I’m on Slimming World so I shouldn’t have been eating it, however, this delicious lapse in diet helped me solidify my ideas for this blog.

I want it to be a place where I, and others hopefully too, honestly blog about mental health.

I’ll start with my own story and hope that it inspires others to contribute stories of their own. Although I’m not really sure where to begin so I have split it into a few helpful headlines.

Diagnosis

I forget how long it has been, two maybe three years I would say since I was diagnosed however I have been ill (and misdiagnosed) since I was 16.

I have cyclothymic disorder.  It’s a form of bipolar and it means my mood can vary from between crushing suicidal thoughts to hyperactive impulsive madness.

Now that there is a label for the way that my head-space works I find it surprisingly helpful.

Treatments

Over the years I have been on a variety of medications mostly antidepressants, none of which seemed to feel right or work with me.

Now I am on a mood stabiliser which mainly counters the highs of mood (if I’m honest I resent this and miss the highs).

Antidepressants made me feel drugged, unable to feel anything and ultimately not myself however despite this I still advocate their use in cases of depression – I really believe they can have a positive impact they just weren’t for me.

Day to Day

No one day is completely the same as another.  Each day is hard in its own way. Sometimes my achievements are small, I’ll make it out of bed, other days I feel like I can take on the world.

Most of the time I have managed to work although there have been some times where I have been too ill, but these periods have been short and I have always picked myself back up again.

In truth the day to day of life with a mental health problem is complicated.  I hope that over time regular blogging will show just how complex it is.

Why?

I have been advised not to create this blog, by some very good friends who I know care about my future work but I have decided to go against their recommendations and create this place anyway.

A place where I will try and be as honest as I can and a place where others feel free to do the same.

I’d like it to be a positive space but mental health issues are not often positive experiences, so what I mean is that people can come and share and see what it is like to live with the daily ups and downs or just the downs that mental health problems bring.

1 in 4 people every year suffers from a mental health problem.

It’s time we started talking about it and tried to reduce the stigma associated with it.