How to use CBD oil— and your must have facts

So many people are asking about how to use CBD oil. Are you one of them? Are you dying to know what the buzz is about?

You certainly see talk about CBD oil everywhere you look. It’s being touted as a very effective alternative to more conventional treatments for anxiety. That’s enough to pique many people’s interest.

In this blog post I will explore:

•How common is anxiety to begin with?

•What is CBD oil?

•The differences between cannabis and CBD

•The benefits of CBD oil

•Testimonials about CBD- Does it actually work?

My experiences with CBD oil

To be fair, I do not have a lot of experience with, or knowledge about, CBD oil. I have tried it once. I don’t think I did it correctly, and it did not seem to help. But like I said, I don’t even think I used it correctly. So, I wanted to do some research about it for my own benefit and share it with you!

I have had anxiety on and off since about 6th grade. I constantly felt like I had to go to the bathroom at school. Fairly sure my teachers were super annoyed every time my hand shot up. They knew I was going to ask if I could go to the bathroom.

My anxiety re-emerged in college. I had a panic attack during my graduation ceremony and I never ended up crossing the stage. This was hugely embarrassing for me, and it’s something I haven’t been able to talk about until recently. There was so much shame attached to it in my mind.

Post-college, my anxiety made a comeback last December (2018). I started to feel super anxious any time I had to leave the house. My doctor suspected it was from a medication I was taking so they weaned me off of it.

Today (October 2019), my anxiety is better. I still definitely struggle with it. I think a lot about things that scare me. Sometimes I hate leaving the house. But I am momentarily functional, and sometimes that is all you can ask for.

My experience with CBD

Xxxxx

Anxiety stats

What it is

Cannabis vs cbd

Benefits

Testimonials

“I have been taking CBD oil for over three years now and I would be lost without it. I’m intolerant to all prescription pain meds so my only option was to find a natural alternative. CBD isn’t a miracle cure or a quick fix but it has lowered my pain and anxiety levels, and I’m sleeping for the first time in years without the aid sleeping tablets. I have written about my experiences with CBD on my blog.” (@JourneyFog)

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Meet the Blogger: Introducing Briana

Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!

Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Briana from Learning to Be Free!)

That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.

This is our seventeenth installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about Briana, a fellow blogger. (You can read our previous installment here: https://diffusingthetension.com/meet-the-blogger-introducing-ilona)

Interview series questions

First of all, tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Briana and I’m a licensed social worker and self-care coach. I live in the Greater Cleveland area (Ohio!) with my cat Chloe. I love reading, watching YouTube, and traveling.

What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community? 

I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now and my blog focuses on self-discovery, self-care (including mental health), and self-improvement.

As far as mental health goes, other than my blog, I’ve been working in crisis intervention for the past 5 years and have de-escalated thousands of crisis situations including helping individuals facing suicidal thoughts. I love working in crisis intervention and supporting people who are going through difficult situations.

What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?

I think the hardest part is carving out the time to put out quality content. I work full-time in crisis intervention as I mentioned before, so I have to prioritize my blog over other things sometimes. I use time blocking to carve out dedicated time, but it doesn’t always work. I also have chronic pain so sometimes I would rather just rest instead of doing anything.

What is the biggest challenge the mental health community faces currently?

I think the biggest challenge facing the mental health community is stigma and lack of awareness. I work for a large mental health tech company and as much as we are known, I’m still surprised at how unknown we are outside of the mental health space. We’re working to change that though!

What are 5 things many people do not know about you?

That’s a hard question! I’m pretty open about everything.

1. I write poetry and short stories. I had one published in a book when I was in middle school.

2. I don’t know how to swim

3. Brownies are my favorite dessert

4. I don’t like coffee

5. I have a pretty large mug collection

What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I love it because it blends historical fiction, art, fantasy, mental health, and romance altogether. I bought it at Shakespeare and Company, which is an independent bookstore in Paris when I was studying abroad so I think that makes it extra special for me. I would go there almost every day and would stay for hours.

What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?

I’m pretty optimistic most of the time but definitely get into funks that are hard to get out of. I usually watch YouTube videos that are soothing (beekeeping, cooking, etc). If it is a really hard day, I call my partner and just talk about what’s going on or I have him tell me interesting stories.

What makes a person brave?

A person is brave if they are able to live their truth, even if it can only be in small doses sometimes.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?

Empathetic, Optimistic, Nurturing. I think they all describe me pretty well. I love supporting others and helping them grow into their fullest state of being. And even when things are hard, I can usually find something positive that happened or that I have to look forward to.

What is your biggest flaw?

I’m a huge procrastinator. It rarely gets me into trouble so I keep doing it lol

What is your greatest strength?

My optimism is probably my greatest strength. It helps me to know that things can get better.

What is your best childhood memory?

My best memory is driving around in the car with my parents. I had a hard time falling asleep so they would drive me around the neighborhood until I would go to sleep. I’d wake up in my bed the next morning. I think it’s really the little things that mean a lot. I still fall asleep on car rides.

Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?

I envision my blog as growing into one of the biggest blogs in the mental health and self-care space. I hope to be blogging and coaching full-time by then (but really hopefully by October 2020 – fingers crossed!).

Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?

I think we’ll be much further than we are now in regards to stigma and awareness. I would love to see mental health training be provided to every, but especially students and teachers. The way that I see it is that teachers (I’m also an educator) have a huge role to play in mental health because they are with students for the most formative years. My wish is for a national mental health curriculum that would be integrated into all public schools. That way we have teachers who are educated, but also students and in turn those students will become educated and empathetic adults.

Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or  mental health? Share their links below!

Here are a few of my favorite people!

Dominee – Blessing Manifesting: https://www.blessingmanifesting.com/

Cate Rosales – https://sweetandsimplelife.com/

Crisis Text Line (I work there!) – https://www.crisistextline.org/

About the Author

Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of her website. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.

Website – https://www.learningtobefree.com/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/learningtobefreeblog/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/learningtobefreeblog/


Thanks, Briana, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!

Meet the blogger, unplug initiative

(Share this post on Pinterest by using the icon in the top left corner of the picture)

Make sure you share the post! You never know who it might benefit.

Look for a safe space to discuss mental health and connect with others? Join my private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1206005752776704/?ref=share

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Meet the Blogger: Introducing Ilona

Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!

Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Ilona!)

That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.

This is our sixteenth installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about Ilona, a fellow blogger. (You can read our previous installment here: https://diffusingthetensioncom.wpcomstaging.com/meet-the-blogger-introducing-unplug-initiative)

Interview series questions

First of all, tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Ilona, I’m 26 years old, I am a veterinary nurse and live in Coventry, England, with my boyfriend and cat. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in the spring of 2018 having suffered with symptoms since 2011. Those include chronic abdominal pain and severe pain during my periods.

What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community? 

