• By Amanda Blackburn.

My mental health Improvement.

I can’t believe how fast this year is going? I had every intention of writing an update on my mental health for all my readers months ago, those few months only feel like weeks ago, apologies for keeping you all hanging. If you have been following me on my Instagram and Facebook you will have kind of gathered that I’ve been ok. My mental health has been great, so much has changed for me since my last post back in May.

In my last post I was considering trying a different antidepressant to help my mental state. The first tablets I’d tried made me so ill so I was reluctant to try tablets again. I did take these tablets and they helped me get my head together. My anxieties and worries also felt less. I’ve always been a worrier and I’m probably never going to change, but I’d been so much worse than I have ever been in my life. The tablets made me so calm, I was eating better and sleeping so well, because of this I was able to think clearly, make decisions and talk myself around when my mind started overreacting.

I also attended Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) sessions. These sessions were the turning point for me. The CBT sessions helped me understand and learn what had happened to me and why I had completely fallen apart. Once I understood what was happening to me mentally I was able to find a way to manage it. It’s very hard to explain exactly how these sessions changed me, it might have been a mixture of the tablets and all the other counselling sessions, but I felt really strong again.

I continued to eat well, lots of fruit and vegetables, got back into my daily yoga practice and exercise sessions. I even managed to go away for a weekend break with my friend. This is something I have never done since I’ve had children. The mini-break did me the world of good, I haven’t been able to sunbathe like that for 23 years since my oldest was born.

I also planned a holiday away with my husband. This was something we had never done. I already had a son when we met so we have never been on holiday with our children. We have had a few nights away in this country long ago but we’ve never been on an aeroplane and very far from them before.

I’d never dared go away too far especially with my husband. I always worried that something awful might happen to us. I wasn’t scared for myself, I was scared of how the children would be without me, without us? how would they cope without both of us? How would my daughter survive her Crohn’s disease without me? I’d saved her life if I hadn’t been there....?

I had put myself under so much strain, I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone else to do things. I was burning myself out mentally but I hadn’t seen it. Now I’m writing this I can understand why my worries had got so out of control and made me ill. My relationship with my husband had also been suffering. He wanted to go do fun things with me and I didn’t want to leave the kids behind because of worry. We work together every day, it’s not always easy, we desperately needed to do fun things together, our work relationship was suffering, so was our marriage.

Before we went to Lisbon I decided to slowly wean myself off my antidepressants. I was starting to feel like I was relying on them and wanted to go away tablet free. I did this over 6 weeks, I made sure I was having lots of foods that help raise serotonin levels, cheese, eggs, pineapple and I got plenty of sleep and sunshine. I also did daily exercise, yoga every morning for half an hour, also a fast high impact workout after work. I felt amazing, and my body was feeling better than it ever had. The only side effects I had from coming off the tablets was vertigo, this did last quite a while after and wasn’t pleasant. I had to avoid driving when I felt it, it made me feel very dizzy and sick.

I went to visit the nurse and after a check-up, it turned out I had a throat and ear infection. This was a week before Lisbon, she gave me a five-day course of antibiotics and suggested I take a build up tonic containing B vitamins to boost my iron levels. My blood pressure was deathly low, it is usually low but never this low. She was ready to send me to hospital but when I told her about my holiday and everything she made me promise to have blood tests soon as I was home and told me to start taking Metatone daily to help boost my B vitamins and to fight my infection quicker so I could enjoy Lisbon. She also encouraged me to continue with all the serotonin lifting remedies. I did everything asked and my vertigo feelings were less and I felt lots more energetic taking the Metatone.

We went to Lisbon for 5 days, it was brilliant and we loved every minute of it. (Here is our memory)I did feel guilty leaving the kids, more for the fact that they loved going on an aeroplane and travelling, they hadn’t been on an aeroplane this year, I felt bad because of that. But they had chosen to have a puppy instead of a holiday abroad. They both encouraged us to go and helped me feel confident leaving them. They knew things had been tough between us, it’s impossible to hide things from them, they are not stupid.

They were both fine without us, so was our dog, Woody. My daughter Skye had stayed in the house and looked after it perfectly. She is almost 17 and she loved having independence. Skye even cleaned the whole house before we arrived home. I’ve told her I will be going away every month if she does my housework. Zac stayed at his grandparents during the nights and came home to play on his PS4 during the day so he wasn’t bored. My parents are older and there isn’t a lot for him to do. I was worried Zac would be fed up without me, he wasn’t at all.

I am still taking the Metatone, I’m still eating well and exercising daily. Vertigo has completely gone and I’ve had all my blood's checked. I’m happy to say they all came back with very healthy results. I hope I can continue to feel like this, especially throughout the winter. I’m working hard to save for a winter holiday. Having something to look forward to will help and having a week in the sun during the winter months will help boost my vitamin D. We will be taking the children, Woody will be staying with his Auntie who adores him. He’s stopped having accidents around the house and doesn’t chew things as much so we don’t mind leaving him. He does, however, sleep in bed with us, luckily his Auntie doesn’t mind this.

I’m currently studying Mental Health Awareness and have completed and passed three modules with just one module left. This has helped me understand Mental health and I have so much information with numbers and helplines for every type of mental health. I’ve found the course so interesting and would like to study more. At the moment it’s enough to help me understand and advise others with mental health. I work with children so I feel it’s important to understand it so I can help them, also their parents too. Life is difficult for everyone, we all go through things throughout our lives.

If anyone reading this and suffering mentally please feel free to drop me a message. I can try to help put you in the right direction or I can just listen. Don’t suffer alone!


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