Things not to say to those with a mental illness

crown-of-thorns-2773399_Fotor
  Love Athina ♥ © All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

World Mental Health Day

FontCandy (4)

Mental illness has always been a part of my life. Whether it is through my own personal journey, through my family’s or watching friends struggle.

Although I haven’t been writing on here much, mental health will always remain a very important cause that I will always talk about. It is crucial for anybody struggling with mental illness to feel heard, to feel validated & to feel safe.

Empathy & understanding are necessary and we must all do our best to listen without judgement.

Life can sometimes throw us a curveball and none of us will ever know when this might happen.

Talk about mental health!

Be open & honest!

Be understanding!

Listen & give plenty of hugs to those struggling!

Sometimes that is enough to make someone’s day a little better!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Grief

FontCandy (20)

Grief is a huge part of life and yet a very painful one. We all experience it and for some people grief can be an even bigger part of their lives than for others.

Grief can be about so many things, not just the death of a person.

Every new beginning means that there was also an ending and every ending can leave a trail of grief. Grief can be experienced at the end of a relationship, the end of a job, leaving the town you grew up in, saying goodbye to friends or family, saying goodbye to a beloved pet or business or even saying goodbye to life as a single person.

What are your experiences with grief?

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

High functioning depression

Happy Monday dear friends & followers!

After a wonderful 10 days off work, celebrating my birthday with friends and exploring new places with my husband, I am feeling grateful and refreshed.

Today’s topic is especially important to me, as someone I care about deeply is currently suffering with this type of depression.

Although high functioning depression is a milder form of depression, it is equally as important as other types of depression.

When it comes to depression, many of us envision a person caught in the depths of despair and hopelessness, who wants nothing more than to stay in bed and avoid people and work completely. We envision someone who has lost all interest in the things they love, who may be feeling suicidal and is barely holding it together.

Although the above isn’t inaccurate, it doesn’t portray life as a high functioning depressive.

When someone suffers with mild or high functioning depression, the typical joy and laughter they once felt, is usually replaced by an absence of emotion and a very deep feeling of emptiness.
This is known as anhedonia and it is the loss of interest in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities.

To the outside world they seem like they are coping fine. They are still able to go to work every day and communicate effectively. They are still able to reach goals and get out of bed in the morning.

The most unfortunate part of those with this milder form of depression is that when they talk about their feelings to loved ones and even doctors, they aren’t taken seriously enough.

Unless someone is literally unable to function, they seem to be dismissed as not having anything to worry about. This isn’t good!

When life circumstances change, those experiencing mild depression may be at greater risk for moderate to severe depression if treatment isn’t sought early enough.

This is also discussed in my youtube video, so feel free to share if you think it may help someone you know.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Avoidant Personality-Video II

In yesterday’s video, I decided to talk about Avoidant Personality in a little more detail, as my first video became very popular in a short amount of time and many viewers reached out to me with questions .

In this video I discuss some examples of what avoidance may look like, not only in full blown Avoidant Personality Disorder but also with people who just have a lot of the avoidant traits. I also talk about what specifically causes avoidant traits and what the consequences are.

Thanks for watching ❤

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

How does codependency start?

Hello to all of you 🙂

I hope you are all well or at least trying to be.

Thank you to those of you who have recently followed my blog and youtube channel.I am very grateful. Tomorrow I have the morning off my German class so will be catching up as much as possible on all your posts and comments.Despite my busy schedule at the moment, I have still been managing to upload videos to Youtube every week and luckily the topics I talk about are still helping a few of you.

The Q & A videos have been a success and I still have quite a few unanswered emails to sort through, so please bear with me.

The Christmas break (although most definetely not my favourite time of year) will give me the opportunity to do more videos in response to your questions.

Today’s YouTube video focuses on the cycle of codependence and how is starts & worsens over time.

tumblr_mrdkpzygce1s43hlxo1_500

Codependency is very real and is a result of living in a home with an alcoholic parent, an abusive parent or a parent with a mental illness. Codependency develops when you put your own needs & feelings aside as a child, to care for & comfort a sick parent. Not everyone agrees with this point of view, however I have been through it and know the challenges associated with it.

Reaching out to all of those who struggle with their mental health means the world to me, especially to those who have suffered trauma and live with the result of this trauma.

I know how it feels to be invalidated.

I know how it feels to be called too sensitive or to just get over it.

Stigma towards mental illness is very much alive.

By sharing your experiences and spreading awareness in any way possible, this helps others understand better what it might be like for those who struggle.

If you can relate to this video, or think it will help someone you care about, then please share it with love ♥

Hugs Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Happy Friday evening everyone :-)

fontcandy-20

Can you tell I am ecstatic it’s Friday evening? Well I am..very much so! 🙂

I get to stay in bed tomorrow morning and drink a glass or two of red wine tonight!

I get to catch up on my blogging and go for a meal with a friend.

I get to spend quality time with my hubby which is just perfect.

I am feeling very grateful at the moment, although the gratefulness this time arises after the latest challenge I have set myself.

I finally gave in, after 2,5 years of living in Germany and have just started an intensive German language course.  It is exhausting and at times overwhelming. 6 hours of German, 5 days a week is A LOT. 4 hours in the morning and around 2 hours of study afterwards..I have needed a nap twice this week after my course and been getting more eye strain and headaches than usual. By throwing my CPTSD into the mix as well, I end up giving myself one big fat challenge!

In one of my previous posts, I talked about why I didn’t want to learn German. The reasons were many and I have no shame in admitting that I just don’t like the language because it is hard to learn and I just didn’t have the motivation. However, as hubby and I were discussing whether we were going to stay in Germany or return to the UK, I admitted that the only way for me to really know if I could live in Germany long term, was to actually learn the language!