After my diagnosis I toyed with the idea of setting up a blog for months before finally taking the plunge earlier this year. During those months I was working up the courage to begin my own blogging journey, I discovered many for myself. These included chronic illness blogs, whether it were endometriosis or something else or mental health blogs. I found these of particular comfort as following on from my diagnosis my own mental health suffered. I began to experience panic attacks and suffer with generalised anxiety on a daily basis. Reading others stories brought great comfort and helped me reach out to friends, family and health care professionals to try and manage my anxiety.

What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?

Once I found the courage to start my own blog I realised that might not have been the hardest thing! Up until that point my biggest fear was that no one would read my blog and that it would fall flat on its face. I can admit getting and maintaining views is a challenge but not what I would say is that the hardest part of having a successful blog. Continuing with producing quality content is by far the hardest for me. I need to enjoy what I’m writing about and care about the blog posts I’m producing, so I have found it quite a challenge to balance a steady amount of content whilst not sacrificing the quality. In fact over the past few months I’ve even decreased the amount of content I’ve been producing due to not feeling as enthused by what I was writing. To me, writing entertaining, informative posts is far more important that the quantity of posts I produce.

What is the biggest challenge the mental health community faces currently?

Lack of services! Getting rid of stigma and openly discussing the barriers for people seeking help is vital. Unfortunately, at least here in the UK that is, mental health services have been slashed. Mental health outpatient services are at an all time low. I found this when I visited my GP to discuss my anxiety to find very little in the way of help. I was immensely fortunate in having private health care provided my employer, and was able to access therapy quickly and conveniently.

What are 5 things many people do not know about you?

  • That I am quite insecure and anxious about day to day life. I love to put on a calm out-going exterior, and can appear very confident, this is not the case. 
  • I love science fiction, whether it be books, films or TV.
  • Also, I am obsessed with a TV show here in the UK call Strictly come dancing. Like I mean totally obsessed. 
  • I’m terrified of the dark. 
  • I genuinely still don’t know what I want to do with my life. 

What is your favorite book and why?

The Hobbit. The first book I clearly remember my mum reading to me, I loved it even before Harry Potter. I re-read it now, and not only do I still love it, but it still reminds me of my mum and how much I loved her reading to me when I was little.

What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?

Go to bed, cuddle my cat and watch youtube. If I could live my life in my bed I would, and if I could spend everyday with my cat I also would!

What makes a person brave?

Perseverance. Continuing with whatever might be making you scared, in spite of your fear.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?

Goofy. I’m a massive nerd, a little obsessive and although confident in social situations I’m certainly still awkward. 

Sarcastic. I don’t think this needs explaining, but if you have a dry sense of humour we will probably be friends. 

Kind. I hope this is actually true. The most important quality in a person (to me) is kindness.

What is your biggest flaw?

My pomposity.

What is your greatest strength?

My determination, I’m incredibly stubborn. Which I suppose could be a strength or a weakness, you decide!

What is your best childhood memory?

On holiday with my family. We spent several summers in France when I was little. We swam in the sea, went walking and ate out. I still spend plenty of time with my family, but I still always look back at those memories with plenty of happiness.

Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?

I’d love to still be producing content like I do now, but I’d love it to be able to provide some kind of income even if it’s not my entire income. I’d also love to expand into youtube but I’ve not been brave enough to do that yet.

Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?

I think this is a really tough question. I hope that it continues to grow, people continue to discuss their own mental health and provide resources to others. Like the chronic illness community I do think that areas of the community will continue to be commercialised, which I don’t know how I feel about.

Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or  mental health? Share their links below!

Nyxie Trix is by far my fav mental health blogger. Her skills don’t stop there, she’s released a podcast where she discusses all things mental health and wellness called “Let’s talk about it.” 

Here’s here blog: http://www.nyxiesnook.comb

Here’s her podcast: https://www.patreon.com/Nyxiesnook

And here’s her twitter handle: www.twitter.com/nyxiesnook

About the Author

After years of chronic pain I was diagnosed with endometriosis last year after my third surgery. Since then I have discovered blogging. 

At first a place to vent and make sense of my life with a chronic illness it has now become something that I dedicate most of my time to. Peskypelvis was born. A reference to my most debilitating symptom. Chronic pelvic pain.

I blog about chronic illness, menstrual health, mental illness and anything else that springs to mind.

Here are my links:

My blog: www.peskypelvis.com

Twitter: @conwayilona 

Instagram: @peskypelvis


Thanks, Ilona, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!

Meet the blogger, unplug initiative

(Share this post on Pinterest by using the icon in the top left corner of the picture)

Make sure you share the post! You never know who it might benefit. 

Look for a safe space to discuss mental health and connect with others? Join my private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1206005752776704/?ref=share

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Meet the Blogger: Introducing Jessica

Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!

Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Jessica from The Unplug Initiative!)

That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.

This is our fifteenth installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about The Unplug Initiative, a fellow blogger. (You can read our previous installment here: https://diffusingthetensioncom.wpcomstaging.com/meet-the-blogger-introducing-unwanted-life)

Interview series questions

First of all, tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Jessica, and I’m the writer and founder of The Unplug Initiative blog. I’m originally from Tennessee, but I currently live in Indiana. I turn 31 this month (where you at, Scorpios?). I finally finished my Bachelors at 29, but I’m not at all on a career path to lead me to a traditional dream job. I did get out of retail, but despite pursuing what I thought was a fun, challenging, and interesting career, I realized that writing was still my one, true love.

What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community? 

I started the Unplug Initiative in 2014, with varying degrees of commitment to posting, as well as vastly different post formats and goals. It was an ambitious, albeit naive start, with a promising motto: “banning distractions to get stuff done.”

In its current iteration, after securing the domain name earlier this year, the Unplug Initiative is a mental health and general wellness blog that provides solutions, inspiration, and hope, using my own background with mental health as the cornerstone.

I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010, respectively. My experiences, personal research and reading, and treatment has informed my viewpoint on the blog.

What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?

In my journey to becoming a successful blog (not there yet!), I’ve realized that there is so much work outside of blogging that you have to commit to. Engaging with the community and making blogger friends has been fun and takes little effort, but learning SEO, marketing my blogs on social media, growing subscribers, and everything else, is time-consuming and exhausting. To put it simply: those things are just NOT fun. They’re not why I got into blogging in the first place. It’s also the necessary evil if I want my blog to get in front of eyeballs. That’s why I’m doing this after all–so people will read it!

What is the biggest challenge the mental health community faces currently?

Awareness of all mental illnesses, their symptoms, and how to get help or treatment. I want to phrase this delicately, but I think often-times well-meaning advocacy and awareness gets lost in the muck and mire (and hashtags). It’s something repeated within the community, but it’s not reaching new people. At least, maybe not to its capacity. There’s probably a lot of people who don’t even know their symptoms could be because of a disorder. There’s probably hundreds of thousands who know something is wrong but don’t know how to get help. That’s the kind of awareness and advocacy I’m talking about. Reaching more people, with an effective message, is the community’s biggest challenge right now.

