Category: Latest News

Sink or Swim? - Art Therapy

Sink or Swim? - Art Therapy

Many mental health conditions are associated with feelings of being trapped or lost. While in these moments it feels as though you’re completely alone and that no one could possibly understand how you’re feeling, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and not only have other people experienced similar feelings, but many have also returned from these “places” where they feel trapped.

 

I myself have been through a time like this recently, and the only way I can describe it is feeling like I was drowning. I decided to create an art piece that could help describe how I was feeling. Art can be an incredible tool to use when you’re feeling down, not only to distract your mind, but also to help you understand some of the often confusing emotions. While painting, I realised so many things about my situation that I hadn’t noticed before, and somehow it all started to seem a lot more bearable.

 

A common misconception is that in order to do art, one must be good at art, but this really isn’t the case. Art is simply taking the time to express yourself whether it be on paper, in model form or an entirely different mode altogether. In taking the time to do something, it allows your mind to take a break from all the confusing aspects of life and really come to terms with the parts of life that are troubling us. It can often help you to understand your own mind better and as a result helps you to figure out what to do next to give yourself the self-love you need. It’s so effective that it has become a form of therapy in itself, which you can find out more about online. We highly recommend doing something artistic to help improve your mood and you can even get friends or family involved too to make it more sociable.

Check out our social media pages to see the full version of our artwork!

 

We challenge you to try out some form of art this week and let us know how it goes on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

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Mother's Day

Mother's Day

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day. It’s a day that, for most, is filled with joy with gift giving and general festivity. However, Mother’s Day can also be extremely difficult for some people. For those who have lost a mother or for mothers who have lost a child, those who have faced difficulty during motherhood, same sex parents who may face discrimination for raising a family without a traditional mother figure, parents who may have struggled to conceive along with many others . So, on this day, we want to extend a hand to anyone who may be struggling, whether it be related to this holiday or for another reason. At Dr Julian, one of our motos is “you are not alone”. It’s a simple three-word phrase, but it can have so much strength when delivered to someone in need of strength. It’s easy for negative feelings to be amplified on holidays, making the world seem to be an even more dark and scary place, but having someone to walk alongside you and help you through can be a real saving grace. With Dr Julian, the ability to choose when you want to speak to some and do so in the comfort of your own home means that you really aren’t alone. Sometimes making the first move can be scary, and many feel this way, but our team of friendly and qualified therapists are waiting to help you in whatever way you need. Download the app today or create an online account and take the first step towards a happier future.

 

No matter what your situation, we hope that you have a lovely day.

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Gratitude Journals

Gratitude Journals

For those of us who struggle with mental health, the world can often feel dark and scary. It’s incredibly easy for negative thoughts and feelings to overpower the good things in our lives. Part of dealing with mental health issues it to try and re-train your brain into thinking in a different way. One of the ways that we can do this is by keeping a gratitude or happiness journal. While it sounds a bit complicated it’s really not, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. There are a whole range of books on the market, designed to help guide users through writing tasks to help realise the good things about day to day life, but using a standard notebook or an app on your phone can work just as well. It’s all about finding what works for you. The aim is to write 3 things you’re happy about in your life, 3 times a day. For example, you might write: a comfy bed, a good TV show and a really yummy pizza. It can be anything you like as long as it’s something you’re happy about.

 

This isn’t just a habit created by book makers to try and make you buy their products. There has been scientific research that shows that in completing this task, the brain begins to change and view the world in a more positive way. This is an incredible result from such a simple act.

 

We challenge you to keep a gratitude journal for the next few week and let us know how you get on! Your stories could help others to take the next step to improve their life!

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Nutrition and Hydration Week

Nutrition and Hydration Week

Today marks the end of Nutrition and Hydration Week. Your diet can have a lot of effects on your body, but most importantly for us at Dr Julian, it can have a massive effect on your mental health.

 

How can diet help my mental health?