I promised myself that I would give the intensive course my best shot and if after completing the first part, I still didn’t feel like I could communicate in a basic way, then we would move back to the UK.

Germany has been great for me in the last couple of years and it feels like home now.We are settled and the idea of moving back to the UK is great on one hand as I deeply miss it but on the other hand it is a hassle. Constantly changing addresses is tiresome and renting in the UK isn’t as comfortable as it is in Germany!Settling is important when you get to your mid thirties!

I have another 6 weeks of intensive German classes, so forgive me for my absence in the blogging world over the next weeks. I have already lined up some Youtube videos for each Monday.Some are Q & A videos and some are just informational.

I hope you are all doing well and not letting the upcoming holiday season get you too down! Keeping busy is good for me personally at the moment & feeling grateful also greatly impoves my overall mood.

What challenge have you set yourself recently? How are you coping with the upcoming festive season? Christmas isn’t a joyous time for everyone..

Love Athina ♥

Video on PTSD related Insomnia

This is my 2nd video from my Q & A video series. My followers, viewers & subscribers ask the questions and I answer to the best of my knowledge with a video.

I really hope that this video is useful to those of you who suffer from insomnia in general and I hope it also provides a little more insight for those of you who have specific PTSD related Insomnia.

PTSD related insomnia is a very tough symptom to tackle and is usually managed with a combination of anti-depressants, the short term use of sedatives and talking therapy( all under the watchful eye of a psychotherapist or psychiatrist).

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

You are not a failure

Nobody told you when you were a child that life could feel so tough sometimes.

Nobody told you that life could drain the joy right out of you, just when you thought things were getting better.

depression-1250870_1920

Life is a crazy rollercoaster and you have to ride it out, no matter what it throws at you.

It might be that your boss criticizes you, no matter how much extra work you put in.

It might be that your partner who once made you smile, now only seems to point out all your flaws.

Your family might be hopeless at supporting you and instead always tells you when you have let them down.

Your looks fall short of what is considered beautiful, your body has piled on the pounds and your health is deteriorating.

Your money problems never seem to end and you are surrounded by angry, hateful and impatient people.

Everywhere you seem to look, there are people pointing out what is wrong with you.

Your career isn’t where it is supposed to be. You still aren’t married and people think there is something wrong with you for not wanting to have kids.

Even people with the best self-esteem, can end up feeling horrible.

Everywhere you look, people are pointing out that you are a failure..

Outer criticism ends up becoming inner criticism. That inner criticism ends up taking hold of your daily life and you can’t seem to silence that nasty little voice inside you that tells you, you have failed.

You might have once been a reasonably confident person and now you are nowhere near that.

Do you find yourself being haunted by this inner voice of failure? Do you find yourself needing to apologise for things that are out of your control?

Are you sorry that you couldn’t do better at work?  Then you failed

Are you sorry that you couldn’t lose weight? Then you failed

Are you sorry that your partner left you? Then you failed

Are you sorry that you are too sick to support your family? Then you failed

Are you sorry that you are struggling with the housework? Then you failed

Are you sorry that everything is too stressful? Then you failed

These negative thoughts are very harmful, even though you may not think so. When you internalise self-doubt your body absorbs it. Your muscles tense and you can actually become physically ill from it. If you allow others negativity to affect how you see yourself, then this might become a vicious cycle.

Have you ever noticed that when an abusive spouse, parent or boss criticizes you, you get nervous and are more likely to make more mistakes? The more difficult the people around you, the more on edge you feel and the more clumsy you may become. This was definetely the case with me for many years…

It is crucial to be aware of how destructive it can be to give your control away to others. If you constantly accept that you are a failure, because you judge yourself through others’ eyes, then you will eventually freeze. You will stop trying, you will stop living..

So how do you change this? How do you manage to keep the negativity that surrounds you away?

First of all, remember this! You are NOT A FAILURE!

You are not a failure because you failed your driving test.

You are not a failure because your relationship ended.

You are not a failure because you lost your job.

You are not a failure because you don’t want kids.

You are not a failure because others think you are.

Making mistakes in life is NORMAL. Making mistakes in life doesn’t mean that you are a failure. A mistake is just a mistake! This doesn’t make you anything less than wonderful.

Mistakes help you learn and at least you were brave enough to take on new opportunities.

Every time you catch yourself telling yourself that you are a failure, then say the word ‘STOP’. You are not a failure..

Remind yourself of all the good things you have done and that you are proud of. Even the tiniest things can mean so much! Don’t let others define you. Nothing matters more than the opinion YOU HAVE of yourself.img_1844

Never apologise for not being good enough because you are a valuable and worthy person. No matter how much others judge you, don’t let their voice drown out your own.

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

How to deal with negative emotions

Happy Monday dear followers & friends,

I have been busy making & editing youtube videos for the last few days, as towards the end of the month I will be very busy studying. I am trying to do videos on topics that people have emailed me about and today’s video is based on a question from a YouTube Subscriber.

Dealing with negative emotions is something everyone can relate to and is something that nobody wants to face in this life. Unfortunately, every single one of us has constant experience with negative or uncomfortable emotions.

I have already written a blog post about the main point I make in the video below: https://couragecoaching.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/the-importance-of-feeling-our-feelings/

In the video I talk about the importance of dealing with negative emotions in the healthiest way.

This healthiest way, is something that has already helped many people who have had coaching and psychotherapy and  I am offering it in this video for free.

I really hope it is helpful and makes sense. If you think it might help others, please re-blog or share it on social media.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.