Friday 30 May 2014

Thumbs Up For Stephen Sutton

Stephen Sutton sadly passed away recently after a battle with cancer .Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Stephen wanted to raise £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust but that total has now exceeded £4 million 

There is still time to donate money.

What Stephen done is simply amazing.

May he rest in peace


Tuesday 27 May 2014

The truth about about my past.

April 2007 - I ended a 5 year relationship with my the guy I was with.  You may remember I mentioned him before. This was the best thing I could have done as I was no longer happy and after a year long battle to get me back to normal after mt first major bout of anxiety, I realised he was not the guy I thought he was.

He threatened to kill himself, started having panic attacks himself and asking me for support (he was not having panic attacks he faked it I later found out), said he was seeing a counsellor at work to make him a better person. He was trig everything to make me stay with him.

I knew I could not stay in that relationship but I could not get rid of him. There was only one thing I could do that I knew would work...This part I am not proud of although I done no wrong!

As he believed we were still together, we were not, I went with another guy. Like I say I am not proud but done no wrong either. I was desperate and this was my only way out.  Nothing else was working and I was scared being honest.

The first few years were OK I guess but when he went back to college and met a girl in his class it all changed. She would constantly phone and text his mobile, phone his house phone and talk to him on MSN. One conversation he left open while he went for a bath and I read it. "I'm not with Angela tonight not seeing her until tomorrow" to which she replied "good means i have you to myself, I miss you and can't wait to see you"

 I later found out he did go with her.

Anyway one day up in Aberdeen myself, the ex and the guy I went with were sitting together and the truth came out. The ex, as predicted, went mad and left me stranded in Aberdeen. I was happy that it was over or at least I thought it was.

I got a phone call from my dad. The ex had phoned him and told him

  • I had cheated on him
  • That I was a liar
  • That I had debt in THEIR name

I was in bits. I technically had NOT cheated on him. Liar I wouldn't think so! As for the debt in my parents name that was one massive massive lie that caused me so much trouble and hurt.

During our relationship he had started to become controlling. LONG before my anxiety appeared. This is some of the things he wanted or demanded.

  • My wages to go into his bank
  • he would give me an allowance every month
  • If we moved in together I had no say as to where
  • IF he wanted sex he was to get it 
  • He called me to check I was at work
  • If I did not answer the work phone he would text me umpteen times
  • He wanted me to leave my good job so he could look after me
Now I can tell you this, he did not get any of those demands!! No chance.

Now the other thing he told me parents was, I owed him £1000. SO NOT TRUE.  Yes he may have helped me a couple of times but the total did not amount to £1000 and he always got it back.  He told me this was for gifts he bought me during our relationship.  Yet I was to pay money out my wages every single month to pay him back. Yes I know why pay him back if this was the case, what choice did I have at that time after all the lies he told who would believe me?

Yes I know this was 7 years ago but it is still affecting me to this day in ways I can't say yet as that part I'm not ready to share.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Are you aged 18-25 then we need you!

A friend of mines is conducting a survey as part of her studies. Please see below for more information.

"Please help me with my Sociology Research! 
I'm looking at the attitudes of young people aged 18 - 25 on the topic of suicide. Therefore, if you have a spare few mins, please could you complete my questionnaire? 
Thanks! xxx"

Thank you in advance for you cooperation xx

Friday 23 May 2014

guest post -The Richmond Fellowship Scotland

Generally when people are anxious we feel fearful and tense, this can also manifest as physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sickness, shaking or tremors, headaches, sweating and much more.

These physical symptoms are caused in part by the brain sending lots of messages down the nerves to various parts of the body making your heart, lungs and other parts of your body work faster.

Anxiety is normal in stressful situations and can be helpful, when we feel threatened or in danger or even in anticipation of an exam or competition the burst of adrenaline is our bodies response to the situation getting us ready to respond, this is more commonly known as our “fight or flight response”

So when do our levels of anxiety become a problem? Anxiety is abnormal when it is out of proportion to the situation, when the stressful situation has gone and the feelings remain or if the stress is minor and appears for no apparent reason.

The training we deliver is called WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning).  While it was originally developed by people who had been dealing with severe and enduring mental health illness, it is now widely recognised as a tool for dealing with any aspect of life be that family or work stress, anxiety, a life changing event, bullying, drug or alcohol issues, weight management - in fact just about anything.

