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Taking a break

In December, I cannot discuss what happened, but something happened whereby I have been deeply emotionally affected ever since. I have deferred both of my University Psychology modules for my 2nd level of my Degree. I have also had to contact Talking Therapies to get another lot of therapy once again.

When I spoke to Talking Therapies, I covered a past incident whereby I was diagnosed with PTSD after the fact and I also covered a recent incident which involves the same person/s and the same ‘organisation’ as the first incident, but this time, the incident in some ways, was a lot worse. Due to the 2nd incident, everything I learned in therapy regarding PTSD completely disappeared. During my call with talking therapies, I scored off the chart for Depression, Anxiety & PTSD.

Since the incident in December, I have been a mess. I have not been able to banter with the boys I house share with like I used, I am taking their comments way to heart, I am not sleeping, I cannot concentrate on TV or reading a book for more than 5 minutes unless I am with someone. Some days, I don’t want to talk to anyone and just stay in my room, other days, I want to run away to a completely different place and change my name and identity, and worse, sometimes, suicide crosses my mind. Suicide for me will never be the answer.

One of my heroes is (not was) Chester Bennington and his suicide taught me that so many people love you without you even knowing. So many people need you, and you don’t even know it. You ARE stronger than the demon who places the idea of suicide in your head. Whatever the storm, you will come out stronger. Chester Bennington will ALWAYS be the reason I stay alive and not take my life – I will fight all of my battles in life for him. He fought his battles and healed his fans through his music; he gifted his fans, including myself with his beautiful battle songs and I will always hold Linkin Park’s songs close to my heart for this reason – Chester struggled, but, his death was not in vain – his memory, music and voice keeps me strong daily.

With the help of Chester’s memory, with the help of the love from my family, friends & housemates I know I can get through this but some days are so hard. I hear sirens from fire trucks, ambulances or police and I freeze until it stops. I hear a loud bang and I freeze until that stops. I get flashbacks of the 1st incident that caused my 1st bout of PTSD daily and when I am sleeping; I get flashbacks of the 2nd incident that caused my 2nd and more severe bout of PTSD also daily and whilst I am sleeping. I am very sensitive to people’s comments – my housemates, my family and my friends – I feel like I can no longer take a joke.

I am crying everyday, I am a mess most of the time, I feel like my whole body aches as well now – all I have to do is walk, and my back hurts – this is all neurological I believe – I am in such a state, I am feeling my pain not only in my head and heart, but in my body as well. I feel nauseous a lot more than usual as well and sleeping, well, forget about that because when the flashbacks come back – along comes sleep paralysis or extremely vivid nightmares. I have to sleep with the TV on – normally Friends or Big Bang Theory as they’re both very comforting to me. I am picking my lips on a daily basis they’re not looking good at all! I am literally fighting a battle DAILY and it’s exhausting, it’s hard and it is taking a toll on my mental and physical health. I also feel like everyone is out to get me sometimes and that I am not safe at all.

Despite all of the above, there are so many positives – I now know what is going on in my head and as someone who studies Psychology, therefore, I can reason with myself a lot more than someone who doesn’t study the brain. I have finally opened up to my housemates about how I am feeling and they are supporting me 100% like they did when I told them what happened after the 2nd incident occurred. They have told me they’ll be a lot more gentle and be there for me which is a wonderful feeling. As Talking Therapies told me I will be on a waiting list for 8 weeks for specialist PTSD therapy, they advised me of a number of things – one of the things to stop the flashbacks was to move my bedroom around as this is where I spend most of my time. My room had a perfect layout previously but it had to change – I did this today and to be honest, I am starting to feel like my room is already my safe zone once again.

After deferring my 2 modules, I have also allowed myself the time to seek help / therapy without the stress of exams and assignments and also allowed myself to 100% focus on my studies when I restart one of the modules in October 2021. I have also started dating someone whom I really like and he is completely understanding of the situation as well and I am able to just be myself with him which makes me feel so free and not as frightened at times.