 

People who struggle with many forms of mental health problems often report symptoms such as tiredness, lack of self-esteem, over/undereating alongside many more. While these symptoms are heavily associated with mental health conditions, there’s a lot that diet can do to help keep them manageable. Here are just a few examples of how changes to your diet can help boost your mood!

 

Tiredness

 

Being tired is not fun! It can prevent you for doing many things from going to work to socialising with friends (both very important aspects of life). However, it may be possible to increase your energy levels with small changes to your diet.

 

Iron is a mineral that all humans need and a lack of it in the diet can lead to extreme tiredness. Iron can be found in meat, beans, nuts, wholegrains, most breakfast cereals and dark leafy vegetables just to name a few! Iron supplements can also be purchased from most pharmacies.

 

Having a balanced diet can also help with low energy levels. Processed or fast food is often quick to make, tasty and satisfying. Individuals struggling with mental health often gravitate towards these foods, whether it be because of lack of energy to make fresh food, lack of interest in food or other reasons. However, processed and fast foods are usually very low in nutrients and lead consumers to feel bloated, heavy and tired! By switching to a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, you’d be surprised at the boost in energy that comes with it!

 

TOP TIP: When cooking, batch cook items like pasta sauce, curries and stews. Put excess food into containers and freeze for a later date. This will save both time and money and will give the convenience of fast food with the nutrition of fresh food.

 

Over/undereating

 

It’s not uncommon for people struggling with mental health conditions to over/under-eat. A general disinterest in food often leads to a lack of routine when it comes to meals and replacing set meals with snacking (whether the snacking is limited or excessive). Your body likes routine in a lot of aspects of life such as sleep and food.

 

TOP TIP: Try eating three meals a day, every day for 7 days. Try to eat foods that are nutrient rich and make sure the meals are of a standard size while leave the snacks in the cupboard. Your body will thank you for giving it a set routine and you should start to feel hungry approaching meal times and satisfied in between.

 

Self- esteem

 

Many people don’t like certain parts of their bodies, it’s normal. However, these feels can often be accentuated in individuals with mental health conditions. A healthy diet can help individuals to feel better about themselves and can help to boost self-confidence.

 

This being said, there are some conditions where diet can be used in a way that can harm the individual. If you notice damaging dietary behaviours in yourself or others, such as restricting food, disappearing to the toilet after eating or any other behaviours that you are worried about, please contact someone who can help. We are here to support you no matter what.

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Period Poverty - A Step in the Right Direction

Period Poverty - A Step in the Right Direction

March 8thmarked the celebration of International Women’s Day and we at Dr Julian would like to use this blog post to show our support for gender equality and celebrate everyone who identifies as female.

 

Following International Women’s Day, on March 9thit was announced that the government has made the decision to provide all secondary schools in England with free sanitary products for all anyone who faces financial troubles and cannot afford sanitary products as a result. Around 1 in 10 women aged 14-21 reported that they’re unable to afford sanitary products, making ‘period poverty’ a hardship affecting a large proportion of UK women.

 

How does this relate to mental health?

 

Many people across the world have experienced negative attitudes towards periods at some point in their life and while in this country attitudes are a lot better than some, we have a long way to go before periods are accepted as part of life and are no longer considered a ‘taboo’ topic. There are still many areas of the world that believe that periods are dirty and as a result, women and young girls are banished from their towns until the period has ended. In this country, many young people who have experienced period related struggles have faced these issues in school, with teachers refusing to allow them permission to go to the toilet and then being too embarrassed to say why they need to go or simply not having access to the products needed to continue with their school day comfortably. Allowing student to bleed through their clothing is not only wrong, but it takes away their dignity.

 

In January of 2019, one particular case hit the headlines when an 11-year-old school girl was repeatedly denied access to the toilet and as a result, bled through her clothes. The girl was “humiliated” and as a result did not want to attend school while on her period. Similarly, girls who cannot afford sanitary products often miss school in order to avoid the “humiliation” of bleeding through their clothes resulting in poor attendance and therefore lower achievement than they are truly capable of.

