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Think Before You Speak

Think Before You Speak

Are you anxious or do you have anxiety?

The terms anxious and anxiety are closely connected, yet in the 21stcentury have come to mean different things. While the Oxford Dictionary defines both as “A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.”, if you Google the term anxiety you get a completely different search result compared with searching for the term anxious.

 

What does anxiety mean?

The word origin for both words comes from the Latin, “anxius” meaning to be uneasy. While this is almost identical to the modern English “anxious”, its meaning in every day usage is completely different. Anxious, has remained the same for years, being used as originally intended, to describe a state of unease or worry. Anxiety however, has now been adopted by the medical profession as a diagnostic label for a serious mental health condition.

 

What is anxiety in terms of mental health?

Anxiety, as defined by the NHS, is a feeling of anxiousness over a long period of time. The symptoms associated with this condition are uncontrollable worrying that may cause upset to daily life, inability to let go of worries, difficulty sleeping, tense muscles, irritability, shaking, nausea, just to name a few. It’s fairly easy then to see the vast difference between this condition and the technical definition of “a feeling of unease”.

 

It’s just a word; why does it matter?

There are many words in the English language that mean two things but are spelt the same way, for example lie, to tell an untruth and lie, to recline. So why is it not the case in this situation? Why can’t the term anxiety be one word with two meanings? The problem lies in the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. Currently, many people who face mental health issues feel they are battling against a society that does not understand what they are going through. Too many times are the phrases ‘Just try to be happier” or “Everyone gets a little bit down sometimes” passed around. It’s within these phrases that the problem lies. Indiscriminate use of the term anxiety, for example “(something) gave me anxiety”, when a person is simply feeling uneasy, has the effect of minimising the real symptoms experienced by those suffering from the mental health condition.

 

 

How can word choice help?

The same argument can be used for many other mental health conditions such as depression, OCD and PTSD where these terms have been adopted into common usage with entirely different meanings. By making these small changes in how we speak, we could show greater consideration towards people dealing with mental health issues and make them feel more supported during what is often such an isolated and lonely time. By changing the way we speak, we can also change the way that mental health is perceived. It is in these changes that the future lies. If even one person benefits from your choice to alter your words, then that’s another step in the direction of a more accepting, loving world.

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IKEA LIVE LAGOM PROJECT - Mental Health Care at Home

IKEA LIVE LAGOM PROJECT - Mental Health Care at Home

When you’re feeling down, the world often seems like a formidable place. Low mood can also isolate you from others, making everyday life a very lonely place and as the winter months continue, more of us begin to feel the side effects of the lack of sunlight and ever dropping temperatures. It’s incredibly important, especially during the cold season, to make sure that your physical environment is comfortable and safe in order to protect your mental health.

 

While many recognise the steps you can take to improve your mental health through healthcare systems, far fewer recognise the steps that can be taken at home to assist these interventions and make yourself more comfortable.

 

For the past 3 years, Ikea have run a project to help people achieve their goals while also doing their bit for the community they live in. The Live Lagom project (Lagom meaning “just the right amount” in Swedish), uses their many sustainable products to help participants to make life easier, happier and more sustainable, through free workshops and by kindly gifting all participants with £100 worth of Ikea vouchers. I was lucky enough to be selected to take part in this project and used this opportunity to see for myself how small changes to your living environment can change your mental health status.

 

Some background about me: I’ve struggled with anxiety all my life but was only recently diagnosed with GAD. I’ve also struggled with depression and low mood and have particularly struggled with mental ill health while at university. I found that my university accommodation was not a happy place. It was cold, dark and most of all I experienced some of my darkest times in that house so all in all I hated being in that house.

 

Josh Roughley, our project leader, helped me to come up with some ways to use my vouchers to help improve my house to help ease some of the stress associated with my house. I decided to get some rugs, candles a lighting system and a pressure cooker.

 

I was sceptical at first, of how effective these items would be in improving my mood, however, I could not have been more wrong. One of the main problems with my house is the cold. Heating is expensive and especially in old houses, heating often is very inefficient. The rugs and candles have helped make my bedroom feel cosier, safer and generally more inviting. Waking up in the morning and getting out of bed straight onto a warm, fluffy rug instead of a thin carpet has made it so much easier. The candles also help the room to smell great as well as giving the feeling of warmth.

 

The lighting system has made a huge difference to my productivity and hence has made me feel better in myself. The remote has a feature that allows you to dim your lights and also change the hue of the bulbs. Now I can use a cool toned, bright light when I’m studying and a warmer, dimmer light when I’m relaxing or just before going to sleep. It’s common for people to find it hard to be productive when they’re feeling down, but a little change of lighting can make a huge difference.