One of the issues with PTSD – and I am definitely experiencing this particular issue (where I said I am crying everyday above) – when you also suffer from severe depression and anxiety, you do not know how you are going to feel from one day to the next. One minute in the day I am ok, the next day I am terrified of everything – every person, every noice, every bit of light and also every bit of emotion I feel as well – be it a positive or negative emotion. Your emotions are so extreme – extreme fear, extreme sadness or the complete opposite – extreme happiness and extreme excitement. I am doing the best I can to balance them out, take deep breaths and centre myself back into reality.

Thankfully, the one time where I seem to keep my head together and my emotions together is when I am working which is amazing. I work from 8.30 – 4.30 Monday – Friday and to feel OK for this amount of time is a relief to be honest. Yes, in the morning, I am exhausted as I am lucky if I get 4hrs sleep at the moment or any deep sleep at all…I have always had sleep problems but since the 1st incident, my sleep has not been OK. I suffer sleep paralysis regularly where I have woken myself up by screaming or thrashing around. So when I first wake up, I need my coffee but then I can work pretty well. When 4.30 ends though, that is when everything hits me but hopefully, in 8 weeks and by July of this year, I will have healed myself for the most part and I can get myself back to the ol’ Jade all my friends and family know and love.

I just hope if this posts reaches someone that it can help, it truly does help the reader. Even though I scored off the charts on the Mental Health questionnaire for my therapy consultation with Depression, Anxiety and PTSD – this does not make up my personality and this is not who I will be for the rest of my life. Just because you may be suffering intense emotions of fear, sadness and/or loss, you are most certainly not alone and there is help out there. Also, I really hope this allows my readers to understand that PTSD does not only affect people who have been in the military or those who have had an intense reaction to an incident where they nearly died or perceived their life to be at a major risk – PTSD can be any event or incident whereby the sufferer feels an intense fear – and this fear can be a fear of absolutely anything. I cannot give an example of why I felt fear in the 1st or 2nd incident but I can assure you one of them was related to a fear of my serious injury or death then and in the future – the 2nd incident bought back the fears of the 1st incident and an intense fear of a lot of different things where my life could be severely affected.

I really hope this does help at least one person; for now, please take care of yourself in these hard times.

Jade xoxo

Personal

Time out

Apologies for lack of posts for the past few weeks – a few things have been going on:

  • New PlayStation 4 has taken up A LOT of my time after work
  • Celebrated my 30th so drank…a lot!
  • Re-organising stuff for when I start University again in October (because I will be working full time and studying full time, there is a lot of organisation to do to prep me for this – I don’t cope well when there is too much going on all at once so I enjoy mentally prepping myself and getting everything ready way beforehand)
  • I have been looking at house-shares via video conferencing to move into and finally found a place which I will be moving into on Friday 12th June
  • Packing for the new place and adventure in my life
  • Working full time
  • I have also suffered severe tooth pain for a few weeks to the point where focusing on work was all I could cope with…other than that and some of the above, I spent my spare time continuously phoning the dentist to get an appointment (which I thankfully do also on Friday) and sleeping (one of my favourite pass times…)

Once I am sorted, settled and adjusted to my new place, I will continue running the blog on a weekly (or even more) basis.

In the mean time, I hope all my readers are staying well, healthy and most importantly, starting to adjust to the ‘new times’ as I like to call it.

Jadey xoxo

Entertainment, Personal

Gaming & escaping from reality

It’s 3am in the morning, I am in my conservatory playing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on my Playstation silently hoping my parents don’t wake up and catch me otherwise I will be grounded from playing it for a month AGAIN. At this point, I am only 14 years old and I think it is fair to say I am fairly addicted to gaming. If it isn’t Prince of Persia I am playing, it will be Gran Turismo, Tekken and others.

Fast forward 16 years give or take and I am nearly 30 awaiting the arrival of my Playstation 4 and Horizon: New Dawn game. My birthday is in 4 days time so I won’t get it until then. It has been at least 14 years since I was (self diagnosed by myself and diagnosed by other family members) addicted to gaming but I am determined to not let that addiction take over this time. The thing is, during lockdown, I have found a few things that I have missed doing (prior to lockdown, I started reading, but due to being so anxious near enough everyday, I have not been relaxed enough to read but I do plan to pick this hobby up again) and one of the things I miss is gaming.

