The Case For Social Media

Social Media Depression – yep you read that right ever heard of it?

It is not something I made up honestly. Apparently it is now something that is being caused by spending too much time on sites like Facebook and Twitter and there are studies being done into it.

According to some of the sites I have seen we get depressed when our friends post “sunny status updates and photos of perfect children”


What a lot of people do not understand is that social media is, for many people, the only form of contact we have with people because of our illnesses.

Here is one post about social media where it outlines what we should do to prevent us adding social media depression to our growing list of problems – what is social media depression

The following is taken from that article

Like most things in life, it’s a good idea to approach social media in moderation. The effects of obsessively checking social media accounts aren’t well studied, but research shows that the more time a person spends doing this, the more likely he will experience anxiety and emotional loneliness . So far, it’s believed that people’s addiction to social media sites is influenced by their personality traits — a fact suggesting that psychology may play a larger role than social media Web sites on their own.

To avoid what some refer to as social media depression, experts suggest resisting the urge to compare your life with those of other people in your social networks. Also, remember that online communication is very different from face-to-face interactions; online, body language and face-time can’t be used to prevent miscommunication. There’s nothing wrong with using social media to stay in touch, but consider talking over the phone or meeting in person if you’re not satisfied with your online relationships with others.

If social media is taking a toll on your mental health, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it or contact a trained professional for advice.

All well and good but what if you cannot manage face-to-face interaction because you have problems leaving your home, what if there is no one in your life that you can have face-to-face interactions with?

From my point of view it is well documented by me that I have no friends in real life so am I supposed to just ignore social media and the opportunity to speak to people. What twitter and Facebook has done is introduce me to people I would never have met in the real world. I have friends from all over the world which means that anytime of day there is usually someone around for me to interact with.

I can’t rely on my family for any contact – by family I mean my parents and siblings, I speak to my nans and great aunt 2-3 times a week. I have not spoke to my father in 18 months and my mother a couple of times since May. My brothers and sister could not care less about me or my kids. So I HAVE to use social media to talk to people.

Not only is it a case of needing social media to have any contact with people it also helps me meet those with the same mental health illnesses as me which is vital because it is a great comfort to know your not alone in suffering.

Mark Brown, who writes for One in four a mental health magazine has written a great blog post about the virtues of social media which can be found here

I agree with his sentiments especially the last paragraph

If we want to stop the internet doom mongers judging us, we need to stand up and say: “Yes, I have a mental health difficulty.  Yes, I use social media.  And, you know what? It’s something that adds something great to my life not takes away from it.  And it’s not something that’s going to go away.” 


Sure I spend at least 12 hours a day on twitter and facebook but that time is spent learning more about depression from others point of view, socialising and helping others.

Would I be able to walk into a pub for example and announce “I have depression” and receive the same reception that I get from people on twitter. Of course that would not happen so before judging someone for the amount of time they spend using social media think about the reasons behind it.

For many people it is quite simply a lifeline and I know of people, myself included, who would not be here were it not for the kindness of stranger on these sites that send a positive message or words of advice or just a simple virtual hug.

So say it loud, say it proud I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA and the friends I make on there keep me going through the bad days, unlike the real world people who wouldn’t know I was having bad times because they simply don’t care.

Social media depression? Don’t make me laugh! soon I suspect I will be suffering from depressed depression

Social media does not make me depressed it gives me a way of meeting new people from different walks of life and connect with fellow sufferers. Things like silly studies into mental health give me more cause for concern!

For those who don’t follow me on twitter find me here you can find me on Facebook here




Anxiety Be Gone!

Yesterday I attended a workshop run by Mind in relation to their elephant in the room community on Facebook. I have mentioned this little sanctuary before and if your on Facebook and not a part of this you really should be it is a place where people post about mental health and are not judged, it is a real welcoming community and one of my favourite places on Facebook!

Add the Elephant as a friend here you wont regret it!

So off I went traveling on the underground to Oxford Circus, arranged to meet someone at Nike Town in case she needed help and merrily we went on our way to the workshop! I even made sure I wasn’t it my comfy tracksuit bottoms for a change and dug out my new jeans!

And the interesting thing about this?

I felt no anxiety AT ALL!!!

For the first time in months, maybe longer, I was quite happy to be so far away from home, from a toilet, and meeting new people.