 

Finally, the pressure cooker has removed so much stress when it comes to food as well as saving food too. In some of the workshops, Ikea have shown us how to use leftovers in the pressure cooker to make delicious meals. As a student, money is always tight so making the most of the food available is a huge win! Many people find that their diet changes based on their mood. And when we’re feeling down, we’re a lot more prone to over/undereating. This can then lead to a negative cycle as poor eating can also make us feel rubbish. The pressure cooker takes a lot of effort out of cooking and means I get lots of nutrients compared to my cooking before.

 

Starting out on the project, I didn’t have any idea how great an impact it would have on my overall mood. I now want to share what I’ve learnt with others and encourage you to see if your local Ikea is running the Live Lagom project and sign up! And if not, consider making small changes to your home to help your mental health. If like me, you’re on a budget, sites like Gumtree and eBay often have items in great condition but are much cheaper than buying from the shop. Treat yourself this year to a mental health positive environment!

 

Phoebe, Dr Julian Intern

 

 

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What to Expect in Your First CBT Session.

What to Expect in Your First CBT Session.

 

Realising the need for therapy is an amazing first step towards healing, and we really do believe CBT can be the best answer for some people.

However, we know it can be daunting, especially when it’s your first time.

So, to help calm any worries or clear any uncertainties you may have, we’ve outlined a clear picture of what to expect.

 

Firstly, what is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an effective combination of talk therapy and behavioural therapy. It is one of the most widely used treatments for a range of different mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. 

During CBT, patients have the opportunity to work with a therapist to find the source of negative thinking or behaviour, and the ultimate goal is to replace them positive and productive actions, helping to over-come any difficult moments. Therefore, unlike other talk therapies, it is more focused on the present and the future, rather than the past.

 

Initial Introductions

At the beginning of your first session, you will be eased in gently. Your therapist will introduce themselves and will give you a chance to do the same; they may just ask some simple and general questions about you – perhaps your profession, and where you are from, etc. Once you’ve had a little easy chat with one another, you’ll likely be feeling much more comfortable and more ready to begin.

 

Mental Health Assessment

The therapist will continue to ask you question about yourself, but will begin to base them more on your mental health. This will be so they can get a more in depth understanding of your personal experiences, as everyone suffers with different mental health problems, in different ways. Being as honest as possible will ensure you’ll get the most out of your therapy, as the therapist can assess exactly what help you need. However, don’t worry too much as your therapist will not pressure you to disclose anything you may not wish to, until you are ready.

 

Coping Strategies

Once your therapist has got to know you and your experiences in depth, they will begin to provide you with tips and methods to help you manage or combat your mental health issues. Coping strategies may include unravelling the cognitive distortions you may have, breathing or muscle relaxation techniques, using a journal to unload your negative thoughts and feelings, or exposure to things that trigger you, helping to come to the realisation that realistically everything will be fine. You’ll have the opportunity to try these techniques in the session with your therapist, but they will also teach you so you can do it alone whenever you feel it may be of help.

 

Homework

After your CBT session, your therapist may give you a worksheet or a list of things to do in your own time, to perpetuate the learning and healing. The practical nature of the therapy means that you can integrate your new strategies into your day-to-day life. Consistently practicing CBT techniques outside of your sessions will help you to make the most of your treatment. 

 

 Dr Julian logo

 Dr Julian

Feeling nervous about your first therapy session is completely normal.

The good news is that at Dr Julian, all our CBT therapists are highly trained and will do all they can to make sure you feel comfortable every step of the way.

 

To make your experience of CBT even more pleasant and less daunting, we offer video therapy in the comfort of your own home. You have instant access to therapists, whenever you want, and wherever you want.

 

Visit our website for more information: 

www.dr-julian.com

 

And follow us on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/drjulianapp/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.instagram.com/drjulianapp/

https://twitter.com/drjulianapp?lang=en

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Mental and Physical Health Care Should Be Equal in The Workplace.

Mental and Physical Health Care Should Be Equal in The Workplace.

Mental Health First Aid England have recently set up a campaign called ‘Where’s Your Head At?’

The campaign entails an open letter to Theresa May, urging for a serious change for mental health care.

The letter is signed by 50 business leaders from some of Britain’s biggest companies, including PWC and Royal Mail.

It illustrates that days lost to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety cost the economy almost £35 billion a year.

 

Why we need the change.

Not only would the change help our economy, but access to help is more than important to improve the overall well-being of our country.

“The workplace is where we spend most of our adult lives but unfortunately it’s also a place where mental well-being is the most neglected.”

1 in 4 of us struggle with mental health every year, yet most workplaces don’t have anyone on hand that knows how to help.

