Living with a Mental Illness – Q&A

I have been thinking about how to approach the subject of my mental illness on my blog for a while now and I’ve seen a few mental health tags doing the round online so I decided to combine a few of them to bring you this Mental Health Q&A

What Mental Illness do you suffer from?
I have been diagnosed with Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder, which means that without treatment my moods cycle rapidly – sometimes several times a day from Mania (elation) to Depression.

When were you diagnosed?
I was first diagnosed at 25 years old in July of 2007 so this year will be my 11th year managing my Bipolar.

How were you diagnosed?
It was a long process for me. I was misdiagnosed with depression for four years and then I happened to have a doctors appointment at a time when I was manic and the doctor referred me to a psychiatrist the very next day who referred me to the Early Intervention Service – who diagnosed me as Bipolar. So I had to see one doctor, one mental health team, and two psychiatrists before I got my diagnosis.

Were you given any Medication?
Yes but again finding the right medication was a long process for me as I had a lot of issue with side effects but eventually I was prescribed a mood stabilizer for my mania and an anti-depressant for my depression. I have been on this combination for 10 years now and have no side effects and my mania is fully controlled – it is so important to take your medication correctly as prescribed.

Were you given any other treatment?
I’ve had CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and talking therapies, which in the beginning really helped me to get a handle on my condition by making sure I recognize the signs that I’m becoming ill, I no longer have or need these treatments.

Do your friends and family know about your condition?
Most definitely. Right from the beginning, I wanted to be open about my condition, I believe that talking about mental illness informs people and breaks down any stigma attached. I also let my boyfriend know when we first got together as I believe he had a right to know before we became serious.

What impact did your diagnosis have on your life?
Before I was diagnosed I was working a good job that I enjoyed but unfortunately, my behavior was erratic and I was unable to carry out my job, as such I lost that job. I had to be on benefits for the next three years as I was unable to work which really broke my spirit and I was embarrassed by the fact that I couldn’t hold a job down.

Does your mental illness still impact your life?
Of course, but only minimally so. I am aware that I have to be kinder to myself. I’m aware that maybe I am not able to take on as much as someone without my diagnosis could. I have to make sure I give myself down time and don’t get too stressed as stress can still trigger my depression. I run my own business now and that is something I never thought I’d be able to do.

What advice would you give to someone else suffering from your condition?
If you’ve been prescribed medication – take it!! It may make you feel bad in the beginning but persevere it will be worth it. Don’t self-medicate with drugs and alcohol – I don’t really drink alcohol except for a glass of Prosecco at celebrations because I know it can impact my mood.
Be open about how you are feeling, if you’re depressed don’t hide it, tell someone so they can try to help you.

Main Misconceptions you have heard about your condition?
That we are all like TV characters with Bipolar. The media tend to only portray extreme cases of bipolar because it makes good television – we are not all homicidal maniacs and we are definitely not Psycho!
I hope this has given a little insight into what it’s like living with a mental illness.
Did I answer all the questions you may have about Bipolar? If not, leave a question below and I’ll answer it in a future post.
The Secret Girly Girl
xxxxx

Advertisements

Book Review – The Venetian by Shani Struthers

I first heard of British based Author Shani Struthers when I read ‘The Haunting of Highdown Hall’ the first book in her Psychic Surveys series and really enjoyed it.

I automatically downloaded other books in the series but came upon ‘The Venetian’ when looking for books in my Kindle unlimited subscription.

the ventianAs the title would suggest, this book is set in Venice.

The book starts by introducing us to Rob & Louise, a married couple visiting Venice for a romantic weekend away.

While exploring the city one night they go for a meal, only to meet another couple.

The couple offers to take them over to Poveglia a small island off of Venice said to have a haunting history of plague victims and an Asylum for the Mentally ill, but does this mysterious couple have an ulterior motive?

The book then takes you back in time to 1938 to Charlotte, an English woman who has moved to Venice to be at the side of her husband Doctor Enrico.

