific community has criticized alternative medicine as being based on misleading statements, quackery, pseudoscience, ant science, fraud, or poor scientific methodology.Critics have said; “there is really no such thing as alternative medicine, just medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t”.

Or “Can there be any reasonable alternative to medicine based on evidence?” (Retrieved from Wikipedia)

Well, in my humble opinion, as long as there are alternative medicine out there, and it has helped a lot of people – among others a holistic non-chemical treatment for anxiety, why not try?

Melissa OilIf you aren’t keen on the idea of taking prescription drugs that may be addictive for your anxiety, there are other options. Holistic treatment may be what you prefer. Comprehensive treatment is essentially a natural non-chemical treatment for the condition.

Holistic treatment for anxiety starts with eating well. Make sure that you are getting plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods in your diet. Getting enough exercise, and fresh air is also a vital part of holistic anxiety treatment. You need to get outside in the fresh air and walk or do other physical activities that you enjoy at least five times a week, for approximately 30 minutes.

Together, eating right and exercising will help your brain naturally to produce the chemicals that create feelings of calmness and happiness. This alone will take you far in your treatment for anxiety, but you should note that it may take a couple of weeks or so to start feeling the real effects from eating right and exercising.
There are also many useful herbs that will help to put the brain chemistry back in order.

One such herb is lemon balm. Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) is effective in the reduction of stress and helps you to relax. Lavender should also be used. Lavender is used to calm and to support the nervous system, and it will also help you to relax and sleep.Passionflower

Passion flower is another naturally calming herb. This herb literally “takes the edge off,” helps relieve stress and settles a nervous stomach, which is common for someone who suffers from anxiety.

If you are worried that a holistic treatment may not be as effective as chemical treatment, you have no cause to fear. Research has shown that in most cases, holistic treatment for anxiety is just as effective as chemical treatment for anxiety. In some instances, it is even more so.

Use of holistic treatment for anxiety does not mean that you shouldn’t seek the help of a trained therapist

Anxiety – When to Seek Help

When should one seek for help if anxiety occur?

(Video article) Article as text, and with Video for blind and partially sighted people

Some measure of anxiety is normal, and no treatment is necessary. However, there does come a point at
which seeking treatment for anxiety is vital to your well-being. Essentially, there are three instances where treatment should be sought.

The first is if you experience a panic attack. For people who have never experienced a panic attack, they may mistakenly think that they are suffering from a heart attack, and they will usually seek emergency treatment for that. Doctors perform tests to determine if a heart attack has occurred, and if it has not, based on the symptoms that occurred, a panic attack may be diagnosed.

When your anxiety has escalated to this point, you do need treatment for anxiety. The treatment that you receive from emergency medical professionals, thinking that you had a heart attack, is not sufficient treatment for anxiety.

Anxiety - by Telise RodelvIf your anxiety is unusual and extended, you should seek treatment. You know what a normal amount of stress is for you, but feeling anxious for a prolonged period or feeling an unexpected increase in the feelings of anxiety usually indicates that treatment is needed.

If the anxiety starts interfering in your life, treatment is required. Anxiety could keep one from doing things in life that they might do otherwise if that anxiety did not exist. For example, someone who is developing social anxiety may stop going to events or functions as frequently as they used to, and this does interfere in their life.

There is a fourth reason to seek treatment. Sometimes, we are too close to ourselves to see the big picture. If you have a fear or anxiety that you feel is perfectly normal, and someone close to you says it is not, it doesn’t hurt to seek the advice of a trained professional.

That other person may be wrong, and your fear or anxiety may be perfectly normal — but you do need to be sure.

Related article on Huffington Post – I Hate Being Bipolar – It’s Awesome!

Anxiety Often Interferes With Life

Anxiety can be as if one is suffering from a physical disability

Everyone deals with stress in their lives. Everyone also feels anxious from time to time, and this is perfectly normal. But the fear can become abnormal, and if this happens, it will start interfering in your life. Something like that can significantly reduce your quality of life, just as if you were suffering from a physical disability. In fact, anxiety can become a type of physical disability.

