Monday, 30 September 2013

33dc- day 3 tribal

Tribal. Yes. Well. I love tribal nails. However there are a lot of fiddly little lines involved and I tend to have shaky hand issues... These two things don't mix that well! I do quite like the design though so maybe I'll try practicing it again sometime when I have more time. I don't think I have much else to say... I'm gonna try and come back later with some more swatches so I won't ramble too much for now.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Finally magic goose swatches!

Firstly, apologies. I'm still relying on my phone a lot so a) the pics aren't great (tbf that's not entirely the phones fault lol) and b) they're all at the end! I'll try and fix the latter if I get my hands on a computer.

Sooo magic goose. Do have a look cos they're beautiful. They have a range of six polishes atm all based on Greek mythology.
When I eventually made a decision The first polish I picked was aphrodite, 'goddess of love, desire, pleasure and beauty' according to the website. Very appropriate seeing aa she's beautiful and I love her.... um the polish not the goddess that would be weird.
In my sneak peek post I showed aphrodite alone but for these pics it's a single coat over a sinful colours purple simply because personally I hate any hint of sheerness... As I mention repeatedly so you probably know lol. The blurry thumb pic is my trying to do a close up of one of the hearts which are pretty and shiny and holo-y. But I failed so you'll have to take my word for it. There aren't a huge number of hearts and I quite liked that, think it had a nice balance but if you're looking for several hearts on every nail you may be disappointed.
Oof there's a reason I never swatch I fail to think of anything useful to say! Ooo one thing: whilst I didn't want to take it off, when I did it was amazingly easy....I mean it's a glitter so it took a little work but compared to most glitters I've used Yea it was easy.

Second is electra. Now I'm afraid all my traitor brain can come up with for the name is Jung and the electra complex... which is totally irrelevant! The magic goose site, though, has a lovely description of electra and of the transposition of the story into polish so ignore me and read that.
Anyway electra is a glitter topper. In the pics in eating it over a blank cat polish that I'm writing about another day, hence only two nails of electra sorry. But isn't lovely? I hate applying mixed glitter toppers a lot because I hate having to dabble and fish around and rearrange....I'm way too inpatient and want something I can just polish and go with. Which is what I got here, so happy haha. The stars are plentiful and easy to catch and I live the pick and mix (sorry sweet focused! ) purple. There's a lot of holo here that the pics failed to capture. And.... Well it's just lovely! Lol.
Ooook I ramble, I'll shut up now. But don't forget to click on the magic goose link. X

Friday, 27 September 2013

33dc day 3-tape mani

Eep ok so I confess tape isn't my strong point.... shaky hands and impatient are not qualities that lend themselves to taping. I do enjoy the effect though, and I haven't done much so I'll keep practising and hope. But until then here's today's effort.
Some starbursts (mmm sweets lol) some points and a zigzag, not too busy right? Lol. I totally planned to tape the inner stars too but I kinda ran out of concentration hence the scruff! The pinky red in Bon Bon a polish I received in a taras talons order yesterday and couldn't resist using. There's also colour club silver and a models own pinky purple that I forget the name of.
Anyway, pic is below. X

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Katie's blogging to-do list

Aka coming soon.
Aka me trying to motivate myself by committing to things publicly!

-magic goose swatches
-anxiety fact box
-rainbow connection order swatches
-taras talons ditto
-part three of 'but why' saga
-get ahead on 33dc before holiday
-a more personal mh post
-a craft tutorial that I've been meaning to do for ages
-attend Buddhist Centre (psych's idea!) drop in and post about it

Hmm is that it? Apathy is a pain! Definitely struggling to get myself going atm so need to get back into to do lists and planners and such to make sure I stay productive. Otherwise it becomes a horrible vicious cycle of feeling crap and useless and not bothering to do things thus feeling even more crap and useless and doing even less and so on....
In other news Twitter has spoken and asda and tesco were forced to listen. I could rant for hours about everything that is wrong about a mental patient Halloween costume (aside from the fact it cost twenty quid for a coat a mask and a plastic cleaver!) But I think it's been said before.... and better by others tbh. I confess to a hideous and inappropriate sense of humor and I'm frequently facetious (the above crack about the price for example...) but even I found that offensive. Pssh! Thank goodness for mind and rethink and time to change.... and not forgetting Twitter and it's membership. X

Random polish shot cos.... Well just because. The collection has grown since then :s. X

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

33dc day two-most used polish

Hmm so my most used polish by a long shot is opi my boyfriend scales walls....But it's white and the rules say preferably not white! So I used an opi neon people as well which I use tonnes.
Anyway I've been wanting to do an alzheimer's awareness mani all month (September is alzheimers awareness month) life just kinda kept getting in the way lol. So since the awareness ribbon is purple I drew various different ribbons on my nails and added AD for alzheimers dementia. It's not the neatest artwork ever in not good at fiddly stuff but hey.
So alzheimer's. Means a lot to me as several of the people I care for have dementia in some form or another. There are several forms but alzheimer's is most common accounting for more than half of cases, followed by vascular dementia.
Nobody knows exactly what causes alzheimer's, though there are distinct changes which occur in the brain during the disease, including problems in individual neurones, the communication between them and the size of the brain as a whole.
Obviously the most well known symptom is memory loss, but alzheimer's is so much more than just forgetting names or dates. People can forget the most basic things such as where rooms in their house are, how to work household appliances....Or even what those appliances are. Recognition of places and people and self deteriorate. All of this can make the world a very scary place, not knowing the most basic information about yourself or your surroundings. Changes occur in mood and personality as well. Eventually individuals become less and less able to function independently and will need support from family, friends or care workers.
Oh dear it all sounds terribly bleak doesn't it? There isn't a cure but there ARE things that can be done to relieve symptoms and slow progression as well as techniques to improve quality of life. And there is research ongoing all the time. X

