I’m starting a new self project

I’m making a serious life choice: to stop drinking full stop.

By the way, I’m not dehydrating myself, I am banning my consumption of alcohol (just to clarify).
I’ve discovered that my mood drastically declines after a night out on the binge, plus the fact that drinking isn’t at all advised when on medication for… You know what.

Tomorrow, I’ll be ditching the two pints of larger, vodka orange doubles and god knows what else, for a full fat coke. If I’m going to get drunk of something, it might as well be the sugar in my highly caffeinated coca cola. If you’re a student in Britain you’ll understand that drinking copious amounts of vodka is part of the student meal plan, I’m going to change that. You don’t need alcohol to have fun, you just need a bunch of friends that keep you in high spirits and a non-alcoholic beverage to make you think that you’re joining in with the surrounding binge drinkers.

Fingers crossed, this will all be a piece of cake.

Here’s to you, Zelda

“I am really only myself when I’m somebody else whom I have endowed with these wonderful qualities from my imagination.”

 

zelda

-Zelda Fitzgerald

I seem to be quite infatuated by the Fitzgerald’s at the moment. And from reading one of my favourite novels, The Great Gatsby, it’s hard not to fall in love with the first flapper girl to grace the Jazz Age. I don’t want to state the obvious, but you can probably guess that Zelda Fitzgerald was the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald; a marriage that really did have it’s highs and lows.

Now, you’re probably thinking; what relevance does Zelda Fitzgerald have to this blog?
Well, believe it or not, Zelda Fitzgerald spent many of her years in a psychiatric hospital, because of her schizophrenia. It is evident that her husband’s alcoholism was the main stimulus for her decline, as Fitzgerald often blamed Zelda for his problems and discouraged her when she had ambitions of becoming a writer.

In 1930, Zelda addmitted herself to a sanatorium just outside of Paris, where she was diagnosed, probably incorrectly, as schizophrenic. (Schizophrenia was a brand-new and much overused diagnosis.)
Okay, I won’t give you a chronological list of her life events- you can use Wikipedia for that, instead, I will address the topic and of mental health according to the 1930’s.

From the late 1930s a number of new treatments for severe mental illness were introduced. It was hoped that these would transform the lives of people with chronic illness. These included injecting patients with large amounts of insulin and prefrontal leucotomy (a form of surgery on the brain), but both produced serious side effects and were eventually discontinued. Convulsive therapy was initially introduced using a chemical to induce a seizure but electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) soon replaced it as more reliable and safer. While considered a beneficial treatment for some, it became increasingly controversial. Over time ECT was modified for greater safety, and was still occasionally used in the 2000s.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/mental-health-services/page-3

mii
-Zelda was admitted into her third hospital John Hopkins clinic in Baltimore

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-Highland Mental Hostpital, Asheville North Carolina. This is where Zelda died, due to a fire, 1948.

I find her so inspirational to the women of her era; she was bold, independent and creative, everything a twenty-first century woman is in this era. Unfortunately, such female empowerment could not be accepted, with little research in mental health at that time, Zelda’s condition merely contributed to the downfall of female stability and her symbolic role in the roaring twenties.

Haven’t we come far?

Look at all of the above and just think of how lucky mental health sufferers are to be part of today’s health care system.

Is there still room for improvement?
Of course, because of the stereotypes and an undignified history regarding mental health, talking about mental health is not an easy task. We need to get rid of the labels surround mental health sufferers and just talk about mental health as if it were a physical injury.

For some of my information I used the following link for evidence:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/fts/elpaso_201102A12.html

Liebester Award nomination – Thank you, http://jessicaforrester.me/

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As a complete and utter amateur in this new blogging community, I am proud to announce my nomination and acceptance of this award. I have http://jessicaforrester.me/ to thank for proposing my blog, so please give her’s a read! I am sure you will find it as inspiring and as interesting as I do!

After a strenuous hour of researching the rules, stupidly they were posted on the same blog that nominated me. So, here goes…

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

You can decline the offer if you wish, but I recommend accepting it because recognizing fellow bloggers plays a big part in the recognition of your own blog.

My 11 random facts are…

1) I can recite my entire A Level French speaking exam (from four years ago)

2) My three cats are all named after musicians (Otis- Otis Redding, Dylan- Bob Dylan and lulu- you know, that singer)

3) I am a natural ginger but I cover my denial with blonde dye.