What are 5 things many people do not know about you?

I was homeschooled.
I used to be in the Navy (very briefly).
I’m bisexual.
I love Christmas music.
I have a tattoo on my back (of the pentatonic blues scale).

What is your favorite book and why?

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. It subverts a lot of fantasy/adventure tropes. It has a kick-ass female lead. It has a gay subtext that is both seamlessly incorporated and incredibly obvious at the same time. It’s well-written, and it’s a COMIC. Did I mention that? Yeah, there’s pictures. Nice pictures, too. I’m embarrassed to admit I’m not a big reader, but I like comics.

What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?

Watching funny videos on YouTube or a stand-up special on Netflix; a yoga routine; a nice cup of tea with honey; cuddling with my boyfriend or my cat; journal.

What makes a person brave?

I love this question! I think being brave means standing up to things that you might fear, things that might challenge you. It means not caving to the pressure or the fear or your own inner critic and saying, “I’m going to be strong. I’m going to fight.” Nothing can stand in the way of bravery.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?

Ambitious, resilient, and funny. 

I’m always setting goals for myself and never settling with my current level of achievements. What some might say is perfectionism or a never-ending pursuit for happiness is just my pursuit of interests, passions, and goals. That’s the ambition. Resilience because I seem to bounce back from all setbacks and heartbreaks. Though BPD means I’m sensitive and have thin-skin and basically I’m upset easily, I credit my ability to bounce back and never stop trying. And finally, I think I’m pretty good at making people laugh–also I couldn’t really think of a good third one. I enjoy diffusing the tension (see what I did there?) with a good joke or two, and making people laugh. It feels good. They could be pity laughs, but I don’t care.

What is your biggest flaw?

I take things too personally. I’m getting a LOT better and talking myself through it and seeing other sides to a situation and not letting it bother me. Or, if it does bother me and/or the person really did mean it harshly or rudely, I’m better at coping with it and responding appropriately.

What is your greatest strength?

I’d like to call back to my resilience. Having a mental illness is not easy for anyone. Having to fight a battle in your head every day takes a lot of strength! I think a saw a quote one time about that on Twitter. But I credit myself on being able to not let it knock me down–and when it does, I get back up. I encourage others to look within themselves and point to where they haven’t given up, where they’ve picked themselves back up, and how they keep going and trying every day.

What is your best childhood memory?

Visiting Gulf Shores, Alabama when I was 10 with my extended family.

Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?

I hope to have amassed a following via my subscriber list (that is coming soon), as well as gaining thousands of unique viewers per month. I also hope to be posting once a week, at least, if not twice, by then.

Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?

Talking more about all mental health issues, not being afraid to talk about the ugly side, and hopefully, sharing solutions, advocating for healthy coping mechanisms, and making it easier to find professional help.

Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or  mental health? Share their links below!

Diffusing the Tension, of course!! Great resources, which I feel this community needs more of.

Nyxie’s Nook fantastic real and gritty look at mental health, with some great insight and advice.

My Everyday Challenges Just a wonderful place for inspiration, advice, and coping mechanisms/advice.

Just Call Me Jess Bringing awareness and staying active in the mental health community.

Help Me I’m Adulting while not directly mental health-related, she’s a funny and down-to-earth blogger that I enjoy reading. Plus she’s got some seriously helpful tips!

Unapologetically You for blogging tips. She also breaks down complicated topics that you’ll find really useful, like SEO.

About the Author

Jessica Mathis is a writer, mental health solution advocate, gamer, and cat lover. You can read her work at The Unplug Initiative.

Follow her! She follows back.
Twitter

Instagram

Facebook


Thanks, Unplug Initiative, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!

Meet the blogger, unplug initiative

(Share this post on Pinterest by using the icon in the top left corner of the picture)

Make sure you share the post! You never know who it might benefit.

Look for a safe space to discuss mental health and connect with others? Join my private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1206005752776704/?ref=share

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What causes addiction and other little known facts

**This post is about what causes addiction. It contains affiliate links. That means, if you make a purchase, I receive a small commission at NO additional cost to you.**

Do you know someone who suffers from addiction? Chances are you do, and don’t even know it. According to one study, in 2017 about 19 million adults suffered from addiction. So many people live with it, and their loved ones have no idea.

What is addiction?

Psychiatry.org says addiction is:

…a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life. They keep using alcohol or a drug even when they know it will cause problems. Yet a number of effective treatments are available and people can recover from addiction and lead normal, productive lives.

So, what can people be addicted to?

The following are just some of the things people can be addicted to:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • PCP, LSD and other hallucinogens
  • Inhalants, such as, paint thinners and glue
  • Opioid pain killers, such as codeine and oxycodone, heroin
  • Sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics (medicines for anxiety such as tranquilizers)
  • Cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants
  • Tobacco

People can also be addicted to certain behaviors. For instance, I am addicted to clipping my toenails and picking at my nails.

Why do people become addicted?

There are a few reasons people begin taking drugs. Addiction is complicated, so this is going to vary person by person. Someone might identify with one thing on this list, or they might identify with more than one

To feel good

Many people take drugs or abuse alcohol because it makes them feel good. They might feel a distinct high or elevation in mood.

To feel better

Often times, drugs make people feel better physically. They can temporarily reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression.

To do well

Drugs can also be used as performance enhancers. Perhaps a person is stressed at work about how much pressure they have to perform well.

Curiosity/peer pressure

This is all too common. Sometimes people only see the “good side” of drug use (how good it temporarily makes you feel, etc.) They think this good feeling is how it always is, and it convinces them to try drugs. They might also have a friend who uses who gets them to agree to try it.

What causes addiction?

Addiction symptoms can be generally lumped into a few different categories: impaired control, social problems, risky use, drug effects.

Impaired control

Drugs can affect our judgment and physical capacity. Do you ever notice that when you have too much to drink your inhibitions lower and you feel a little dizzy? Maybe VERY dizzy? This is an example of impaired control.

Social problems

Drug and alcohol use can also cause different social problems. Some examples of this are: problems with romantic relationships, poor work performance, and alienation from parents and siblings.

Risky use

Different substances can contribute to a lot of risky behavior. Using one drug can lead to a person trying a drug that is more dangerous. People might also engage in dangerous sexual situations because their inhibitions are lowered.

Drug effects

Two different effects of drug and alcohol use are tolerance and withdrawal. Regular drug use can cause your tolerance to increase. This means that you could end up taking a dangerous amount of drugs, trying to recreate the feeling of your initial drug experience.

Withdrawal is another experience many addicts have. When they attempt to stop using the substance they are addicted to, they enter a period of withdrawal which can make them feel physically sick, and create emotional disturbances as well.