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Two magic geese a magic wand and a giveaway

Hmm well I can show you the geese and the giveaway (ooo alteration, like! Lol)... The wand I just want. My head is being a bit rubbish this week, I'm struggling with that heavy cba feeling. It's days like this where I get all mopey and self pitying and wish someone would just wave a magic wand and make it all better.  Unfortunately that isn't possible so I'll keep taking the meds, keep seeing the therapist and keep up the mindfulness.... and hope for the best :p. And quit daydreaming about what I can't have!
Now onto what I DO have. First up a quick giveaway link. Datyorkloves is celebrating her five hundredth post by giving away a set of LA colors minis. Clicky clicky lol.
The second thing, which I'm very excited about, is two magic goose polishes that came in the post today. I'll do a proper post about them soon as they are very beautiful but here's a sneak peak since I couldn't resist playing this morning. Very quick and very scruffy as I really didn't have time but like I say proper post soon. There's no top coat here and they're not even properly dry(!!) But still!
Check out the magic goose shop here.

Monday, 23 September 2013

33 day challenge day 1-dots much the same way I soar to have started a blog I altar to have joined crumpet's nail tarts' 33 day challenge. I don't know how this happened exactly but I expect I thought it would be fun!
Day one is dots...I fail at coming up with dot designs that are anything other than neat little rows (which is the title of a brilliant elbow song btw lol it up! That's not the point). So I decided to go off on a random tangent that vaguely relates back to my blog: chemicals. More specifically two neurotransmitters. Thumb is serotonin and middle is dopamine. Two nice friendly little chemicals that whizz around the brain and make us feel happiness and calmness and pleasure. Something like that anyway. I'll admit the representations aren't a hundred per cent accurate... is not easy to draw chemicals in your nails, who knew? Poor little hydrogen got left out for a start as it was just too fiddly!
So there you have it brain chemicals made out of dots for a nail art challenge on a mental health awareness blog. It all fits together somewhere right?!
Black and red are Essie liquorice and snap happy (Oh appropriate name lol) Blue is unlabelled colour club and base is number 17 silver holo. X

Blog your heart out

I was nominated for this by Sarah at penny-pinching Polish, do check out her blog it's great :).
Soo the rules are answer the following five questions, and then nominate five other people to do the same. So here goes.

1.What/who encouraged you to start blogging?
I was bored basically :p. Na I got involved with the time to change campaign fighting mental health stigma and wanted somewhere to say my piece.
2. How did you choose what topic(s) to blog about?
I blog about allsorts of random junk Haha. The mental health stuff is something im passionate about, and is significant to me personally. The nail bits cos im obsessed Hehe. Anything else just cos it pops into my head and I fancy writing about it :p.
3. What is something that most people don't know about you? 
Erm? I'm not sure, I'm really quite transparent. How about I used to play cricket as a kid? This would confuse people a lot as I suck at sport!
4. What three words describe your style? Silly, colourful, dull (ninety percent of the time my style is really boring jeans and t shirt... The rest of the time it's a little mad :p).
5. What do you like to do when you are not blogging?
I'm slowly slowly slowly doing an open university degree. I'm also a guide leader and a bellringer and play darts (I say I play darts it's more like throwing things randomly at a board Haha).

The five bloggers I'm nominating, um?
Special girl nails
Swishie nails
Oh to feel pretty
Science geek chic
That red head said

I tried to pick a variety of different blogs, I'm really sorry if any of you have done this before. X

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Put on a happy face! :D

I was thinking I should probably say something of substance but was really struggling to come up with anything to talk about (I need to do the anxiety fact box post I promised but it seems a little daunting right now).
Anyway I was saved by someone uttering the unfortunate phrase 'you seem much better this week'. I'm aware that sounds like a good thing. It IS a good thing...If I can't BE happy I may aswell seem happy.  But it's one of many stupid contradictions in my life and/or brain that I expend considerable energy trying to convince everyone I'm fine but then get upset when they fall for it.
I don't want to be the miserable one all the time, I don't want to seem weak, I don't want to scare people off or to have them judge me. Oof I'm supposed to be against mental health stigma with this blog but there I go stigmatising myself before anyone else even gets a chance. It's easy to convince yourself that nobody will like you if you're always ill dull boring down.
And it's a balance....sometimes playing the game and putting on the happy face actually helps. You force yourself to get out and join in and you end up feeling a little less useless, a little less alone. Problem is the rest of the time it leaves you feeling drained and fake and hopeless- is this the closest to ok you can expect?
It's exhausting playing at being ok all day long when all you want to do is crawl into bed and hide. But if you were to retreat from the world (and goodness knows it's tempting) you would eventually be faced with the imposing task of re-engaging with life and putting everything back together again.
It can be very hard to find the balance between letting people in, letting them help you and falling apart and letting the head noise consume you.