WRAP is based on 5 key recovery concepts,

1.       Hope-that people can and do recover and go on to lead fulfilling lives

2.       Personal Responsibility- What can I do for myself to take control be the driver in my own recovery.

3.       Education- what do I know about myself that can enable me to respond better to situations and what more can I learn

4.       Self Advocacy- with this knowledge who do I need to talk to, what do I need to tell others and how can I speak up for myself

5.       Support- who or where can I get the support I need to help me move forward and take control of things in my life.

People go on to develop a wellness toolbox which is the resources we all have in order to keep our lives on an even keel, when you are unwell or not coping well it’s easy to forget the things we need to do to keep ourselves well, this acts as a reminder.

After doing this people then develop a WRAP plan which is a evidence based format that works really well for people in developing action plans to deal with feelings and circumstances in their lives.

I have worked with a few people who live with high levels of anxiety and they have said that after doing WRAP it enabled them to gain a better insight into themselves to recognise what triggers certain feelings and emotions and in turn develop action plans and strategies to help counteract these feelings. WRAP is NOT a cure, it is a way of life - it’s simple and effective and gives people a sense of control that often is lost when dealing with any form of challenge in our lives.

Roz Anderson (Team Manager in West Fife) is only one of four Advanced Level Facilitators in Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) operating within Scotland.

Uniquely Roz is the only Advanced Level Practitioner working within a Community Care organisation or Mental Health organisation in Scotland. This profiles The Richmond Fellowship Scotland’s expertise within recovery. The Richmond Fellowship Scotland supports WRAP by being able to deploy some 25 fully trained WRAP facilitators throughout its services in Scotland.

To find out more about The Richmond Fellowship Scotland, please visit our website:

To fund out more about WRAP please visit

I would like to say a massive thank you to the staff at The Richmond Fellowship Scotland for their wonderful guest post. I would also like to thank them for the wonderful work that they do.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Guest Post - Charmaine

Hey there! my name is Charmaine

Mind is a charity close to my heart, it's a fantastic charity. I also volunteer for mind charity shop in syston,
 Leicester,  Myself and the volunteers put an incredible amount of work into the charity.

I would love to be able to do something out of my comfort zone to raise money for mind, so I have chose skydiving. I feel I should continue to raise money for mind and help make awareness that mental health issues shouldn't be brushed under the carpet,

I've been suffering depression since I was 14 years old. I developed postnatal depression after having my son, my uncle had schizophrenia unfortunately mind wasn't as established then as it is now and unfortunately he turned to alcohol, and we lost him. he was only 43 years old, so i feel I should continue our awareness and let people know they are NOT alone

so please help me on my  journey to success to raise money for mind by skydiving. This is the first time I have done anything like this,and I would absolutely love it to become a success, Thank you! :)

you can donate via my just giving page at or you can text DOME 86 £2 to 70070

THANK YOU, help make a difference today :)

I would like to thank Charmaine for sharing her story and I have donated towards her fundraising efforts.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Thank you

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has read, commented on and shared my posts.

Today is the last day of mental health awareness week however we need to continue to educate, support and to try help end the stigma attached to these conditions.

 You can do this by having that conversation with your friends and family, supporting mental health organisations by taking part in campaigns or even sharing their posts too.

I will continue to write this blog as well as writing to newspapers and other media companies to try and raise more awareness.

Again thank you so much for your help and support

xx Angela xx

Saturday 17 May 2014

A step in the right direction - Mental health awareness day 6

Today I am very proud of myself. Why? Let me tell you.

I have terrible problems with my sinuses.  They get blocked I end up dizzy and sick then that brings on anxiety which makes those symptoms worse and brings on other unwanted feelings!!

Well earlier on today I was feeling dreadful, all blocked up, dizzy and anxious, I put my shoes on and took the dog a walk MYSELF. yep just me and the dog.

The street was spinning at one point and the panic attack began to creep up..I wanted to run home I really did but guess what I kept going!!

Best feeling ever!!! I did not let it beat me. The panic attack stopped as soon as it came over me and the dizziness stopped.

Now that is what I call progress!!

Friday 16 May 2014

Public Opinions on mental health - MHAW day 5

Today I received an email from an organisation who conducted a survey to find out what the public know about mental health conditions and what they really think of those who have the conditions.  The results are staggering.

