How To Be A Good Friend To Someone Suffering With Mental Illness

 

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As someone who has suffered with Depression, Anxiety and OCD, I feel like I can safely say this has led to some detachment, from my friends over the years. Especially when things were really tough for me. Getting ready to go out whilst suffering with depression, and feeling as if I had no energy for the smallest of things. Pair that with the added struggle of it taking me hours to get ready due to my OCD, it was just all too much. Too much to do the normal things and also too much to do the fun things, for example go out with friends like a normal teenager/ young adult would have. So what did I do? I just stopped. I stopped saying yes to things and I detached myself from people. Unfortunately at the age I was I felt not many people understood what I was going through, but that feeling is something everyone going through a hard time can experience at any age.

Can I really blame people for giving up on me when I’d said no to going out again and AGAIN. I understand how frustrating it must feel to constantly be trying with someone who doesn’t seem to want to do anything especially if they don’t explain and you don’t understand. At the same time that person needs someone more than ever even if they push you away and only want you from a far. So I thought I would try to write a list of a few things, that I think are good ideas to help you feel as if you are being a good friend to someone you may know is struggling.  You can feel so useless when its a matter of the mind, no plaster, tablet or trip to the doctors is going to fix it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be done to make that person feel loved and supported, it’s just a little trickier. This can also relate to family and partners to.

 ♥ Talk to them. Let them know that you are always there to talk to and you’re not just saying it. Check in on them if you’ve not heard from them or they’ve gone quiet and you know they’re going through some stuff. This will let them know that there not a burden and you really do care and want to listen. It sounds obvious but sometimes they won’t come to you, from fear that you won’t understand or you’ll be dragged down with their problems.

♥  Invite them places but don’t be too pushy. Don’t just give up on them after they’ve said no. Try to understand where they’re coming from, and even ask whats making them not want to go out. Ask if there is anything that they would be comfortable doing if it’s not the thing you’ve suggested. I know it may feel pointless but still inviting them out even if you are expecting a no shows you’re still here when they’re ready. Perhaps they don’t want to go to that party or group event but would prefer a smaller social setting with just you and them. Keep trying but give them space too, find the balance of caring but not making them feel forced.

 ♥  So they don’t want to go out? Suggest a cosy night in, in your favourite comfies with films, face masks and comfort food. That kind of evening doesn’t require much energy or preparation and is the perfect time for you both to vent to each other and have a laugh.

♥  Confide in them about your own personal struggles if you have any that relate. Just hearing someone around you has had similar struggles, thoughts and feelings can be such a comfort when you feel alone.

♥  Talk to them about getting help if they aren’t. If you think your friend is suffering with a mental health problem, and they’re not talking to anyone about it or receiving help, you should encourage them to. If you also think that person is in danger of hurting themselves or isn’t able to see they need it desperately, it’s best to confide in someone close to them like a parent or teacher.

♥  Let them know you’re thinking of them by popping round their house spontaneously, you could even take some flowers as a little pick me up. A lovely thing I recently came across is something called a buddy box, you can send them to someone who’s going through a rough time or even buy them for yourself. There full of little cute and comforting things, which they call a hug in a box. You can find out more about that here (https://www.blurtitout.org/). Sometimes when your feeling low and happiness seems a distant memory a little thing like that can mean so much. Even if it’s just for a moment, they will feel so grateful and happy to have you in their life.

♥  Send them a positive quote, I love a good quote and they’re everywhere on the internet. It sounds cheesy I know, but I could really relate to some of them when I was struggling. It can help you see things in a positive light for a change and give someone a different way of thinking about their situation.

At the end of the day you aren’t that persons carer and they don’t expect you to dedicate all your time and self to making them better. Only they can do that. I think some of these are a lovely way to make a gesture to show your there for them in that time of need.

 Keep smiling,

Anna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If OCD Was A Person

If OCD Was A Person Blog Post

I have been struggling with my OCD recently, which means I have been talking to people around me about it and explaining how I feel a lot. Which is a positive thing to do, bottling up your feelings won’t do you any good. Sometimes however people don’t understand how something mental inside your head, can cause someone so much distress and control them so much. It was then I decided to explain what OCD would be like as a person. This gave me the idea for today’s blog post. I thought it might help people who don’t understand the mental struggles  we go through, or can’t quite see why we can’t just ignore it. Maybe putting it into a human form of what OCD is like to us, inside our heads will help them picture it. Of course OCD isn’t another being. It is apart of our brains but it can really feel like there’s an evil being in our heads controlling us. OCD can be so dark it can feel as if it couldn’t possibly be apart of your own brain. Which is why thinking of it as a being who is causing you to suffer, can help you and others see it for what it is. A bully.