Anxious and Depressed GirlAnxiety will prevent you from doing things that you want to do. People who are socially anxious can see that anxiousness progress to the point where they do not want to leave their homes. They will start avoiding crowded places, or places or events where they might be required to socialize with other people. They may even start fearing the telephone.

Obviously, all of these things combined serve to lessen the quality of that person’s life — keeping them from socializing with old friends, failing to meet new friends, and failing to participate in particular experiences.

Anxiousness will also prevent you from fully enjoying vital aspects of your life, such as your children or grandchildren, hobbies, or your career. Those who suffer from an anxiety disorder can fill their minds with such enormous amounts of worry that there is little room to enjoy the things that are useful in their lives. They simply cannot stop worrying.

Stress can lead to physical and mental problems. Anxiousness in ChildrenDepression is a common result of anxiety, as are constant tension headaches. These other mental and physical conditions also play a role in lowering one’s quality of life.

People who often are anxious do not sleep well. When we’ve had enough sleep, we see the world around us in a more positive light. With the lack of sleep, however, things often appear to be “gloomier” than they really are.

Despite the fact that things aren’t as gloomy as we might think, the quality of life is lessened even more because our perception of what is going on around us is all that we really have to go by in life.

Anxiety does have an enormous impact on one’s overall life, and, therefore, if you are suffering from anxiety, you should seek treatment as soon as possible, so that your life — and your perception of your life — can get back on the right track.

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand!

Borderline Personality Disorder – True Story

A true Borderline Personality Disorder story

BPD – The likeable guy who suddenly isn’t

I once knew a man who I met through a friend.  When I met him, she was already planning on marrying him so I could not say much of anything.  He was an utterly likeable guy who was fun, fun-loving and an all-around joy to be near, but there was something I couldn’t understand.

My friend, due to her previous life experiences involving traumatic loss, was extremely opposed to anyone she loved being in the police service.  Her fiancé had been a marine and had later gone into the military police.  He had retired from the military and was working in his family business as the Vice President but had also grown his hair out, dressed in very casual clothing and loved race-cars.  He swore “blind” that he would never enter the military or law enforcement again.

This fun-loving person with long hair, wearing tank tops and racing cars was the guy I met.  He was also mechanically inept – couldn’t put a shelf on a wall or even put a barbeque grill together with instructions.  After they had got married, my husband and another friend spent many hours doing “fix-it” work around their house – taking things such as grass spreaders and playground sets apart to put them back together correctly.

Borderline Personality Disorder - Swirly MindHe was also very generous – spending money all the time for all and anyone around.  He would take 15 people to see a rock concert or a hockey game, bought the boys new video game systems and video games every weekend, bought garden supplies, supplies to put in a backyard kiln after my friend had said she thought she might want to make a pot, had a pool installed, bought a go-cart and mini-bike for the boys, $3000 vacuum cleaner… He traded her car in for a new, better, bigger car at least once a year, sometimes after only a few months. They were not in financial distress, but he was never concerned with how much money he spent.

I could never reconcile the goofball man with long hair and a beard who used to be a marine and an MP.

Fast forward a few years.  One day, my friend called me, totally hysterical because she came home to find him with a military style haircut, wearing a police uniform with guns and all – preparing to go to a part-time job that he had gotten with a police department in a small town nearby, having done all this in secret.  He swore it was only part-time because they needed the extra income (which they didn’t).

For several months, she expressed her extreme displeasure, fear, hatred.  Each time I would drive to their house, I would think, “What are the police doing here?”

Then I would remember that it was his patrol car.

Fast forward a few more months.  He is now working full-time as a cop – even though he promised it would only be part time.  She hates it.  He is also starting to exhibit bizarre behavior, restrictive rules for the kids, can’t keep from calling her every 10 minutes – even while he is at work, even while she is grocery shopping or picking up kids from school.

Tensions rise, arguments ensue, culminating in an episode involving him threatening to shoot himself in front of the 10 year old who runs from the house in his underwear to hide at the neighbors.

BPD - Borderline Personality DisorderHe eventually calms down and suggests that they need marital counseling – that she needs “help.”  Of course, he says it is “her” that needs help, and he is only going for her problems.

