Going Out When You’ve Been Signed Off Work

This is a major taboo that a lot of people think is a bad idea. “What if a work colleague of mine sees me out while I’m signed off? Will they think I’ve made it all up? Maybe they’ll tell everyone at work how I look ‘okay’…”

These are things I’ve struggled to answer in my head when I’ve been signed off due to my Mental Illnesses screwing me up in the work environment. 

The thing that everyone needs to remember when being signed off due to stress/anxiety/depression etc… is that staying cooped up inside constantly for two weeks is going to only cause havoc in your mind. It’ll make whatever you’re experiencing ten times worse. Obviously, don’t go out and get drunk… that’s a call for disaster if you’re unwell and signed off – people have lost their jobs over that.

But do try and get fresh air each day, yesterday I went to the beach with my niece and mum to calm my head down… but I was so worried that a colleague of mine would see me out and think I was in tip top condition. Today I’m heading out with a friend to do a spot of shopping… do things that calm you and make you a lot more level for when the time of going back to work approaches. 

Ignoring signs of work-related stress can be detrimental as I found out last week… for days I would shut myself in the toilet and cry constantly for no obvious reasons other than I was so stressed out. I started to become irritable – it didn’t help that my anti-depressants had been lowered either.

Even though I work in Mental Health… I was still worried of the prejudice I’d receive for starting to deteriorate at work. I was worried that I’d lose my job, I was worried what everyone would think… this meant I didn’t speak to anyone sooner. If I had, I could have nipped things in the bud quicker… My work have been so understanding and have taken everything completely seriously. I’m truly blessed to have the job I do.

If you’re struggling in work, I urge you to speak to someone! Leaving it can drive you to stupid lengths to get out of the situation.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

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Facts about Mental Illnesses

After countless Google searches about statistics on young adults with Mental Health Illnesses… and with not a lot of luck with what I was trying to find out. I took it upon myself to conduct my own research into just how many of us have to battle these demons.

In this survey I conducted, there were 59 respondents who ever so kindly took part, so I thank each and everyone of you for taking your time to complete the questionnaire.

As you can see from this first question, the majority of people who answered the questionnaire were female. The reasoning for this could be that males felt less comfortable to share the information. Or it could just be due to the fact that I don’t know many males… Who knows!

q2

In this next question we can see that the main age range of the people who answered the questionnaire were between 21-30 years of age. 56% were to be exact, 35% were younger and 9% were older. This again could be due purely down to the majority of people I know being around this age.

q3

100% of people who answered the questionnaire were inside of the United Kingdom. This may be the response that it is due to the narrowed sharing of the questionnaire to just my personal profile on Facebook, which contains mainly people from within the UK.

q4

This is where the statistics start to become more interesting… 90% of the people who participated in the survey suffer from a mental illness of some sort. if we times that by 10, that’s 90% of my friends list on Facebook suffering from something. It’s rather sad to think about.

q5

47% of people were diagnosed with a mental illness within the last 5 years. Now, again… This could be due to the fact of the age of the majority of people who answered these questions.

q6

67% felt that they could talk to someone about their troubles, however… 26% felt like they could not. I wonder if this is due to the stigma of feeling weak if they ask for help.

q7

Now approximately 73% of the people who answered suffer from a form of anxiety, while not far behind is 65% of people suffering from depression. These are two of the most common forms of mental illness… Yet there are still so many people struggling to find help… This needs to change. Other answers I got that I didn’t mention in the answers were OCD, Major Depressive Disorder and Body Dysmorphia.

q8

And again, a saddening statistic, 98% of people know someone who is suffering from am Mental Illness right now.

As an employee of the NHS and a current sufferer of Mental Illnesses, I feel that we need far more funding to support the people who so desperately need help. Currently only 15% of the people who suffer from Mental Illnesses are getting the help they need. What about the others? The people who can’t speak up due to fear, judgement and prejudice.

The NHS needs more like-minded people to get their services running at the best of their abilities. Please, if you have the chance to jump at a job in the NHS and more specifically Mental Health… Please take it, we need all the help we can get in such an under budgeted sector.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

Living With BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a personality disorder, symptoms of this can be extreme emotional reactions that seem inappropriate, fear of abandonment, unstable relationships, impulsive behaviour patterns and self destructive behaviours. This affects approximately 1-2% of the population in the UK. 

I’ve been diagnosed with BPD for just over a year now, to start with I just assumed that my personality had changed because I was growing older. To a certain extent… it’s true – you do change over time. 

I’ve never been able to hold down a relationship with anyone. I still don’t understand how to commit to someone fully. The idea of commitment scares the living daylights out of me, I don’t understand why people want to make themselves so vulnerable by opening up to someone and trusting them with everything. I have still never been able to fully open up about everything to anyone – I’m so scared just incase that day does come around. 

I get stressed and angry very easily over the smallest things. If I can’t find a matching pair of socks I burst into tears, if I can’t go to the toilet because someone’s in it I get really angry and start pinching at my arms in frustration. If I can’t be in control of a situation I lose my mind. I’ve been called a control-freak many times before, I guess it’s true to a certain extent. When my BPD gets bad, it’s my way or no way and I’ll be the most stubborn bitch on this planet!

I feel like I’m incapable of loving someone, I lack empathy and thought in what I say or do. I prioritise things completely wrong. I’m sat here currently in almost £2000 worth of debt due to how impulsive I am with money. I have two debt collection companies on my back. Making my stress levels even higher, making me want to spend more money to cheer myself up. Meaning that I stay stuck in this rut.

I’ve got myself caught up in a stupid downward spiral, I never look to the future… I only live in the here and now which has had a negative impact on my life. 

I was sleeping around at the beginning of the year, I was taking drugs and was drinking constantly. I wondered why I felt shit back then. I wonder why!

I think the worst part of BPD though is thinking you won’t ever be loved. I feel so isolated and lonely at times, I can’t get out of bed to get food. I just sleep the days away. The thought of never meeting someone who will take the time out to support me through whatever shit my mind throws at me is hard to accept.

I don’t feel like I’m cut out to be loved by someone because the second I am cared for. I become scared, I get too worried about all of the negativity that it drives me away from things that could make me happy.

I am completely a free spirit and never want that to be compromised. I can’t be with someone who tells me what to do, where to go, what to wear, who I can spend my time with.

The only love I need right now is self love, it’s the only thing that keeps me going. 

If Kiwi can cope, so can you. 

🙂

It’s Okay

A few years ago I knew a girl who was the friendliest person on this earth. She could put a smile on my face and the faces of everyone she’d met. She didn’t have a single care in the world and she was a very happy go lucky person.

She would always help me think rationally about my problems and tell me that things would get better in time. I always wondered how she managed to keep so positive when most people who spoke to her would try to bring her down. I admired her so much.

I lost contact with her a while ago which is quite sad because I knew her inside out. She never had a bad word to say about anyone, she didn’t judge people negatively and always had positive things to say. 

She would hit a crisis and would know exactly how to deal with it, she would try to be the peace keeper through any disagreements people she knew had. 

That girl was me.

Times have changed and I’ve grown in weird ways, I can’t rationally think about my problems anymore – I always assume the worst. I don’t trust anyone as much as I used to. I still don’t know how I managed to be the one who kept everyone’s heads floating above the water when I was drowning trying to do that. 

It’s okay though.

We all change at somepoint, sometimes in ways we wish we hadn’t. But these changes always better us in the future.

It’s okay to be sad sometimes.

It’s okay to not know how to fix the world’s problems.

It’s okay to make mistakes.

It’s what you do after all of these that is the main thing.

It’s okay.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you. 

🙂