Panic Attacks (late night thoughts)

My worst fears come out in the darkness, so I guess you can say I’m scared of it.

I used to not be able to sleep alone due to how bad and frequently I would have panic attacks (starting at age 8). I would wake up right before falling asleep in extreme panic and not being able to breathe. The only things that got me through ? My parents and my dog. After losing both my dogs, I was left thinking I would be alone and scared again during my panic attacks, but then another little pup (willow) came into my life . She is my little baby. Without her, the darkness would be a lot scarier. She sits on top of my chest when she sees me crying or breathing heavy and licks my face. She was not trained for any of this, it’s just her instinct to protect her loved one. She has became my savior. She turns my bad thoughts to good ones. My sorrow to happiness. And my tears into a smile.

Look at her squishy face ! Who wouldn’t smile at this?!

This is just a late night thought that I wanted to share as she just got me out of a panic attack a few minutes ago. She is my light at the end of the tunnel and I wouldn’t be able to take on this darkness without her.

My happy little baby
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Things That I am Grateful For Regarding Mental Health

I feel like I am one to always think about the negatives, and I need to start thinking about the positive things in life and celebrating the little victories. Does anyone else feel the same??

  1. I am grateful for my family- I am blessed to have a family that supports me through my lows and celebrates my wins.
  2. I am grateful for my friends- I have a few close friends that understand me and my struggles and I couldn’t be happier to have them in my life.
  3. I am grateful for my dog- She is a major reason why I get out of bed. She is the light of my life. I owe her everything.
  4. I am grateful for my jobs- Another thing that gets me out of bed is my job as a dog walker and an animal keeper on a farm. They make me happy to get out of bed and help me know that I am important.
  5. I am grateful for music- Music fills in the emptiness of a silent night and takes the overthinking away from a clattered brain. I owe my sanity to music.
  6. I am grateful for my bed- It gives me a place to feel comfortable and be myself when life seems too hard.
  7. I am grateful for my planner- It gives me organization and helps me be excited for the future.
  8. I am grateful for glasses and contacts- for allowing me to see the world in a whole new way.
  9. I am grateful for my car- for being able to take me to the doctors and aid in my goal for a happy mind.
  10. I am grateful to be on this earth- because I am important.

I hope we can all learn to appreciate the little things, because those become the big things.

 

Life Lessons from playing competitive soccer for 16 years

I played extremely competitive soccer since I was 3 and a half years old. Soccer was all I knew growing up. In High school, I played for a national premier team that was ranked number one in the country. Soccer was my life, so I have learned so many life lessons from it.

So what exactly can you learn from soccer that relates to mental health? Well, a lot.

I learned….

1. You can make it through the hardest of battles if you are willing to try.

During my years of playing soccer, I had to fight through tough opponents, bad refs, injuries, and playing time. After all of my hard work and dedication to the grind, I got committed to play soccer in college. I learned that even when the game gets tough, you need to push through to be able to win.

2. Sometimes you have to push through injury.

Injuries are common, especially for me. I had a total of 4 concussions, two torn meniscus, one knee surgery, fractured shoulder, multiple sprained ankles, and many cuts and bruises. But, if I wanted to reach my goals, I had to persevere through it all. I had to move on from the past injures, and work on bettering myself. So yes, sometimes you will need to push through.

3. But sometimes, its ok to take off a little to heal.

While I did push through most of my injuries, when I realized I needed surgery, I had to be ok with taking time off to come back ten times better. I took a 4 month break so I could heal my body and get ready to reach my dreams again. So yes, its ok to take time off.

4. You have to treat your body right.

During my years of soccer, I have always been able to push my body to the limits, and even surpass them sometimes. But, to be able to do this, I had to take care of my body as well. I had to eat right and be able to get a goodnights sleep. I had to make sure I was in the right mindset before every game, so I would listen to pump up music and read motivational quotes. So, do what you need to do to take care of your body. Self-care, eating right, and sleeping are always good places to start.

5. You need to believe in yourself, because sometimes, others won’t.

Last but not least, you have to ALWAYS believe in yourself and your abilities. You have to be able to count on yourself. This is a learned skill, but it can happen. You can do it if you just try. Trust me. Always believe you can, and you will be able to. Please believe you can!

green wooden chair on white surface
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Why I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution this year

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Many of us celebrated the New Years by making a resolution. And some of us stick through and through to them, and some of us fall short. When we fall short, we criticize ourselves too much. That doesn’t help us, it hurts us. So this year, I’m trying something new. I’m not going to make a resolution, I’m just going to take it day by day.

Why am I doing this? Well, its because you never know what life is going to throw your way. One day, life might be great, and the next, everything could get taken away. And if that happens, you need to make a new plan. So why make a resolution when you could take it day by day and celebrate the little successes.

When we make a goal for the year, we try to only think about that one goal, but what if you want to change it to something else and better? Or what if its just not attainable. We have to be ok with changing our goals due to life changing. It’s ok to make goals, but its not ok to make ourselves sick over them. We must work hard for them while keeping our health in mind.

I hope that if you make a resolution this year, you keep this in mind, and you love yourself no matter what. Remember to celebrate the little triumphs in life!

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Have you ever heard of SAD? Well it is very real and it is very dangerous to everyone, but especially for those who suffer with a mental illness.

SAD is a condition that is caused by not getting enough natural light exposure, typically the most severe in the winter months. It can cause an already depressed person to go into a worsened stage of depression. It is often seen to start in the fall months and continue and worsen into the winter months. It can also be seen in the summer and spring months, but it is way less common. Some common symptoms include depression, social withdrawal, fatigue, anxiety, and mood changes.