I was shocked and surprised at some of the opinions for example: There is still as stigma that people suffering from mental health issues are more likely to be violent, but actually only 5% of violent crimes are committed by people with severe mental illness

Below is the full results of the survey. I would like to thank Mediacom for contacting me and  Benenden Health  for allowing me to publish the results.

Mental health awareness results infographic
Mental Health Awareness Results Infographic by benenden health

Thursday 15 May 2014

Anxiety does not rule my life I do Mental health awareness week day 4

Something a little different today. I am going to share some photos with you of places I have been and my biggest achievements. Proof that anxiety does not rule your life, you do.

meeting Shane Filan July 2013

 meeting Glenn Cal 2012

Westlife concert 2012
London 2009

Meeting Lilygreen and Maguire 2012

Ne-yo concert 2013

July 2013 Bird Of Prey

Meeting Darren Mackie (Aberdeen fc) 2009

Our Wedding Day March 2012

My biggest achievement ever my gorgeous babies Liam & Sophie

Wednesday 14 May 2014

How many phrases? mental health awareness week day 3


Over the years I have been told I am selfish, lazy, crazy, a drama queen, it's all in my head, to get over it, don't think about it and that I will do nothing with my life.

At first it upset me but as the years went on I realised "hold on, I am not the one with the problem, they are" I understand anxiety and the affect it has on people so maybe I am more sympathetic and understanding. However, those who do not know what it feels like or what anxiety is does that give them the right to say such hurtful things? No. You would not walk up to someone with a physical condition and say horrible words would you? So what makes it ok to say it to someone with a mental health condition? NOTHING.  Just because you can't see it does not mean it is not there.

Below you will find a list of thing to say and what not to say.

Phrases used and why you should not say it

Don't Panic - Put it this way, we try not to panic so as soon as you say "don't panic" our anxiety will go into overdrive. MAJOR TRIGGER WORD

You are Lazy - Have you go any idea how utterly exhausting it is being so anxious all the time? Anxiety symptoms have a big impact on your body

Stop being dramatic - Let's see how you could handle your heart racing, dizziness, not being able to catch your breath, feel like you are floating, tingling hands and feet and feeling faint. we still being dramatic? 

It's all in your head - OK so yes it is a mental illness but it's not easy when your brain is constantly having a fight with your subconscious!! We know we will be fine that nothing will happen, try telling that to that part of your brain that won't play nice!

You will do nothing with your life - WRONG do you realise when you are at work how many of your colleagues will have a mental illness? Look it up the statistics will shock you. So you tell the surgeon or that fire-fighter they will be nothing!

You have changed - NO we have not changed we are the same person we have always been! Mental illness does not change that. We are not our condition. We are ourselves.

People with anxiety and other health conditions do not want sympathy we do not want to be treated different. Why? Because we are not different.  Have a look at the things you should say and do!

Would you like a cup of tea? simple yet effective!
Sit down and watch that programme you love. When we are tired this is what we want and need. 
Hug us and let us know you are there - hugs relieve stress and lower blood pressure (fact)
What would you like to do today - give us that bit of control.
I am proud of you - this gives us confidence and makes us feel good.
You look amazing - who doesn't want to hear that?
I Love you and I am here no matter what - no explanation needed

We know our condition out stress and strain on you. Ask question, gain some understanding and most of all be there, let us shout, cry and vent. We are not having a go, we are not blaming you. Sometimes we just have to let it all out. We are human after all.

Why not have that conversation with your loved one? Ask how you can help when they are going through a flare up? They will appreciate it. I promise.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Interview with Emily Knight


Emily Knight was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder at the end of 2011. As a result of her anxiety, she left her full time job in early 2013, and is now a freelance writer and marketer, and editor of award-winning blog

1.       Give us some information on your condition

I suffer with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and believe I did for several years before I was officially diagnosed. The biggest trigger for me by far is my health, but I’ve learned tips and techniques to manage bad days, and it’s a lot better than it was!

2.       When you were diagnosed what help and support were you offered?

The first thing my GP did when he diagnosed me was to try and put me on antidepressants – I refused to take them. I was worried that antidepressants – although they’ve been proven to work with anxiety sufferers – would just mask the problem, and that I’d go back to being just as bad as I was after coming off them. I was signed off work for prolonged periods of time (probably just over 6 months in total), and eventually offered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) on the NHS.