What in a person’s brain causes them to become addicted?

A disease is a condition that changes the way an organ functions. Addiction does this to the brain, changing the brain on a physiological level. It literally alters the way the brain works, rewiring its fundamental structure. That’s why scientists say addiction is a disease.

https://www.shatterproof.org/about-addiction/science-of-addiction

So, according to this definition, addiction is a medical disease. It is the same as being diabetic or epileptic. No one forces a person to engage in their initial drug or alcohol experience, but people do not choose to become addicted. It is a part of their brain, the way bipolar disorder is a part of my brain.

Addiction facts

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017.
  • Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.
  • About 38% of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder.
  • That same year, 1 out of every 8 adults struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.
  • In 2017, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders.
  • Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs.

(Source: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics)

Check out this post for some other facts about mental illness.

Treatment for addiction

While there is currently no cure for addiction, there are a number of resources you can utilize to help fight it.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) national helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Addiction Resource: 1-888-974-5086

Addiction Resource center: 1-833-301-HELP (4357)

Alcoholic’s Anonymous: https://www.aa.org

Narcotics Anonymous: http://m.na.org

Additional resources

Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change

I Want to Change My Life: How to Overcome Anxiety, Depression and Addiction

Mastering the Addicted Brain: Building a Sane and Meaningful Life to Stay Clean

What causes addiction, addiction, substance abuse, drug abuse, mental health, mental illness

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What do you need to do?

At the end of the day, addiction is such a difficult subject. It affects so many, and like I said earlier, thousands of people suffer in silence.

What can you do as an addicted person?

Seek help. There is no shame in admitting you have a problem. Check out one of the services listed above, and connect yourself with a good therapist. Everyone starts somewhere, and it might be a lifelong journey. But you CAN do it.

What can you do as a friend or family member of an addict?

  • Love them
  • Check in on them regularly
  • Drive them to appointments
  • Bring them meals
  • Help them with childcare
  • Help them with housework

What else? Did I miss anything?

Do you know someone who is addicted? Do you have any tips for managing addiction and its side effects? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

Make sure you share this post! You never know who it might benefit.

Looking for a safe space to discuss mental health and connect with others? Join my private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1206005752776704/?ref=share

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How to recognize the physical symptoms of depression and anxiety

**This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you**

What does depression feel like for you? Does it feel like a darkness creeping over you? Or a deep pit you can never crawl out of?

How about anxiety? Is it racing thoughts in times of stress? Or sweaty palms before a big presentation at work?

Symptoms of depression and anxiety are going to vary for everyone. You could say that no two cases are alike. Every person with mental illness is like a snowflake, unique in its own way.

If you are unfamiliar with the physical symptoms that might present themselves with common mental illnesses, check out this checklist below.

Physical symptoms of depression

Fatigue

Those that live with depression know how tiring it can be. It is a heavy weight that sits on our shoulders. We often find it difficult to get out of bed.

The fatigue can have a few different causes. First of all, it could be caused by your medication. It is very common for antidepressants to cause tiredness. For example, toward the end of my journey with Zoloft/Sertraline, I was so tired, I could barely function.

Another cause of fatigue could be the lifestyle choices caused by our depression. Depression can make it so that having motivation to exercise and eat healthy food feels impossible. Sometimes, if we are able to push past that, and get in a good workout or healthy meal, we find that our energy improves.

A third possible cause of fatigue is the biology of the disease itself. There might be something about depression that simply makes you tired.

Pain flare-ups

If you live with depression, you probably notice that you get random aches and pains. This is incredibly common. Depression can exist in conjunction with other chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, in which the person experiences all over or localized pain.

Headaches

Speaking of pain, depression can also cause headaches. Many people who live with mental illness can be chronic migraine sufferers. Unfortunately, headaches can be caused by many things so it can be difficult to determine if it is the depression or something else.

Vision issues

In a German study, it was found that people with depression can often have physical symptoms like difficulty with their vision. Specifically, they can have trouble seeing contrasts, such as black and white.

Have you ever noticed when you’re in a period of depression that the world seems a little fuzzy? This is a likely explanation!

Stomach aches

When I’m feeling depressed, I frequently have a stomach ache. There is more and more research emerging about the link between our brain and our gut. Often, when our brain isn’t right, neither is our stomach, and vice versa.

Make sure you take a probiotic regularly! It’s good for digestion, and also good for your brain, as studies are beginning to show.

NewRhythm Probiotics 50 Billion CFU 20 Strains, 60 Veggie Capsules, Targeted Release Technology, Stomach Acid Resistant, No Need for Refrigeration, Non-GMO, Gluten Free

Probiotics 60 Billion CFU – Dr. Approved Probiotics for Women, Probiotics for Men and Adults, Natural; Shelf Stable Probiotic Supplement with Organic Prebiotic, Acidophilus Probiotic; 30 Capsules

Other digestive issues

Sometimes, people with depression can have more significant issues with digestion like acid reflux, nausea, or diarrhea. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is something that many people with depression live with.

TUMS Antacid Chewable Tablets for Heartburn Relief 330ct, Extra Strength, Assorted Fruit

Imodium A-D Diarrhea Relief Caplets, Loperamide Hydrochloride Anti-Diarrheal Medicine, 48 ct.


Another common mental illness is anxiety. Anxiety is actually the most commonly diagnosed mental illness.

Did you know that anxiety affects about 18% of adults in America each years, but only 36% of those people seek treatment? There are a lot of people who are suffering from the symptoms of anxiety.

So what are those symptoms?

Anxiety symptoms

Muscle tension

When you feel anxious, do you notice yourself tensing up, with tightness and aches in random places?

Well, you’re not alone! Because of my depression and anxiety, I clench my jaw at night and have to wear a mouth guard. Many people find themselves needing regular massages, or long soaks in epsom salt.

Amazon Brand – Solimo Epsom Salt Soak, Magnesium Sulfate USP, 8 Pound

Stomach aches

My anxiety really messes with my stomach and bladder. When I am nervous, I frequently feel like I need to go to the bathroom. It is usually made better by keeping my brain distracted, but the discomfort is very real! So, if you experience this, you are not alone.

Headaches and dizziness

Along the same lines as depression, anxiety can cause some neurological physical symptoms, like headaches and dizziness.

The psychological distress associated with GAD involves chronic worry for most of a person’s waking hours. Thoughts may race down a spiral of anticipation and fear about one topic or may bounce incessantly from one issue or scenario to the next. This psychological experience can result, literally, in an aching head. When accompanied by an increased heart rate and changes in body temperature, dizziness can also occur.

https://www.verywellmind.com/physical-symptoms-of-anxiety-1393151

Irritability

This one is very common for me. When I am feeling anxious, I am so desperate for relief and control that I become cranky. It can be difficult to cope with feelings of anxiety, so many people will lash out in anger or frustration.