This causes most people to suffer in silence.

 

What change is needed?

The organiser of the campaign, Natasha Devon, contends that there must be a change in the law to require any business large enough to need a trained first aider, to also have a trained mental health professional.

Natasha has published a petition for this campaign which already has over 200,00 signatures.

The campaign as a whole, was created in hope to be the catalyst needed for the government to push through the change as their response in the past has been that “they didn’t want to force businesses to do something they might not support.”

However, clearly even the largest business in the country are more than willing to implement this change, and are even extremely passionate about it;

Stephen Clarke, chief executive of WH Smith, one of the open letter co-signers, said: “We firmly believe that everyone should have access to first aid support for their mental health, regardless of where they work.”

No one will be ‘forced’ to do anything they ‘don’t support’.

We will all simply be working together towards dramatically increasing the well-being of our country.

Who doesn’t want that?

 

These reputable organisations helping to remove the stigma around mental health is a huge great step towards the transformation we need.

Success will ensure every employee has the right to a mentally healthy environment.

 

We, at Dr Julian, thoroughly back this campaign.

“We all have mental health just as we have physical health, so let’s change the law to reflect this”.

Sign the petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/sarah-newton-make-it-compulsory-to-have-a-mental-health-first-aider-at-work-wheresyourheadat

 

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Our Services.

We know how important mental health care is. And we know how important getting help is.

If you are suffering with mental health and need someone to talk to, talk to us.

We offer video therapy in the comfort of your own home.

We also offer a service for businesses, giving them their own mental health care platform.

Each employee can be added to the platform and book appointments when help is needed. 

This easy and instant access to therapy improves the business’ well-being, and makes it a much better place to work as a whole.

Visit our website for more information: www.dr-julian.com 

or our web app: http://app.dr-julian.com

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Depression is now more common than obesity

Depression is now more common than obesity

How many times have you seen an article in the paper about the “obesity epidemic” in the UK? How many times have you turned on the TV and found another programme on how to lose weight? The media is obsessed with how weight affects our health and with reasonable motives. Obesity is rising not only in the UK but worldwide and the affect it’s having on our health is shocking.

However, what if I told you that depression is now diagnosed 10x more often than obesity? For the first time ever, records kept by GPs have shown exactly that. It’s the fastest growing health condition to date, but where is the media surge behind it? With 9.9% of patients being diagnosed with depression in the last year, what happens to these people and why are the numbers increasing?

Current treatment methods for depression include a combination of talking therapies and drugs, with 1 in 6 adults being prescribed an anti-depressant in 2017. However, despite studies strongly suggesting that the best line of treatment is use of anti-depressants WITH talking therapies, the demand is not yet being met. GPs are struggling to refer patients to talking therapy sessions as there simply isn’t the funding to do so. This has led to a pattern of reliance on drug based treatment as GPs have no alternative.

Clearly something isn’t working in the current system, resulting in millions of people going without the treatment they need. Something needs to be done about this. The NHS has promised that by 2021, 1.5 million people will have access to proper mental health support including talking therapies. We believe that the way to bring about this result is to embrace new technology like “Dr Julian” and utilise the ingenuity it provides.

If we gave mental health the same attention that we give the “obesity epidemic” then we would uncover a multitude of resources that could help millions of people. In short, let’s get talking about mental health. Let’s end the silence.

 

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Unexpected Life Events That Could Spark Your Anxiety

Unexpected Life Events That Could Spark Your Anxiety

When you are living with anxiety it is something you have to battle through every single day. It’s like a tiny devil sitting on your shoulder every single day waiting for you to crumble. Having the bravery to go out everyday and live your life is something that you should be truly proud of and you never want your mental health problems to take over your life, because you are so much stronger than that. Sometimes things happen in life that are out of your control and you will have to dig deep inside yourself for strength. Here are a handful of unexpected events that might happen to you at any point in your future and how to deal with them as they arise.

 

Accidents

When you are involved in an accident it can quickly spiral into further anxieties in your body. You need to find ways to turn the page in that chapter and gain the much needed closure you deserve. Hasner Law will be able to represent you and will allow you to move on with your life for the better. Don’t allow somebody to get away with it; you are strong enough to fight back and with the right support you will come out on top.

 

The Unknown

When you venture into the unknown it is so easy to crawl into your little shell and want to hide. Whether you have anxiety in social situations or you worry about getting a job around other people in the future, you have to push through this. Facing the unknown happens to everybody and you need to find the coping mechanisms that make you feel more comfortable every single day. Overthinking things in your mind will only make it worse, so try not to worry about things you don’t know enough about yet.

