World Mental Health Day 2014

6:20am Saturday morning, all is peaceful then…




DS#2 “You three have woken me up” (quietly grumpy)

Welcome to the weekend in the Sheppard household…

How old do they have to be before they don’t want to get up and immediately wreak havoc at a ridiculous hour at the weekend? I’d still be awake anyway no doubt, after years of infant alarm calls, and in reality, the days when I could happily sleep to a much later ridiculous hour at the weekend are looooong gone. I’ll gladly settle for a natural wake-up, one of these days it’ll happen I’m sure.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day:

World Mental Health Day is the annual global celebration of mental health education, awareness and advocacy.

Mental Health Foundation


There were lots of discussions about mental health in the media. This year the focus was on schizophrenia, and I admit having a lack of knowledge about the condition myself. I was surprised to learn that schizophrenia affects around 1 in 100 people in the UK.

Schizophrenia is a diagnosis given to some people who have severely disrupted beliefs and experiences.

During an episode of schizophrenia, a person’s understanding and interpretation of the outside world is disrupted – they may:

    • lose touch with reality

    • see or hear things that are not there

    • hold irrational or unfounded beliefs

    • appear to act strangely because they are responding to these delusions and hallucinations.

An episode of schizophrenia can last for several weeks and can be very frightening. About one in 100 people will have one episode of schizophrenia, and two thirds of these will go on to have further episodes. Schizophrenia usually starts in the late teens or early 20s, but can also affect older people for the first time.

The causes are unknown but episodes of schizophrenia appear to be associated with changes in some brain chemicals. Stressful experiences and some recreational drugs can also trigger an episode in vulnerable people.

Mental Health Foundation

World Mental Health Day 2014

Jeff Brazier was filmed attempting to reproduce the symptoms of schizophrenia by wearing an mp3 player playing voices for 12 hours on This Morning. If you ignore the poor journalistic presenting skills and focus on Jeff’s experience and the Rethink representative’s eloquent explanations, it is a very helpful piece of media in raising awareness. Time to Change reported 1526 new pledges to end mental health stigma by the end of the day, which shows a fantastic response by people who want to encourage tolerance, compassion, and greater understanding. I pledged a while ago, why not make your own pledge now? Start a conversation about mental health, and you may make a massive difference to someone.

Onto Card Therapy and my own mental health. I haven’t been feeling too great lately, with the onset of October triggering SAD again, leaving me feeling exhausted and irritable. Despite repeated early nights, which don’t seem to make any difference, continuing my meditation, and trying to walk and get out into the sunlight, I have still felt my mental health deteriorate. I was disappointed when the response from my psychiatrist after trying to vocalise my feelings was ‘self-fulfilling prophecy‘. Of course, there is truth to the theory, and yes I may concede, that my own negative thoughts may indeed make me feel worse, but I will always maintain that the trigger is legitimate in itself and that I know and understand myself well enough to recognise a change in my ability to cope with daily stressors, which is my first clue that something isn’t quite right. Nobody would ever tell someone that thinks they’re coming down with ‘flu, that they will make it come true if they carry on thinking like that. They’d tell them to rest, take paracetamol and drink plenty of fluids. So I am being my own doctor and advising continuing my early nights (which is better than late nights!), taking vitamin D, doing the positivity exercise my CPN set me, and throwing myself into Card Therapy, which has really helped this week. In conjunction I have increased my medication, and will continue to fight my corner until things improve. Just hope the DH and DS #1 and #2 can put up with me until then!!!

I think this post is long enough as it is, thank you so much for reading, just by doing so you are increasing awareness and understanding of mental health issues. It is very much appreciated.

Darling Son #2 has train track issues so better go.

Back later to share a 30th birthday card.

Emma x

2 thoughts on “World Mental Health Day 2014

  1. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling too good lately. I find your psychiatrist’s attitude extremely unhelpful. You’re obviously aware of factors that have a negative impact on your mental health and surely knowing what your triggers are is a very good thing so you can be prepared (as far as that is possible). The changing seasons has an impact on me too so I understand what you are going through. It sounds like you are taking positive steps to stay in control though and I think your psychiatrist could learn a thing or two from you! Take care and stay strong.

  2. Thank you Rebecca, that’s very kind of you. I don’t mean to sound so negative about her, she just makes some unhelpful comments sometimes and is very medically minded as opposed to being more holistic in her treatment plans. I guess that’s a bit too much to expect!!! Thank you for taking the time to comment too, hugs to you x

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