Feeling Lost? Ease the burden by Handling your Divorce and your Mental Health: by Brooke Chaplan

(image: online)

Events in 2020 put a great deal of pressure on relationships and many marriages didn’t survive. If yours is folding or has already collapsed, do your best to treat yourself and your former spouse as fairly as possible. Focus on the safety and security of all, and make sure to give children the most caring and logical structure possible.

Prioritise Safety First

If either adult in the relationship is abusive in any form, including physically, financially, sexually, or emotionally, the first step must be to get them out of the house. Even if they continue to choose that behaviour, getting them out of the space where your children live will reduce the risk of further damage. Additionally, counselling for all parties should be sought.

The abuser may resist therapy. Talk to a family law specialist about supervised visits if they refuse to seek counselling.

If you can create an abuse-free space as a couple, you have a chance of handling your divorce as fairly as possible. Divorces can be emotionally draining for everyone involved, so it is important to control the situation in order to prevent potential problems in the future.

Be Smart About the Money

Too often, angry people set out to financially sabotage their ex. Ultimately this serves nobody, especially if you have dependent children in the household. To get to a better place in your mind and heart about this, you and your spouse may need to sit down and put together a budget for two households.

If you can’t make the numbers work on paper, you may need to make a different choice. For example, perhaps you could move into separate rooms and continue to maintain one household for a time. This isn’t ideal, but it can make it possible to avoid conflict while you make financial adjustments. It can also prevent the spread of your family’s environmental impact. Of course, you should not agree to any ideas that you are not comfortable with. Reaching an agreement that you are satisfied with will help make it easier to move on emotionally.

Stay Friendly

It’s hard not to resent your spouse as you work through the divorce process. This unfriendliness can force your loved ones to take sides. If you need to vent with a friend or talk to a therapist, do so. Having someone to talk to during your divorce can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. However, forcing family and friends to take sides in your battle will probably not be healthy for any of you in the long run.

Divorce can be the toughest decision you’ll ever make. However, it can also be one of the best choices for you and your children. Be smart and do your best to keep your and your children’s best interests in mind.

This blog was written by Brooke Chaplan, freelance writer and regular contributor

How can Mental Health Workers Cope with the ‘New Normal’

(image: Unsplash)

Mental health workers have continued to take care of their patients even in the midst of the recent Covid-19 quarantines and lockdowns. However, there is no doubt that the pandemic has made their job a little more difficult; longer working hours, the threat of infection and redeployments have all placed enormous pressure on working conditions. In addition, due to the nature of their work, many mental health staff are worried about infecting their family members.   

How has Covid-19 affected mental health care?

If you are a mental health worker, you may be worried about how the pandemic will affect the way in which your patients can continue to receive high-quality care. For example, staffing levels may be reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions, sickness or self-isolation requirements. Meanwhile, community support is being cut back, which only makes failed discharges more likely.  

There may also be a fear that you or your patients may unintentionally transmit Covid-19 to other people despite taking every health precaution possible.      

What would you do if a patient exhibited signs of the disease?

Often, mental health patients are unable to understand their condition. Moreover, many healthcare facilities are not even providing the most basic protection (PPE) to staff.   

How can managers and supervisors promote their staff’s well-being?

  • By providing accurate and timely updates
  • By rotating staff so they alternate between very stressful and less stressful duties
  • By buddying-up new recruits with experienced staff 
  • By making sure that every team member takes regular breaks

Coping mechanisms

As a key worker, maintaining your emotional well-being is of paramount importance. According to this article, people working in the mental healthcare sector are often anxious about:

  • The safety of their patients
  • The possibility of infecting others or getting infected themselves
  • The financial impact of the pandemic

One survey has revealed that many nurses are suffering both mentally and physically. 

Stress is an everyday aspect of the job, even without the current Covid-19 crisis. The important thing is to effectively manage your stress as well as your psychosocial and physical status. 

Despite the heavy workload, stress and isolation from your family and loved ones, you need to remain resilient during the ‘new normal’. Days off are essential in order to recharge your batteries, so you should never feel guilty about taking them. Also, make sure you take your assigned work breaks. 

