Coming Home For The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat And Self Care by Eleanor

Happy new year everyone! Gosh its nearly the end of January and I havn’t written a blog for a while so thought I would share some things that have been happening here and talk a bit about mental health stuff too.

Firstly, my mental health is fairly stable at the moment, as has been the case for a number of years. I don’t get typical bipolar depressive or manic episodes on my medications and this year is my 9th year out of hospital , which is always a positive. However, I still suffer with anxiety and stress and get overwhelmed so have to pace myself! I have bad days too where things feel too much but thankfully they don’t escalate into a depression.

So for the positives- I have achieved some huge anxiety wins for me. Since November, I have been on the tube (first time in 3 years), I have gone up to the West End with Rob to the theatre using public transport, my panic attacks have been lessening, I have been able to see more people in person and I also passed my probation at work and have been made permanent (huge win!). I am someone who struggles with agarophobia when I feel more anxious and stressed and going out alone can still be a challenge.

I have been allowing myself to venture into previously anxiety provoking situations- for example, I get cabs alone home from work. I had to start doing this last year and it helped me get back into the world again. It wasn’t easy due to many fears I had but I have been able to do it, slowly. My job is also hybrid so I can work from home too- but getting back out into the world and having kind work colleagues at an office has been such a vital part of my recovery too. My therapist has been so helpful in dealing with the panic attacks and anxiety and I do still get triggered but at the moment on a lesser scale. I still find blood tests, hospitals and general health stuff scary because of what I have been through. I really recommend therapy.

I sometimes do have to cancel arrangements when things feel too much so am sorry to anyone I have had to postpone… its not easy and I hate doing it as I feel bad… but I am learning the balance of looking after me and socialising too. I don’t always get it right but I am trying.

Then, my friend in Bushey, Lee, texted me a few weeks back and asked if I would like to speak in my childhood community for the Jami (Jewish charity) Mental Health Awareness Shabbat. I hadn’t done public speaking about my story since before Covid in 2019, when I spoke with my Dad Mike at Limmud and at Chigwell shul (synagogue, my husbands community). I have had drama training so for me speaking publicly as someone else is OK, but when I have to stand up and share my own story, I get nervous as its so personal. The first time I was asked to speak in a shul at Belsize Square, I made it to the community but my Dad had to give the talk by himself as i was too panicked to attend the service. I managed in time to dip my toe in slowly, always with the support of my Dad and my therapist.

This talk in Bushey felt significant. It’s the Jewish community I grew up in and was a part of until I was 23. I felt like I was going home. The Bushey team told me they had two other speakers, but would I like to speak and share my story with bipolar disorder?

I thought to myself… I am ready, my panic attacks and social anxiety are more under control. To me being asked to come home to Bushey shul was a sign. My Grandpa Harry passed away in 2021 from Covid- and he and Grandma had lived in Bushey since the 1990s, when we were little. Our family lived in both Bushey and Bushey Heath and I studied at Immanuel College, across the road from our home and my grandparents. The area contains so many happy memories for me. I knew the new senior Rabbi and Rebbetzen, as he had officiated at my grandparents funerals and was so kind to our family. My Dad is also still a member of the shul and I still know a lot of people who live in the community too. Its a very special community and one I am proud to be from (and still feel.a small part of despite not being a local anymore).

So, I decided, with my Dad and Rob’s support on the day (and anxiety meds), that I could stand up in shul and speak with the other two speakers on the Shabbat (sabbath) morning. My Mum and step dad were supporting from afar and looking after our guineapigs.

The senior Rabbi and Rebbetzen hosted us for the Friday night which was wonderful as we got to meet lots of new couples and see the Ketts, the other Rabbi and Rebbetzen! For lunch after the service, we went to Lee’s house, which was very special as she was my batmitzvah teacher and is a good family friend.

I was initially told the talk was going to be in a break out room- but on the day it was decided that it would be from the pulpit. Last time I ventured to that pulpit and stood up there was when I was 12 years old, sharing my batmitzva portion of the Torah. The year my Dad was very ill and diagnosed with bipolar. I became ill just 3 years later.