Back to my starting point- so often people, quite reasonably, assume it's encouraging to tell someone they seem well, that if validates their efforts and will make them feel good. However, commonly it can have the opposite effect. There's something horribly INvalidating about being told you seem well when in reality you're struggling like mad just to survive. Plus it gives that horrible sneaky little voice of denial a doorway to wander in and start wreaking havoc. See you're fine you're just being stupid there's nothing wrong with you you seem well so making a fuss so being so pathetic just get a grip. It's a very unhelpful voice.

Did I have a point do you think? Basically if you have a mental illness use the 'I'm fine' look with caution. If you're supporting someone with mental illness beware of telling them how they are, it's always better to start a conversation with a question than an assumption cos some of us are disgustingly good at deception!
As for myself, I've learnt that I need to be careful to schedule my appointments so I'm not going straight from work. Turns out if I do that I turn up in 'work mode' and seem happy and fine and great. Which is not so helpful for the whole therapy thing (and plus introduces the extra level of fear that they will decide im fine and don't need them and give the help to someone who deserves it! ).
Bit of a ramble sorry! The nail pic is old vis my nails are plain and boring atm since I've not had much time. I figured the little smilies were appropriate anyway Hehe. I forget when they're from or what I used... The yellow is tarastalons sandcastles I know cos I'm in love Haha. Think the pink is barielle? Sailor's delight maybe? The others are probably color club and the white Barbara Daly... plus trusty models own nail art pen. Does that cover it? X

Just a quick post....

... cos I finally got round to wearing the dress I won in Charlotte's giveaway at science geek chic. And I'm slightly in love. 

I love Joe browns stuff so so much. But I hardly ever order cos I resent paying postage on returns and things rarely fit me :p. I'm cheap like that lol, but they're a little out of my price range in the first place :(. I have a feeling they're available in other places now though? Debenhams and kaleidoscope spring to mind. 

**edit** ok I lie... turns out they now have a free delivery options through hermes parcel shop. Bit of a chore out this way but encouraging definitely! my bank balance could be in trouble. 

I wore it to a wedding and I'm not convinced about the wedding-y-ness of the outfit in general but I was rushing Haha.... and anyway did I mention I live the dress? I would have loved to wear a classy little shrug and some pastel, or maybe turquoise, kitten heels (at 5'11" kitten heels are definitely my friends!). I would have loved to wear it without the leggings too but, well that's the price you pay for years of self harm I guess...I choose not to show my scars for the most part, I'm not ashamed exactly but they're hardly attractive.  Consequently I definitely need to go legging shopping (black milk??) And probably pick up some smarter cardis too!
But anyway enough of what I didn't wear and on to what I did wear. Sorry the pics are all just dumped at the end and not integrated I don't know how to do anything else from my phone. So first pic is the whole outfit and is an appalling photo cos it was nighttime and I was tipsy :p. The second is a close up of the print... and of course there had to be nails in there too, even though they're dull cos I ran out of time! Final pic is the Joe Brown's logo button, which I photoed cos I thought it was cute and I have a weird love of buttons Haha.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

No more waiting!

Well um ok just a little more waiting....
Rainbow connection UK (which I posted about.... At some point!) Finally opens for business on Sunday.... and in just a little excited.
So excited I decided to dedicate a whole post to it (though I confess laziness has a little to do with that too lol).
They're planning a graduated opening with the first phase this weekend looking a little like this:
We will officially start operations on Sunday, 22 Sep, 8pm with a soft launch/staggered release of these brands: Polished by KPT (pre-order event)Cadillacquer (ready stock) Liquid Sky Lacquer (ready stock) and CrowsToes Nail Color (ready stock). Other brands will follow next week. 

Exciting no? So many polishes that I've admired from afar but couldn't quite justify the hideous shipping for. My bank manager will not be happy...I on the other hand will be like a porcine creature in excrement :p. You can visit their fb here where they've written about their brand and there's a link to their website, which (did I mention this yet? Haha) will be up and running ready for orders on SUNDAY. Yea im excited...I think everyone else should be too so clicky clicky....Just don't order the last bottles of the polishes in after Hehe. X

Ps. Todays nails, one if the Barry M magnetics too lazy to check for a name.... plus I finally caved and bought seche vite lol.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

playing at being a proper polish blogger

IToday I received the grab bag I ordered from gnarly gnails blog sale and since id got a free afternoon I figured id indulge myself and swatch them. I say indulge myself since a dim room and phone camera isn't necessarily conducive to helpful swatch photos lol. Nevertheless...
Sidetracked by ruby white tips...can it pause a moment to say i love the bottle? Little things and little minds haha.
This is the first major picture fail, expect more lol. I love this a's purple and it's shimmery of course i do. It looks more...delicate irl, the pic makes it look kinda sludgey but its a much more subtle colour.
moving swiftly on then! I covered it with Shimmer Adrienne:
Tbh there's so much glitter in this i probably could have gotten away with a few layers of it on it's's just my personal preference not to wear gkitters that way (swatch fail number two lol) so this isbone coat over side tracked. Here's a slightly better pic:

I decided to swatch the next two together a) cos im lazy and b) cos they're teeny tiny bottles and i wanted somenleft to actually play with. This issea lore adella (gold) andabottle tgat's just labelled with glitter me this (pink...obviously lol), both over rimmel black out.