3.       Do you see anyone today about your condition?

Not anymore. I still have bad days, don’t get me wrong, but the techniques I learned during those CBT sessions have helped me to deal with the issue.

4.       Do you feel more help and support should be offered to those with mental health conditions?

Definitely! I think many doctors are too quick to belittle anxiety, and when you feel that somebody who’s qualified to help you is making your anxiety seem insignificant, it just makes things worse. I also don’t like the fact that so many healthcare professionals just see drugs as the answer to all mental health problems: changes in lifestyle and alternative therapies can work just as well, and I think there should be more information more readily available about these different options.

5.       What techniques do you use to manage your condition?

For me, most of the ways I deal with my anxiety are in my mind. I use the techniques that I learned in my CBT sessions, and I’ll sometimes listen to relaxation downloads or mobile phone apps to try and calm me down. Sometimes, even a warm bath or reading a book to distract myself can help.

As I mentioned, the main area of concern for me is my health – it’s the worry about potential health problems that brings on most of my anxiety attacks. What people don’t realise is that anxiety has both mental and physical symptoms, and it’s important for anxiety sufferers to learn how the illness can affect your body as well as your mind. I often use the forums at No More Panic ( – and if you’re interested in CBT, I definitely recommend the Moodjuice ( or MoodGYM ( websites.

6.       Have you experienced any ignorance towards your condition?

Yes, and sadly a lot of that was at my old workplace. I was signed off work, as I said, for over 6 months – and while I’m grateful to my former employer for keeping my job open, my manager had no idea how to handle anxiety. Even going into the office caused me anxiety attacks when I was at my worst, and yet I wasn’t allowed to work from home as it was against company policy, meaning that I was simply signed off for longer instead.

The other thing that frustrates me is the number of people who say things like, “Oh, I worry about things sometimes too”, or people who just tell me I have nothing to worry about. Yes, everyone worries about things – but not to the extent that we anxiety sufferers do! It’s sometimes hard to explain just how debilitating the condition can be.

7.       What advice do you have to those who are afraid to speak out?

I’ve now got to the stage where I’m more than happy to talk to people about my anxiety – the more people are aware of what the condition can do and how common it is, the less stigma there will be attached.

Mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of – they’re just part of who we are. What I found was that my anxiety was hard to deal with on my own, and hard to hide from people, which is why I decided to speak out and try and raise awareness. I have family members with similar illnesses who understand what I’m going through – and while it can be hard for those who don’t suffer the same to understand, it’s a good idea to let them know if there are any ways in which they can help you deal with it, so that you don’t have to suffer alone.  

I would like to thank Emily for answering my questions and sharing her story and words of advice.

Please visit her wonderful award winning blog

Monday 12 May 2014

Interview with Elizabeth

1. When you were diagnosed with depression and anxiety 10 years ago what help and support were you offered?

After a number of months struggling to pretend everything was okay my mum took me to my local GP who prescribed me with antidepressants and referred me to counselling.  Unfortunately after a first consultation appointment with the team responsible for counselling I was informed that due to lack of resources and funding counselling sessions were limited and I unfortunately did not meant the criteria for the limited counselling session spaces and they could not help me further.  My GP was always helpful and supportive but apart from that my help and support was limited to close family.

2.  Do you see anyone today about your condition?

Up until my recent house move my GP would monitor me even when visiting the doctors for another condition my regular GP knew my history and always kindly ask how I was etc but now that I have moved and have a new GP surgery I have yet to build a good relationship with my new GP but know they are there if I need them.

3. Do you feel more help and support should be offered to those with mental health conditions?

Yes.  I had very limited help and support and was made to feel as if I was not depressed enough to get the other help available in my area.  I struggled to see how my limited answers to a brief questionnaire could truly assess the true nature of my condition and its severity and felt worse after that I had failed the ‘test’ to get the help I needed and still feel I need.

When I gave up on pretending everything was okay and broke down I lost all of my friends and as I did not have professional help the only people I had to talk to and turn to were close family members and I felt that I could not talk to them about certain things and had no outlet to get them off my chest and out of my head.  Thanks to not having professional help and support I could not discuss a number of things that I feel I need to talk about and deal with.

4. What techniques do you use to combat anxiety?

I use breathing techniques and focus on the present.  When in the midst of panic I take time out and try to visualise my happy place as I calm down.  I also keep a worry diary to let my thoughts out especially when it is something I am anxious about. 

