Open Letter To David Cameron.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It is thanks to you that I am ashamed to call myself a British citizen! Oh god, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so tired. So very, very tired. You’re twisted world of power and greed has left me with a choice between sacrificing my health in more ways than one, sacrificing seeing my children or sacrificing the roof over my head and winding up back on the streets.

I’m a very ill lady. I have quite the list of health problems. Your ATOS assessors have found this to be true, and say I’m unfit to work. But as I am also only allowed my children here part time due to one of these illnesses, according to your new “bedroom tax“, I should basically give up my right to even have them part time, because since they love away from me most of the time, having them over to stay is now a privilege that I should now have to pay over £100 a month for, as well as the travelling costs I incur because they live 25 miles away, and the food expenses on top of that. That in itself takes most of my benefit, and since the disability living allowance department only see fit to grant me the lowest amount possible for anxiety issues, and have chosen to ignore the worst of my mental health issues, and ignore my physical health issues altogether, that leaves me in a rather large bind.

Do you know, Mr Cameron, that as a direct result of your bedroom tax, you have worsened my mental and physical health problems under the stresses and strains of the new “bedroom tax”? Did you know, Mr Cameron, that even if I did decide to move to a smaller property, that this would then mean that not only do I lose access to my children, but I then lose access to my family and my entire support network, because to move out of my current home, the home I have lived in now for almost 7 years, I would have to move out of the area, because there are NO properties available in my area that are suitable for me. Tell me, Mr Cameron, how do I get out of that one?

Of course, I could get a job. There is the risk that, even if I am able to find someone that is willing to take on someone that suffers from severe depression, episodes of mania and even psychosis, extreme widespread pain, migraines, anxiety and panic attacks, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and falls, random numbness of the limbs, extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, swelling of extremities, short term memory loss, concentration difficulties, spatial disorientation, calculation difficulties and other cognitive problems, trouble in communication through not being able to say the right words, frequent intense and realistic nightmares, stiffness in muscles and joints, muscle weakness, sciatica, changes in visual acuity, intolerance of medications, restless leg syndrome, being sensitive to temperature and heat and cold changes, palpitations, breathing difficulties, involuntary muscle spasms, non-cardiac chest pain that mimics a cardiac disorder, pelvic pain, dry eyes and mouth, heel pain, unusual and uncontrollable irritability, self harms and has suicidal thoughts and tendencies, I could then lose the job because of all of these problems. That is IF I find someone willing to take me on with all of that.

If I do find someone to take me on, and my goodness I would love to be back in work again, I run the risk of regular hospitalisation. Either from my mental or physical illness. I have already had to come off my medications, psych meds and all, because once I do find a job, I will no longer be able to afford these medicines, and the negative effects are already showing.

I actually cannot remember the last time I ate a nutritious meal. I cannot remember the last time I ate a full meal. I live off of snacks. The odd biscuit here, the odd tiny microwave “meal” there. No nutrition what-so-ever. I cannot buy salads or vegetables, because they do not last long enough, and once they have gone, I cannot afford to buy anything else to replace them until my next “payday” or maybe even the payday after that. So it has to be small snacks that will not go off quickly and that I can make last for as long as possible. Please think about that every time your wife cooks you a nice healthy meal, or you eat out at a restaurant.

There are thousands upon thousands of people who are in the same position as me. Don’t get me wrong, I know something had to be done, but not to the point of people suffering and losing their lives, surely? I certainly fear for my life. I really, truly do.

So I beg you Mr Cameron, I beg of you with everything I have left inside of me, please, PLEASE start thinking about the people who are suffering this torture, and do something to help us so that we don’t suffer any more. I know my words are redundant, but they needed to be spoken even if then fell on deaf ears.

Holly

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Hello Mania, My Old Friend!

Hello to talking at 90 miles an hour. Hello to not being able to sit still, even when I’m sitting still (wtf? Yeah I know!!). Hello to being super-productive. Hello to feeling great. Not just great in fact, absolutely amazing. Hello to the fantastic sex (not that it isn’t fantastic anyway, but those who understand know what I mean). All pretty harmless stuff, right?

Well, this means also hello to pressured speech. Hello to prolonged periods of insomnia (hence writing this post at 3.20am). Hello to chaotic, disorganised and fast changing thoughts. Hello to starting about 50 different things at once, and finishing none of them, so the productivity then becomes chaos. Hello to being on the go non-stop, so much so, that my brain couldn’t care less about the physical pain I am in, no matter how much physical pain I am in, I just keep going beyond my normal capabilities. Hello to struggling to keep my big gob shut, and annoying every single person around me. Hello to the risk of blowing ALL my money and have sweet F.A. to show for it. Hello to the risk of hypersexuality and the risks that come with that (I was almost caught having sex in a public place just last night). Hello to delusions, paranoia and hallucinations (I’m not there yet, well, I’ve found myself coming out with some very paranoid talk, but I have realised after, so touch wood, I can keep check on that with the help of the hubby).

All of this stuff isn’t even a full list of what can and does happen for me, and yet still those in the mental health profession still do not hear me when I say how I suffer. I’m currently sat watching a program on the TV about the NHS and how poor services are for our mental health, and how so many people are failed by these services. It gives me peace of mind. I have no issues when someone makes an attempt to invalidate my opinion. It can be frustrating, but it would be frustrating to anyone to feel that they aren’t being listened too. However, on the many occasions that I have spoken my mind to our local mental health services, and how I feel that, while they have done good for some people, I still feel that they have failed so many people, myself included, and they just shoot me down with their seemingly favourite line, “well that is your opinion”. Yes it is my opinion, but I am aware that it is a widely shared opinion, and that is fact!