It doesn't say much for my photography that ive managed to makenpink abd gold look incredibly similar lol. But i promise the pink especially is really pretty. The gold is one coat and the pink i one on the index and two on the ring. I fail at applying glitters nicely and these both went on really easily so that's a major plus! i like them both but i probably wouldn't choose anything quite as bling as the gold myself.
speaking of bling:

Polish me xrazy pot of gold may well be the OED definition of bling! Iprobably could have layered this over something as it took four coats for it to be as opaque as i wanted...but then i loathe even the lightest hint of sheerness so meh, anyway:

Im stryggling to imagine where i, personally, would wear it...but it's pretty and it applied nicely asides from needing lots of coats. I like that is has a teeny tiny ever so slight pinky edge to it making it softer and warmer.
Chirality gacy sorry but my inappropriate sense of humour likes the name! I like the polish too it's fun. I struggle a little with these style of glitters just cos they don't sit well with my more obsessively ordered side that likes everything to be neat and cobtrolable. My nuttiness aside though I love it. There's so much going on...and even with a mini bottle it was easy toofind and apply the glitter...i did chuck on aasecond coat of topcoat to make it a little smoother as it was a bit lumpy after one. Sooo final of the hundreds of pics for today:

I ran out of daylight lol. And it's blurry but oh well! Two coats over barbara daly snow.
Phew! Think ill stick to easy things like discussing the intricasies of mental health haha. x

Drugged up

I started some new pills this week, which got me thinking about psych medications in general. I figured I'd post some of the rights that meandered through my brain, since it's a subject that often divides opinion strongly and is littered with misconceptions.

I feel kinda weird writing this tbh...I don't exactly have a good track record when it comes to meds. I've refused them and abused them, pretended is was taking them when I wasn't, come off them randomly, hoarded them, overdosed on them. Yea. None of that shit is clever.
I just hated the pills so much. And the hatred was largely fear. I was scared of the side effects (most anti depressants I've taken have sent my anxiety levels through the roof) and scared of yet another thing not working. But mostly I was scared they would work. I was scared of being well cos I didn't think I deserved it, I didn't think it was 'right'.I was scared of who I would be of I was well, scared I would be out of control and unstoppable.
The mind plays tricks on you.
Nowadays I'm pretty much just willing to do as I'm told, I'm tired. Of self destruction and self sabotage and self pity. If there's the tiniest chance something might work im taking it.
And there's more than a tiny chance meds will work. There IS scientific evidence for that.... even if it is rather complicated and conflicted (and nobody can decide why they work Haha). Meds aren't the be all and end all, and they're not for everybody but I wouldn't just dismiss them out of hand.
Let's consider a few of the objections shall we:
Antidepressants are over prescribed
Yes quite possibly true. In a system that's short on time, money and expertise pill pushing is quicker and cheaper and easier. BUT that doesn't mean they don't have their place. Antibiotics have a history of being over used but you still wouldn't refuse them if you had raging pneumonia would you? Everything has its place. The suggested first line of treatment for mild depression is exercise and online cbt. Once you step into moderate and severe depression where your day to day functioning is required THEN meds are recommended. Often in conjunction with talking therapies. The theory is that without the boost from medications the symptoms of the illness make it very hard to engage with and benefit from therapy.
They have side effects
This is true. You read the patient information leaflet and you'd expect to be more I'll after taking the piss than you were before! And yes all these have been experienced by people.... But not all at once. Everyone reacts differently and the side effect profile is usually a collation of the findings of several studies listing all the things that happened more with the active drug than with a placebo. You might feel nauseous you might get headaches. But then you might get side effects from any drug. I'm looking at possible side effects for ibuprofen (pretty innocuous right?) The list includes nausea and vomiting, abdo pain, headaches, dizziness, fluid retention eight up to broncospasm, stomach ulcers, blood in vomit or stools and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. But we don't think twice about taking them, they're available over the counter.
I don't want to become dependent on tablets
Most psych meds aren't addictive... In that they don't cause the same chemical changes in the brain as psychical addictions. I can testify that coming off them at random can be pretty unpleasant in some cases... But then you shouldn't come off meds like that anyway.
The pills are just a TOOL to help you when you are unwell. It's not about depending on them it's about using all the help you can possibly get to get well yourself.
I don't need or deserve pills I should be able to do it myself
This is a depressed (or manic or anxious or whatever your diagnosis of choice is) mind speaking. Of course you deserve medical help, it's a basic human right. And as for doing it yourself you may as well stand looking up at the top shelf going 'but I SHOULD be able to reach it' whilst there's a ladder right next to you. Similar to the above. Use the tools that are being offered to you.