So why is no anxiety a good thing? Because no anxiety equals no IBS, which equals me not shitting myself in the street! Hopefully this will continue as the workshop is running for the next 2 Thursday’s as well as me having to attend a work placement session on Monday.

This week has been really good in terms of lack of anxiety and negative feelings yet today I am aware of a slight change in mood since I have woken up. Could be that it took a lot more out of me yesterday than I expected or anticipated but it won’t get to me. Being aware of the change makes it easier for me to attempt to fight back.

One thing that really made me smile was when a lady walked into the room yesterday, looked at me and said “you’re the depressed moose!” exciting huh my first moment of recognition woot woot



Atos/DWP Update

So two weeks after my medical to determine how ill I really am I have finally received a letter from the DWP regarding the medical.

Read here for more about my dealing with Atos, despite all the negative publicity about them I can only speak based on my experience with them and my advice to anyone due to have a medical would be to ignore everything you read because it will only make you ill from stress! Go into the medical with an open mind and be 100% honest about how you feel and how your illness affects your daily life.  Don’t assume anything will count for or against you just reveal everything!

It is also vital that your GP is kept fully up to date of any conditions you have that you may not have mentioned to them. For example it was 4 months after my depression diagnosis that I finally revealed the extent of my IBS condition and this was vital to my medical.

The good news is that I passed my medical which means that I am officially recognised as being too ill to be forced to work. The relief of this is immense because the stress of appealing, living on 0 benefits etc was making me sick with anxiety.

The lady who did my medical was true to her word and for that I am grateful because until you get it in writing and confirmed your mind plays tricks on you! She actually told me on the day “You have passed your medical based on your conditions and I will recommend they give you the time to deal with your mental health problems”

It also provides me with vindication that I am ill and a long way from recovery and this does inspire me to one day rejoin the rat race once I am better.

Strange as it seems to have passed a medical to make you unfit for work it really does make a difference to know that others can see that you are not faking anything, that its not in your head.

For now it gives me some breathing space to work through my issues without the stress of being forced to look for work, and worrying about keeping a roof over my head.

They even told me I am entitled to a Christmas bonus payment of £10 woot woot.

So for all the negative posts out there about Atos I hope the fact that my experience was a positive one will at least cause some hope to others. Remember sometimes it is easier to write about the bad things and forget to praise the good and I found the whole Atos experience pleasantly surprising! That is not to say any future dealings will be the same but for now I have nothing bad to say about them.

Moose and the Shrink

Today after 4 days of trying last week I finally managed to get through to the mental health team at Goodmayes (the specialist mental health hospital in my area) and spoke to someone.

This is a big step for me because I am worried about what they will say or diagnose.

I have an appointment, or initial screening, to use their vernacular*

Hopefully though they will tell me if I am bipolar or not as my Dr thinks I may be, and so do I having researched it.

My stomach was in knots talking to them over the phone, I don’t understand where this anxiety when talking to people in authority comes from. If I speak to anyone who works for government agencies or health positions I have such an overwhelming sense of fear in my stomach! It baffles me as I never used to have this problem! It has only been in the last 5 or 6 months this anxiety has developed.

Could it be that it was always there and I just did not recognise the signs?

My appointment is on 4th October so not too long to worry about any implications and I am working hard at trying to combat the fear of leaving home to attend these meetings.

Still on the positive side I made the call and that’s a good thing!

* I have always wanted to use the word vernacular in a sentence 😀

Super Saturday!

I feel great this morning, the relief of making it through my medical unscathed has lifted the weight of my shoulders today.

As we know I think it is important to celebrate every little victory when it comes to battling depression and removing this stress from my life, for the short term at least, will hopefully allow my stomach to settle down slightly so I can stock up on toilet roll for the next time 🙂

Now I can focus on my writing again as I have barely written anything over the past two weeks, after 20000 words in the previous 2 weeks I have added around 5000 in the last fortnight.

Hoping that the “mojo” is still there when it comes to starting up again, I know how the story will finish and a few other plot lines but tying it all together is causing me difficulties.

I may even surprise the wife today by getting off my backside and doing the housework for her so when she gets back from her mums later she can relax, lord knows she could do with the break. I’m not I WILL do it but I am seriously considering it :0)

My depression has been well behaved the past few days it has been the anxiety and IBS that has caused the most difficulties but as I am feeling relatively stress free things are looking good. Proof of this is the fact I have only been to the toilet once this morning compared to 6 times by this time yesterday.