I find journaling helps. Writing about the things that make you anxious takes away some of the power from the intrusive thoughts. It can also help you to understand the things you are feeling.

Fatigue

Having your head spinning in a billion different directions is super exhausting! It is very common for people who deal with anxiety to be tired a lot.

Fatigue in anxious people can also be caused by the fact that they often are unable to fall asleep at night. This causes them to get insufficient sleep, making them tired the next day.


Whether you have depression, or anxiety, bipolar disorder, or another mental illness, you will find one of more of these symptoms affecting you.

They are incredibly common and nothing to be ashamed. I personally have dealt with them all at one point or another.

How to recognize the physical symptoms of depression and anxiety, depression, anxiety, physical symptoms, mental health

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Which physical symptoms of depression and anxiety have you dealt with? Are there any that I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Make sure you share this post. You never know who it might benefit!

Looking for a safe space to discuss mental health and connect with others? Join my private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1206005752776704/?ref=share

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Meet the Blogger: Introducing Unwanted Life

Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!

Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Unwanted Life!)

That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.

This is our fourteenth installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about Unwanted Life, a fellow blogger. (You can read our previous installment here: https://diffusingthetensioncom.wpcomstaging.com/meet-the-blogger-introducing-tiffany/)

Interview series questions

First of all, tell me a little about yourself.

Well, I’m of mixed ethnicity, Caribbean and White. I’m British born and bread as well as an EU citizen. During my childhood I had to endure a lot of racism from my fellow students and “friends” who talk behind my back. Not only that, but I had to put up with physical abuse from a few teachers and adult Cub Scout leaders when I was in the Cub Scouts. 

I’m from a single parent family. I was raised on state benefits by a mother who was physically there but not supportively there for me. Because of all this, I became suicidal by the time I was 8 years old and would have daily breakdowns in my final years of primary school.

(More health issues)

This led to reckless drug and alcohol use as I binged and cocktailed substances in the hopes it’d kill me, or at the very least, utterly destroy my mind. During this time, I was self-harming and engaging in hair destroying behaviours that would eventually lead to permanent traction alopecia.

About five years ago I developed palpitations which lead to me being sent to an autonomic disorder specialist. Which I’m still being investigated for to find out the full scope of how bad far reaching this disorder is as they seek to explain a lot of my other symptoms that haven’t improved.

Besides all that, I’ve managed to get my bachelor’s degree, even though I was still having anxiety induced psychotic episodes. I’m also now trying to finish my masters degree, but I’ve had a few setbacks, one of which is trying to secure funding to complete my last two modules.

Thus, to keep myself busy I decided to start writing a blog that would be a kind of slice of life of my mental and physical health problem, which would also talk about relevant and related content in order to help spread awareness.

In short, this is me, a guy from mixed ethnicity, who suffers from borderline personality disorder, chronic depression, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, IBS, and an autonomic disorder that is still being investigated for how far reaching it is. Plus, other physical health problems that I’m also being tested for, such as Addison’s disease and hypoglycemia. Fun times.

But I’m still here and I’m still trying to do what I can to try and help others.

What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community? 

I had no connection really with the mental health community when I decided to start my blog, even though it primarily focuses on mental health. I had previously worked for Mind for six months, but my main focus has been working in the field of addiction, which I only had to stop doing after four years because of my declining physical health.

However, I have had decades of life experience with mental health, both my personal experience and experience of trying to help friends. I also have a lot of personal experience with dealing with therapy and their providers.

At Sixth form college I studied psychology because I wanted to figure out how to help myself, and to better understand my problems. I also studies sociology, because I wanted to understand why societies and groups behave as they do. This was also one of the reasons for doing my degree in psychology and counselling.

As for blogging, I had zero connection to the community until I started blogging myself. Is that uncommon for bloggers?

What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?

I wouldn’t know, I don’t have a successful blog. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to engage with people who want to read my blog, and not just connecting with other bloggers. Don’t get me wrong, connecting with other bloggers is great, but it’s content readers who will make my blog a success.

I’m now on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to try and improve my chances of reaching people who want to read my blog. But it’s all still early days, I only started blogging at the end of January 2019.

I guess the hardest part is reaching a big enough reading audience for your blog. If I can at least make enough revenue to cover the hosting costs of my blog, then I’ll consider myself successful. Until them I’m still a blogging noob.

What is the biggest challenge the mental health community faces currently?

I think the biggest problem for the mental health community is gaining the understanding of not only your friends and family, but from your places of work and your government. Mental health is a very underfunded area, and the waiting lists in my country for therapy is a joke. Thus, the biggest challenge is to get the funding they need from the government to provide all those who need treatment, with treatment, and in a timely manner. The government also needs to make mental health studies mandatory at schools, so no one has to suffer the mental health ignorance the generations before them have had to endure.

What are 5 things many people do not know about you?

Well, I guess the first one in this case is that many of the people who know me due to my blog, have little idea of what I actually look like. I’ve kept it that way, for now at least, because then I can be completely open about my problems due to the anonymity it provides.

I meet my first three real partners in a club when I was wearing a full-length skirt. I don’t know how or why it worked out like that, but I guess some people find a guy in a skirt attractive, ha ha ha.

The only time I’ve experience true love and euphoria, without taking drugs, is during sex with someone new for the first time. For about a minute I become overwhelmed with the feeling of love and euphoria, and then it goes, never to return again with that person. Which really, really sucks.

When I was taking drugs, I use to sell weed and ecstasy in order to fund my own abuse of drugs. But I turned my life around after I was arrested. This was what led to me going to university to study psychology and counselling, to try and create a normal life for myself whilst trying to help others avoid the life I had.

I actually have a very poor inner eye, so I really struggle to visualise stuff in my mind’s eye. This has really made engaging in creating art difficult, and I used to really love drawing as a kid. At best, I can have a fleeting blurry image appear for a second and that’s it.

What is your favorite book and why?

I haven’t read a work of fiction since primary school when I use to read the ‘The Little Vampire’ books. They’re pretty much the only work of fiction I’ve ever read on my own and because I wanted to, because I’m not a fan of reading. I’ve always found it difficult to read and have to reread the same sections and pages several times because I fail to take any of the information on the page in.

It’s really annoying to read through a page, go to change to the next, and realise you have no idea what you’ve just read. Or, you start the next page and your confused because you can’t remember anything from the page before, so it’s like you’ve just randomly picked a new page to read.

It turns out that the problems I was having with reading, which is why I don’t like to read, is all down to being dyslexic. Which I occasionally blog about to help spread awareness, along with mental health. I have a problem with phonetics and my short-term memory. These greatly impact my ability to take in information from reading or being taught in education like in a lecture.