Since having my son I have found I can concur my fears a bit better and overcome my anxieties as I have him to focus on and I want to give him a good time/show him that new experiences are good and fun not scary and nerve-racking as I think (deep down) that they will be.  I now try to focus on the positives and let the negatives in my life wash away imagining and visualising as if they are being taken away in the ocean.

5. Have you experienced any ignorance towards your condition?

I have experienced people not thinking it is anything serious or life-affecting, thinking I should put a smile on my face and just get on with life. 
I have also lost friends.  I shut myself off from the world and they did not seem to miss me as they did not contact me.  Whilst I am in friendly acquaintance to a few of them now via social media or when I bump into them they do not understand and both them and I am awkward when we speak about what we have been up to because a large chunk of my years was nothing but darkness and depression.

6. What advice do you have to those who are afraid to speak out?

Remember depression is not a sign of weakness it means you have been strong for too long. 

Please speak to someone, yes it is hard but hopefully it is the first step on a road to recovery and whilst relapses do happen things can better as you get help and support and learn to manage your condition.  Do not be embarrassed or ashamed, you are courageous and mental health is a real condition.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Elizabeth who answered my questions and shared her story with us.

you can find more of Elizabeth's posts please at -

Guest post by Charli Bruce

Since I was little I had always felt a bit different to everyone else as I would have great mood swings and be depressed for a very long time to which they put down to the fact I didn't have the greatest of home lives when I was younger moving all over the place with my mother never really around and my dad being the only person to look after me although he did the most amazing job so it's nothing to look bad on. 
I then grew up into a teenager and had to seek counselling as a result of being stabbed at school due to bullies and a failed suicide attempt, it was at this point that my counsellor first mentioned the possibility of me having mental health problems and I was sent to see the psychiatrist who diagnosed me with depression and an adjustment disorder.
When I was thirteen my life was turned around as I came home from my mum's house after being there for the weekend to find my father dead on our sofa which essentially really messed me up as he was the only stability in my life. After this I moved in with my mother and life was never the same, I became severely depressed and had another failed suicide attempt as I just felt I couldn't go on with life how it was which I was then referred to a young mental health facility to which they kept the diagnosis of depression and an adjustment disorder.
After years of being on anti depressants I was feeling great and then in 2009 my life was turned upside down when I started hearing voices and having very erratic behaviour of immense highs to which friends and family would actually ask me if I was on drugs as I would be constantly speeding not needing to sleep or eat, talking faster than the speed of light and then dropping to immense lows that were worse than anything I have ever encountered before in my life.
I was sent for psychotic evaluation after a failed attempt at counselling which was there that I was diagnosed with Bipolar. 
I have been living with my diagnosis since 2010 and I have to say 80% of the time I am well and my medication really helps me but I do still have relapses at times and suffer from severe panic attacks due to it.
The only bad thing about my mental health journey is the fact I have lost a lot of people along the way and also that I hate the stigma that comes with it, a lot of people look at me differently that have known me my whole life and some people still think I am not capable of doing normal every day things in case I have an episode but I live a great life. I have had great jobs and I have a daughter plus I have a really supportive partner which makes it all easier to deal with and I think the fact that I do have my daughter it makes me do things even when I can't because I know that she needs me.

A massive thank you to Charli for sharing her story.

for more of Charli's posts please go to

follow her on twitter at

An interview with Laura - her story

Today I am interviewing the lovely Laura who has kindly agreed to answer some questions and share her story.

1. You were diagnosed with depression aged 10/11 and given medication. Were you offered any other support from the doctors?

No, they gave me the tablets and that was that - They're the reason I spent a Very long time not trusting doctors (and still don't some of them)

2.  What effects did the medication have on you?

It's so difficult to explain, the only thing that gets close is to say that they made me feel like I was trapped inside my own head and couldn't get out. They made me Very depressed and made me very very angry. Years later I saw a television programme discussing the effects that that particular medication could have on people and wasn't surprised to find out that it had a tendency to make people worse and even drive them to suicide. 

3. Looking back do you think they could have done things differently?

I don't know. I was incredibly young and I, now, know that I have chronic depression based upon chemical imbalances inside me so medication is recommended but I was too young for most of them. I needed support but I don't know what they could have done. 