When Enrico is offered a work placement working with his Uncle at the Mental Asylum on Poveglia, the couple moves to the island to take care of the patients and start married life together.

Soon Charlotte begins to suspect that the treatments being carried out on their patients may be more sinister than she first thought.

The book flips between the years but soon their fates collide with malevolent repercussions.

This book had me on the edge of my seat throughout I couldn’t put it down.

While reading the book I did a little research and found that Poveglia does in fact exist and that it was a place of quarantine to plague victims in 1805 and that in 1922 an Asylum for the mentally ill was opened on the island but the asylum shut it’s doors in 1968 (although the Asylum still remains standing).

The fact that this book is so richly woven in fact just made it all the more spooky.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great ghost story!

I gave this book 5/5 – It was fantastic!

What books are you currently reading? Let me know!

The Secret Girly Girl

xxx

A Long weekend away.

Hi Guys,

Last weekend my Boyfriend and I went to London for the weekend. Partly, for pleasure but mostly for Business. We were attending London Edge on Sunday so we figured we would make the most of it.

London Edge is a trade Fair for Alternative, Gothic & Vintage fashion. It’s a chance for us to see new product releases from our existing suppliers and also to discover new brands.

We traveled down to London on Friday and stayed at the Holiday Inn at Regents Park. We were upgraded to an Executive room for free, which was nice.

I don’t know if I have mentioned it before but at home we don’t have a bath we just have a shower/wet room, so when we go away I always make the most of having a room with a bath. Before we left for London I made sure that I had stocked up on Lush Bath products and the first thing I did when we got to the hotel was run a bath.

Friday evening my Boyfriend had made plans for us for date night but didn’t tell me what they were until we got to the venue.

chris & i smiling

Every time we go to London we always try to catch a burlesque show or go to theatre and he had booked us tickets for a Burleque/variety show. It was hosted in the Rah Rah Rooms which is a Drag/Cabaret venue. There was a Burlesque troupe called the ‘It Girls’ that performed with the fantastic singer/burlesque performer Tempest Rose.

it girls blk 1

tempest sing 2

The variety show also had a comedian, a magician, a contortionist, a fire eater and an acrobatic performance on silks. It was such a fun show and we had fantastic seats, the cocktails were good too!

fire2

After the show we went to the ‘Angus Steakhouse’ for dinner. Unfortunately the meal wasn’t great. My steak was undercooked, the mash potato tasted awful and while we were there the waiters somehow managed to drop two lots of orders on the floor. The service was really slow too and they gave us the wrong bill at the end of it all.

Saturday was a nice relaxing day, we went for dinner at ‘Steak & Lobster” on Warren Street and had the most delicious steak & Ale pie – it was so good.

We then went to the ‘Grant Museum of Zoology’ at UCL. It was so interesting. They had lots of jars full of animal species and cabinets full of skeletons. They had an elephant skull that was huge, and a bell jar containing an Elephants heart that was bigger than a beach ball.

elephant

ellie heart

Cat SkeletonCow faceskulls

If you are looking for something interesting to do in London then I recommend coming for a look around, it’s free admission but you can give donations. You an also sponsor the exhibits.

After the Museum, I went to Space.NK to pick up some of the Oskia Renaissance cleansing gel and I really wanted to pick up the Becca Champagne pop but they were sold out so I purchased the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is shade Euphoric, which is a really nice highlighter.

We then went back to the hotel to relax for a little while and I had another bath (with more Lush Goodies). We went out for dinner to Fat Lorenzo’s Kitchen & Bar for a nice Italian Meal.

Sunday was super busy. We went for Breakfast at the Riding House Café on Great Titchfield Street. The food here is amazing and I highly recommend the French toast with a side of Bacon. I would say it’s best to book in advance as it does get really busy (we were unable to get in at all on Saturday morning).

After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and headed to the Olympia for the London Edge show. It was nice to chat to our suppliers face to face and we placed a few orders with new suppliers, which was exciting.