Maybe I will have a little sleep first though as I am still feeling exhausted from lack of sleep over the last few weeks.

What plans have you got for the weekend? maybe buying a book? (yeah I know, but I couldn’t resist a little plug) :0)

The Truth Is…


The truth is I can’t do it anymore, can’t keep pretending I am doing better. I am tired, exhausted emotionally.

I am throwing myself into other projects, trying to take my mind of depression. Attempting to write a novel, already at 6000 words, using the escape from reality to justify the pretend smile on my face.

The strategy was working for a while, I was feeling happier. I really enjoy writing, no I LOVE, writing. This book I am writing is gonna kick ass! A best seller you mark my words (of course the reality is going to be different but I have to try some reverse psychology or I will never finish what I have started)

I’m back in the expecting too much from people phase. I don’t tweet unless it’s about my book, desperate to push people in its direction.  The reason why? The royalties from any sales would cover Christmas. Yes I said that word and it’s only August. A lot can happen between now and December but honestly I cannot see anything good happening in that time.

Since Sheryl and I have been together we have had nothing but bad luck. Things breaking that we cannot afford to replace, cars being broken into you name it and it has gone wrong for us. I cant see a way out today.

The weather has cooled down significantly today, it is now 7.40pm as I write this and of the 19 hours so far today I have been asleep about 12 of them. Not a big sleep of 12 hours though wake up after a couple of hours, feel miserable so go back to bed.  I don’t want to do anything, no writing, no interacting with people nothing. I want to be left alone to wallow but I am desperate for someone to do something to help me.  Fine poke away on Facebook but I would really appreciate a 2 line message asking how I am instead.

Today I feel like a broken man devoid of any passion, energy, motivation. Empty is probably the best way of describing me today.

I know it will pass and tomorrow could be different, if only I have the energy to plaster my smile on. Smile and the world smiles with you.

IBS has been visiting again the past few days, it had been gone a few weeks. I know its back because I ate cheese and then broke the land speed record trying to get to the toilet. Something else to bring me down. I’m tired of being positive, it is draining.

This week I have to go back to the work program again, albeit this time with the ESA specialist who seemed really nice when I spoke to him on the phone. He told me there would be no pressure on me to look for work as long as I am claim ESA but I don’t trust these people, don’t trust anyone in positions like this, designed to catch people out.

Surely it is not a coincidence that I feel like shit on the week that this appointment takes pace.

So I have some questions that I am hoping some of you can answer

1) if you had a laptop that you did not use anymore because 2 years ago you bought a new one, (in that two years you never touched the old one just kept it in the cupboard). If your brother asked for the laptop, even offered to buy it from you would you say no? If the roles were reversed I would give the laptop to my sister! am I being unreasonable?

I have found a little place, a secret bench tucked away from the world. I want a laptop so I can sit there and write with no distractions from internet, tv, kids & the world. Sigh….

2) why am I so desperate for people to talk to me, but so good as pushing people away?

3) why are am I either really up or really down? there is no medium ground its on or the other. 4 good days are ruined by 1 single bad day – thats how bad the bad days are!

Here is hoping tomorrow will bring a better day but seeing as the appointment that stresses me out is on Thursday I am not looking forward to this week!

The truth is today I feel lousy, alone and angry with myself.

And I am going to force myself back into my book and maybe answer some of my questions while I am at it.


Under the waves,

The current too strong,

Being dragged under.



Deserted by my strength,

The fight long gone,

Accepting my fate,



No glimmer of hope,

No one to rescue me,

Alone and scared,



Nothing but darkness,

No sign of escape,

Nothing to comfort me,



Closing my eyes,

waving the white flag,

Defeated and broken,


Walls Closing In….

This is no way indicative to how I am feeling currently but it came to me and I had to get it down in print!

Apologies again for the true poets out there but its as good as I get!


The room is getting smaller,

The light merges into dark,

The air starts to become thin,

The walls are closing in.


Shortness of breath,

the pounding of my heart,

the sweat running down my head,

fighting this feeling of dread.


Struggling to speak,

my knees growing weak,

“Hi I’m Garry I have depression”,

“Recovery is my obsession!”


Standing under the familiar cloud,

The voice inside me screams aloud,

“you need more strength to set you free”,

“from all this pain and misery”


The silence is the loudest sound.

deafening me from all around,

The awkward feelings of fear and doubt,

are the only ones I think about.