4) I was in a ‘math rock’ band, as the lead singer

5) I was called back to the same modelling agency as Kate Moss but got rejected (because of my deceiving 38 inch hips)

6) I have the same hip measurements as Iggy Azalia (Now that,  I am proud of)

7) My great uncle was a famous pianist- William Blezard

8) I can open beer bottles with my teeth

9) I travelled the UK (even though I live there)

10) I love collecting ancient books and paintings from charity shops

11) Kate Bush is my idol

Now, it’s time for me to nominate 11 lovely bloggers!

http://missmand9109.wordpress.com/

http://subliminalquibbles.wordpress.com/

http://returntowellness.co.uk/

http://notcalmcoolorcollected.wordpress.com/

http://reflectionsonreality.com/

http://100depresseddays.wordpress.com/

https://alittlebitcrazyblog.wordpress.com/

http://chronicillnessspeakstandandtalk.com/

https://anxiousramblingsofafragilemind.wordpress.com/

http://jamiyoung716.wordpress.com/

http://paulette97aiyana.wordpress.com/

I’ve nominated these blogs because they address the same issues as my own blog: mental health. I did pick a few blogs out of that topic, merely because they inspired me to write more poetry and write creatively.

Your Questions:

1. What do aim to achieve from your blog?
2. What’s your best tip for staying positive?
3. If you could be any character from a film or a book, who would you be?
4. Who is your most inspirational celebrity?
5. What do you consider to be your happy place?
6. What is your favourite hobby?
7. How do you picture yourself in ten years time?
8. Would you travel to the future or to the past?
9. What do you love most about yourself? (Don’t be modest!)

10. What do you hope to achieve in 2015?
11. What do you want to achieve before 2015?

My questions

1. What’s your favourite thing about blogging?

I like knowing that I’m inspiring my readers as well advising them. My blog started off as a diary, and I realised that my experiences and ‘words of wisdom’ could help other experiencing something similar. Blogging about mental health, and even just talking about it, raises awareness. It took me far too long to mention the ‘D’ word (depression) and now I am so used to talking about it, I feel great!-  if only others could do the same!

2. A night with Ryan Gosling vs. an unlimited amount of cheese. Which would you choose?

I did have my doubts about the hunky Mr. Gosling, as I feel I’ve seen better acting from a piece of cardboard. But, besides his inability to act (in my opinion), he does have a rather delicious six-pack. But, I do love my cheese. I’D PICK CHEESE!
3. What’s your favourite colour and why?

Blue; it wasn’t even my favourite colour at first, but it appears that 80% of my clothing is blue.

4. What’s your guilty pleasure (food, drink, music, tv, anything)

I’m guilty for watching ANACONDA perpetually. I think I’ve actually warmed to Nicki Minaj, she’s seems hilarious. I don’t care if her ‘buns’ aren’t real.

5. What’s your party trick?

I can stand on the pinnacle of my tip toes (Similar to Rose in Titanic) and open beer bottles with my teeth… I’m so classy.
6. If you had to choose someone to play you in a film, who would it be?

I’d love to play Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. That film is the very definition of awesome.
7. What’s your daily motivation?

Knowing that I’m so grateful for my friends, family and boyfriend. When I am feeling negative, I just have to remind myself of all that I have.
8. Who’s your career inspiration?

I’d love to campaign and write on behalf of Mind charity, I like writing for a good cause; it’s so fulfilling.
9. Do you have any quirks?

If you asked any of my friends, they would tell you I AM A QUIRK. I everything weird, and eccentric- the list would be endless!

10. What do you hope to achieve in 2015?

I’d like to starting writing a self help guide based on my book, but I’d try and make it funny and entertaining so people can relate a lot more, I suppose it would be like Bridget Jones’ Diary- but less Rom-Com and more teen-angst with realistic outcomes.

11. What do you want to achieve before 2015?

I’d like to raise more awareness for mental health and start campaigning or volunteering for events.

I’d now like to thank Jessica once more and all of my followers for taking up their time to read my blog. I’m so grateful, your blog are all amazing… keep on inspiring others!

At last, I write.

Hi everyone!

I’d just like to apologize for not posting anything for a while, I’ve fallen behind on my university work!

I’ll be posting something very new and very interesting.
Want a clue?

She suffered from schizophrenia for a long duration of her life, and she married the most profound author of the roaring twenties…

… I don’t like to give to much away!