4. Understandably you refused to take medication. What other techniques did you use to cope?

I'm not sure that I did cope, not very well really. My attendance at school was awful and I had episodes of incredibly bad depression. I learned to talk about it very openly, which helped; talk about it in a distanced manner and it can almost help you feel distanced. I had various episodes of not coping but I just... 'did' - I taught myself, I guess? And I talked to people, a lot, the Internet became a big refuge for me as I grew up. The older I get the more I learned to cope as I began to learn the signs that I was uncontrollably sad for No reason, I became more aware and that helped a lot because it's easier to weather something if you can tell yourself that it Will end and that you are OK (Easier but still not easy)

5.  You mentioned you had a break down and were given medication. Did it help?

The anxiety medication helped and depression medication helps sometimes. It helped me get back on track that time but when I have a dark period, it's dark whatever I do.

6. What medications have they offered?

Goodness I couldn't list them - I've tried probably upwards of ten different anti depressants and I take propranalol, which is a beta blocker, to help with anxiety.

7. You see mental health professionals, how do they help you? Who do you see?

I don't see anyone anymore. I saw a mental health nurse for a while and he was great - He helped me realise that what I felt was OK and not my fault, he helped me realise I didn't have to always force myself to be strong, that I could sometimes let myself seem weak and that was OK (Since I had my son I'm much more prone to showing the weak as I have become much more emotionally sensitive)

I was offered a cognitive behavioural therapy course which, I imagine, is really helpful for a lot of people but it didn't work for me - After a life time of teaching myself how to cope, I didn't need to be taught how to cope. That's not to say I don't think others should try it, it could be fantastic for the right candidates.

8. You have fibromyalgia. What help were you offered for that condition?

Fibro is a tough one because different areas have different support - Some sufferers regularly see a dermatologist, and some of us are left in the care of our GP. There are certain anti depressants which are known to help certain people with their fibro so we tried those, with no luck. 

I was offered a pain management course but it ended up sounding much the same as a CBT course and the doctor agreed it wasn't for me. I get pain relief, mainly, but it doesn't help much. 

Fibro adds a different edge to depression - I've always known it was likely I'd be battling depressive episodes for my whole life but now I have to accept that I will have this very painful, draining condition with endless symptoms, for the rest of my life and that adds to the depression a lot. But on the other hand it also reminds you of what's good in life and what matters and that helps, some days.

We all have down days, those with perfect health and those with health problems and mental health problems. It can just be a bit harder to recover from those down days when mental health and other health conditions are involved.  

A massive thank you to Laura for taking time to answer my questions and sharing her experience.
You are a wonderful strong woman Laura!! Never forget that.

To read some of Laura's wonderful posts please visit her blog at

Mental Health Awareness Week. Day one - Last fake smile.

The wonderful people at The Caerus Partnership are having a game of Hide and Seek on twitter and on their website.

This is aimed at those who have mental health conditions, their loved ones who want to understand and support and for employers who want to make the work place as stress free as possible.

How does it work? It's simple. You pick the team you want to be on, upload a picture of you with your last fake smile and tweet them.

My picture is now on the #TeamRickitt page. Woo go me :)

Why not join in? it's fun and it is helping to raise awareness. - The Caerus Partnership

my last fake smile 

Thursday 8 May 2014

Charity post - Kidney Research UK

My Aunt Margaret is raising money for Kidney Research UK and she hopes to raise £1000

"Thanks for taking the time to visit my Just Giving page
In 2001 my son suffered renal failure and spent 20 months on dialysis before receiving a living donor transplant from his father. Unfortunately in 2013 this failed many people think transplant is a cure it is not its a treatment as is dialysis 3 people die every day whilst waiting on a transplant dialysis is a gruelling regime being hooked up to a machine 3 times a week for approx 6 hours is not a choice its vital in treating a person whilst they wait for a transplant, for others this will be their life as for many reasons they are not well enough for transplant due to other factors. A leading researcher has told me that 2 years ago he would not have believed that it was possible to grow a kidney in lab conditions but it has been done this gives hope for stem cell therapy in the future but ...... this needs funding and that's why I ask for your support. Thank you every penny helps no amount too small"

Please share or ,only if you would like to, donate. As my Aunt said "every penny helps, no amount too small."