The sound of laughter, fun and joy,

the noise I would make as a young boy.

It seems such a distant memory,

a reminder of who I used to be.


Slowly feeling suffocated,

alone, helpless and isolated,

and yet I know I’m not by myself,

in this journey of my mental health.


That one friend who writes me,

to ask how I am,

they don’t realise how important it is,

to know that someone gives a damn!


Taking each day nice and slow,

allowing time for my strength to grow,

making time to read and write,

keeps me busy throughout the night.


The hands around my throat squeeze tight,

trying to take my air with all their might,

I struggle to breathe and try to fight back,

Under pressure from this sustained attack.


And so the walls keep closing in,

it’s more than I can take,

and just at that vital moment,

My eyes open and I’m AWAKE!




A Medical Update…..

Before reading this you may want to refer back to the following post so it makes more sense especially if you are a new reader. what-does-this-mean

In the post I spoke about these “out of body” experiences I was having and today finally got to speak to my Doctor about it. With my Dr you need to give at least a weeks notice before you can see him!

So besides visiting him for my anxiety,IBS and a new infection I appear to have picked up…sigh I felt inclined to finally come out the closet (to quote HelloSailor) and tell him about what happens when I am near a busy road or train lines etc.

Straight away he started typing a referral letter to see a psychiatrist! Really not sure how I feel about this but I guess if it is good enough for the likes of Frank Costello and Tony Soprano (like my mafia links there? really should add them more often!) then it is good enough for me. However the irony of him writing about how my anxiety and IBS are preventing me from wanting to leave the house and travel too far and then him telling me where they are based and asking how I would get there was not lost on me!

He has no idea of what it meant which makes me not knowing feel better in a sense but then now I wonder what the shrink will make it all! How complex live as a moose is!

It was actually kind of comforting for me to know my Dr is concerned about the apparent downturn in my depression, he really feels more like an old friend than my GP.

My depression score has moved from moderate back to severe so it appears that the depression is fighting back and this will be a lot more difficult than I was anticipating especially as I thought I was doing so much better! The good news is it has been months since any thought of suicide so there is some positive news to be thankful for.

So now the depressed moose has become an anxious, depressed, shitting himself (literally some times LOL) Moose and that is fine with me because the more I am aware of my ailments the better prepared I can be.

Now I have to learn to wait weeks or months to see the shrink! it may be well an interesting ride!


The Anxious Moose

Anxiety is something new for me. I have always been a confident person and never had an issue dealing with anxiety.

I am comfortable meeting new people and being in situations where I am amongst strangers because I have the ability to mix well with others, my built up wall turns into a barrier of sound and friendliness because I am empathetic towards others and in my mind I feel like someone needs to break the ice and it always appears to be me.

Yet inside is a much different story.

I can hear myself screaming inside to shut up, stop talking, just sit there in silence, people do not want to keep hearing your voice! I feel like I overpower people with my constant need to be heard and noticed. At the training day I attended last week there were times when I walked out the room because I felt that I was beginning to rub people the wrong way, that I was suffocating others with my constant input and I was livid with myself. I can’t speak for the other people who attended the training but I suspect they all wanted me to shut up at times as well!

So where has this sudden anxiety come from? It is easy to just blame my medication but the reality is that it has always been there but I did not notice the signs or was too busy focusing on other issues that were more pressing to be dealt with.

The following information comes from the Mind website which is becoming a firm favourite of mine these days!


What is anxiety?

Anxiety is something we all experience from time to time. Most people can relate to feeling tense, uncertain and, perhaps, fearful at the thought of sitting an exam, going into hospital, attending an interview or starting a new job. You may worry about feeling uncomfortable, appearing foolish or how successful you will be. In turn, these worries can affect your sleep, appetite and ability to concentrate. If everything goes well, the anxiety will go away.

This type of short-term anxiety can be useful. Feeling nervous before  an exam can make you feel more alert, and enhance your performance. However, if the feelings of anxiety overwhelm you, your ability to concentrate and do well may suffer.

The ‘fight or flight’ reflex

Anxiety and fear can protect you from danger. When you feel under threat, anxiety and fear trigger the release of hormones, such as adrenalin. Adrenalin causes your heart to beat faster to carry blood  where it’s most needed. You breathe faster to provide the extra oxygen required for energy. You sweat to prevent overheating. Your mouth may feel dry, as your digestive system slows down to allow more blood to be sent to your muscles. Your senses become heightened and your brain becomes more alert.