There are more in sure but im aware this is getting very long so I'll just leave you with some nails. Today is an Essie purple I forget the name of with a color club silver that I never knew the name of. I'm good at this right? Lol. I've been wanting to do silver and purple for a couple of days now and finally found I design I liked on a blog but I've promptly forgotten which and my phones history is not helping so sorry! If you know do please share! Lol. X

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Guilty pleasures

Linky Linky link sorry feeling lazy.
We all love things that we really shouldn't right?
Like the appalling dad jokes innocent smoothies post on their fb that eternally make me giggle. They remind me of my grandad- what did one eye say to the other? Between you and me something smells! Ha ha ha, groan...
Or crappy tv that you watch religiously (think doctors and gilmore girls).
Maybe junk food? Everyone loves junk food right? I'm a little in love with McDonald's McBites right now, I go to the drive through to buy tea during my breaks at work and somehow end up leaving with them as well haha.
There's always music....a quick scan of my phones music player throws up: dido- white flag, sandi thom- I wish I was a punk rocker (I really do lol) and a whole sum41 album!

Oh and the inspiration for the post? It's my day off and I'm still in bed at nearly midday :p.
What are everybody else's guilty little secrets?

(Nails are rimmel blank out plus a models own silver nail art pen.... and really scruffy! Lol)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Silly little things take two

So, following on from my negative post the other day I figured I'd do a more positive post on the flip side.
Yes silly little things can kick start a downward spiral.... But the smallest comment or gesture can just as easily add a tiny happy spark to a bad day.
So often when I'm struggling visibly the people around me am what they can do. Which is a thoroughly reasonable question, it is painful to watch someone in pain and not know what you can do to help. Unfortunately the answer that trots off my tongue more often than not is 'nothing' (there's no point nothing will help I don't deserve anything....Yawn the depressed mind is terribly dull).
It's the wrong answer though. A better answer would be 'nothing special'. I don't expect people to wave a magic wand, and I don't want to turn my friends into therapists (I can't afford to pay them enough :p). The things that make all the difference are those 'silly little things'. The reminders that I'm loved, I matter, I'm real. A simple 'I hope you're okay' message, or a how are you from someone who actually wants to hear the answer. If you know someone with mental health issues the simplest and most powerful thing you can do is just check in.
That's not to day half the time I don't answer with a highly irritating 'im fine'... But that doesn't mean it haven't registered, just that talking is too much just then. Our maybe in just fine Haha. Don't be discouraged if you seem to be hitting brick walls all the time, every little helps (Oh dear lol).

I need to blog earlier in the day my brain turns to mush after dark. But my point, essentially, is that all the little things do matter and are appreciated....More than you probably realise. The best way you can help a friend is to... Be a friend basically, simple as that.

(Nails- I played with striping tape, colour club unnamed Blue topped with a blue textured 17 polish.... um I think? I'm bad at this Haha)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Quick and silly

I don't have a lot of any great import to say today tbh. So I figured I'd just share the fact that it's Roald Dahl day today. And I'm a geek so I painted Roald Dahl books on my nails. Well attempted to anyway, i'm certainly not claiming to be an artist lol. I loved Roald Dahl so much as a kid, read them all and still remember most. They're just fun Hehe. Him and Dr Zuess have a lot to answer for! Aaaaanyway did I say quick? In case it's not obvious from my amazing artwork ( :p) we have (from thumb to little finger) James and the giant peach, George's marvellous medicine, the enormous crocodile and the BFG's dream trumpet.
I confess the stories were chosen more for ease of imagery than because they are favourites.... besides I would struggle to pick favourites anyway. Yea I never grew up. Honorary mention to the twits though....I loved that one just couldn't draw it lol. 
Erm polishes? White is a Barbara Daly one, plus there's color club navy and peach, tarastalons sandcastles, barielle sailors delight, Green is simple pleasures I think and the teal-y bubbles are rimmel blue eyed girl. Plus models own nail art pen and loreal something out other for the pink nail on the magic finger.
Phew lol.
I like a bit of silliness.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fact box: depression

So, since anxiety and depression is the most commonly occurring mental health issue I figured I'd start my fact box series there. Depression today, anxiety to follow (sounds like the weather forecast to my life Haha).

Names depression, major depression, major depressive disorder, MDD, unipolar depression, clinical depression.
Symptoms include
Low mood, pessimism, Tearfulness
Apathy, lack of motivation, low energy
Poor memory and concentration
Irritability and anger
Lack of interest in enjoyable activities and reduced sex drive
Low self esteem and self worth
Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, pessimism
Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
Lack of self care and personal grooming
Poor coping strategies- drugs, alcohol, self harm
Thoughts of suicide or harming oneself
Social isolation and reduced interaction, withdrawal

Amongst others. There are certain common recurring features but everyone's experience is different.