Now, here I was back as a married woman of 34, revealing about the mental illness that had found its way into my family and caused a lot of devastation. However, the main reasons I wanted to stand up and talk about bipolar disorder are because I know that this illness runs in families, many Jewish families struggle with it. I wanted to give the message that you can live with this illness but you can have periods of remission, recovery, you can find hope.

And as I spoke to the audience of people – many of whom I had known since my childhood, who saw me grow up and saw my family eventually leave Bushey for Edgware, I felt humbled. I felt honoured to be asked to speak and I hoped that by sharing my own journey with bipolar (being diagnosed at 16, in hospital twice, the last time in 2014 for a very serious manic episode), that I could touch someone who needed to hear it. My Dad gave me permission to tell his story too.

When I grew up in. the early 2000s, talking about mental illness and particularly in Jewish spaces, was not the norm. I hope that through sharing my own journey and my Dads (he was undiagnosed for 9 years until he was 44), that I will have helped someone.

Most importantly, I felt I had come home. The kindness and warmth shown to me by the members of the Bushey community who I have known since I was a little girl was something so incredibly special and touching. People confided in me after the service about their own struggles. Others thanked me for sharing my story. I was hugely touched by the other two speakers who spoke after me about their own journeys with mental health and their children’s. I won’t name them here in case they want to be anonymous but I learnt so much from them and their experiences.

So I want to say a huge thank you to Lee, to the Rabbis and Rebbetzens and to everyone in Bushey who I have known for years and have loved- for hosting us, for inviting me to talk about something so personal in such a special community. It touched my heart. I really hope it helps.

I genuinely did not know how I stood up there to speak to 90 odd people- what kept me going is knowing I was doing this to help eradicate the stigma of mental illness but also I hope that the words I spoke gave comfort to anyone going through mental illness, that it does get better. It can improve. You won’t be ill forever.

When I was unwell in 2014, Jonny Benjamin MBE was speaking and sharing about mental illness. He taught me that sharing your story to help others is vital. So thanks Jonny for all your support too (whether you knew you gave me the courage or not :).

I also want to thank Jami charity, Laura Bahar and Rabbi Daniel Epstein. I was part of the volunteering team that helped set up the first mental health awareness shabbat. The project has blossomed and is now annual and it is truly wonderful to see.

What I want to clarify is that although I am currently a lot better with my anxiety, it is very much a grey area, day by day thing. That can be hard for people to understand- how one day you can be great with loads of energy and the next you have to stay home and recuperate- self care. But I think knowledge of mental health is increasing now, so do check in with your friends and family and offer a safe space without judgement- its so helpful.

Thank you again for reading this if you got this far. You can do whatever you put your mind too- reach for help from medical teams, medication, therapists and never give up.

With gratitude and love,

Eleanor

x

How To Cope With Everyday Challenges For Those Living With ADHD.

(image: Unsplash)

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be challenging in everyday situations. From difficulties staying focused and organised to managing emotions, those living with ADHD face unique struggles that can make life more difficult. However, there are effective strategies for coping with these challenges and leading a successful life despite them.

In this article, we will discuss six tips for managing the everyday effects of ADHD. With the right tools and techniques, anyone can learn how to manage their symptoms and live a fulfilling life.

1. Establish a Routine

For those of you who are Living With ADHD, you probably already know the importance of establishing routines. Having a regular schedule and structure can help to keep your day running smoothly, allowing you to stay on task and be productive.

Start small by developing simple routines that are easy to remember and stick to, such as setting a specific time for meals or getting dressed in the morning. You may also want to create an evening routine so that you can relax and prepare for bed in the smoothest way possible. Whatever you need to do for that day, having a routine to follow can help you to get it done.

2. Break Tasks into Manageable Pieces

As you navigate life, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the daily challenges that come your way. Some may be big, and some may be small, but to cope with these tasks, it is important to break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. This way, you can feel less disheartened and instead focus on achieving each small goal as opposed to focusing on one huge end goal. 