The fact that I am still trying to fight misdiagnosis, and my medical notes being so full of confusion throughout all of my life is ridiculous in my mind. I have had something happen yesterday that seemed positive, where I saw my psychiatrist and finally admitted that I didn’t think that I needed my meds, and had actually taken myself off them some time before I had even met him. He saw this as a good thing in the sense that I am not reliant on medication, which somehow the previous psychiatrist has come to the conclusion that I was so pre-occupied with meds that I was refusing therapy treatment and this proves to the new one that I am being honest that they had got me wrong completely, as I hated my medication and didn’t think it was good for me at all. The good thing that came from that, is that the new psychiatrist had asked the community mental health team in my area to give me much needed extra support previously and they denied it, but now he has grounds to fight my corner even more, as he says that essentially I am now not getting any treatment, and I need some form of treatment. We shall see how that goes.

I will sign off now, otherwise I will be sat here rambling away all night, and if I don’t try and get some sleep then the hubby will be telling me off when he asks how much sleep I got in a few hours time.

Night night world (or morning, it is 4.10am after all).

H x

Insomnia (Part 2)

There’s something in me now, that wants to punch the man in the TV. Sorry Mr BBC News man, but you are annoying the hell out of me, and have been for the last half an hour. To be honest, I’m not sure which is worse. The English guy, in the BBC studios who is droning and not pleasant, or the American with the White House in the background, who sounds like an Englishman with a fake accent.

It’s far too confusing for this time of night! I knew that when I couldn’t keep my eye’s open this morning, and had to let myself go back to sleep, that I would have a problem when it came to sleeping tonight. Daylight slowly approaches, and the night’s sky I see several shades lighter than it had been only a couple of hours ago.

The birds are starting to chirp, and I’m starting to feel the same fears that I felt last night, that somewhere along the line tomorrow, or technically today, I will not be able to keep my eyes open, leaving me open to more insomnia, as if being poorly isn’t nearly enough to deal with.

This fascinates me though. It brings me back to the post from before, and all those facts about insomnia, and how it affects those with mental health problems.

I’m struggling to type now. I must have re-typed the last few lines about 4 times now. Maybe it’s time to day goodnight? I can learn more about the effects of this when I eventually wake up properly. For now, it’s eye’s closed tight before the skies become too light. To be honest, I only needed to get a couple of mild thoughts off the brain.

Night world.

H x

Insomnia and Mental Health.

I’m actually starting to pick up a bit. Halle-bleeding-lujah, I cry. It’s about bloody time!! After spending 7 months in the deep dark hellish pits of depression, it’s almost like a weight is lifting off my shoulders. A veil that covered my eyes is slowly rising, as my perception of my life and the world around me starts to change.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely out of the woods yet. The climb back to the top, means a climb back up a very slippery slope. The potential for me to fall straight back down the hole is still a great risk. However, I won’t focus on that. I’m determined to make it out of the pit, to be on a level again, to get a sense of being normal again, whatever that is for me.

Still, the one thing that plagues me regardless of my hopeful chances of recovery, is this damn insomnia.

What is insomnia?

According to the NHS:

Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning, even though you’ve had enough opportunity to sleep.

Most people experience sleeping problems at some point in their life. It’s thought that a third of people in the UK have episodes of insomnia. It tends to be more common in women and more likely to occur with age.

It’s difficult to define what normal sleep is because everyone is different. Your age, lifestyle, environment and diet all play a part in influencing the amount of sleep you need.

The most common symptoms of insomnia are:

  • difficulty falling asleep
  • waking up during the night
  • waking up early in the morning
  • feeling irritable and tired and finding it difficult to function during the day

What causes insomnia?

Stress and anxiety are common causes of insomnia.

It is also possible to develop insomnia as a result of conditions such as depressionschizophrenia or asthma.

In some cases, taking certain medication or misusing alcohol or drugs can also cause insomnia.

Read more about the causes of insomnia.

Self-help

There are a number of things you can do to help you get to sleep such as:

  • avoiding caffeine later in the day
  • avoiding heavy meals late at night
  • setting regular times to wake up
  • using thick curtains or blinds, an eye mask and earplugs to stop you being woken up by light and noise

These measures are often referred to as ‘good sleep hygiene‘.

Relaxation can also help. Try taking a warm bath an hour before you go to bed or listening to calming music.

Read more self-help tips for insomnia.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if a lack of sleep is affecting your daily life and you feel that it’s causing a problem.

Fatigue due to insomnia can affect your mood and create problems with personal relationships and in the workplace.

Keeping a sleep diary may help you and your GP gain a better understanding of your sleep patterns.

Treating insomnia

The first step in treating insomnia is to identify and treat any underlying health conditions, such as anxiety, that may be causing your sleep problems.

Your GP will probably discuss the self-help measures for insomnia with you (see above) which may help to improve your sleep.

In some cases, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may be recommended. It’s is a type of talking therapy which may be useful in helping you avoid thoughts and behaviours that are affecting your sleep.

Sleeping tablets are a treatment of last resort and are often only used in the short-term with the smallest possible dose. Although they can sometimes relieve the symptoms of insomnia, they don’t treat the cause. Therefore, if you have long-term insomnia, it’s unlikely that sleeping tablets will help.

This information is all courtesy of the NHS Choices page on Insomnia which can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Insomnia/Pages/Introduction.aspx

I have been one of these people that suffers with insomnia, whether I’m high, low, or normal. There are a lot of contributing factors in this, and the main one right now, is pain. What is very fortunate for me, is that, because I don’t want to risk being it what causes me to fall back into the pit.

My sleeping tablet has started kicking in now, and my eye lids keep dropping so I will say goodnight to the world.

Nighty night.

H x