Furthermore, there are various coping techniques that can help. For example:

  • Always stay hydrated
  • Eat healthily
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Maintain social contact, even if it is virtual 

It is also a good idea to stick to tried-and-tested coping strategies, including:

  • Deep breathing
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Regular exercise
  • Being mindful
  • Talking to someone (a family member, co-worker or friend) 

However, it is important that you try to avoid these unhealthy coping practices:

  • Drinking
  • Taking recreational drugs
  • Smoking

Turn off social media

Social media can be a valuable tool for obtaining and sharing information. When it comes to your mental health, it is also a useful outlet for letting off steam. 

However, the negativity that often permeates social networks can also heighten your anxiety so you need to make sure you:

  • Mute any words or phrases that can trigger negative emotions
  • Unfollow or ‘snooze’ offending hashtags, users or groups
  • Set boundaries with regard to the time you spend on social media 

Rumours or speculation can often trigger anxiety. However, accessing accurate and up-to-date information about the virus is the best way of counteracting this problem.   

Conclusion

Although mental health nurses may not be considered to be frontline workers, they still face the same risks. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has made their job even more difficult due to staff shortages and the reduction in community support. There have also been issues with the supply of PPE. Bearing all these issues in mind, it is essential that staff take care of their physical and mental well-being. There are various coping strategies that can help, including getting enough food and sleep, maintaining regular social contact and exercising as often as possible.   

This article was written by a freelance writer.

Start up Founders 50% more likely to suffer from a Mental Health Condition by Daniel Tannenbaum

(image: John schnobrich- Unsplash)

A recent article in Forbes highlights that entrepreneurs and startup founders are 50% more likely to have a mental health condition than an average employee or member of the public. 

Running a startup is very stressful and there is a lot on the line, including your name, reputation and finances. The article highlighted that being an entrepreneur can lead to ‘self-doubt, imposter syndrome, loneliness and burnout.’

In a survey conducted, it showed that only 25% of startup CEOs have some kind of executive coach or therapist to help them overcome their daily anxieties and stresses – suggesting more support is needed to help those entrepreneurs manage the stress of running a high-risk venture.

Mental wellbeing is an important factor for any startup founder, Forbes continues. The levels of stress and anxiety can shape one’s creativity, productivity and ingenuity. Taking care and managing your stress will preserve your talent and innovation and help you to become the best leader possible.”

Daniel Tannenbaum, co-founder of startup news site TechRound and a partner at short term lender Pheabs, explains:

“Startup founders and entrepreneurs are often taking on a huge risk financially, with hopes that they can raise enough money, grow a large company or exit for huge sums.”

“In the short-term, this means taking a financial pay cut, working significantly more hours with the hope that their proposition becomes established and successful.”

“But the process can be incredibly stressful. For example, a lot of startups do not really make money until they exit or are bought out, so regardless of how many hours you work in the first few weeks, months or years, your financial position does not necessarily change. Bear in mind, that you might be missing crucial time with your family, loved ones or you are not fully present in the room because you ‘cannot switch off.’”

“Running a startup is a huge financial risk and there is always going to be someone better funded and getting more PR. So don’t sweat, just do it for enjoyment.”

“Meanwhile, it can be soul destroying to see other competitors in your space or people you know getting massive PR, large funding rounds or sales – and you can really start to doubt yourself and feel like you’ve hit a wall. It becomes a horrendous spiral of jealousy, anxiety and doubt, whilst you have been underpaid and overworked for too long.”

“More than 50% of startups fail, yet it doesn’t stop people creating them, and new businesses being created daily.”

“But I think before you get into a startup, it is important to manage your expectations and understand your vision.” explains Tannenbaum

“You might need to look at this like, ‘I am going to work hard for 3 to 4 years and then reassess if it does not work out.’”

“And also, you just have to do it for enjoyment,” he concludes. “After all, running a startup means that you are calling the shots, not having a boss and being able to hire who you want. So if you can enjoy the everyday part of running a business and a startup, that’s great, and if you happen to make a lot of money, well even better!” 