When I used to go to my friends house (he chipped in for the PS4 along with my grandparents and parents), I would play his Horizon: New Dawn game or Star Wars and it was so nice as he would relax on his phone, start decorating his house or whatever; as I hadn’t played games in so long, he would also help me with what I had to do (tips etc). When I left his, I just wanted to continue playing and I have been so keen to get a console – it was a toss up between Xbox or PS4 but ultimately, since I have always had Playstation (I had a PS1, PS2 and PS3) I decided to stick with Playstation. My friend *Hazel also getting a console made me want one too.

Anyway, psychologically, this will be so good for me AS LONG AS I DO NOT GET ADDICTED – I am someone who loves to solve problems and issues; I can be like a ‘dog with a bone’ – I will not let something rest until it is resolved. During my CBT sessions, my therapist has confirmed this is a personality trait amongst those who are problem solvers, natural analysts and people who are also perfectionists (which I am).

Once I set up my new console, I will enjoy that during these tough times due to Covid-19, the lockdown and the uncertainty, I can take my mind away from the real world for a short time during my days. Unlike reading, gaming allows me to solve problems therefore improving my cognitive thinking skills as well as other cognitive skills. It has been proven that those who play games, solve puzzles and complete other problem solving tasks on a regular basis even in adulthood improve their reaction time, spatial memory, mental flexibility as well as decreasing stress levels and improve self-esteem amongst other benefits.(https://effectiviology.com/cognitive-benefits-of-playing-video-games/).

Another thing I enjoy doing as I mentioned above is reading and this is extremely beneficial for me in terms of allowing me to relaxing, easing any stress I may have, allowing me to concentrate for a number of hours without realising how much time has passed by (therefore increasing my concentration skills – I find it hard to concentrate on things for longer than 30 minutes) and allowing a decent nights sleep. So going hand in hand with gaming, as long as I don’t get addicted like I used to, the personal benefits to me (and other people if you’re inspired by this post to game and read as well as take up other hobbies from home) seem well worth the time I will put into these activities.

I have seemed to have coped really well during the lockdown – I have to go grocery shopping once a week for myself and I have gone for my grandparents when other family members have not been able to as my grandparents are vulnerable of course and my cousin as she is living with them (she is not allowed out either). Their shopping is left on the porch and I will say hello through their window at the moment. I haven’t seen my friends in a long time bar this weekend where I saw my friend *Amy but I was of course 2m apart from her, her daughter and partner to celebrate my 30th and her partners birthday.

However, since my level 1 course for BSc (Honours) Psychology finished at end of April, I have almost felt at a loss. My life during lockdown involved the above (grocery shopping etc), working from home and studying after work and on the weekends; for my job, I resolve and fix issues = perfect for me; studying = I am learning how to solve psychological issues and put points and arguments forward to make a valid case = again, perfect for me. Since my course ended, I needed to find something else to problem solve so getting the PS4 will help me deal with this personality trait that I seem to have.

I know there are a lot of negatives that come with gaming, however, as mentioned above, if an individual is responsible with their time gaming or parents monitor and restrict their children, then gaming is a perfect way to entertain whilst improving brain function in multiple ways.

Please let me know any thoughts you may have.

Just as a side note as I am getting a lot of readers (thank you so much by the way) from around the world, I do have access to some personal information. To keep myself safe online, I have a statcounter installed on this blog for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons being to monitor who comments are left by and who is obsessively viewing. I have had to report two individuals to police (in the past) due to issues and it is fairly evident one of these individuals views this blog near enough on a daily basis. So please be aware that I have access to an IP address provided by your phone provider (example, if you’re not using WIFI, the IP address will appear near your location), I also have access to the device used to access my blog (the phone or laptop will be stated), the internet platform used will be shown as well as the operating system of the device. I will also have access to how many times an individual has visited in one session, how long they visited for and every link they clicked on to get to this blog and links they clicked on within the blog. The access point (link or direct request by typing in the URL) is also viewable by me as well as time and dates of course. For instance, one view has constantly been from a user who uses Vodafone and an iPhone to access this blog via a direct request. This same user has accessed me through their home network in Uckfield. This blog is fully intended for my psychological discussions, my psychology studies and anything psychology based – there is nothing here for people who have been warned by police to stop viewing to see. Thank you.

