Reflections on postnatal depression

Like many adults, I seem to spend much of my time trying to remember things – you know, remembering to collect the dry-cleaning before they auction it off to the highest bidder, remembering where I put my keys (in my bag, apart from that time when the dog was sleeping on them), remembering not to […]

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How to Help Young Adults with Mental Health Problems

As I drove home from a recent night out, a young woman stumbled out of the darkness into the road ahead of me. She was extremely distressed (not to mention totally lost) so I offered to drive her home. During our journey, Lara* told me that her dad hated her and she hadn’t seen him […]

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Anxiety nation: what can we do about it?

    Mental Health Awareness Week kicks off today and this year’s theme is anxiety. I recently wrote a feature on anxiety for Psychologies magazine in which experts told me we are living in ‘anxious times’. So how anxious are we and why? Are we getting the help? And what can we do about it? […]

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Mental health and laughter: a pathway out of depression?

‘Puerile’. That’s how one of my best friends recently described my sense of humour. I like to think I’m a bit more sophisticated than that, but on reflection, no – it’s a fair cop. I have a remote controlled fart machine which has probably used up more batteries than any other gadget in my house. […]

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Cave-dwelling: depression, ‘wobbles’ and seeing the light

Once, as an outdoorsy, devil-may-care teenager, I went caving. Wading through the black, up to my nose in chilly water, I found it thrilling…until I had to shimmy my way along a horizontal passageway just inches wider than my body and I thought I was going to be stuck in the cave forever. I got […]

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The Sun & mental health: come on, you can do better…

As a former health writer and deputy health editor at The Sun, I’ve spent many an occasion batting off laughs, sneers and suggestions that Britain’s favourite red top couldn’t possibly ‘take health seriously’. When I wrote for the health section of the country’s biggest selling national newspaper, I felt privileged to have an opportunity to […]

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Bipolar snakes and ladders – what’s your visual image?

‘It’s a slippery slope, this bipolar stuff’. That’s how actor Michael Douglas recently described wife Catherine Zeta-Jones’ bipolar. Yup, definitely slippery. As someone who has struggled with bipolar disorder, I can vouch for that. But it’s something else, too. Waiting for the bell to ring in my son’s school playground recently, it struck me what […]

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Mental illness: it’s not about ‘choice’

Every day of our lives we apparently make thousands of choices, from the banal to the relatively momentous. I’ve thought about the concept of ‘choice’ a lot lately, prompted by mental ill-health and the inference that, perhaps, people like me ‘choose’ to be unwell. It rattles me. So now let’s get a few things straight. […]

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Mental health medication: is it always A Bad Thing?

‘So when can you come off your medication, now you’re feeling so much better?’, someone asked me recently. ‘Well…um, never,’ I replied. ‘It’d be good if you could come off it at some point,’ they said. ‘But I’ll always have bipolar – why would I want to do that?’ I said, trying hard to keep […]

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A big thanks to Time to Change

Apologies for my tardiness on the blogging front. I’ve been a tad busy on other related projects (more info to follow later), including, excitingly, blogging for the wonderful Time to Change campaign. Lately, I’ve been so impressed by the work of Time to Change and the way they’ve grabbed mental health issues by the scruff […]

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