OCD makes people believe they are in constant danger, and need to perform mental or physical compulsions, if they don’t something awful will happen. E.g ‘if I don’t do such and such, someone I love will die’. Eventually someones whole day can be filled with unwanted compulsions, because the thoughts that something will happen are so strong. It can also twist someones thoughts and emotions so much so, that they don’t even know who they are anymore. If they stop questioning the thoughts how will they ever know if they mean something about their core self, or if they are real thoughts they enjoy. E.g A gory image pops into their head, it terrifies them and makes them question what if I could do that said image to someone’. This fills them with such distress, they won’t stop analysing and running over the thoughts in their head for hours a day. They believe these thoughts that most people don’t even notice, mean there a murder or psychopath. They live in fear of themselves when they have always been a good person.

So what would OCD be like if it was a human….

Picture a tall, dark person, the kind of person or being that would intimidate even the strongest and bravest of people. At the start of meeting them it would almost be as if they are there to keep you safe, ‘If you do what I say, nothing bad will happen’. Why wouldn’t you listen to them when they tell you it’s for yours and everyone elses benefit, there, there to help you see danger. They are also really good at convincing you, that YOU are the bad person here, not them. You NEED them. They are so good at twisting things, and making you believe you truly are an awful human being or that you never really knew who you were without them.

After a while, you realise your being controlled and manipulated, the person is just trying to break you down and control your every being, it started out small and now you can’t do anything without them interfering. They are stripping you of your life, you’re their prisoner. They are so good at manipulating you and torturing you with vivid scenarios of what will happen if you don’t do what they say or if they leave your life, its impossible not to listen. Picture the evil kind of person who feeds of people’s distress and lives for the control they have over someone. When you try to go against them and leave, the manipulating gets worse, they are so good at guilt tripping you and the fear they make you feel is so strong. They have the power to make you feel so hopeless, worthless, alone, controlled, scared and depressed.

That’s OCD.

Happy New Year to you all,

Anna

 

 

 

 

Feel Good Friday: You’re Exactly Where You’re Mean’t To Be

I want to start this blog post by apologizing for not writing a Feel Good Friday blog post for a while now. My OCD has been getting in the way of my blogging but I am back, not that anyone probably noticed there had been a shortage of blog posts (haha).

Today’s blog post is going to be about something I read on Tumblr a while ago, that really made me think. You know when you’re stuck in traffic, behind a slow car, in a que, late for something, missed your bus these are just examples of annoying and frustrating things that happen from day-to-day, the list could go on. I am here to tell you why these frustrating things are ok and why they could end up being positive, because you were exactly where you were supposed to be at that moment in time.

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Here is the eye-opening quote I found on Tumblr..

The head of a company survived 9/11 because
His son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was
His turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her
Alarm clock didn’t go off in time.

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike
Because of an auto accident.

One of them
Missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take
Time to change.

One’s
Car wouldn’t start.

One couldn’t
Get a taxi.

The one that struck me was the man
Who put on a new pair of shoes that morning,
Took the various means to get to work but before.
He got there, he developed a blister on his foot.
He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.
That is why he is alive today..

Now when I am
Stuck in traffic,
Miss an elevator,
Turn back to answer a ringing telephone…
All the little things that annoy me,
I think to myself,

This is exactly where
I’m meant to be
At this very moment.

Try to remember this when little things happen and you can feel that frustration bubbling up inside you and let it go.

Happy Friday beautiful people,

Anna

Feel Good Friday: Rekindle Your Love For A Hobby

I expect we have all had hobbies and things we enjoyed doing in the past but have just grown up and forgotten about our love for them. For me its drawing. Last week I decided randomly that I wanted to draw a picture, when I was younger I used to love drawing and art was my favourite subject ever. I drew a picture and was quite pleased, it wasn’t perfect but I realised how much I loved drawing and how I’ve missed it and not even realised. I love getting creative, feeling like I’m going to give up on the drawing then carrying on and being pleased with the result! I think drawing is really therapeutic and its something I can do without using a laptop or phone (we all know we spend too much time on them). Even if it’s just a phase I think rekindling your love with a hobby you used to love is good, you never know it could be the start of something great and something you want to carry on doing!

Do something that you used to love doing that doesn’t involved technology whether it be drawing like me, painting, building something out of clay, building something in general, writing a story, bike riding, running, swimming, photography whatever it is, use your talent and passion. I think amongst are jobs and daily life we forget we are quite talented and had hobbies when we were younger,  it’s not like at school where there were so many subjects and things we were doing daily to realise what are talents are.Doing something you enjoy, that you can feel proud of and like you have achieved something. makes us feel good about ourselves! It’s nice to remember we aren’t just our jobs, our social lives and social media pages, we are talented individuals and we don’t use are talents enough. So here are the pictures I have drawn whilst rekindling my love for it, there not perfect and I am not an artist but considering how long its been since I’ve drawn a thing, I’m pretty pleased and I enjoyed doing it!

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Happy Friday beautiful readers,

Anna