Jadey xoxo

Personal

Crystals, Astrology and Psychology – a personal account

During my BSc (Honours) Psychology degree, for level 2, I have chosen a module called ‘Living Psychology: from the everyday to the extraordinary’. Part of this module covers why people believe in astrology and the like – I am ONE of these people despite studying a scientific degree.

Let me start from when I was around 8 years old or possibly even younger; I can recall my mother saying to me that I am a ‘Taurus’ or ‘Gemini’ but she was unsure which as I was born on 21st May (astrologically, Taurus goes into Gemini on this date in the morning of the year I was born, I was born in the morning). From this day on, I became very interested in Star-signs. Throughout my teens, I became even more obsessed with Astrology, Chinese Astrology, crystals/stones and tarot cards. I was always purchasing weekly magazines – gossip magazines as girls do, spirituality magazines and of course, Kerrang! as I was also obsessed with music, in particular, alternative music.

When I was 17, I begged my best friend’s mum (when I was in high-school) to read my tarots for me – she eventually agreed. This lady knew me a little bit but she didn’t know certain things about me, my family and my family from generations passed – aka, history regarding my nan, great-grandmother and great-grandfather; my best friend didn’t know much about my family history either, if anything at all, as I kept a lot of this to myself. My friends mother mentioned some things that blew my mind and made me more of a believer as they were not comments that could just be applied to anyone in any particular context – her comments were extremely specific, it would be impossible to relate them to another person or even time/place.

Fast forward 10+ something years, at 30 years old, I am still this way. After attending a psychic fair with another best friend of mine a few months ago, I discovered my birth chart, purchased some crystals (as I had never had crystals/stones of my own but in our house as decor when growing up) and had another reading done.

The inner conflict with me however, comes when I start thinking about psychology and science in general. Scientifically, the human brain and body is a machine built by science – from the heart pumping to the neurotransmitters in the brain to the spinal-chord to the nervous system that runs throughout our body.
Everything we feel physically is created by science. Everything we see is seen thanks to science. Everything we hear is heard because of science. Emotionally, everything we experience is also due to science and the chemicals released because of the situation and the way we interpret that situation – for example, if someone says to us ‘wow, you look so pretty’ – that will release oxytocin into our brain and make us feel wanted & loved because we interpret that comment as a friendly, warm & loving statement.
However, in contrast, if someone accuses us of doing something we didn’t do (for example), this can, if the comment is deemed hurtful and untrue, causes the body to release adrenaline – we all know the affect adrenaline has on our body – accelerated heart rate, alertness, shallow breathing (in fear) but in anger, adrenaline can also make an individual defensive, cold, abrupt, emotionally upset and even unstable.

Due to my personal beliefs and the facts of biological science, I have accepted that in some instances, especially during my module ‘Living Psychology’, I will sometimes read or learn that what I personally believe to be true will often be debunked by scientific fact – which is fine. This in no way means I will at all turn my back on what I have believed since I was a child (I am also religious), throughout my teens and twenties but it also does not mean I will in any way or form turn my back on what is scientific fact – for me, I believe both my beliefs and science work hand in hand.

I use an app on my phone called Nebula which not only has my entire birth chart, but also how the planets are placed everyday and how this will affect my day, week, month and years to come (where the planets are and how they move is based on scientific observation, so this is a perfect example alone of how science and my beliefs go hand in handthe Greeks very much believed each planet held a specific power – for example, Venus is known as the planet of Love and is feminine and Mars is a masculine planet, known to have the power of War – passion & anger).
I also have a beautiful amethyst crystal (among believers, amethyst is known to promote balance, inner peace, stress relief amongst many other properties) which I take with me to most places when I am staying away from home; I also have a quartz crystal necklace arriving this week (this crystal promotes love, patience & harmonywhich during this time of the pandemic, I feel I need right now).

