How to…

…recover from a nervous breakdown.

So recently I wrote a blog about how to recover from a mental/emotional breakdown/meltdown. A rather whimsical, lighthearted post born from me having a bit of a panic attack about moving house by myself (without the help or presence of the man I’d actually bought the house with).

Well while all that advice still stands, recently I did have a proper and rather spectacular nervous breakdown. Like a laughing hysterically whilst sobbing uncontrollably, chewing on my own hands, someone please take me to hospital, panic attack. It happened whilst I was driving around the centre of Swansea – I’m actually sure that the newly implemented one way system has this effect on most motorists, therefore my first tip to anybody who suspects they might be about to suffer a nervous breakdown – don’t go to Swansea for a while.

Now during my subsequent conversations with people I’ve discovered that this has happened to quite a few people I know (not in Swansea – that misfortune falls only to me), and therefore seems likely that it has happened or will happen to a good many other people during their lifetimes. So, in the spirit of sharing, helping and healing I’ve decided to share (in probably a few blog posts) my experiences and efforts towards complete (or at least functional) mental recovery, in the hope that they might help someone else – or at least reassure anybody suffering from similar problems that they are not suffering alone. Let’s get together people!

Healing Effort No. 1: Medication

A divisive topic. I have suffered from minor mental health issues since I was a teenager so the subject of anti-depressants has been brought to my attention before and I have always vehemently rejected any suggestions towards medical assistance – but this time it was different. I’ve been going to therapies and counselling on and off since I started suffering from these sorts of issues and it’s always temporarily fixed the problem – the operative word here being temporarily. I have recently found a type of therapy I believe to be extremely beneficial to me, but quite clearly I currently need a bit of extra help getting my chemical imbalances back under control. So I went to see my doctor who listened to what I’d been going through and put me on Citalopram.

I still have my reservations about it; I don’t want to feel artificially good, I want to feel genuinely good; I don’t want to be popping pills forever, I want to be a healthy, happy, non-medicated individual and I am scared that now I’m on them I won’t ever be able to come off anti-depressants. However, my doctor has assured me that this is not the case, Citalopram doesn’t make you feel high, it just stops you from feeling low. Plus I very genuinely want to get better – it’s not easy, so any help I can get is welcome. I’ve only been taking them for around five days now and the dosage is very low (it will be increased after two weeks, just so I can get used to the medication gradually) so I’m yet to start seeing the effects – but I’ll keep you posted. One thing that is happening is that I feel quite nauseated, this has caused a decreased appetite, but I think this is as much to do with depression as anti-depressants and quite frankly I’m seeing it as a bonus – I was planning on loosing an ity bit of weight for the ol’ wedding anyway and one must take the good with the bad!

I’m also on Propanolol, which is a beta blocker. I feel somewhat like an unfulfilled 1950s housewife popping these bad boys three times a day but when you wake up shaking what else you gonna do? I’m staying away from pinnies and Mad Men for a while just incase the association gets a bit much.

Medicated help isn’t what I wanted but perhaps it’s what I need, so if anyone else is considering this route I would firstly, definitely NOT research it on the internet, and secondly go and see a councillor or therapist and then thirdly talk to your doctor about it. If you’ve got a headache you can take a pain-killer, if you’ve got a cough you can take cough medicine, if you’ve got depression you can take anti-depressants – ultimately it’s a good choice to have.

Next week I’m going to go into non-medical healing processes. Two words; Kitten Therapy…

Kitten Therapy, How to get over a nervous breakdown

To read any of my other “How to’s” (not all of them are on such a somber topic!) click here. 

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#FashionFridays…

…got Vintage.

This is a big moment for me – I’ve finally managed to achieve a vintage yet not-that-jewish-looking Fashion Fridays! Not that there’s anything wrong with looking Jewish – I’d be thoroughly screwed if there was. It’s like my mum with hair dye – no matter what colour she dies her hair it’s always ginger a few days later; no matter who or what I’m dressed as I’ve always got that certain Je ne sais chutzpah about me.

But not this time:

The only cast member who wouldn't sleep with Donald Draper
Back off Mr Draper

I’m dressed as the only member of the Mad Men cast (because in my head I am indeed one of the sassier ladies of the Mad Men contingency) who definitely wouldn’t sleep with Mr Donald Draper. He and his smug, casual infidelity can bugger off.

Two particularly wonderful things about this outfit:

Beautiful vintage-looking satin shoes

THE SHOES! Might even bust these bad boys out for the old wedding day.

And:

Backless vintage dress

Backless dresses are THE greatest excuse not to wear a bra! Something that I hate doing but feel that I should do, for modesty’s sake if anything; I – again like my dearest mama – have the most excitable nipples and it normally takes a few layers to keep them under wraps (pun). However, in a backless dress you’ve just got to go with it and ‘it’ feels excellent. Won’t be busting these bad boys for the old wedding though – shame.

And of course my Mad Men outfit would be nothing without a Mad Man…

My Mad Mad

The question is my Mad Man or just a mad man – bit of both is probably the answer there. Chris is actually getting quite into Fashion Fridays now so expect to see a little bit more of him in the future.

I’ve mentioned the excellent Mama G at a few points in this post because I have her to thank for this outfit. We found this dress in an old suitcase underneath her bed a few years ago, I believe it belonged to a friend of hers, who made it sometime in the 70s to meet her boyfriend’s parents for the first time, and ended up finishing it on the train on the way to where they lived (this could all be bollocks of course – she’s not got the best of memories, but what does that matter with the most terrific of imaginations?). It’s made of stretchy jersey material and has one pocket on the right hand side and whoever the wonderful woman who made this dress is, I just wanted to say thank you, I love this dress and have had more good times in it than I could possibly count (meeting my Parent-in-Laws wasn’t one of them – nipples would have been highly distracting in that particular scenario).

Find other #FashionFridays here.