Daniel Tannenbaum is the co founder of start up news site Techround

The Link Between Debt & Mental Health

  • There is a correlation between debt problems and poor mental health
  • Over half of the UK adult population were in debt in 2020
  • In addition to mortgages, there is an increasing volume of people with personal debt including overdrafts, credit cards and loans

Debt Problem in the UK

It is no secret that the events of the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy hard. By the end of the 2020/2021 financial year, the public sector net debt was around £2,142 billion, equating to around £32,000 per person in the United Kingdom. 

When breaking this down at an individual level, research from money.co.uk revealed that 63% of the UK adult population (around 27 million) were in debt in 2020. 

According to data from December 2020, the average debt for UK males was £11,581; even higher than the average debt for women which was £7,016.

Around 9 million people across the UK reported personal debt anywhere between £2k – £10k whilst nearly a fifth of respondents revealed that their debt was in excess of £10K.

What Type of Debt Do Britons Have Most of?

Of this 27 million in debt, around 5 million owe more than £10k in credit and loans. According to the poll, the most common form of debt was credit card debt  – 38% of respondents reported that they had a balance payable.

The average credit card debt was just under £3k and men, on average, owed £300 more than women.

As well as credit card debt, a large proportion of the population have a mortgage debt, with the average UK mortgage debt of 2020 equating to £137,934. 

Causes of Personal Debt

When we think about debt, it is easy to think about excessive or extravagant spending. However 40% of those polled said that their personal debt was a result of normal living expenses. A further 19% and 18% claimed it was due to holidays and luxury items, respectively.

63% of 16-64 year olds living in the UK entered 2021 with a form of personal debt, excluding mortgages. These include bank overdrafts, credit cards and personal or payday loans.

Cause & Effect of Mental Health and Debt

There is a clear correlation between mental health and debt though what is less clear is the cause and the effect. Reports suggest that one in two adults with debts have a mental health problem. Additionally, one in four people with a mental health problem is also in debt.

It has been widely reported that people with mental health problems are also likely to be in financial trouble, for a range of reasons including cognitive issues, inability to work or lack of ability to track finances. The statistics suggest around one in five people with mental health problems are in problem debt. Similarly, people with mental health problems are over three times more likely to be in this kind of financial trouble than people without mental health problems.

Debt’s Negative Impact on Mental Health

However, what comes first? Those who find themselves in debt are more likely to suffer a negative impact on their mental health. According to a 2010 study by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, around half of UK adults in problem debt are also suffering from poor mental health. This label encompasses everything from diagnosed mental health disorders to cases of anxiety and low moods.

A wealth of research suggests that those in debt have higher rates of mental health problems than those who are free of debts. This includes anxiety, depression and even thoughts of suicide. Other common problems as a result of this are digestive problems, headaches, weight gain and disrupted sleep.

Where You Can Get Help

There are many resources available to help those struggling with their mental health as a result of financial problems. Shelter, the Debt Support Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau all offer a free advice service. National Debtline also offers free impartial advice to help get you out of debt, with the option of remaining anonymous.

Mind Charity can help people improve their mental health by offering specific practical tips on money management. Additionally, Step Change is a charity set up to help those in financial problems manage their finances and create a comprehensive debt management plan or individual voluntary arrangement.

The Benefits of Seeking Mental Health Support and Help.


(image: Pinterest)

When it comes to our mental health, it can feel like a good idea to keep our feelings in. However, talking about your thoughts and worries is extremely powerful. Seeking the right advice, whether it be from a friend or a professional, can help you achieve better mental wellbeing. For those who worry about speaking up about their issues, here are five reasons why you should. 

Find the best solution

Whatever you are dealing with, speaking to an expert or a friend may help you find the best solution. There is no use in being left in the dark and not working on it. The issue may never be resolved if you avoid talking about it. 

For instance, you may have been in a recent accident on the road and worry about who to talk to to get the help and compensation you need. It will be best to seek advice from your local car accident attorneys to ensure you can overcome the issue and find the best solution. 