The first port of call for symptoms of depression is usually your gp (or equivalent).
A decent gp should listen to you and probably ask you to fill in a couple if quick diagnostic tests (and no not ALL of them are, they're human too....But that's another post and I'd never discourage someone from seeking help simply because of the possibility of a bad reaction).
The most common of these are the patient health questionnaire-9 and the Beck depression inventory, though there are many similar ones used. They will simply ask you to rate how often you've noticed certain characteristic symptoms over the last two weeks, and how much this has affected your life. The over two weeks but is part of the diagnostic criteria (as per DSM-IV) though some people may be suffering for a lot longer before seeking help.
These tests are a basic way of screening for depression and giving a rough gauge of the severity of the condition, along the way your present to the Dr and the things to share with them.
Depending on factors such as severity, risk (to self or dependents) and social/family support your gp may treat you themselves without initially referring you.
This could be through online self help or self help workbooks, exercise, or medications (more below).
Alternatively you may be referred on for more specialist assessment and treatment by qualified mental health professionals. This can include:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (cbt) which aims to identify and change unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour.
Counselling which encourages patients to talk through worries with an impartial professional
Community psychiatric teams such as home treatment teams who can support those who are struggling to carry out tasks for every day living
Psychiatrists who are specialised mental health doctors and able to prescribe medications that a gp may be less familiar with.

Ah, yes, medications.
Antidepressants the most common antidepressants used these days come from a group called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs (fluoxetine, citalopram etc). As the name suggests they treat depression by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, which seems to alleviate the symptoms of depression. They generally have fewer side effects than older tricyclic antidepressants, though headaches, nausea, anxiety and changes in sleep, appetite and sex drive are reasonably common but tend to decrease after the first few weeks.
Medications can be effective but are only recommended for moderate to severe cases, and may take several weeks to take effect.
Less commonly other forms of psychotropic drug such as antipsychotic drugs (risperidone olanzapine),  or mood stabilisers (lithium, lamotrigine) may be used in conjunction with antidepressants. This is more common in enduring cases where the usual treatments have had little effect.

Even less commonly more drastic treatments such as hospitalisation, electroconvulsive therapy or deep brain stimulation made be used. There is plenty of info around on these but such complex therapies are not something that should really be discussed with professionals not by me on a blog (I'm all for speaking out about mh but some times one can do more harm than good by sharing incomplete information).

2.6 per cent of people in England will experience depression, this rises to nearly 10 per cent for mixed anxiety and depression
1 in 20 will suffer diagnosable depression at any given time (both taken from
A WHO study found that depression has a greater impact on personal wellbeing than conditions such as angina or diabetes.

Related conditions
Mixed anxiety and depression (MAD)
bipolar disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Post natal depression

The depression alliance
Depression UK
Moodjuice (online self help)
NHS choices depression page

Phew that's longer than intended, I'll try to get more succinct I promise. It's getting late so if any of the links don't work let me know and I'll try fix. Also if there are any sites you've tried that you would like to share let me know and I'll add them.... same for anxiety which as mentioned is coming next.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Silly little things...

That can have a big impact.
So yes. We all overreact to things don't we? That cringe worthy moment where you look back on a situation and wonder what on earth possessed you to make such a big deal. Or worse those frustrating moments when you're watching yourself being ridiculous and you KNOW you're being ridiculous... but you just carry on being ridiculous anyway!
At least or assume we all do that. I do.
The thing is I do it a lot more when I'm unwell. When I'm doing well mentally it's a lot easier to adopt a 'don't sweat the small stuff' attitude. When struggling with anxiety and/or depression every little thing becomes too much. When you've fought like mad and finally forced yourself out of bed, something as seemingly silly as burning your toast can make it all seem hopeless. The brain runs away with you and jumps to all sorts of conclusions (running AND jumping? My brain is very active tonight is seems, maybe that explains the mixed metaphors). One piece of chargrilled bread can convince you that you fail at everything, there's no point trying cos you just mess things up, can't get anything right, obviously didn't deserve the toast or food or care and really should have just stayed in bed in the first place.
Which is totally irrational thinking of course....But it feels real, it feels true, and it hurts.
And then someone comes along and tels you to stop being silly. To get a grip. Pull yourself together and all the other clichés. It can be very difficult to watch someone fall apart over something that send so unimportant. It must be terribly frustrating when the obvious solution seems to be 'well just make another slice of toast'. Except of course the toast was never the real problem, but it can be very hard to articulate that during bad moments. So people get frustrated, annoyed, fed up and see obviously everyone hates you you're a horrible person you hurt people make them angry should just stay away from them, they be better off if....
And the cycle continues. Personally i'm lucky, I have some wonderfully understanding people in my life. Not everyone has that.
Oh and in case you're wondering why the random post: I accidently deleted what I originally intended to post, and promptly bust into tears. Can't think why I decided to post about overacting :p.
And nails (opi stranger tides with nail laquer uk autumn weather's on top).
And I don't think I've ever talked about toast quite so much as I have in this post lol.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Tie a yellow ribbon