I instead have to find ways to engage my working memory instead, which is easier to do when reading non-fiction. Which is why my favourite book is Chaos by James Gleick. One of the few books I’ve ever read cover-to-cover, which also kept me interested in whilst reading it, thus motivating me to finish it. I think it’s a fantastic book.

Weirdly, I’m not actually a slow reader and can read pretty fast, as long as I don’t get caught up on a word I don’t recognise or can’t pronounce, because I don’t know the phonetics of the words. 

What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?

My main go to is heavy metal, action films, or stand-up. Although due to the fact that I have more free time than I’d like due to my health, my self-care stuff has become less effective because I’m constantly using my selfcare just to keep myself from breaking down. I always have to keep my mind busy, and often multitask in order to achieve this. If I don’t, my mind goes to really dark places.

What makes a person brave?

Tough question. I guess stepping up even when every fibre of your body and mind are telling you can’t do it and you should run away. Whether that be putting yourself in physical harms way or mentally in harm’s way. Stepping up is stepping up.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?

I’m Just Me. I can’t really think of any other way to describe me.

What is your biggest flaw?

My dyslexia has made life more difficult than it could have been. I used to always put my friends first, but I know longer do that because of the harm is caused to my wellbeing.

What is your greatest strength?

I have a knack for being able to play devil’s advocate. That makes me good at arguing when thinking on the fly.

What is your best childhood memory?

Completing Sonic The Hedgehog 2 in one attempt in the video game store before it closed, on the day it was released.

Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?

I honestly don’t know. I’m just focused on trying to get through my first year of blogging I hope it’ll at least cover the costs of paying for my blog hosting services.

I guess it would be nice to get some more of my work published by some mental health charities. I’d also like to start selling products that might help people with their mental health and then give some of the profits to charities, so I can do more to give back.

Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?

Unfortunately, I see the mental health community still being stuck in the same place it is now in 5 years. But then I am a pessimist by nature, so hopefully society will prove me wrong.

Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or  mental health? Share their links below!

I actually mainly follow news companies to keep up to date for a lot of it, because it’s the most likely way to here about what the government is doing to help or hinder mental health support and services. But I also follow @TimetoChange, @SickNotWeak, and @MindCharity on both Facebook and Twitter as well in order to keep updated.

I don’t really have time to read the work of many bloggers consistently, because my dyslexia means I’m quite slow at creating my own blog posts. Then theirs the problems with my own self-care, which no longer seems to work anymore. Which is a shame, because theirs so many bloggers out there providing great content.

That said, I’ve been impressed by what @AidenHatfield has done for the mental health community. Who owns In Music We Trust @imwtclothing who donates 50% of their profits to Mind.

I’d also recommend, in no particular order:

@ManicGrant

@treatyobrain

@PinksterC_87

@Ebzo

@dads_dinners (although not a mental health blogger)

@Behappy20002

@nyxiesnook

@AutisticFitChic

@Jordyn72758776

About the Author

I’m from a mixed ethnic background, who’s dyslexic yet studying a postgraduate degree. I also blog about my mental health, dyslexia, health (invisible disabilities), and related content.

Follow me at:

Blog http://UnwantedLife.me
FB http://Facebook.com/Unwanted.Life.Me
Pin http://www.pinterest.co.uk/UnwantedLifeMe
Insta https://Instagram.com/Unwanted_Life.me
Ko-Fi https://ko-fi.com/unwantedlife


Thanks, Unwanted Life, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!

meet the blogger, interview series

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What is emotional intelligence? The definition and my thoughts on a common test

*This post contains affiliate links. That means that, if you make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Okay?*

How do you define emotional intelligence? Have you ever taken a test to see if you are emotionally intelligent?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, emotional intelligence is:

“…the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success.

What can we take from this definition? In order to be considered emotionally intelligent you must be:

  • Aware of your emotions. You have to be able to recognize when you are feeling things like happiness or sadness or anger.
  • In control of your emotions. You need to be able to keep your emotional state balanced, without a lot of extremes.
  • Able to express your emotions. It is important to be able to tell others (or show them) how you are feeling, ideally in an appropriate way.
  • Able to maintain interpersonal relationships well. You need to be able to keep up friendships, and relationships with colleagues and family members.
what is emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence definition, emotional intelligence

What are the 5 components of emotional intelligence?

There are 5 key aspects of emotional intelligence to be aware of. If you are lacking in any of these areas, do some research on how you can improve. I recommend a good book on the subject:

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Component 1- Self awareness

Like I mentioned above, it is important to be aware of your emotions. Something I am grateful for in my journey with mental health is that I am always aware of how I am doing. I have never lost sight of whether I am having a good day or a bad day.

If you struggle in this area, try daily journaling. It could even be as simple as writing down one positive thing you are feeling as well as one negative thing. You could free associate if the emotions are hard to identify.

If you need another way to improve in this area, you can ask a friend to serve as an accountability partner. They can tell you when you are having a “good day” or a “bad day,” in case you can’t tell for yourself.

Component 2- Self control

Once you are aware of the way you are feeling, you need to be able to do your best to control as many negative emotions as you can. Some examples of these are:

  • Anger
  • Jealousy
  • Greed
  • Regret
  • Pride (sometimes)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability

If you are finding yourself unable to control these emotions, I would make an appointment with your doctor. They might be able to recommend a better medication, or they might suggest you go to therapy more often.

This is another time when an accountability partner would come in handy. Come up with a pre-determined safe word, something the friend can say to you in public to let you know you’re losing control.

Component 3- Social skills

If you are wanting to improve your social skills consider joining a group or signing up for a class! Most major towns have local moms or dads groups that meet regularly. These would be really great ways to work on your social skills.

Here are some examples of common social skills to try and develop:

  • Empathetic listening
  • Balanced conversation (equal give and take)
  • Appropriate body language
  • Good sense of personal space

The good thing is, these are very easy to practice! Just make it a habit every time you are out and about to work on these things, and they will feel easier very soon.

Component 4- Empathy

This is a really important skill for those who want to become more emotionally intelligent. People don’t just want to talk at you when they are struggling. They want you to really listen, and respond with empathy.

How can you be more empathetic? Follow these tips below:

  • Respect people’s physical and emotional boundaries
  • When someone is speaking, use appropriate facial expressions
  • Respond the way you wish someone would respond to you
  • Practice kindness in every interaction

For example, if someone you don’t care for tells you they just lost their job, how should you react? Should you think “Aha, sucker!” and smirk? Or should you say, “I’m sorry to hear that. Good luck finding something else!” The ability to do that is a sign of an emotionally mature person.

Component 5- Motivation

Possibly the most important component of emotional intelligence is having the motivation to constantly grow and change. We should always be growing, in every aspect of life.

Sometimes, we sink back into old patterns and find ourselves being immature. This happens to the best of us, but when it does, make an effort to change your mindset. It really does make a difference!