They can also make it easier to stay on track. For example, if you’re trying to complete a project that is due in two weeks, break down the task into achievable steps for each day. This way, you can stay motivated and make progress without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Utilize Technology

Technology is constantly evolving, and if you know how to take advantage, it can help make living with ADHD a little easier. For instance, there are plenty of helpful tracking apps out there that can be used to remind yourself of tasks that need to be done or alert you when something needs attention.

Additionally, using an alarm clock app can help keep your schedule on track. There are also applications that can help you manage your focus better, as well as those that provide helpful tips for how to cope with life’s challenges. Taking advantage of technology can be a great way to stay organised, on-task and motivated.

4. Use Visual Aids

While you may think that you are too old to use visual aids, they can be a huge help when it comes to dealing with everyday challenges. Visual reminders, such as Post-it notes on the refrigerator or calendar events written in bright colors, can help you remember important tasks and deadlines, reducing your anxiety levels.

Not only that, but they can also provide you with the opportunity to reward yourself for completing tasks, as you can check off items or post pictures that are reminders of what you’ve accomplished. 

5. Get Regular Exercise

Regardless of whether you have ADHD or not, regular exercise is important for mental and physical health. This is because it can help people to focus better, gain more energy, reduce stress levels, and improve overall well-being.

Finding the right type of exercise can help you manage your symptoms. Try activities such as running, swimming, walking, or even yoga to keep your body and mind active. Exercise can also help to boost dopamine, which is a chemical that regulates attention and concentration.

Finally, remember to set manageable goals for yourself when starting an exercise routine. This will help you stay motivated and on track with achieving your fitness goals!

6. Practice Mindfulness

You may be surprised at just how many people living with ADHD use mindfulness to cope with their daily challenges. Mindfulness helps you focus on the present moment, without worrying about what happened in the past or imagining a future outcome.

This can give you more control over your thoughts and actions, which can be particularly beneficial when it comes to controlling impulsive behavior. To practice mindfulness, take a few minutes every day to sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You can also practice mindful eating or walking.

By becoming more aware of the present moment and taking control over how you react to situations, it can help you manage symptoms of ADHD and lead to increased self-esteem, improved concentration, better relationships with friends and family, as well as reduced stress and anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Living with ADHD can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. By taking the time to understand your own unique needs and creating strategies that work for you, you can manage everyday tasks and build self-confidence in yourself. It is important to remember that living with ADHD does not define you as an individual; instead, use it as an opportunity to discover new ways of doing things or approaching challenges in life.

With patience and practice, anything is possible! So don’t give up – take small steps each day towards conquering whatever comes your way.

This article was written by a freelance writer,.

How To Avoid January Anxiety And Burn Out By Dr Catherine Carney at Delamere

(image: Unsplash)

As soon as the 1st of January hits, every advertisement seems to switch from encouraging total indulgence, to tips and tricks on how to ‘better’ yourself both mentally and physically. Such a drastic change in narrative can cause your New Year to begin in a stressful, pressurised manner, and can even lead to burnout. 

With this in mind, Dr Catherine Carney of private rehabilitation centre, Delamere, has offered some tips and tricks to combat the anxiety that January can bring. As well as this, she will also outline the most common causes of New Year burnout, making it easier for you to avoid them. 

  1. Setting unrealistic goals 

While there is nothing wrong with being ambitious, pushing yourself too hard is destined to lead to disappointment and a feeling of failure. Rather than comparing yourself to people on social media platforms, it is always better to write a short list of smaller, more obtainable goals. 

Once you have achieved these, you can start to work on more difficult ones. This may be easier said than done due to toxic hustle culture being everywhere, but it is important to remember that everybody progresses at a different pace. If you attempt too much in one go for example, telling yourself you will go to the gym every day or read 10 books a month, you could mentally and physically crash and burn. 

  1. Comparing your progress to someone else’s 

As stated previously, different people achieve things in their own time, which is crucial to remember around New Year. If somebody you know has started running 10k a day and you are struggling to get past 5k, then try not to punish yourself – or worse, exert yourself too much and cause an injury. 