As well as learning about astrology and crystals/stones, I have also learned through my own psychological knowledge, to ‘re-wire’ my brain which is possible if one is determined and strong enough to work through their thought processes, deepest feelings and emotions – this is basically biological science; if you know yourself well enough and have close friends/family to help you, you can certainly look into yourself more and amend any negative traits in regards to your personality or way of thinking that could affect relationships of all kinds, jobs, looking after your home, looking after yourself etc – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is something I have read a lot about in my personal readings of psychology and is a therapy based on tools to help a patient change and control their thinking processes; I have used a lot of tools that come with CBT on my own to help me go from negative thoughts and feelings to more positive ways of thinking and behaviour.

The purpose of this post really is to state that believing in astrology, crystals, stones, tarots and other psychic things as well as confirming scientific fact is actually a possibility. I started to get interested in psychology when I watched my first murder documentary series Snapped in 2006, I was 16. After this, I became very interested in many aspects of psychology – mental health, why people hurt others physically and emotionally and even kill, why people behave the way they do etc. In April 2018, when my neighbour mentioned she was finishing her degree in Psychology, I asked her about it and she confirmed I didn’t need any other qualifications or experience and I could also choose to do the course full-time or part-time. I enrolled as soon as I could and 2 years later, 1 level (almost) completed, I have realised that so many paths have opened up for me and I will decide on future modules, career paths etc when my degree is completed. During my studies, I have also found comfort in that, as I said above, one can believe in the ‘psychic’ world as well as seeing science as fact.

After all, who is to say a God, or Gods don’t exist? Who is to say science isn’t in fact a God within itself that builds and creates life? Who is to say earth doesn’t carry Karma? There is so much science can approve and disapprove, but when it comes to things that people believe and have personally experienced spiritually and of course scientifically, that cannot be explained, this for me, is proof alone that there is something out there bigger than all of us.

What are your personal beliefs/thoughts on this blog post? Do you believe in one or the other, neither or both? Kind comments only please – all opinions, view points are accepted.

JadeyG

About

Welcome

Hello there,

I am Jade & I will be starting my level 2 in Psychology in October of this year.
For level 1, I took the modules ‘Introduction to childhood studies & child psychology’ & the compulsory module ‘Investigating Psychology 1’. I have found both of these modules very informative in different ways – ‘Introduction to childhood studies & child psychology’ was very much about not only the physical & emotional needs of a baby with it’s caregiver, but also how children interact & form relationships with others. This module also looked into how children behave, think & develop throughout their lives as well as the ethics & laws put in place to protect children from birth through to 16, sometimes even 18. ‘Investigating Psychology 1’ was very interesting as I got to learn & explore how psychologists work, how they research & conduct their experiments as well.

I still have 1 assignment due this week (Investigating Psychology 1) however, luckily, due to my heavy work schedule since the majority of the world has gone into shut down, I have been given an extension until Sunday (May 3rd). Once this assignment is done, that will mean level 1 is COMPLETED! I initially approached this degree with caution so I decided to do a module a year which is also recommended by the institution that I study through.

A year & 7 months after starting my first module (Introduction to childhood studies & child psychology) & 7 months after starting ‘Investigating Psychology’, I cannot believe I have come to the end of level 1 & I am buzzing, but also slightly terrified, of starting level 2.

For level 2, I have bravely chosen to do full time with some support that I have been entitled to after sharing some personal information with my institution. I have also selected & enrolled on my modules which are ‘Living psychology: from the everyday to the extraordinary’ & of course I had to choose ‘Investigating Psychology level 2’ (as mentioned above, it is a compulsory subject). The issue is, I work full time, 8am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday so studying full time that requires 28 – 36hrs per week is going to be pretty difficult considering the ‘wake hours’ in the week are 112 (this is if we all get an average of 8hrs sleep per week, as far as I am aware, my week averages to about 126 ‘wake hours’ based on 6hrs sleep per night, but sometimes I do sleep for a full 24hrs).

This blog is just to share some open opinions I may during my studies, some thoughts on articles I will read during the summer // term time as well as other intriguing information, study tips, books & just general wonderings based on psychology & even a quote once a month or week (not decided yet, possibly on a Monday or first Monday of the month).

I hope you all enjoy & leave some lovely feedback // thoughts & give a follow.

JadeyG