A common emotional intelligence test

This test found on Psychology Today measures your emotional intelligence in just 45 minutes. That might sound like a long time, but they really need a lot of data to be able to accurately measure it.

www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/personality/emotional-intelligence-test%3famp

Take it and let me know your score in the comments!

My thoughts on a test

I haven’t always been the most emotionally mature person. I am still a work in progress but I have come a long way.

For too long, I did not live by the 5 components of emotional intelligence.

  1. I have always been pretty self aware in the sense of recognizing when I’m having a good day or a bad day. But I often stopped being aware of the effects that my moods had on others. This is sometimes as important as being self aware: realizing how you effect other people.
  2. I very rarely employed self control. I lived in a haze of depression and anxiety. This was before I practiced daily gratitude and positive affirmations. I have to train myself to be in control of my emotions. It is something that I still struggle with, but it gets easier the more I work at it.
  3. My social skills were a little poor. In some ways, it is still something I need to work on! I tend to unintentionally interrupt others in an effort to get my thoughts out. I don’t always have good body language. What I can say about myself? I am always growing and learning.
  4. I was not empathetic when I needed to be. Instead, I thought about how situations affected me personally, rather than keeping others in mind.
  5. One thing I can say is that as of today, I am very motivated to continue to grow. As long as I can say that, than I am doing my best.

Should you take it or not?

Do I think emotional intelligence tests are important? Yes and no. I think it is important to be aware of how “feelings savvy” we are. We need to be aware of how we feel, and of how we make others feel.

I also think putting a number on it can be damaging. If you receive a negative score, I think that can lead to feelings of guilt and depression that will not serve you. On the flip aide, if you get a great score, it might make you lose your commitment to growth and working on yourself.

So take the emotional intelligence test, by all means. But take the results with a grain of salt. After all, no one knows you better than you, right?

What is emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence definition

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What score would YOU give your emotional intelligence? Which of the 5 components do you most need to work on?

Make sure you share this post! You never know who it might benefit.

Looking for a safe space to discuss mental health and connect with others? Join my private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1206005752776704/?ref=share

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Alternative Medicine: What is homeopathy and how can it benefit you?

When I say the word homeopathy what comes to mind?

*Please note before continuing*

I should start by saying I am not a practicing homeopath. In the past I have taken homeopathic medicine due to a combination of curiosity and desperation, so my experience stops with the taking of the medicine. I have, however, done extensive reading on the topic and spoken to a few homeopathic sources. 

I am also not a doctor. I’m in no way suggesting that you use homeopathic medicine in lieu of traditional medicine in the case of major depressive disorders or mental health conditions. (Read more about depression here.) Nor am I suggesting that homeopathy removes the need for other therapies. You can use homeopathy in the case of mild mental illness, but SHOULD NOT replace medication or therapy for more serious conditions which may require regular treatment and heavier medications.

Homeopathy, what is homeopathy, benefits of homeopathy

By all means, it is possible to use in conjunction with said treatments and medications. It’s always wise to speak to your psychiatrist or general practitioner before making a change to your treatment plan.

What is homeopathy and how can it benefit both physical and mental illness? 

In the world of alternative medicine, homeopathy is possibly the most renowned. If you haven’t tried it, you’ve at least heard of it. But how much do we actually know about homeopathy, and can you really use it effectively to combat both mental and physical illnesses? 

My experience with homeopathy began earlier this year and lasted for approximately six weeks. My friend’s sister (K) has been a loyal user of homeopathy for a number of years, and so she kindly sent me some samples to help with my emotional and mental distress. 

Hesitance about alternative medicine

I had never tried homeopathy, and I was hesitant and confused by how to take them. They appeared to be in the form of small, cloudy ‘balls’ with strange names and no ingredient list.

After a quick google search and chat with K, she reassured me of their authenticity and purpose. However, I was still concerned about how they would react with my anti-depressants. I didn’t actually start taking them until after speaking with my therapist, who insisted it couldn’t hurt as a complementary treatment.

Once my mind was put at ease, I began taking Kaliphos 6Xand Ignatia 30c three times a day. Both medications were intended to help ease the symptoms of stress, mental fatigue, and anxiety, all of which I was feeling on an intense level at that point in my life. 

The effects weren’t instantaneous, much like other medications. It wasn’t a miracle fix all that kicked in after just one use. Just like traditional medications homeopathy requires repeated and continued use in order to reap the benefits. 

After a few weeks I began to feel my dark mood (which at the time was nothing short of suicidal) shift slightly. I gained more energy over time and felt better able to cope with the hands I was being dealt. These positive side effects continued even after stopping the medication and in conjunction with other therapies and yoga, I was able to maintain a level of normality.

Homeopathy, what is homeopathy, benefits of homeopathy

It’s unclear how much of this was placebo effect and how much was genuine, however, results are results, placebo or not. The mind is a wonderful thing and even if it only thinks it’s being altered, that’s good enough for me. 

The history of homeopathy

“Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine that uses remedies to stimulate the body’s own innate ability to heal itself. It offers superior results by treating the underlying causes of illness, not just the symptoms of the disease. When the core problems are removed, the body is freed up to release the symptoms, so restoring health and harmony.

They can safely be used alongside conventional medicine. They are non-addictive and easy to take as remedies are available in both pill and liquid form.

Homeopathy acts as a form of preventative treatment. By boosting the body’s immune system, homeopathy can help improve a person’s susceptibility to illness and infection.”

What is homeopathy?

(Eileen Scullion, Homeopathy Healing)

Homeopathy is a complementary medicine, considered to be an alternative and natural treatment for various illnesses. Modern homeopathy was first discovered by Doctor Samuel Hahnemann in the late eighteen century. He was dissatisfied with medicine at the time which still practiced things such as bloodletting, wherein a person was bled with the belief that it would cure them of illness. He believed this practice, among many others, to be both barbaric and counter productive. 

Instead of invasive procedures which possibly did more to harm the patient than good, Dr. Hahnemann came up with the concept of homeopathy while translating William Cullen’s “A Treatise on the Materia Medica”.

In the book it claimed that cinchoca (the bark of a Peruvian tree) was effective in the treatment of Malaria. Hahnemann took this and produced the principle of similarity, or the idea that ‘like cures like.’ Simply put, this theory presumes that if  something can cause an illness, then it can surely cure it. 

This would go onto become the foundations of modern homeopathic medicine. 

How can it be used in the treatment of mental and physical illness? 

In the traditional sense, homeopathy was used to treat physical ailments and ‘mystery’ illness that, in hindsight, ancient physicians couldn’t explain. When suffering from ‘depressive’ episodes, it was assumed you were possessed by a demon or suffering some other, unnatural phenomenon.

With the miracle of modern medicine and understanding of the human brain, we’ve become more aware of mental health concerns for what they truly are; Illness, but housed within the brain. Like physical conditions, mental illness has become valid a general concern in the eyes of modern medicine. Although mental illnesses are still very much stigmatized in comparison to other ailments, it’s a far cry from exorcisms and bloodletting in a bid to ‘rid the evil.’ 