Peace of mind

Those dealing with feelings of stress or anxiety can benefit from seeking the right advice to know that they are not alone. There are millions of people worldwide that deal with these emotions. Although you may feel alone, seeking advice will help you understand you are not and can be supported.

Speaking up to a friend or expert can give you peace of mind and continue with life with less weight on your shoulders.

 

Save you time

You may need advice for financial reasons or legal issues from an expert. Instead of trying to resolve the issue yourself, you can ask an expert to deal with the issue of concern for you. You will get the best result and save you time.

Life can be too short to waste time. Thus, always seek advice when you are spending too long trying to resolve an issue. 

Build up confidence

Seeking advice can also make you more confident to confide in friends or experts in the field in the future. If you are someone who often tries to deal with issues alone and feels stressed, or doesn’t find an ideal solution, then start asking for help. You will save time and reduce stress whilst building up the confidence to ask for help on a more regular basis.

Improve your wellbeing

Whatever you are asking for advice on, from finances to mental wellbeing, you will be able to improve yourself. You may feel happier or acquire knowledge that you did not know before. Thus, you can feel happier and better informed. 

Even if the advice you receive leaves you with one small tip, that one tip could help you resolve the issue if it is recurring. Or, you can offer advice to someone else and help them when they require assistance. 

The next time you question whether it is worth asking for advice, think back to these tips and reassure yourself.

Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (UK)

This article was written by a freelance writer .

Can You Still Get Health Insurance Cover if You Have a History of Mental Illness?

If you have had a mental health problem, you may find it challenging to get suitable health insurance cover. 

Reports show that 1 in 4 in England will experience some sort of mental health problem each year, while in 2017 mental health was also revealed as the most common cause of claim in the UK for income protection policies.

While mental health conditions may be slightly harder to pin down when compared to physical health conditions, health insurers are becoming more and more aware of the need for cover for those with mental illnesses.

However, for those with existing mental health issues, you may experience a few challenges along the way to finding a cover that’s best suited to your needs. Below is a list with some of the limitations you may face when applying for health insurance with a history of mental illness.

You May Struggle to Find Insurance That Covers Your Existing Health Conditions

While the reason you’re wanting to take out health insurance may be related to your mental illness, you may find that certain insurers won’t cover you for pre-existing medical conditions – these pre-existing medical conditions also including the problems you experience with your mental health. 

Either this or they may also put restrictions in place regarding the times they’ll cover your mental health problems and the times they will not. 

You May be Assessed as “High-Risk” 

If you have a pre-existing mental illness, insurers may deem you to be a “high-risk” customer. This means that the insurance company believes that by insuring you they’ll be more likely to have to pay out for a claim.

When considered as a “high-risk” customer, the insurance company may refuse to cover you, or charge you a higher premium – either way adding to the hurdles of finding insurance cover when you have a history of mental illness. These issues can come up even if you have had issues with your mental illness in the past and are now recovered from them.

The Cost of Insurance Could Go up if Your Mental Illness Prevents You From Working

If your mental illness prevents you from working, you may not be able to get the chance to explain this in the insurance application process. Insurers may simply ask you if you are employed or unemployed, with the choice of “unemployed” sometimes increasing the cost of your premium. Rather than applying with an insurer directly, you may benefit from using a price comparison site or use an insurance broker to help you get a number of viable cover options, the best pricing and value for money.

Things to Consider When Applying for Health Insurance With a History of Mental Illness

Getting health insurance that best meets your needs when having a history of mental illness can be tricky. Once size will simply not fit all for those with such a history. Therefore, it’s important to have a checklist of things to consider when exploring your cover options, only giving time to those who meet your criteria. 

Below is a list of some of the top things to consider when applying for health insurance with a history of mental illness:

  • Will any personal medications you take for your mental illness be covered in the plan? 
  • Does the policy include therapy sessions, and if so what is the cost limit for sessions?
  • Will the policy offer guided online therapy and self-help services to help me manage my mental health? 
  • Do I get in-patient mental health treatment included in my policy? 