Your body and your mind can only do so much in a certain period, so it is always important to remember to rest and recharge. Not allowing yourself to do this can lead to you wanting to isolate yourself from others, due to feeling like a failure, as well as making you feel exhausted and worn out. Taking small, realistic steps is key when it comes to forming a new habit.

  1. Forgetting to plan your time

Many people find themselves struggling with day-to-day life in general, so adding a new task or activity can cause them to be completely thrown off. Telling yourself you will go for a run, read a book, or do some writing, but not planning a specific time, could lead to you becoming stressed and irritated – especially if you do not end up doing the task. 

Juggling work, sleep, a social life, eating healthily, and leisure activities can be very difficult, so it is handy to write tasks and goals down. Setting a specific time would allow you to get things done prior to the new activity you are trying to stick to, as well as allowing you to fill your time efficiently and with things you enjoy. 

  1. Neglecting rest, relaxation, and meditation

Sitting down and allowing your body and mind to recharge is possibly the most effective way of avoiding burnout. It can be very easy to forget about this, especially with hustle culture making people feel guilty for not being productive. However, mentally recharging will allow you to feel more energised when it comes to tackling your New Year’s Resolutions. 

Meditation and general wellness has been proven to lessen feelings of anxiety and depression, allowing you to clear your mind after a challenging day and re-centre your energy. While wellness is not the right path for everybody, it could be worthwhile to give it a try, especially if your resolutions have left you feeling sluggish. 

  1. Forgetting to see friends and family 

Many people experiencing depressive feelings will feel compelled to socially isolate themselves. This can be for a number of reasons, ranging from feeling too emotionally exhausted to leave the house, to not wanting people to know how they are feeling. However, as depressive thoughts go hand-in-hand with burnout, it is crucial to maintain contact with friends and family – especially around the New Year. 

If you have not achieved something you told people you would, or are generally feeling like you are underachieving, socially withdrawing may feel like a comforting thing to do. Sharing your thoughts and worries with a loved one will allow them to offer words of encouragement and support, as well as a potential solution to your issue. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym more often, your friend could offer to go with you. 

Content from Dr Catherine Carney at: https://delamere.com/addiction-treatment/work-burnout

How to Improve Employee Engagement and Wellbeing In Your Workplace.

(image: Brooke Cagle, Unsplash)

Employee engagement is a critical factor in the success of any organisation. By encouraging employee engagement, organisations can create a workplace that is both productive and enjoyable. In this guide, we’ll look at some effective strategies for improving employee engagement and getting more out of your workforce.

Set Clear Expectations But Check In…

One of the most important steps to creating an engaged workplace is setting clear expectations. Make sure employees understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as the company’s goals and objectives. This will help them stay focused on what needs to be done and better understand how their work contributes to overall organisational success. This also includes setting measurable objectives and providing regular feedback so employees know when they’ve achieved their goals.

These objectives must take into account any mental health issues or disability if the employee has one, when they begin. Reasonable adjustments can be made for employees who need them.

Foster Collaboration

Encourage collaboration between team members by creating opportunities for them to work together. This can be done through brainstorming sessions, collaborative problem-solving activities, or team-building exercises. Working together helps employees build trust and understanding, leading to a more engaged workforce. You can also do this by providing resources such as group communication tools, flexible working arrangements, or company social events.

Invest in Adequate Training

Provide employees with adequate training and professional development opportunities. This will help ensure they have the knowledge, expertise, and confidence to perform their tasks effectively. Investing in employee training also shows them that you value their skills and are willing to support their growth. Additionally, ensure you provide enough resources and support for employees to do their jobs. This could include access to the right technology, adequate workspace, and a comfortable work environment.

Promote a Positive Work Environment and Wellbeing

Creating a positive work environment is essential for keeping employees engaged and motivated. Encourage an open dialogue between team members, provide recognition for good work, and offer incentives to reward outstanding performance. Additionally, implement policies that promote equality and respect among all staff members regardless of differences in race, gender, or background. Furthermore, make sure you have staff trained in mental health first aid and employee wellbeing- this is vital in ensuring a safe and happy workplace.