Homeopathy and mental health

Homeopathy has been used to not only treat physical ailments, but also mental. Although traditional medicine such as SSRI’s are available, there are a number of drawbacks that can make these less desirable in regards to treatment. 

SSRIs, or similar medication, is often accompanied by side effects. These range from physical reactions such as nausea and headaches, to the more severe such as increased depression and suicidal ideations. Although these medications are sometimes necessary in order to control brain chemistry, there are other options out there in regards to treatment. 

Homeopathy can be used as a sole treatment or it can be used alongside other therapies and medications. However, as previously stated, in the case of more severe psychiatric conditions or serious suicidal ideations, it’s best to speak to your GP or psychiatrist before making a change to your treatment. Homeopathy will not be enough to regulate brain chemistry and symptoms in the case of more serious conditions, but you can use solely in the event of less, more time sensitive conditions such as minor depression, the grieving period and acute stress and anxiety. 

Homeopathy, what is homeopathy, benefits of homeopathy

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How do you get started with homeopathy? 

Whether you’re interested in taking homeopathic remedies or you want to learn about the science behind it, there is a vast array of information available online. If you’re interested in getting started with homeopathy, try these kits available from such places as Helios Homeopathy. You can also pick up various books in your local library. You can even use a mobile app called Homeopathy UK

About the Author

I’m Chloe, content creator and owner of Nyxie’s Nook, a blog dedicated to mental health, recovery and general wellness. I love being able to help and inform others through the use of my writing, and pride myself on providing nothing but the best content. 

I started this blog in March 2019 in a bid to raise awareness for mental illness. Usinf my experience, I especially focus on Anorexia Nervosa and Anxiety, two such disorders I suffer from. However, what started out as a hobby, quickly turned into something much, much more! 

Nyxie’s Nook has become a place to talk about all mental health issues and the struggles that come along with recovery. I cover a variety of subjects ranging from general wellness right up to more specific recovery related content. I not only aim to cater to those in recovery but to people in all walks of life. 

Follow Chloe here:

Blog: www.nyxiesnook.com

Twitter: @nyxiesnook

Instagram: @nyxtrix

Facebook: Nyxie’s Nook

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Meet the Blogger: Introducing Tiffany

Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!

Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Tiffany!)

That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.

This is our thirteenth installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about Tiffany, a fellow blogger. (You can read our previous installment here: https://diffusingthetensioncom.wpcomstaging.com/meet-the-blogger-introducing-the-perfect-whisk/)

Interview series questions

First of all, tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Tiffany. I am a Pediatric Nurse, wife, mom, and grandmother. I am Founder of Gloria’s Loving Touch, Inc. a non-profit organization that provide clothing for those in need and assist with the grief process through grief support groups. Gloria’s Loving Touch and my blog site was born of my pain, the grief I felt when I lost my Mom and Grandma 4 months apart.

What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community? 

My blog site is called http://4youiwill.blog. It is based on me being the caregiver for my Mom who had Lung Ca and my Grandma who had Dementia. What I went through, what they went through and tips on what makes life easier for those who are walking in those shoes. Caregiving without adequate resources cause depression, anxiety, isolation, etc. I want to reach out to others in need and put a community of caregivers, family and friends together for support.

What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?

Unfortunately, my blog hasn’t made it to success yet. I am still trying to figure out how to get the exposure and a time schedule to put out enough content.

What is the biggest challenge the mental health community faces currently?

I think the biggest challenge the mental health community faces is not having adequate insurance to seek treatment. I needed grief counseling badly, severe depression and the sessions were at minimum $100 each.

What are 5 things many people do not know about you?

I never discussed books with anyone other than my mom, so nobody knows that I love to read, and I have shelves of books that need to be read!

Most people don’t know that I used to horseback ride and go white water rafting often.

I’ve only had the actual discussion of me being an empath with a couple of people. Most would agree if it were brought up though.

I am a very open person and love to talk. I’ve found that by having open discussions about myself, many go through some of the same things.

What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is WOMEN ARE ROSES by LaNette Kincaide. The book is written by multiple women. It’s unfiltered and pure truths speaking on real life situations they’ve each gone through. So many women need to read this book. It shows them that they hadn’t gone through things alone, incest, rape, bad relationship, abuse of all types, etc.

What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?

When I’m feeling down, I do one of two things, I spend time with my grandbaby, or I watch Frasier which makes me laugh no matter what!!!

What makes a person brave?

Doing the right thing even if you don’t want to do it.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?

I describe myself as loving, selfless, and sad. I love people most of the time unconditionally. It takes a lot for me to turn away from others, sometimes too much. I spend too much time worried about others and feeling their pain. I go out of my way to help just about anyone to include strangers.

It’s a blessing and a curse. A lot of times it seems to be a coping mechanism when I don’t want to think about the things stressing me out. It’s easier to help others. I am sad most times, but it’s hidden. My life forever changed when I lost my mom. There’s nothing anyone can do to help me with that, but I cover well as do many going through the grieving process.

What is your biggest flaw?

My biggest flaw is being way too kind to people. People tend to take of advantage of my kindness. I am currently teaching myself to say no without giving a reason. It’s difficult to re-teach me a personality trait.

What is your greatest strength?

My greatest strength is my love for my family. It’s what keeps me going. When I feel like giving up or realize that I am not taking care of myself, I remember that I must stay healthy for my granddaughter. I can’t see her being without me to guide her. She keeps me strong and motivated.

What is your best childhood memory?

It’s difficult to pick out one memory but one thing for certain it would revolve around the time that my grandparents were alive and me, mom, and my little brother lived with my Grandmother. I was going into 3rd grade when we left the state.

Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?

I want to have my blog known and passed on by word of mouth by the medical field and family caregiver community, especially those who are caregivers for Cancer and Dementia patients. I would also like to have an online support group for caregivers of all ages.

Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?

Unfortunately I don’t see much of a change for the mental health community in the next 5 years. People seem to have no respect for those with mental health issues and if there is no change in the insurance and ability to pay for treatment, there can be no improvement, especially when we are talking about the homeless community. Even professionals such as doctors, CEOs and nurses are shunned for MH issues. I do appreciate the fact that social media and bloggers are bringing these issues out in the forefront though.

Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or  mental health? Share their links below!

https://www.goldenbloggerz.com/about-us/

https://itsalovelylife.com/

https://elizabethholly.com/

About the Author

You can follow Tiffany at:

https://www.4youiwill.blog/

https://twitter.com/Tiffanys_Blog

https://www.facebook.com/4youiwillblog/

https://www.instagram.com/4you_iwill_2019/

Thanks, Tiffany, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!

meet the blogger, interview series

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