Thank you from Margaret and myself xxx

Mental Health Awareness Week - pictures and useful links for you to share


Wednesday 7 May 2014

Depression - A guest post by Felix Robino

Depression is something I take very seriously, and have done since I first suffered with it back in 2008 when I was 14. Back then I didn't know how to deal with it, I’d cry myself to sleep and worry about making sure nobody found out among everything else. After a month or two of getting used to living with depression, I’d started self-harming; first my wrists, then when this was almost noticeable to others I’d move onto my legs, my sides, places that wouldn't be seen. It was what they done in the movies, right? They’d be depressed and the cutting would help. So I did. For a small time it did help, I’d be focusing on making sure nobody saw the scars rather than the actual depression, which seemed to have taken a back seat.

The two years following this were hell – Nobody knew how bad it was, I’d be skipping school, faking illnesses and most nights crying myself to sleep. What bothered me most was that I didn't know why I was depressed; okay I hadn't had the best childhood, being brought up in a broken family, but why would that make me feel bad? My mother and sister were happy, supportive, people who loved me very much and whom I loved. So what was causing the depression?

When I was nearing 17 years old, I realised I was bisexual. This affected the depression because I’d worry about people finding out and how they’d react. Gay people in films and in the news would be portrayed as unequal, the lowest class of society. Fantastic, I was something people were ashamed to be around. The depression got worse, something I didn't think would happen. Something I didn't think could happen. A few months later when a close friend accidentally noticed the scars on my wrist, he sat me down and asked me if I was okay. I burst into tears, sobbed hysterically and unloaded near three years’ worth of things I had held in.

It turned out my friend was depressed too, he was seeing a counsellor and on medication, and recommended I did the same. I’d heard about counsellors, and I knew what they were, but by the time I’d been old enough to see one without parental consent, I’d grown too accustomed to bottling things up.
I saw the college counsellor the next day. After only a few sessions I was feeling a little better, finally. When I turned 18 I was put on medication, and slowly but surely the depression was easing into something manageable.

Now? I’m 20 years old, studying psychology at a fantastic university, and my special interests are depression, other mental disorders, and learning disabilities such as dyslexia. My goal In life is to research these areas in hopes to find new treatments, better treatments, and hopefully in doing so make the world a little friendlier to those who suffer. Should that fail, I’d like to become a counsellor, pay back and pay forward the goodness that I had received.

If I could say one thing to 14 year old me, or the me I was at my worst, it would be this: Don’t suffer alone. Even telling one person will lighten the load, and could open doors to all sorts of treatments and opportunities to get better. My advice to others would be to seek professional help, as long as it is safe to do so. Of course, I still have depression, but with medication and someone to talk to, it barely phases me now. There are still some nights that are bad, and some days I don’t do much, but compared to what I was like 6 years ago, it’s a vast improvement.

I really would encourage those who can get help, to do so. No one should suffer alone!

To see more wonderful posts from Felix Robino you can visit his  blog at


Twitter - @PsychStudentThe

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Positive step

Today my husband, children and I had been due to go for a day out.  Last night I built myself up to go, reminding myself I would be fine, it would be fun and the children would love it and have fun.  The trip was cancelled due to other circumstances, nothing to do with my anxiety for a change!!

When I realised we were not going my anxiety started to creep in. I would not let it get the better of me today!!  We got ready and took the kids to the local shopping centre, met with my mum and sister and me and the kids sat in my mums car talking and having a laugh whilst my husband got the shopping.

Afterwards we cam home and got the dinner ready.  We then had a surprise visit from some family members which was great for my wee monsters as they go to see their cousin.

Not long after they left I suggested we took the kids out for a while since it was still light and warm enough. We took the ball with us and all had fun playing football, picking flowers and seeing who could throw the ball the highest,

Yes at times I felt anxious but I did not let an attack happen.

Angela 1 - 0 Anxiety

Sunday 4 May 2014

No More Bullying

We all know someone who has been affected by bullying. I have experienced it myself when I was in Primary 6 and also in first year at high school.  It hurt at the time, it was mainly name calling, but looking back I understand why they done it. They were immature, had confidence problems so they felt the need to pick on me to make them feel better. I bet that never worked though,

Bullying doesn't just happen in school. It can happen at college, at home and at work.

A friend of mine, Michelle Clark, has started a No More Bullying Facebook page to offer support and guidance. It is also there to educate and raise awareness.