(image: Annie Spratt, Unsplash)

Utilise Technology

Technology can be used as an effective tool for improving employee engagement. For example, goal-setting software can help employees track their progress and stay motivated. Collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams can also encourage employees to work together and share ideas more easily. Technology also helps businesses stay connected with their remote employees. By providing resources like video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing, organisations can ensure that everyone stays on the same page regardless of their physical location.

Measure And Assess Progress

Finally, organisations should measure and assess employee engagement on an ongoing basis. This can be done through surveys or interviews to understand how employees feel about their work environment and what they believe could be improved. Tracking progress over time will also help businesses identify trends and areas of improvement that can be addressed in the future.

Don’t forget to also measure the success of any initiatives or programs you implement. Ensure that employees know what is being done to improve engagement and understand how their participation in them makes a difference. This will help ensure they remain involved, motivated, and engaged with their work. Additionally, collaboration in this way can boost wellbeing if done correctly.

Communicate Regularly

It is also important to keep employees in the loop about any changes that may be happening within the organisation. This includes ensuring they know about new projects, goals, or initiatives. Also, fostering an open dialogue will help ensure that employees feel their opinions are heard and appreciated. Regular check-ins can also be beneficial in helping to keep employees up-to-date on the progress of their work.

Creating a culture of employee engagement within your organisation takes time and effort, but it is essential for success. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that your team is motivated and engaged so that everyone works together for the common goal of organisational success.

Overall, organisations can improve their employee engagement by setting objectives, fostering collaboration, investing in adequate training, creating a positive work environment, utilising technology, and measuring progress. These strategies will help create an engaged workforce that can contribute to a more productive and enjoyable work experience for everyone involved.

Additionally, these techniques are essential for ensuring that employees stay motivated, energised, and committed to achieving their goals. By taking the time to implement these strategies, organisations can ensure they are creating an environment where their employees can thrive.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

How To Tell If You Or A Loved One Needs Psychiatric Help by Brooke Chaplan.

(image: free image)

Mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental illness in order to get help as soon as possible. Knowing what to look for can be tricky, so here are some common warning signs that you or a loved one may need psychiatric help.  

Unexplained Changes in Mood and Behaviour  

One of the most common signs of mental illness is a sudden and unexplained change in mood or behaviour. This could include changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, energy levels, attitude towards others, or motivation levels. If you notice any sudden shifts in these areas that last more than two weeks and cannot be attributed to a specific event or life change, it may indicate an underlying mental health issue.  

Negative Self-Talk or Rumination  

Another sign that someone needs professional help is if they frequently engage in negative self-talk or ruminate on the same thoughts over and over again. For example, if they often say things like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do anything right” without any basis for those statements, this could be a sign that something more serious is going on beneath the surface. Additionally, if someone spends hours every day thinking about their mistakes from the past without being able to move forward—this could also be an indication that professional help is necessary.  

Isolation from Friends and Family  

Finally, if someone begins isolating themselves from friends and family members more often than usual—or does not seem interested in having conversations with them—this could be another indicator that something more serious is happening mentally. It’s normal for people to want some alone time once in a while—but if you notice your loved one consistently avoiding social activities and interactions with others over long periods of time—it may mean they need extra emotional support from a professional psychiatrist before they can get back on track.   

Other Behaviours

Other behaviours you should watch out for is frequent tearfulness, self harm thoughts or ideas, suicidal thoughts and ideation- as this indicates someone is reaching a crisis point with their mental health. In some there may be an increase in activity or mania. This can lead to psychosis- where your mind loses touch with reality, common in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (but can also happen outside these conditions).

Mental health issues are complex and often difficult to recognise at first glance. However, it’s important to understand that early intervention can make all the difference when it comes to managing mental illness effectively. If you notice any of these warning signs in yourself or a loved one—don’t hesitate to reach out for help!

Professional psychiatric services should always be sought out when necessary as this will create better outcomes for everyone involved in the long run. In the UK, that may be via the NHS but due to overwhelmed services, if you can afford private treatment, go down this route as it will be quicker!

This article was. written by Brooke Chaplan, freelance writer.

Emotional Eating: How To Manage Triggers By Lizzie Weakley.