 

Money Troubles

When you are struggling for money it is an overwhelming feeling that can’t be helped by anyone. Make sure you aren’t suffering alone, as there will be someone out there who can help you get through your slump. Whether it’s a friend who can loan you some money or a family member who is willing to assist, there is never any good in staying quiet. Speak to somebody you trust and you will find a way out.

 

Close Family Death

When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one in your life, it can easily start to consume your entire life. You shouldn’t ever rush the process of grieving as it could take months or years to come to terms with the loss of a close family member. Speak to a qualified therapist who will be able to point you in the right direction and give you tried and tested coping strategies to work with.

Nobody should have to suffer with anxiety on a daily basis, it is a debilitating and overwhelming mental health issue that needs to be approached with caution. Speak to people you trust and always be open with your feelings. There will be someone on the end of the phone who can put a smile on your face whenever you are feeling blu

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Footprints, Finalists and Forbes

Footprints, Finalists and Forbes

October has been a big month for us here at Dr Julian. We’re proud to announce that Dr Julian won the ACW Award, Start-Up Pitch Competition at the Medics Footprints Backers Summit. It’s a huge achievement and one that we’re very excited about. Our platform is all about helping people and to even be nominated for an award is extremely humbling.

 

In addition to this, Dr Julian has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Digital Start up of the Year Award at the Digital Entrepreneur Awards 2018. The competition had hundreds of applicants over 20 award categories. We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted and we look forward to the upcoming event. Judging this year is President of techUK and chair of Digital Leaders, Jacqueline de Rojas. Commenting on the DEAs, de Rojas said: “It is quite simply a privilege to judge the technologies and innovators at the frontier of change.” It means so to be nominated for an award that’s associated with such high esteem. We hope to be the frontier of change mentioned by Jaqueline de Rojas, and to do what’s needed to bring about a better system of care.

 

17th October 2018 also marked an important day for us here at Dr Julian, with Forbes including us in their online article about use of technology in medicine. It’s an honour to be recognised by such a celebrated organisation and we appreciate their support. Mental health is important and we strive to do everything that we can to help those who need it and to change the way that mental health is viewed. We’d like to thank Forbes for helping to get our message out there as we continue to make mental health care more accessible.

 

If you would like to read the article for yourself, follow the link below:

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ginaclarke/2018/10/17/take-a-look-at-the-latest-medical-technology-in-the-nhs-including-blockchain-and-ai/amp/

 

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Discover Whether You Could Have A Hidden Injury

Do you ever wonder about what’s going on inside your body? While you might think you are healthy, with so many reports of dangerous diseases and people dying with virtually no warning it can make you seemingly paranoid about whether there is an issue that you’re just not aware of. Well, while it’s unlikely that you have a serious health condition, it is possible that you have a hidden injury. Left untreated this could impact your quality of life. Or, it could even put your life at risk. So, what are the signs that something is wrong in your body?

 

Trusting Your Senses

One of the most common signs of an injury that has been undiscovered is an issue with the senses. For instance, if you have a problem hearing, it’s likely that you might be experiencing hearing loss or an issue related to a physical symptom such as wax blocking the ear-canal. But did you know, that an issue with your hearing can also be neurological? It’s true, a problem hearing can be the first warning sign of a neurological condition that may need immediate treatment.

It’s not just your hearing either. If you notice any changes to any of your senses whether it be touch, sight, smell, taste or hearing, you should definitely book an appointment with a doctor. It’s quite possible that there’s more to it than you first think.

 

Not As Lazy As You Think

Or perhaps as of late, you have found yourself struggling to stay awake. This could once again be a neurological issue and may even be the sign of a traumatic brain injury. This can develop after trauma that has impacted the brain, and you might not even realize it. Perhaps you fell and hit your head. While you felt fine, the injury may have left significant damage. Find out more about this type of injury if you have noticed changes to your levels of energy, particularly if you have recently been involved in an accident. You might need to see a doctor.

A Question Of Pain

You might find that you are, occasionally, experiencing a slight pain somewhere in your body. A natural reaction would be to shake this off or ignore it as another quirk of your body. However, it is important to pay particular attention to the area of that pain. Think about whether you have ever experienced any trauma or had an injury in that area. This could have been a while ago, and it can be years before an injury starts to show painful symptoms. If you do think this might be caused by an old injury, contact a doctor. They should be able to examine your body and figure out what’s going wrong.

A common example of this would be a pain in your lower back that develops after years of lifting heavy items the wrong way.

These are just some of the common signs that you do have an undiscovered injury that may need treatment. If in doubt and something seems strange to do get checked out. It’s often better to be safer than sorry.

 

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