These changes make your body able to take action and protect you in a  dangerous situation either by running away or fighting. It is known as the ‘fight or flight’ reflex. Once the danger has passed, other hormones are     released, which may cause you to shake as your muscles start to relax.

This response is useful for protecting you against physical dangers; for example, it can help you run away from wild animals, attackers, fires etc   very quickly. The response is not so useful if you want to run away from exams, public speaking, a driving test, or having an injection. This is because, if there is no physical threat, and you have no need to physically run away or fight, the effects of adrenaline subside more slowly, and you may go on feeling agitated for a long time.

Severe anxiety

If the anxiety stays at a high level for a long time, you may feel that it is difficult to deal with everyday life. The anxiety may become severe; you may feel powerless, out of control, as if you are about to die or go mad. Sometimes, if the feelings of fear overwhelm you, you may experience a panic attack.

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is an exaggeration of the body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement. It is the rapid build-up of overwhelming sensations, such as a pounding heartbeat, feeling faint, sweating, nausea, chest pains, breathing discomfort, feelings of losing control, shaky limbs and legs turning to jelly. If you experience this, you may fear that you are going mad, blacking out, or having a heart attack. You may be convinced you are going to die in the course of the attack – making this a terrifying experience.

Panic attacks come on very quickly, symptoms usually peaking within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. Some people report attacks lasting for up to an hour, but they are likely to be  experiencing one attack after another, or a high level of anxiety after  the initial attack. You may have one or two panic attacks and never  experience another. Or you may have attacks once a month or several  times each week. For some people they seem to come without warning  and strike at random.

Panic attacks can also come in the night and wake you up. These nighttime attacks occur if your brain is on ‘high alert’ (due to anxiety) and can detect small changes in your body which it then interprets as a sign of danger. Night-time attacks may be particularly frightening, as you may feel confused and are helpless to do anything to spot them coming.

Why do some people feel more anxious than others?

If you worry more than others, it could be because of your personality, current circumstances or your past or childhood experience; it could be a  mixture of these.

Past experiences

If something distressing happened to you in the past, and you were unable to deal with your emotions at the time, you may become anxious  about facing similar situations again in case they stir up the same feelings of distress.

Feeling anxious could also be something you learned early on in life; for example, your family may have tended to see the world as hostile and dangerous and you’ve learned to respond in the same way.

Some theories suggest that you may inherit a tendency to be more anxious, and so it is a part of your personality.

Everyday life and habits

On a day-to-day basis, caffeine, excess sugar, poor diet, drug misuse, exhaustion, stress and the side effects of certain medication can also mimic and trigger symptoms of anxiety.

Fear of losing control

You may worry about the future. Sometimes, if you feel you are not in control of many aspects of your life, you can start to feel anxious about events beyond your control, such as the threat of global warming, of  being attacked, of developing cancer, or of losing a job.

After a while, you can start to fear the symptoms of anxiety, especially feeling out of control. This sets up a vicious circle. You may feel anxious because you dread feeling the symptoms of anxiety, and then you experience those symptoms because you are having anxious thoughts.

What are the effects of anxiety?

Anxiety can have an effect on both your body and your mind.

Physical effects

Short-term effects:

  • Increased muscular tension can cause discomfort and headaches
  • Rapid breathing may make you feel light-headed and shaky, and give you pins and needles.
  • Rising blood pressure can make you more aware of a pounding heart.
  • Changes in the blood supply to your digestive system may cause nausea and sickness.
  • You may feel an urgent need to visit the toilet, and get ‘butterflies’ in your stomach.

Long-term effects:

  • Fear combined with tension and lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, lowering your resistance to infection.
  • Increased blood pressure can cause heart or kidney problems, and contribute to the chances of having a stroke.
  • You may experience digestive difficulties.
  • You may also feel depressed. (See Mind’s booklet, Understanding  depression)

Psychological effects

Anxiety can make you more fearful, alert, on edge, irritable, and unable to relax or concentrate. You may feel an overwhelming desire to seek the reassurance of others, to be weepy and dependent.