(image: Roamincolor at Unsplash)

Do you find yourself reaching for food to fill an emotional void? Do you often find yourself snacking out of boredom or anxiety? Emotional eating is a common problem that many people struggle with, but it doesn’t have to be something that controls your life. Here are some tips and strategies for managing emotional eating triggers and developing healthy habits.

Identifying Your Triggers

The first step in overcoming emotional eating is to identify the triggers that lead to it. Everyone has different triggers, so it is important to take the time and reflect on what causes you to turn to food when feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Some of the most common triggers include boredom, stress, loneliness, sadness, anger, fatigue, and anxiety. Once you have identified your particular triggers, then you can start taking steps towards addressing them.

Learning New Coping Mechanisms

The next step is to learn new coping mechanisms that allow you to manage these emotions without turning to food. This could be physical activities such as going for a walk or jog, doing yoga, or any other type of exercise that helps reduce stress levels.

It could also be trying out mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises which can help centre your thoughts and help clear out negative feelings. Other methods could include talking with friends or writing down your thoughts in a journal in order to gain some clarity about why you are feeling certain emotions and how best to work through them.

Taking an Online Coaching Course

Finally, another great way of managing emotional eating triggers is by taking an online emotional eating coaching course designed specifically for this purpose. An online coaching course can provide the guidance needed in order to make meaningful lifestyle changes that will help overcome emotional eating patterns over time. The course will provide tips on how best to manage cravings and difficult emotions while also teaching techniques on how best to maintain healthy habits long-term while learning positive self-care practices along the way.

Emotional eating can be a difficult habit to break but with the right strategies in place, it can become manageable over time! Taking the steps outlined above such as identifying your triggers, learning new coping mechanisms, and taking an online coaching course are all great ways of helping manage emotional eating triggers while developing healthier habits along the way. With dedication and effort this problem can improve significantly!

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer.

What Is EMDR Therapy and How Can It Help You?  by Brooke Chaplan

Those with post-traumatic stress disorder undergo a wide variety of symptoms that can interfere with their everyday life. EMDR therapy is intended to help reduce the effects of PTSD on the body. In fact, there have been positive clinical outcomes showing this therapy’s effectiveness for treating addictions, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and even OCD.

What is EMDR Therapy? 

EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. This extensively researched therapeutic practice has been proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD-related symptoms. It’s classified as a psychotherapy method and is notated as an effective treatment offering by the NHS, American Psychiatric Association, World Health Organization, American Psychological Association, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and so many more. 

What Makes EMDR Therapy Different? 

When you look at the treatment options for traumatic disorders like PTSD, many require in-depth conversing with a licensed therapist. Many patients will spend hours talking about their distressing issues and even complete homework between their therapy sessions.

EMDR therapy doesn’t work like that. Rather, it’s specifically designed to allow the brain to resume its natural healing process. However, it does include an element of talking therapy to help heal.

EMDR Therapy and Your Brain 

The human brain has a natural process for handling traumatic memories and events that happen in our lives. It utilises communication between the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is the brain’s alarm for a stressful event. The hippocampus helps the brain to learn and share past memories regarding danger and safety. Lastly, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for analysing what’s happening and controlling your emotions and behaviours. 

Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy? 

EMDR therapy can be beneficial for a wide variety of patients, including both children and adults. It’s been known to treat individuals who have the following conditions (and more): 

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating Disorders 
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Personality Disorders 
  • PTSD 
  • Sexual Assault Victims 

Basically, anyone who has experienced a traumatic incident in their life can benefit from this particular type of therapy treatment. In fact, most individuals are able to overcome their symptoms in just a few EMDR sessions as compared to ongoing psychotherapy sessions. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic incident, it may be difficult to move on with your life.

Fortunately, EMDR therapy can be a great solution to help your brain and body successfully process the incident and move on.

EMDR therapy is recommended for all types of patients, regardless of age or gender. 

This article was written by Brooke Chaplan, writer.

How Car Accidents Affect Mental Health And What To Do About It: by Stubbs Law Firm

(image: Will Creswick: Unsplash).