Here are some statistics surrounding SAD…

  1. Annually, about 5% of the United States population suffers from SAD
  2. 4 out of 5 of these people are women
  3. Typically, the further you are from the equator, the more at risk you are.

Causes…

During the fall and winter months, we see less sunlight which affects ones serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical in our body that impacts our mood. Someone who has lower levels of serotonin will be more at risk to having depression. Also, melatonin, which is produced more when being in the dark, causes people to be more tired and withdraw from things.

How one can be treated for SAD is…

Phototherapy – also known as bright light therapy is exactly that, therapy with bright lights used to stimulate the production of Serotonin and decrease the production of Melatonin. It has been seen to be successful in 85% of diagnosed cases of SAD.

We can prevent the onset of SAD by exercise, meditation, medication, going outside, and starting phototherapy before these winter months.

 

Citations:

“Seasonal Depression.” Mental Health America, 7 Oct. 2016, http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/sad?gclid=Cj0KCQiA37HhBRC8ARIsAPWoO0zj_f2gPp19-AKydmcdoRs1s8ISXjQiPJE-5tyD6GKVQOYjH-aOzEwaAhJPEALw_wcB.

adult black and white darkness face
Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

 

How to Get Your Life Back on Track

So regarding my last post on setbacks, how do we bounce back from this and get our life back to the way it once was?

Well, I bet we all have different ideas on what can get our life back on track, but I have a few helpful ideas that will hopefully benefit you!

When we feel as though our life is falling apart, the worst thing we can do is to sulk about it. I spent so much time wishing I had a different life and was on a different path, that I spent no time doing anything about it. I stayed in my same old ways not changing anything. I dare you to make a change in your life. Whether it be big or small, I dare you to make a change. For me, I switched my friend group and who I hang out with, and I felt the drastic change in my life for the better. It helped me recover and become who I am today. A strong and healthy minded individual who knows how to cope with Mental Illness. That doesn’t mean I don’t fall short sometimes, but it means I know how to cope when I do.

Have you ever felt a time when I you want to do is sleep? Because I sure have. But I dare you to do something small or big. Whether it be starting a blog from your bed and getting to talk to like minded people, or going grocery shopping. Just don’t completely isolate yourself from the world. That won’t help you at all, and all it will do is make you contemplate more about whats going wrong in life instead on focusing on the positives.

Believe in yourself as I believe in you. Because you won’t move forward if you don’t believe in the change that can happen. I know it’s hard, but just try. Try for yourself, because you owe yourself that much!

In the comments, let me know how you feel about getting your life back on track, and what you think you should do! I love to learn more, and sometimes, writing it down forces you to make it reality!!

Smoking and Mental Health

shallow focus photography of cannabis plant
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This is a big controversial issue right now, and I don’t want to get political or make people feel bad, I just want to discuss it and see everyones thoughts on my opinion!

So, Marijuana. Should it be legal for mental health purposes?? I believe that like any other drug, it may work for some people and not for others. And thats fine! And like every drug, it should be used for a purpose. I think if it is helping someone, then they should have the ability to use it, but with limits in regards to their physical health as well. I have personally not used it, so I would not be able to give feedback on whether it works or not. I’ve heard it works for some people, and gives other people worsened mental health symptoms. I will be conducting a few interviews on people I know about whether or not they think marijuana is a good drug for mental health if it were to be legal. (obviously there will be no names given).

There are two different kinds of marijuana, Indica and Sativa. I believe Indica makes you tired, and Sativa makes you more alert. Personally, I feel as though it might make me jittery and more anxious, but I guess it all depends on the person and their body.

Leave comments on what you think! I’m very curious to hear and always willing to learn!

Review of 2018 regarding Mental Health

So this has been a really long year and it’s been a year since I was at my lowest point in life. So what’s happened this year?

Well….

1. I started a mental health group on my college campus.

Yes ! I am proud to say I am the president and creator of a mental health group on my campus. The first of its kind at my college. I am so happy to have had this opportunity to open up my campus to the world of mental health. I will be writing a post about this soon!

2. Breakthroughs between mental health and physical health.

A lot of scientists are starting to take mental health seriously, and people are starting to do real research on it. This link will lead to a video about this topic.

3. Childhood mental health

We are starting to see that mental health is also a big thing in our younger populations then previous thought. We are starting to implement things for our younger generations to combat the progression of it.

This link leads to a video of someone’s explaining their research on early life mental health effecting us later on in life.

4. Brain imaging

We have had huge breakthroughs in getting to see how the brain communicates with different things in the body and how it impacts our mental health.

5. Telemedicine.

This is a huge breakthrough! With mental health growing to impact more people, this is huge. We can now help more people in more environments like at work or home. It gives people therapy without giving people triggering components that you would find at a hospital or doctors office. This is my favorite!! This can help people who have huge fears of offices and hospitals.

Comment below on any new breakthroughs that you’ve heard of !!

Pinterest Deleted My Mental Health Post

So I’m a little sad to say that Pinterest emailed me that they had taken down one of my posts about mental health. It makes me feel like I’m being silenced and that mental health should be pushed to the side. But I promise , I promise I will not give up in this fight against mental health and I will continue to advocate for people like myself who have been labeled and judged for too long. I won’t let my voice be silenced. I will push forward just like I have in the past . I am strong willed and do not give up easily. My whole like I have played soccer, and when things got hard, I conquered it and took on the challenge. I will do just that for this. I won’t give up until Mental Health is given its rightful place and people who suffer are treated better. I promise.

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