After London Edge we stopped off at the Ace Café, which is a biker café. My other half has always wanted to visit, as it is well known in the biker community (my other half rides a Harley). The ace café do the best toast by the way, it was so good.

When we left the café we drove up to Birmingham for the Spring Fair (another trade show) at the NEC. We spent Monday and Tuesday at the spring fair placing orders and finding new brands. It was very tiring but lots of fun. Come Tuesday afternoon, I was so happy to be heading home. We had lots of fun in London and Birmingham so I wanted to share it with you.

I hope you enjoyed it.

The Secret Girly Girl

xxxxx

June 2015 Books – Review

Hi Guys,

This is going to be a short one as I only managed to read four books in June.

I know I normally read horror or crime books but this month I felt like reading something different for a change so ended up reading three autobiographies and a romance anthology so here they are…

51a2ivxIBQL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Title: Fools Rush in

Author: Various

Format: Kindle

Pages: 236

Genre: Chic Lit

I have signed up for a service called BookBub (www.bookbub.com) and basically they send you daily notifications about free or cheap ebooks that are available on Amazon & ibooks. I’ve come across some really great books using this service unfortunately this book wasn’t one of them. I opted for this book because I wanted something that was lighthearted and an easy read. It was free on Kindle and so I down loaded it and now I know why it was free. It was awful. It is an anthology of romantic short stories all based around the theme of April Fools. I would say at least 90% of the stories were utter crap. They were badly written and you could easily predict the outcome. I would definitely say avoid this book – 2/5

coreytayloryouremakingmehateyoubook

Title: You’re making me hate you

Author: Corey Taylor

Format: Kindle

Pages: 244

Genre: Autobiographical

Written by the lead singer of metal band Slipknot this book is heavily laced with sarcasm and just a pinch of vitriol. Corey shares with the reader all the things about people and society that piss him off (Pretty much everything) and he doesn’t hold back! This book will have you nodding your head in agreement and laughing out loud in equal measure. This is a book that everyone can relate to – not to be missed! 5/5

bunny-tales-izabella-st-james

Title: Bunny Tales – Behind closed doors at the playboy mansion

Author: Izabella St. James

Format: Kindle

Pages: 250

Genre: Autobiographical

I used to love watching ‘The girls next door’ a reality TV show based around the three live-in girlfriends of Hugh Hefner. I knew Holly Madison had a book coming out but it wasn’t released yet so I decided to download this book which pre-dates ‘The girls next door’ era. Izabella does not come across well in this book. She explains how she threw away a great career as a lawyer to become a girlfriend of Hefner.

She paints herself as a money hungry gold digger. A spoilt brat who was after all she could get from Hef. She also seems extremely bitter about the success of Holly, Bridget & Kendra and their TV series. I’m sure she wanted to come across as an intelligent, independent young woman but unfortunately she fails. It wasn’t a bad read but St. James did not do her self any favours writing this book. 3/5

26CE6F7C00000578-0-image-a-25_1426875872862

Title: Down the Rabbit hole

Author: Holly Madison

Format: Kindle

Pages: 332

Genre: Autobiographical

I bought this on the day of release and couldn’t put it down. Unlike Izabella’s book, this is well written and Holly comes across as Intelligent, sincere and honest (although maybe a little easily lead). Holly discusses life behind the gates of the most famous mansion in LA. What really happened in Hugh Hefner’s bedroom is also laid out in great detail. She is candid about her life as Hugh’s No.1 girlfriend and is outspoken about the verbal abuse that she suffered at the hands of the worlds biggest playboy.

She doesn’t come across as a gold digger and she doesn’t moan about how she wasn’t bought this or that (I’m looking at you Miss St. James). She also talks about life after playboy and her relationships with the other two girlfriends. I really enjoyed this book; it was full of lots of juicy details – 5/5

So those were the four books that I read in June. Have you read any of these books? What books did you read throughout June?

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl

xxxxx