Car crashes can be some of the lowest moments in any individual’s life. In the aftermath of any accident, it’s common for medics to immediately focus on any physical injuries sustained by the victims. However, in addition to physical wounds, many victims also suffer psychological trauma that may last long after their physical injuries heal.

Studies by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs reveal that more than 20% of car accident victims develop mental trauma, while approximately 10% of victims develop full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. This psychological trauma can significantly lower the victim’s quality of life if not addressed.

Car accidents can affect your mental health in the following ways.

1. Emotional distress

Many people struggle with severe anxiety and emotional distress in the few weeks and months after the accident. Recurring nightmares, fearfulness, and avoidance of any form of vehicle travel are common psychological distress symptoms in the aftermath of a car crash. This psychological trauma can be hard to shake off, especially when physical injuries are permanent.

2. Anger and mood swings

Drivers may struggle with guilt and sadness, especially if they were responsible for the crash. Passengers and other victims may channel their anger and frustrations at the driver for causing the crash. Negative thoughts can affect the victim’s relationships at work, home, and school.

3. Depression

High-stress levels can quickly plunge a car accident victim into depression which causes many people to seek refuge in drugs and alcohol abuse. Common signs of depression may include sleeping disorders, appetite loss, suicidal tendencies, and emotional outbursts. Post-car crash depression can be challenging to diagnose and treat without the involvement of a mental wellness specialist. 

4. Regression in children

Psychological trauma affects kids in many ways that may affect their mental and physical development. Some common symptoms of regression and mental trauma in children may include loss of concentration, poor grades in school, and bed-wetting.

Ways to improve your mental health state post-accident

It’s necessary to seek professional help if the mental trauma lingers over a few weeks and affects your social and family relationship.

Therapy

Recovering from mental trauma after an accident becomes easier when you seek professional help. A psychologist will guide you on the next steps and what medication to take depending on the severity of your condition. Group therapy with other accident victims can go a long way in relieving stress and helping you ease back to your normal life.

Seek legal help

While victims may receive compensation for physical injuries sustained during car crashes, insurance companies may downplay the psychological impact of such events, especially for victims who don’t suffer physical injuries. Psychological trauma can impact your ability to work and provide for your family hence the need to seek compensation through personal injury claims. Your compensation may help pay for therapy and offset any lost income from car crashes. When seeking legal help from an attorney, provide accurate details of the crash and include medical details from your doctor’s consultation.

Stubbs Law Firm is vastly experienced in various legal solutions, from personal injury to insurance disputes. We help car crash victims get justice, and appropriate compensation for all injuries suffered in car accidents.

This non-sponsored article was written by Stubbs Law Firm.

Anxiety And Climbing, Not Carrying Mountains. by Eleanor.

(image: Quote CC)

This week was a good week. Generally, my bipolar has been stable for a while. I am able to go to work and hold down two jobs somehow and I also passed my probation (in the words of Borat, Great Success!). But there are times when things are overwhelming and I feel like a wobbly mess. Like today.

I achieved my goals that I came up with when I was in the middle of agoraphobia a few months ago. My panic disorder reset itself to a healthy level thanks to therapy and things improving at work. As such, I have been able to see more people face to face and this week I was able to go to Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club with my Dad to see Natalie Williams and Soul family Motown show (my Chanukah present). We have been before over the years and love going to see them and going with my Dad makes me feel safe as he drives us.

However, I often find that something like that is followed by a day of needing to slow down and look after me as I can feel a little depleted and more anxious. Its just a bit of a pattern my mind goes too. The cold and dark weather also do not help with this and I start just wanting to stay at home. I have also been putting myself under too much pressure and end up exhausted.. any other perfectionists/achievers do the same?

So, I couldn’t go to see friends and some family this weekend and had to cancel arrangements which wasn’t great. However, my baby nephew was born last week and had his Jewish naming ceremony yesterday which was special as Rob and I carried him in on a special pillow. We then hosted my mum and step dad for shabbat (Jewish sabbath) lunch- so I am seeing that as a big achievement despite everything. In the past, I wouldn’t have even been able to attend it- so I know I am in a better place. However, I also had to cancel other family plans which I don’t feel good about.