So sIightly dubious musical references aside I do have a serious point. Today is world suicide prevention day, of course being me I felt the need to paint my nails to mark this.
This is something I tara's talondery strongly about but somehow I pseem to be struggling to find what I want to say. Which I guess is the problem. Nobody wants to talk about many negative connotations, people who are Suicidal are weak, selfish, attention seeking, dangerous even. None of these are true, and I say this having lost someone to suicide as well as having contemplated it myself. The impact of of a death by suicide is huge, long lasting and widespread but attributing such negative traits to those who genuinely feel so much pain that death feels like the only option helps nobody. In fact it only serves to further isolate people are make them less likely to reach out, seek help.
And there is help. There is a way out. I promise. Click here.
There are links at the end of the article but here's a list anyway.
UK-  samaritans 08457 909090 (also ROI on 0850 609090)
Australia- lifeline 13 11 14
New Zealand- lifeline new Zealand 0800 543 354
USA and Canada- national suicide prevention hotline 1800 273 TALK
5% of people will attempt it at some point in their life according to estimates, and one person succeeds every forty seconds world wide. We hear about wars and murders on the news daily.... suicide kills more people than both of those combined. It's ok to talk about it.

Ps. it occurs to me i should probably start mentioning the products i use so today was a black i forget the name of from rimmel, a black and a white modelsown nail art pen and the beautiful 'sandcastles' from tara's talons (little bit in love i confess lol).

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Village People

Sooo time to change village yesterday. Terrifying and bizarre and exciting in equal measure. I totally meant to post before now but with guides yesterday morning then off to cam and straight back to ringing meeting yesterday and then eleven hour split shift today there just aren't enough hours in the day.
All of which is to say I haven't been able to formulate a pepper past so I'll simply say: I'm just a little bit proud of myself for getting there and doing it. And the event itself was great.
And I'll just dump a load of pics on you. Will come back and add some info and captions and things when I'm not on my phone :).

Friday, 6 September 2013

Speed posting

Hmm so I can't really think of much I want to say today so I'll keep it brief. It's been a wobbly kinda week and I'm tired (nothing new there then! Haha). Time to change village tomorrow, but not until after our first guide meeting back after the summer holidays. So exciting things for tomorrow.
As for today, I have an offer I thought I'd share, whether or not that's exciting or not I'm not sure. It's exciting to me cos it involves free nail Polish.
I must admit I'm a sucker for a freebie. In that person who buys something they don't want just because something else they don't want comes free with it Haha. In this case however the freebie is a full size nails Inc Polish when you but colgate MaxWhite ONE. There's a choice of two reds made for the offer. The toothpaste.... Well I'll use it and let you know I guess lol I doubt I would have bought it otherwise... though tbf after years of smoking (quit in Feb, Yay!) and intermittent ED behaviors my teeth could do with a helping hand in the whiteness department so we'll see.
The polish I HAVE tried obviously Haha. What can I say about that? I picked the metallic red since I already have a couple of bright reds. I really like the colour actually... though it will forever be called colgate red in my mind haha, I think the real name is luminous? And I love nails Inc a lot anyway, they're always so easy lol.
But hey I'm not really a polish reviewer (does it show? Lol). So I'll leave you with a pic and the information that the offer is available at boots while stocks last, free polish when you but one £3.99 tube of colgate maxwhite ONE.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Yea, but WHY? aka part two

**For the purposes of the next few paragraphs whilst talking about 'physical illnesses' what u really mean is communicable diseases. Obviously there are other illnesses, for the sake of simplicity in narrowing it down. Anyway....**
I said I'd come back to this. But I lost my train of thought a little.
Anyway this photo popped up on my fb a while ago and I figured it was as good a starting point as any.
There are several similar images around...The combating of stigma through comparison of physical and mental illnesses and how they're treated/perceived.
And it's a pretty powerful tool. I mean physical illness is something everyone can relate to and can understand to a greater or lesser degree. I guess it comes back to the whole causality thing, there are certain things we accept as basic facts when it comes to physical ailments. But it's not always been that way, and there are times in the past where people with simple physical illnesses WERE treated with the same fear that many mentally unwell people experience nowadays. Without doing any real research (sorry!) The ostricisation of lepers or the crosses on the doors of plague victims spring to mind. These two reactions also sprung from fear, the fear of contamination from diseases that at the time weren't understood. In a time before the development of germ theory, which we all largely accept now, theories such as that of miasma prevailed. And with no clear knowledge or understanding of how to avoid or cure such diseases fear for personal safety was a natural reaction.
Since then the works of scientists such a pasteur, lister, koch amongst others have led to huge improvements in medical knowledge and public understanding. None of us enjoy being ill but the most common everyday illnesses tend to cause irritation more than fear. We can isolate, view, name and in many cases kill avoid or eliminate the pathogens responsible.
With mental illnesses however we're stuck at s point much earlier in the journey. Our knowledge base is increasing and there is a lot of research bring carried out and several different theories from experts. But a) this is not so much in the public domain and b) nobody really KNOWS. And don't you just hate that? Is terrifying right? Easier to just lable mental illnesses as 'individual choice' and move on. The problem is its pretty terrifying from the inside as well. It's certainly not unusual for sufferers to entertain similar ideas, to blame themselves, or even to embrace their illness as a lifestyle choice (think pro-ana/-mia).
Unfortunately the nobody knowing bit is not something I have the power to influence, I can however help to share what we DO know on this little part of the Internet. For a start over the next few weeks I'll be dropping in 'fact box' type posts, focusing on specific conditions. Obviously my own knowledge is also limited and whilst I'll try hard to be accurate I will also be pointing the way to more in depth specialised resources.
For now I'll leave you with a couple if general Links to time to change and mind. :).