Before reaching out to insurers, it’s best to draw up a list like this to pinpoint exactly what you need from a health insurance plan, as this will help to filter your search when finding cover that’s the most appropriate for you and your healthcare needs.  

We are a Top 10 UK Mental Health Blog 2021- Thanks Vuelio!

It is such an honour to be included as a Top 10 UK Mental Health Blog by Vuelio for the 4th year running! Vuelio is a social media company that compiles lists yearly based on data .

It feels truly wonderful for our blog to be recognised at No 7 and also to see my friends Anneli Roberts and Cara Lisette on their too with their blogs!

Well done everyone.

Thank you Holly and all at Vuelio!

What is the Connection between Mental Health and Addiction by Jennifer at Mandala Healing.

(image: Unsplash)


Everyone has their own mental health. But people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or any other substance abuse are more prone to develop mental illness. While on the other hand, individuals who have mental illnesses are also more prone to developing drug, alcohol, or substance addiction. 

People struggling with addiction and mental health problems have complained about the co-occurring disorder. However, it can be tough to identify which one is the primary. A mental health diagnosis, such as clinical depression, can undoubtedly worsen an individual’s problems with addiction. Similarly, a person experiencing addiction may find that their mental health declines as their use grows. 

If these conditions are left untreated, then co-occurring disorders can lead to a nasty cycle of repeated addiction and worsens mental health symptoms. To overcome addiction and mental health issues, professional care is necessary at a rehab center like Florida Addiction Treatment

But before that, it is vital to understand the relationship between addiction and mental health when looking for help for yourself or a loved one. Because both addiction and mental health diagnoses are chronic medical conditions, they can be treated and managed with the right and approachable treatment while they cannot be cured. 

Understanding the Link Between Mental Health and Addiction:

You might wonder if mental illness can cause addiction or if addiction creates the perfect storm leading to mental health problems. However, in most cases, it is rarely clear which one manifested first. 

Addiction to drugs and alcohol or any other substance can occur due to people self medicating if they suffer from any mental health disorder. Self-medicating with addiction in times of crisis may provide temporary relief at first. But it may help you feel more comfortable connecting with your peers or boost your confidence. However, this is part of the danger of the link between mental health and addiction. 

Continued use is hazardous and develops the risk of addiction. What you look at as a remedy to your problem can quickly put you on a brutal cycle of misuse and abuse. 

Long-term use of addiction often produces side-effects such as anxiety and depression. Taking addictive substances alters your brain chemistry, and extended use of it only increases your chances of developing mental illness. 

People coping with these specific mental health conditions are more likely to get addicted to drugs or alcohol (but not in every case)-

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


Potential Causes of Co-Occurring Disorders:

Addiction and mental health issues can occur because of many factors; however, some potential causes may involve genetics, age, and environmental factors. 

  • Genetics or family history-

Genetics can play a critical part in the evolution of both addiction disorder and mental condition. It has been studied that genes contribute to many health issues.

As genes are passed down from generation to generation, the family history of a disorder is also a strong indicator. Autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depression are all examples of conditions that can be spread through your genes. 

  • Environmental factors-

However, you don’t have to have the genes for a particular disease, which does not mean that you will develop the condition. The environment plays a key role in how their genes are expressed. 

High-stress environments, trauma, physical or sexual abuse can also contribute towards a co-occurring disorder. Looking at your friends and family engage in dangerous behavior like addiction can also play a key factor. People likely to follow the examples of those they are close with. When your close ones behave poorly, you may be more likely to as well. 

  • Age-

Exposure to certain things during teen years can also be an element. Being offered drugs or alcohol at an early age can also contribute to addiction and possibly mental illness. Since at an early age, the brain is still in the developing stage. Developing a mental health illness at an early age may also make you more susceptible to addiction. 

Treatment for Mental Illness and Addiction: 

The best treatment for both disorders is an integrated approach, where both the substance abuse problem and the mental illness are treated together. Whether your mental health or addiction problem came first, long-term recovery depends on getting treatment for both the disorders by the same treatment provider. 