The way you think can be affected: if you fear that the worst is going to happen, you may start to see everything negatively and become very pessimistic. For example, if a friend is late, you may imagine and worry  that he or she has had an accident or doesn’t want to see you; even though your friend may simply be late because their train was delayed.

To cope with these feelings and sensations, you may feel tempted to start smoking or drinking too much, or misusing drugs. You may hold on to relationships that either encourage your anxious outlook or help you avoid situations you find distressing – and so stop you dealing with what’s worrying you.

Impact on work, leisure and relationships

If your anxiety is severe, you may find it difficult to hold down a job, develop or maintain good relationships, or simply to enjoy leisure time. Sleep problems may make your anxious feelings even worse and reduce your ability to cope. (See Mind’s booklet, How to cope with sleep problems.)

For some people, anxiety becomes so overwhelming that it takes over their lives. They may experience severe or very frequent panic attacks (see ‘Panic disorder‘) for no apparent reason, or have a persistent ‘free-floating’ sense of anxiety. Some people may develop a phobia about going out, or may withdraw from contact with people – even their family and friends. Others have obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviour, such as endlessly washing their hands.

What type of anxiety disorders are there?

There are several types of anxiety and panic disorders, because people respond to anxiety and panic attacks in different ways. Some of the more common disorders are outlined below.


Phobia is about irrational fear. If you have a phobia, your anxiety will be triggered by very specific situations or objects; such as spiders, heights, flying or crowded places, even when there is no danger to you. For example, you may know a spider isn’t poisonous or won’t bite you, but this still doesn’t reduce your anxiety. Likewise, you may know that it is safe to be out on a balcony in a high-rise block, yet, feel terrified to go out on it or even enjoy the view from behind the windows inside the building. (See Mind’s booklet, Understanding phobias for further information.)

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

You may be diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder if you have felt anxious for a long time and often feel fearful, but are not anxious about anything in particular. The strength of symptoms can vary.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour are typical for this  disorder. You may, for example, have obsessive thoughts about being contaminated with germs or fear that you have forgotten to lock the door or turn off the oven. You may feel compelled to wash your hands, do things in a particular order or keep repeating what you are doing a certain number of times. (See Mind’s booklet Understanding obsessive-compulsive disorder.)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

If you have experienced or witnessed a very stressful or threatening event, e.g. war, serious accident, violent death or rape, you may later develop post-traumatic stress disorder. You are likely to experience flashbacks and have dreams about the event, and these are likely to trigger strong anxiety and feelings you experienced during the actual event. (See Mind’s booklet Understanding post-traumatic stress disorder.)

Panic disorder

Panic attacks may sometimes occur for no reason, and you may not be able to understand why. You may feel as if your mind has gone totally out of control . When you experience panic attacks that seem completely unpredictable and you can’t identify what has triggered them, you may experience panic disorder. Because the onset of panic seems  unpredictable, you may live in fear of having another panic attack. This fear can become so intense it can trigger another panic attack.

How can I learn to manage my anxiety myself?

There are many things you can do to reduce your anxiety to a more manageable level. Taking action may make you feel more anxious at first. Even thinking about anxiety can make it worse. Therefore, a common – and natural – response to anxiety is to avoid what triggers your fear. For example, if you are afraid of spiders, running away every time you see  one, is likely to increase your fear. Avoiding an exam because you feel anxious is likely to make you feel worse. Therefore facing up to anxiety, and how it makes you feel, can be the first step in breaking the cycle of fear and insecurity.


Some interesting points there especially in how it relates to me and my anxiety.

I definitely have an issue with things that are beyond my control causing me the most problems, An example of this currently is my medical certificate which allows me to claim benefits. My last one expired on 28th July and I have no letter from the benefits office asking me to send the new one in, usually I get a letter with a return envelope enclosed but so far I have had nothing so I do not know where to send the new one or even if they have stopped my benefits which of course increases my anxiety further! Money, or lack of, seems to be my biggest problem and the most constant factor in my depression and anxiety!

I am convinced the issues I am now having with IBS is coming from my anxiety which forms a nice vicious circle to be in because one causes the other! some days I can be visiting the toilet up to 10 times which is not natural and this makes me fear leaving the sanctuary of my home! I have to really force myself to go out too far because of this and I am on a constant state of “red alert” (or should that be brown alert?) because of the worry of being caught short.

I have made an appointment to see my Dr today because this anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is beginning to ruin my life!