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

And for my next trick...

So today was training day for the time to change event I posted about a few days ago. So off I toddled to Huntingdon..... Very proud I found my way all the way there and to the right building and everything without the satnav. Largely cos I've forgotten where I put it Haha. Anyway I met some lovely people and chatted about some interesting stuff..... Some of which I may touch on another time. However, since the drive took about two hours Thanks to the road works at Thetford (but Yay dual carriageway is coming :D) i'm kinda shattered. And I fail at coherent sentences at the best of times. So I'm afraid it's another list.... This time of things I want to try:
Like this Cath Kidston design by one nail to rule them all... She makes it sound so simple in her tutorial but I'm not convinced :p. Fun to try though.
Kettlercise I need to get motivated to use my gym membership. And there' s a lady keeps telling me how much fun this class is.
Homemade hummus.... For no or reason than in totally obsessed with the stuff right now lol.

I'm sure there were more but it's really too late for this thinking malarkey :p. Night.
Oh ps. Nails lol:

Monday, 2 September 2013

Brain Freeze

Oh dear, my brain doesn't seem to be working. Its been a long day lol.
What can i think of to say?
Things that are awesome:
- frozen frubes
- the end of the summer holidays....and hopefully some return to normality, whatever that may be
- the digit-al dozen one year anniversary giveaway
- sleep
- Stephen King's Dark Tower series (which im vaguely obsessed with so will no doubt ramble about more in future)
- sunsunsun :)

Things that are less awesome:
- apathy...depression is being a nuisance right now and consequently any kind of motivation seems to have gone on holiday
- Shorter days :'(......the long nights in winter affect my mental health quite a bit too much

Well the plus list is a lot longer than the negative one so im gonna count that as a win. And to prove it here are today's happy nails.  Though the pic is appalling lol, scuse my face in the background :p. The scruffy is cos i realised i needed to pee straight after painting them....any tips?
New polish yay :D i will rainbow over you from Nail lacquer UK lovelove

Sunday, 1 September 2013

When to admit defeat....

So yes. Today i called in sick. Because i couldn't cope, basically. i woke up hyperventilating and the day didn't improve much from there. i detest calling in, particularly for mh makes me feel weak, like ive failed, and of course guilty for making other people's jobs more difficult.
But, moving on from self-castigation and onto the real point of my post, it got me thinking about the difference between knowing your limitations and using mh issues as an excuse, allowing it them to rule you. It's a fine line, and one i fear i often fall on the wrong side both directions. In the past particularly ive certainly struggled to know when its a good idea to give myself a break. Its easy to slip into denial and 'im fine mode' and just keep going despite all obvious indications that its time to stop. And stepping out of denial can be pretty damn scary so once i will go along way to maintain it. i become a veritable little yes-man (or woman) and agree to anything and everything, fill every hour of every day with work, friends, activity. Its very easy at this point to kid yourself that you *have* to do these things, that its all for other people, that they're relying on you. To hide behind a façade of selflessness in other words. Its all complete bs of course. Of course i care about other people, of course i like to help out with friends, work, whatever when possible. But its still bs. Its all just one gargantuan effort to keep busy, keep moving, do anything to avoid thinking too much about anything. And the problem is when people express concern and i turn around with a padded out version of that stroppy teenager cliché 'its my life' that's bs too. Sure it's my life, and sure im often hurting myself when i get like that.....but im not ONLY hurting myself. The quality of my work suffers, i treat my friends badly, snap at my family, double and triple book myself and let people down, i worry people and frustrate people and inevitably i crash and it all falls apart anyway. Sounds like the opposite of selfless tbh doesn't it?
So it's something ive tried hard, with limited success, to work on. The problem is im proud and im a stubborn cow and i constantly fear falling on the other side of that line. The side where i refuse to test the limits at all. The side that's dominated by i can't. i can't go to that club it'll be too crowded. i can't ring at that tower the room is too small. i can't go to work today...i can't get dressed right, really i can't get out of bed. i couldn't possibly. It's not my fault, im ill. (im not in any way judging or criticising people who really are so ill with mental health issues that they really DO feel unable to get out of bed, leave the house etc. It's just that im not in that place personally right now.) Cos that's a very slippery slope. Depression sneaks up on you and convinces you that its faaaar too much effort to do all those know the ones that get you out and active and help fight the depression. It can spiral, basically is what im trying to say. And every time i call in sick or don't make the effort to contact a friend, or miss something im committed to (all of which i am ashamed to say ive done too much recently) i worry that im simply allowing the head-shit to win....and all my good intentions about knowing my limits go out the window.
Definitely a work in progress. And im pretty sure none of that made any more sense on 'paper' than it did in my head lol. Oh well ill leave you with the obligatory pic of today's nails to lighten the mood :p :