They go to the counseling where the therapist disagrees with his idea that the core issue is her problem.  They are both referred to a psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist diagnoses him with Borderline Personality Disorder – giving him medication and recommends extended therapy.  The psychiatrist gives her a prescription for situational anxiety disorder – as she is having intermittent panic attacks due to his behavior.  He recommends that my friend go to therapy to deal with her emotions surrounding the family issues and for their son to go to therapy to deal with the fact that his father flips out.

She decides to stay – based on his agreement to take medications and go to therapy.  Which he does not.  He does not believe the therapist or the physician were correct.
He then tells her that she needs to go to all of his police and wives functions – and makes plans to join the State Police Controlled Substances Crime division – sponsored by the governor.  Another episode involving a mental breakdown and a couple of loaded firearms occurs.

She puts her kid in the car – and leaves a beautiful home with a pool and all the money she could want, in order to escape.  He calls and calls and appears not to understand what happened, blaming the whole situation on her paranoia.  She never goes back and now lives as a single mom in a low-rent housing unit without financial assistance from him.  Apparently this is much better than dealing with him.

This man, my goofball friend – turned into a raving nutcase and likely it was not the first time (or the last time) he had done so.  He went back to his former wife to marry her for the third time.

Years later, we still get “restricted number” phone calls from him – for no apparent reason other than to check up on her.

Until this experience, I always thought that Borderline Personality Disorder was a fairly benign thing – they were secret manipulators but relatively innocuous – along the same lines as Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is irritating but not dangerous.  Now I know that is not true, Borderline Personality Disorder, also known as Emotionally UnstablePersonality Disorder is a real and valid psychiatric disorder that should be treated.

It is characterized by:

•    Occupational – Economic issues such as a sudden shift in career field cue to sudden changes in values, self-opinion
•    Antagonism
•    Separation anxiety and abandonment issues
•    Suicidal behavior
•    Multiple separations or divorces
•    Unstable, intense close relationships are vacillating with extreme anger
•    Harmful impulsiveness – including spending, reckless driving, thrill-seeking
•    Physical Violence
•    Chronic feelings of boredom which may contribute to impulsive activities
•    Irresponsibility

The National Institute of Mental Health says that Borderline Personality disorder is likely to last for many years and may be subject to relapse of symptoms which remiss but those core symptoms such as highly changeable moods and impulsive behavior will likely continue.

Melissa Lind

Positive and Negative Stress

Positive stress compared to negative stress

As we saw earlier, stress is a necessary factor for our survival as a specie. But it is also what might kill us. One of the problems Grumpy and Negativewith stress is that we need a small amount of stress to survive and to take care of some situations.

There is no reason to panic just because you get into a situation which stresses you. It is, for example, normal to have a small amount of stress before you have to go to an examination or before you participate in an important meeting. In this case, it is a good thing; it means you will be more attentive and more aware of your surroundings. That is really helpful.

Stress is helping you to take care of important situations

We get inattentive to stress symptoms because we are somehow used to them, kind of. We know them; we need them, and we are used to them. So we tend not to take them seriously in time.

Stress, in itself, is never negative. What is negative is if you are in a constant state of stress. If your body and mind never relax, never get out of stress, then you will literally burn out all of your reserves. IPositive Heartn short, if you do not stop stressing by yourself, there will be a moment when your body will do it for you. This is the so-called: Burned out.

When you first reach the point of burnout, you will have to rest. You won’t be able to do anything else anyway. But instead of using a few minutes or hours, like you would have done in a normal situation, it will easily take up to few years.

Stress, in itself, isn’t a bad thing or a negative thing.

There is only positive stress, so to speak.

It`s helping us out to survive.

Stress factorBut there can be a negative result of stress if you are constantly in this state of being. A bit like, if your car can drive at a maximum of 100 m/h and, with a especially additive in the gas, you can make it drive at 110 m/h. And then drive it constantly at 110 m/h.

Sooner or later, the motor will burn out.

It is the exact same thing with stress: Even though it is a positive additive that makes us work better, the outcome is negative if we are constantly running at maximum speed.

So no, there is no negative stress, only negative result of long time exposure, and only positive stress.