Research suggests that one in four of us will suffer from mental health issues at some stage in life. With today’s busy lifestyles and media expectations on how we should be and what we should have when we reach a certain age in our life.Everything can become too much for some of us and we can end up in situations where we find ourselves alone with little or no support.
I’m close to someone who possibly has bipolar 2 but due to the lack of help and support from health professionals, doctors and the mental health team in their area this person is unable to get the correct medication and diagnosis she craves. Due to not being able to get diagnosed , she is also unable to receive the right medication which means she has to live on her medication which doesn’t work well and they are unable to function as well as they would like to.
This is how technology has helped her try and put her life back together after years of suffering, losing friends, several jobs, and recently getting in trouble with the law.
Music is very soothing if you suffer from mental health issues. Almost everyone owns one of these and if you don’t then they aren’t expensive to buy you can purchase them from retailers like Argos, Curry’s or Tesco Extra stores from as little as £40. IPods are light and portable and will easily fit in your pocket or you can clip them to your clothing whilst out and about. Listening to music can help relax you when you are feeling low, stressed out, or can help slow you down when your mind is ticking 100 miles per hour and you need to slow down and chill out.
Grab yourself a pair of wireless headphones alongside your iPod and go for a stroll, a run or just sit in the garden and listen to your favourite tracks. This can help you unwind after a stressful day or if you are feeling a bit low. I picked up a pair of Philips wireless headphones in the Argos Black Friday sale last year for under £30. These are perfect for listening to my iPod and going for walks by the seaside and a lot easier than having wires dangling down, getting caught in clothing and on the way.
Playing a musical instrument or learning to play
I have played instruments since I first started primary school. My parents brought me my first guitar for my 4th birthday and by the time I was 6 years old I had taught myself to play a few tunes on the piano. When I was 11 years old, I got my first electric guitar for Christmas and when I was fifteen, I traded in that guitar for a Fender Stratocaster. I started out playing grunge and Nirvana songs until more recently. I have started to play more acoustic songs from the 1950s like Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash. These guys are legends and made a huge impact on music during the 1950s, creating the Rock N Roll years. If you aren’t keen on playing a guitar or keyboard, you can always try a wind instrument. I played the recorder throughout primary school and would like to try the harmonica. A number of great musicians such as John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Brian Jones were famous for playing the harmonica.
I have recently discovered mood apps, after a recommendation from a friend whose therapist suggested that she tried it. I tried Headspace, which allows you to download 10 free 10 minute sessions onto your laptop, tablet, and mobile phone. You will be surprised how calming this can be as I downloaded the app onto my laptop and I do this for 10 minutes in the morning on a daily basis. There are other apps you can try which are free to download.
Blogging or writing about your experiences
Many bloggers and writers who I have spoken to, agree that they feel happiest when they are writing about the things we love on our blogs. As a songwriter, I also find comfort in writing about my experiences, good and bad. Keeping a diary of thoughts and feelings can be another release of letting it all out as recommended by many therapists. You can open up a free blogger account if you don’t feel confident with sharing your experiences or you can purchase a domain name and host for a small fee. I used to write about my experiences on e-blogger and WordPress.com. I am now hosting my blog on e-host which costs me less than £150 for 3 years.
Purchase a camera and take photos
I have recently purchased a digital Pentax K50 just in time to capture those summer memories. I am hoping to get as many pictures as I can and create a portfolio. I can’t wait to get started! Taking pictures can be therapeutic and you can have lots of fun capturing those unforgettable moments you spend with family and friends or just capturing and freezing that sunrise or sunset.
A decent mobile phone
If you can’t afford to buy an iPod or a camera, make sure you have a decent android or apple mobile phone. I am happy with my iPhone 5S because I can take photos at concerts which don’t allow me to take DSLR cameras in and I can still download and listen to music when my iPod has run out of charge or if I forget to bring it with me and I want to chill out and listen to music. I also download iBook previews on books that I’m looking to buy and I keep up to date. I also use my iPhone to keep track of my social media accounts and Fitbit account.
The latest mobile phone trend has seen a rise in Dumb Phones used by many celebrities. Many smart phone users are now ditching their phones for basic phones which make calls and send text messages. The most popular dumb phone is called “The Punkt” which can be purchased for £229.
Some can play music, or access the internet, but according to The Financial Times, there’s still a demand for them (though it’s vastly outweighed by demand for current capabilities).
Since buying my iPhone 5S I have started to download books. Sometimes finding a quiet corner and taking yourself away from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine can help make you feel calm. Whatever your hobbies are, there are always plenty of iBooks you can purchase or if you have an Android phone, there are books that you can download for a small price, or you preview some free. The best thing about being able to read books on your phone is the fact that you don’t have to carry books around when you are on holiday or on a lunch break at work. Books are heavy to carry around.
One of my future posts will feature songs to listen for those of you who have a mood disorder or you know someone who has one.
If you are feeling depressed or you know someone who either suffers from depression of another disorder and you need to talk to someone here are some websites you can visit with details on how you can contact them.
http://www.mind.org.uk or phone 0300 125 3393
https://www.bipolaruk.org or phone 0333 323 3880
http://www.sane.org.uk 0300 304 7000 open 6pm – 11pm daily
https://www.rethink.org/about-us/our-mental-health-advice Call 0300 5000 927 Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 4pm