Please visit the page at

FACT FILE: Agoraphobia

Many people think Agoraphobia is a fear of open spaces, this is not strictly true.  In fact many people who have the condition are scared to go to the shops, be in large crowds, use public transport and even be scared to leave home. It is very complex condition which has symptoms similar to those who have generalised anxiety disorder.

  • Heart rate increases                                                                  
  • upset stomach
  • hyperventilating
  • dizziness
  • feeling warm
  • feeling sick
  • trembling 

Alongside the physical symptoms the person may worry that people will notice if they have a panic attack, that he panic attack will be fatal, that people will stop and stare.  This is not the case, in fact, the only person who will know what is happening is yourself. Shopping centres and public places in general are full of people who looks flustered and stressed as they rush around trying to get things done.

They may behave differently, not wanting to go too far from home, if they leave home at all, wanting someone with them when they go out, not visiting busy places, ordering their shopping online or relying on others to get it for them.  This is known as avoidance.

If you think this is you visit your GP.

There are many different ways to help you and your GP will help find the best way for you.

Treatments include

  • Self Help Groups
  • Counselling 
  • Medication

Your GP may encourage you to try some self help techniques. These are similar to the ones used in Anxiety disorders.

  • Stay in the situation - anxiety peaks then falls again
  • breathing - there are many great breathing techniques to try
  • Do not fight an attack - this will only make it worse, its not nice but its not harmful
  • understand your condition. Look into it, it really helps honestly 
  • Set yourself challenges - Stand outside your home for 5 minutes yourself, then build on time and distance,

I hope you have found this helpful. Please make an appointment for you or a loved one, if you think you or they have this condition.

Help is out there. You are not alone xx

Saturday 3 May 2014

Recent interview

A few days ago I done an interview for a local news website.  I felt it was time to tell my story in order to raise awareness and get the point of educating people in mental health issues across.

Seeing myself online like that was strange at first but I have never worried about what people think, why should I?

You can read the interview here.

feel free to let me know what you think xx

Need to be sorted by November

My husband James is going to London for the weekend in November. I won't deny that I am not looking forward to it.

I worry I wont be 100% by then and I know I have to be as it will be just me and our two little monsters. So the race is on to kick anxiety's backside once more so my husband can enjoy his time away.

James is going to see his beloved Dallas Cowboys at Wembley. He is going with his brother.

I made the mistake of getting excited as I was asked if I wanted to go BUT turns out I am only a back up if his brother can't go.

Now this was not down to my husband or my brother in law it was someone else and NO it was not me.

This is one of the many things that has knocked my confidence and added to the list of things I am anxious about.

People have said "Why not all go and take the kids with you"

First of all my son is only 4 and daughter 2 and I would not take them to London that young. Lastly my son has school on the Monday which would be the day we travelled back.

I am happy for James as it's been a dream of his for so long to see Dallas play but I can't help but feel upset.

No doubt I am being selfish.

Thursday 1 May 2014

A letter to my husband.

Dear James

I am writing this to make things easier for you to understand. I know how hard all of this has been on you even though it seems like I am being selfish and only thinking about me,  That is not the case trust me.

Every day I wake up and feel nothing but guilt that I am putting you and the kids through this. I think to myself  what effect is this having on the kids? How does James really feel? What if my kids end up mad like me?

I cry myself to sleep a lot, when I go for those naps in the afternoon its not just because I am tired, sleep gives me an escape from the guilt I feel.

We have sat down together and I have explained, the best I can, about what I am feeling and what I need from you. I need you to be there, to let me cry, to let me vent but most of all I just need you to keep loving me. I do not want to be treated different because I am no different to anyone else I am just going through a really hard time just now and I will come out the other end stronger than ever.

You know why I am this way just now and I am working through those issues one by one. Unfortunately one of the issues I can do absolutely nothing about and being honest I am still finding hard to accept. Anyone would though.

I want to thank you for everything you have done so far, even for not walking away when I scream at you. I know you feel I am blaming you but I am not.  This is no-ones fault it just is.

The hardest part for me was going to the doctor for medication. I still don't want to take it. To me I feel like I am letting everyone down, like I am admitting I am weak.

I will continue to take the medication. Not for me, but for you, the kids and my family.

Please give it time it will get better honestly it will and I will be the girl you feel in love with 5 years ago not the mess I am today.

I love you

Angela xxxxx