Treatment for mental health may include medication, individual or group counselling, self-care measures, lifestyle change, and peer support.

Addiction treatment may include detoxification, managing withdrawal symptoms, behavioral therapy, and support groups to help maintain sobriety. 

How to Reach for Help and Not Be Ashamed.



It’s unfortunate that even in 2021, there is still a stigma around admitting you need help. There’s a lot of lip service paid to the fact that mental health is important and should be destigmatised in society, but some people react by being a little detached when someone goes through an episode.

That said, there are some norms we can all benefit from discussing and hopefully setting as standard. For one, admitting for help, or simply asking for it, should not be considered something you do when you’re at rock bottom only. It should be a question we can all ask, or an admission we can all make, without feeling like less of a person for it.

Of course, it’s not always easy to do this, because it means giving up the ghost and becoming more honest with yourself, which can sometimes be a painful and quite dizzying process. What does this mean in practice? Let’s discuss that, below:

Consider The Scope Of The Issue

It’s good to consider the scope of the problems you face and to define them. Sometimes, you may need psychologists to help you untangle that issue. However, sometimes it’s best to consider what issues are having the most effect on your life. This might involve a bad habit, or toxic relationships, or just feeling unwell. When you can define the issue, you can begin to find a recovery path or a necessary step forward.

Speak To Someone You Trust

Speaking to someone you trust can be the most effective method of measuring yourself, and of feeling that support when you need it. Sometimes, you might want this person to come with you to seek professional help, or perhaps you just need to get something off your chest. No matter if it’s a family member, a friend, a boss, or even an impartial volunteer listening at the other side of an appropriate charity phone line, being able to articulate the problem in itself can be very freeing.

Find Professional Help

It’s all very well and good to use positive thinking and to recognise that you may need some assistance, but unless you take that step, it’s hard to make progress. From considering talking therapy to speaking to a Doctor, or simply letting your boss know that you’ve been struggling and you may need some extra support at this time, finding the help you need is as important as admitting you need it.

Don’t be afraid to contact a number of professionals to see if they’re suitably assisted to help you. This gives you the highest chance of recovery and to be aided in our struggles, which is something we all deserve from time to time.

With this advice, we hope you can feel more empowered to say you need help when you really do need it.

This article was written by a freelance writer.



Helplines:
Samaritans Uk 116 123

April News: Moving to our First Home and Mental Health.

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(image: Unsplash)

And so we are coming to the end of another month. This month has been amazing but also so busy. I can’t wait until Rob and I get to go away on holiday somewhere in the UK- we need to book somewhere (hopefully with my Body Shop commission!). My friend suggested Cornwall but who knows! Just somewhere nice to relax, maybe the Cotswolds, Broadstairs, Devon…love the beach and having lazy days in the sun.

Something really exciting has been happening- we exchanged on our first home (!) last week and we will be completing and moving very soon! Everything is really hectic and I need to find time to declutter, sell or gift my excess of books and throw away/give to charity extra items. I have lived at my Mums for the past 8 years and I have a lot of stuff here! We are moving to a flat so I have many things I can’t bring.

Thats the great thing too about my work, is that it is flexible and I can take time out when needed to move and sort everything out and my team are so understanding. But thanks to my amazing customers, its also busy. Sometimes I feel I should escape to a spa and last night I did a home spa with my favourite Coconut products. Ahh bliss, I felt like I was in Barbados!

I find that this type of self care really improves my mental health and relaxation, trying to get enough sleep..

Moving is said to be one of the most stressful life events and I think we will do it gradually. Our families have been storing things for us in Buckinghamshire, Essex and here in North London, so we need to go and collect it all!

I have found that my anxiety is still a bit high at times, but that I am getting there slowly. Its about making sure I don’t overdo it and I reach for support or a therapy session when its needed. Rob is great at supporting me with things too.

(image: Unsplash)

Once we have moved in, I will write another update! Until then I am going to try and stay sane and not drown under a mountain of boxes! All so exciting and I cant wait to unpack our engagement and wedding gifts and use them after nearly 2 years!

Love,

Eleanor

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