I have discovered the podcast I can’t believe it’s not Buddha, with Lee Mack and Neil Webster. I find the balance between humour, which admittedly is rather silly at times and the discussions about Buddhism and meditation entertaining and very informative.
To be blunt; I find Christmas a difficult time, particularly for my anxiety. Yes of course, Xmas 2020 has been very difficult for many this year and the impact on wellbeing and mental health has made it very hard for many people, especially those who have ended up on their own for Christmas and continue to miss out on vital contact with family and friends.
I blogged in June about reviewing my anxiety medication, specifically because during the first 4 weeks of coronavirus lockdown I had experienced a significant reduction in anxiety and an insight into how life could be.
I posted recently about my anxiety medication and my intention to ask the doctor to review it.
Today I telephoned the Doctors surgery to ask to for a non urgent appointment to discuss my medication. I was advised that, because of Covid-19, the GP was not reviewing medication at present. So having felt somewhat deflated, after plucking up the courage to telephone, I thought I would try writing to them instead.
I am struggling with my anxiety as usual. During the first 3- 4 weeks on lock down for coronavirus, my wife and I screened ourselves. I found that not being allowed to go out and not having any appointments to go to, resulted in my anxiety easing significantly and I was happy pottering around at home and working part time at home on my computer. Now some 12 weeks later I find my generalised anxiety back to where it was prior to lock-down and having seen how I can be during those first three weeks, I want to be more like that.
Each year Martin Lewis and Money Savings Expert produce an incredibly helpful booklet especially for mental health sufferers with money advice and debt advice. They key message from Martin Lewis is that all debt problems are solvable and this Mental Health and Debt Guide can be a valuable guide to sorting out debt problems. Debt worries can be overwhelming and debt recovery letters very intimidating and contribute greatly to anxiety and depression illnesses. But on your own or with the help of a carer or friend, using this guide; you can tackle the problem and resolve the crisis.
My wife and I have been screening for the past 6 weeks, during coronavirus, because my wife is medically vulnerable, and I suspect on the border of highly vulnerable. The last 6 weeks have been the best. I don’t have to go out, everyone is working remotely, we have no fixed appointments or commitments. I don’t have to go to the shops, I can’t ride my bike or walk the dog. I am not allowed out!!!
During my initial assessment for CBT, which was a 45 minute telephone interview. I identified that I consumed a lot of caffeine. My therapist pointed out that caffeine was considered to exacerbate my anxiety problems. Whilst I knew I was drinking quite a lot of tea with the occasional coffee, I did not appreciate how many cups of caffeinated tea and coffee I was drinking and had not taken into account the amount of caffeine there was in the Pepsi Max I was drinking each evening.
It has been sometime since my last blog post. I still struggle with and have been working on my anxiety and depression.
#PurpleFriday (7 December 2018) will see the world Going Purple in aid of Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
Go Purple at work, school, university or in the gym – wherever you can! Invite your colleagues, your friends or family to be involved – get them to Go Purple for Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
As usual time has passed – back in July I went and visited my GP for the first time in a long time. Since then I have been back to see him a couple of times. After my first appointment, we agreed that I would try out an additional medication, so I started on Sertraline at 50mg once a day for two weeks, then increased it to 100mg once a day. I have been on this dose now for 3 months. Here is a useful explanation of the medication Sertraline on Mind’s website.
I have decided to go to see my GP about my anxiety and depression, so thought it best I pull together a history of medication I have been prescribed over the past 9 years. Here is the medication I have been prescribed for anxiety and a link to a description on the Mind website:
As you know from previous blog posts I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in the form of Ulcerative Colitis, to be specific I have Ulcerative Proctitis which effects the rectum area, rather than the whole bowel. Crohns and Colitis website has an excellent explanation of Ulcerative Colitis here
I have a lot of time for Martin Lewis of Money Savings Expert, for his advice on consumer finance and his annual debt advice booklet for people suffering with mental health illness.
He is also the face of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, based in London UK. I am proud to contribute to their research by being a member of the research community. This involves completing online questionnaires and surveys from time to time. There is no obligation to complete all surveys and there is also an opportunity to partake in online discussion groups.
I had been receiving DLA and then PIP for the past 5 years or so, because of my mental health and Ulcerative Colitis. Following a mid award review which started in August 2017 and a medical assessment by Capita in November 2017, my PIP award ended on the 11th December 2017.
I have been reflecting on this a lot over the past 6 months. Financially the impact was significant, as it meant I also lost my Tax Credits award from the 11th December, and any day I expect a bill for £500 over payment following the year end tax credit review.
Last night you had kebab, not just any kebab, you chose the extra-large mixed kebab, with three pittas- there is a clue there, in theory to share with your wife, (but she didn't eat much). Today you have been awake since 5am feeling bloated, nauseous and sweaty. You started going to the toilet at about 7am, wanting to rid your body of the bloated sick feeling. But now at 11am having been to the loo more than 10 times, you are in pain, your bottom is sore and bleeding, you still feel sick and bloated and in pain. If you are lucky this will ease around 1pm and you will start to feel better.
I have been eating rubbish food all weekend. Last night I ate an extra large mixed chicken and Donna kebab and minstrels and chocolate and Pepsi Max and biscuits, having had porridge for breakfast and poached eggs for lunch
This morning: I feel ill:
I have been receiving PIP for a few years and was asked in the Summer to confirm my current health situation by submitting a medical questionnaire form back to DWP. I think I may have blogged about my quandary and in the end I confirmed that my ability to dress and bathe had improved. I then had an anxious couple of months waiting to hear further from the DWP. Then I was asked to attend a medical assessment with Capita on the 10th of November.
I attended a DWP Medical Assessment with Capita in Northampton following a review for being submitted in August.
During the Assessment the assessor said that she was not there to advise but she thought I should go back and see my GP.
Having talked about my illness with the assessor I have realised that my anxiety has got worse. I can separate my mental health illness into three areas Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) , Social Anxiety and Depression.
Today I had a Medical Assessment with Capita for my Personal Independence Payment (PIP) review. As I spent some (a lot of) time researching their location in Northampton and have now been there, I thought it might be helpful to share directions to and how to find Capita PIP at Charles House in Derngate Northampton and parking information.
In honour of World Mental Health Day on Tuesday the 10th October 2017, which this year focuses on workplace well-being, our friends at MyTherapy have put together an info-graphic to share some pretty surprising facts about mental illness in the workplace.
I used the opportunity of not being able to sleep last night, to consider what helps me live with my Generalised Anxiety and Ulcerative Colitis conditions.
So here is my menu of options in no particular order that help me:
I have in the past pondered whether my anxiety in the form of Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety was a disability. As I also have Ulcerative Colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and receive Personal Independence Payment, now, if I am asked in a questionnaire etc whether I consider myself disabled, I do usually end up ticking yes.
I thought I would share with you what I have learnt about the financial help that is available to those with a disability. This blog is based on my experience of claiming benefits and getting financial help as I have a long term ill health in the form of a mental illness and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I have linked the benefit types to relevant part of disability benefits on GOV.UK website