Increased risk of Alzheimer’s for anxiety sufferers.

Anxiety can damage brain:Accelerate conversion toAlzheimer’s for those with mild cognitive impairment

Depression
Credit: George Hodan/Public Domain
People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at increased risk of converting to Alzheimer’s disease within a few years, but a new study warns the risk increases significantly if they suffer from anxiety.

The findings were reported on Oct. 29 online by The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, ahead of print publication, scheduled for May 2015.

Led by researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences’ Rotman Research Institute, the study has shown clearly for the first time that anxiety symptoms in individuals diagnosed with MCI increase the risk of a speedier decline in cognitive functions – independent of depression (another risk marker). For MCI patients with mild, moderate or severe anxiety, Alzheimer’s risk increased by 33%, 78% and 135% respectively.

The research team also found that MCI patients who had reported anxiety symptoms at any time over the follow-up period had greater rates of atrophy in the medial temporal lobe regions of the brain, which are essential for creating memories and which are implicated in Alzheimer’s.

Until now, anxiety as a potentially significant risk marker for Alzheimer’s in people diagnosed with MCI has never been isolated for a longitudinal study to gain a clearer picture of just how damaging anxiety symptoms can be on cognition and brain structure over a period of time. There is a growing body of literature that has identified late-life depression as a significant risk marker for Alzheimer’s. Anxiety has historically tended to be subsumed under the rubric of depression in psychiatry. Depression is routinely screened for in assessment and follow-up of memory clinic patients; anxiety is not routinely assessed.

“Our findings suggest that clinicians should routinely screen for anxiety in people who have memory problems because anxiety signals that these people are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Linda Mah, principal investigator on the study, clinician-scientist with Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute, and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mah is also a co-investigator in a multi-site study lead by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and partially funded by federal dollars (Brain Canada), to prevent Alzheimer’s in people with late-life depression or MCI who are at high risk for developing the progressive brain disease.

“While there is no published evidence to demonstrate whether drug treatments used in psychiatry for treating anxiety would be helpful in managing anxiety symptoms in people with or in reducing their risk of conversion to Alzheimer’s, we think that at the very least behavioural stress management programs could be recommended. In particular, there has been research on the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction in treating anxiety and other psychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s —and this is showing promise,” said Dr. Mah.

The Baycrest study accessed data from the large population-based Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative to analyze anxiety, depression, cognitive and brain structural changes in 376 adults, aged 55 – 91, over a three-year period. Those changes were monitored every six months. All of the adults had a clinical diagnosis of amnestic MCI and a low score on the depression rating scale, indicating that were not part of clinical .

MCI is considered a risk marker for converting to Alzheimer’s disease within a few years. It is estimated that half-a-million Canadians aged 65-and-older have MCI, although many go undiagnosed. Not all MCI sufferers will convert to Alzheimer’s – some will stabilize and others may even improve in their cognitive powers.

The Baycrest study has yielded important evidence that anxiety is a “predictive factor” of whether an individual with MCI will convert to Alzheimer’s or not, said Dr. Mah. Studies have shown that in MCI is associated with abnormal concentrations of plasma amyloid protein levels and T-tau proteins in cerebrospinal fluid, which are biomarkers of Alzheimer’s. Depression and chronic stress have also been linked to smaller hippocampal volume and increased risk of dementia.

Here’s a link….

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-11-anxiety-brain-conversion-alzheimer-mild.html

I’ll be expanding more on this tomorrow. It’s nothing to worry about, just something to be aware of!

A dedication to my inspiration

Every idea starts with an influence.

My main influence for this blog, is my best friend.
For weeks I told her she is more than welcome to live with me and my dysfunctional parents, but it takes a little more than persuasion when you have to leave a three year relationship, and a cat. So, after a very reluctant struggle, I finally managed to convince her to move away from her abusive boyfriend.

But, picking up the pieces that her boyfriend left behind, was not an easy task, especially when I was broken myself. Can you fix something that is already broken? Of course, all you need is super glue or some gaffe tape. Or in my case, a best friend.

And as her best friend, I told her honestly that I was suffering with depression and anxiety, so I needed her support as well. Then I said, “it’ll be like a project, l’ll help you become yourself again and you can help me become myself again”.

We all lose ourselves at some point, but we can become ourselves again if we try.

-Me and my best friend.
jess