I think I have just been trying to do way too much as I always do when I feel a bit better and I am sorry to those I have had to let down due to increased anxiety. I know its not my fault, its an illness, but I still feel bad.

One positive, at the ceremony I was able to see my two aunties who I hadn’t seen for a while (which was one of my goals too) so that made me so happy.

Overall, I am doing well but I am still dealing with the panic and anxious thought patterns at times… and its learning a) what the triggers are b) what I can do to help myself when it happens. I have had about a month off from seeing my therapist so probably need another session soon. I think I just need a quiet day watching Netflix.

(image: Grow Together Now)

Rob and I are getting away over Christmas so hopefully that will be a good time to recharge and reset my batteries after a very busy year for both of us.

My sister said to me today to remember to be kind to myself, so that is what I am going to do. Though I do feel a little bit sad at having to cancel plans. Though I look back at the past few weeks and realise that I have done a lot in terms of seeing people- so maybe its all just too much and I need to plan less.

I am mostly healthy and life is generally good. Heres to climbing mountains, not carrying them all the time- and not feeling guilty if I can’t achieve something.

Love,

Eleanor x

It’s Not Just The Therapist or Psychiatrist Alone: Why Treatment Centres Matter in Mental Health.

(Image: David Travis at Unsplash)

It’s not just the therapist or psychiatrist alone. The treatment centre/hospital matters in mental health.. It’s not that therapists are bad or unimportant; they can be critical in helping people with mental health concerns start on the road to recovery. However, sometimes treatment centres can have a huge impact on mental health and well-being, as a whole.

Lasting Impact of the Environment

First, the environment in which individuals with mental health concerns receive treatment can have a lasting impact on their mental health. Is the institution warm and welcoming to visitors? Or does it feel sterile and cold? Does it have adequate resources to meet the needs of its patients? Or is it underfunded and overcrowded? All these factors can have a significant impact on recovery, as they may create feelings of anxiety or alienation in the patient. For example, if the institute has Knightsbridge Furniture and a welcoming waiting area for visitors, it may make people feel less anxious about their treatment, because the furniture is designed to provide comfort.

Supportive Staff Members

Secondly, supportive staff members are paramount for mental health recovery. Not only do staff members need to be competent and knowledgeable about the latest treatment techniques and practices; they also need to be warm, welcoming and supportive towards their patients. They should be able to provide a safe space for individuals with mental health concerns to explore their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or punishment. This will help foster an atmosphere of trust and healing at the treatment centre/hospital.

Accessible Resources

Third, centres should strive to make resources accessible and available to those in need. Mental health concerns can often be complex and multifaceted, so individuals may require a variety of services. Treatment centres should provide access to everything from basic mental health services such as counselling, to more specialised resources like crisis intervention teams or support groups. If these resources are not readily available, then individuals might not get the help they need when they need it.

Appropriate Levels of Care

Fourth, treatment centres must provide appropriate levels of care for the patients they serve. This includes ensuring that each individual gets the right combination of treatment and support based on their specific needs. For example, a patient with severe depression or other severe illnesses may benefit from both medication management and psychotherapy while someone with mild anxiety may only require weekly therapy sessions.

A Holistic Approach

Finally, centres should strive to provide a holistic approach to mental health care. This means taking into account not only the individual’s diagnosis or symptoms, but also their lifestyle, environment, and social support system. Taking these factors into consideration can ensure that individuals receive the most appropriate treatment for their unique needs. Additionally, it can help facilitate long-term recovery and prevent future issues from developing.

It is clear that when it comes to mental health recovery, a treatment centre/hospital plays a vital role in helping individuals achieve positive outcomes. From providing supportive staff members to making resources accessible and offering a holistic approach to care – institutions must strive to meet the needs of those they serve in order to ensure the best possible outcomes.

So, while it is important to have a skilled therapist or psychiatrist, never underestimate the importance of a supportive and well-resourced treatment centre as part of that overall care. Together, they can provide individuals with everything they need to start on their journey to mental health recovery.

This article was written by a freelance writer.