 

The government’s decision to provide schools and hospitals with free sanitary products for those who need them acknowledges the necessity of these products. They’re not luxury items but instead items that are required in order for individuals to feel comfortable, confident and allow them to achieve their full potential.

 

Skipping school and being bullied as a result of periods is not okay, and we’re glad that things are starting to change. If you or anyone you know has experienced negativity as a result of period related incidents and want to talk to someone about it, we’re here for you.

 

Featured Image curtesy of Periods in Poverty (https://www.facebook.com/pg/PeriodsinPovertyCardiff/photos/)

 

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The Benefits of Holistic Health

The Benefits of Holistic Health

Everyone during their lifetime wants to make sure that they can be as healthy and fit as they possibly can. When it comes to our body and our mind, it is important that we pay attention to both of these as one because they work together to keep us fit and healthy all year long. Holistic health is a type of healthcare which is all about the personal as well as the symptoms, and it is a method which brings everything together to keep us strong. Here are some of the biggest benefits of holistic health which you will see this year.

 

It treats the mind

 

The main thing which can set apart holistic health from other types of medicine is the fact that it also looks at your mental health as well as physical health. This is an important thing for us because mental health can be something which is often neglected in every day life and as a result many of us will suffer from things such as stress and depression.

 

It looks at us as a whole

 

The reason why so many people choose a holistic style of medicine is the fact that it looks at us as a whole person rather than just a set of organs. The main benefit of holistic health is the fact that it is a lifestyle medicine and it looks beyond the symptoms of an illness and focuses on the cause too. This is great for many people because it gets to the root of a problem and this can make a huge impact on our ability to treat ourselves and live a healthier life. There are a lot of factors in our health and sometimes lifestyle factors such as our jobs and the way we spend our free time can impact our body and mind. Holistic health uses this information to come up with a solution and make sure that we are able to live in the healthiest way we can.

 

It’s natural, mostly

 

If you are always a little bit worried about medicine and the chemicals it contains, we have some good news for you. Because holistic health looks at us from wider view and takes more than just our body into account, it also means that it focuses on more than just pills and needles. Most holistic healing methods are natural and this will be in the form of exercise, lifestyle changes, diet changes and essential oils. It is a way of naturally changing the body without the chemicals and this can actually get to the root of the problem in a much more efficient way.

 

You’ll learn better habits

 

As part of living a more holistic lifestyle you will also learn some better habits along the way which can help you live your best life. For example rather than spending all of your time working and stressing out, a holistic change might be to take a break and enjoy time with your family instead. Small changes and modifications can be huge for your life and allow you to be happier and healthier.

 

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Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2019 - Hope's Story

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2019 - Hope's Story

As Eating Disorder Awareness Week comes to an end, it seems appropriate to dedicate this week’s blog post to eating disorders and those who experience them.

 

What is an eating disorder?

While it’s true that the term “eating disorder” covers the more commonly known disorder, anorexia nervosa, there are a whole host of other disorders that are less frequently discussed in the public domain. The term “eating disorder” is defined as “a range of psychological disorders characterised by abnormal or disturbed eating habits”.  Currently the NHS recognise four classifications: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).

 

Why are eating disorders worrying?  

Individuals with eating disorders will often use extreme methods to achieve control over their diet, whether it be reduced food intake, purging after eating, use of laxatives, use of medication designed for another use among many other methods. These actions are damaging to the body and can have serious long term affects and in extreme cases can lead to death.

 

Why can’t individuals just go and get help?

Eating disorders, as defined above, are heavily psychological illnesses. The sufferer will often not recognise that what they’re doing is dangerous and therefore will not believe that they need help. There is also the issue of what often happens when individuals seek help…

 

Hope’s Story

One of the most thought-provoking articles I read during this week of awareness was a petition created by Hope Virgo. In her piece, Hope began by explaining that she was previously hospitalised for, and was nearly killed by, the eating disorder, anorexia. When she relapsed in 2016, she decided to seek help for herself in the fear of ending up back in hospital, inches away from death. However, after attending a London based eating disorder unit she was told that she “wasn’t thin enough for support”. This left her feeling like the clinic viewed her as “fake” and she felt suicidal.

 

What needs to change?

Hope’s petition aspires to change the way in which society and the government view eating disorders. While many sufferers are at a very low weight, this doesn’t mean that all are and to wait until they reach the weight required to offer help, clinics are essentially waiting until that individual is in crisis before offering support.

 

How can we help?

Dr Julian offers a range of therapies for eating disorders and with zero wait times we’re here to help YOU when YOU need help. Many eating disorder sufferers have discussed the issues with talking about their bodies and body image with healthcare professionals of the opposite sex. With Dr Julian, you can choose from our list of fully qualified therapists to find a therapist that suits your needs. You can ever filter by language of therapy to receive therapy in your home tongue if it’s what you would prefer. Eating disorders are sadly becoming more common, but we hope that with greater awareness individuals will feel they can come forward and talk about their struggles. Talk to someone. Talk to us.

 

Read more about Hope’s Petition here: https://www.change.org/p/eating-disorders-are-not-just-about-weight-dumpthescales

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The Wooden Spoon: Redefining Failure

The Wooden Spoon: Redefining Failure

A group of students have come together to create a podcast on the theme of success and failure. Traditionally, at the end of a race, while the first-place winner received a trophy or medal of some sort to celebrate their success, the person in last place would receive a wooden spoon. While in the moment a trophy seems like a more desirable prize, in the long run, the wooden spoon will inevitably be more useful and can become a tool to further build on skills and may even help to achieve personal goals. It’s for this reason that the podcast, created by Eve Cornwell, Jack Edwards, Jade Bowler (UnJaded Jade) and Ruby Granger, was named “The Wooden Spoon”. The four, who initially rose to fame on YouTube by sharing study tips, use the platform to redefine what society views as failure and share a different perspective that celebrates all abilities and recognises opportunities to turn struggles into success.

 

 

“The point of this podcast isn’t about avoiding failure or making sure that failure never happens it’s more about redefining failure and embracing failure and making it work to your own advantage. The thing about a wooden spoon is that you can repurpose it, you could use it to bake a cake” – Jack Edwards, The Wooden Spoon Ep. 1

 

 

Society has built a, sometimes unhealthy, idea of what defines success. In school, success is typically seen in those who achieve the top academic grades or who excel in a particular sport. In the workplace, success is often the employee who can bring in the greatest profit and so on and so forth. On the other hand, an individual who does not achieve the highest grades or does not fly higher than their fellow workers is typically cast off as a “failure”. Not only this but society tends to view failure as something that you can’t come back from. Even if you move on from it, it’s often viewed as a stain on your record of success.

 

 

However, failure isn’t always a bad thing. It all comes down to how you learn from the experience and how you decide to move on and grow from it. We all “fail” from time to time, it’s what makes us human. In the first episode of the podcast, the group discuss what failure really is and how it’s often different depending on the person experiencing it. The group have previously discussed their own failures on their YouTube channels. Ruby in particular shared her experience with personal failure when she posted a video on her rejection by Oxford University, the university she had been dreaming of going to since she was a little girl, to study English. A year on from this disappointment and she’s studying at Exeter University, doing a Philosophy and Theology course. She’s openly discussed the fact that had she been accepted to Oxford, she would not have considered the course she now loves and is excelling at. While the experience of not getting into the University she wanted was painful and difficult to overcome, in the long run the outcome helped guide her on a path that she would not have considered before.

 

 

By viewing “failure” in a new light it no longer becomes failure but an opportunity to do something new, to learn and to grow. “Failure” is often linked to mental health and it’s for this reason that we believe the message delivered by The Wooden Spoon is so important and inspiring. The podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts as well as many more. We’re excited to hear their views in their upcoming episode on mental health and we wish them all the best.

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