An Introduction

Welcome To A Jackals Voice. The intention of this blog is to be an outlet for myself and others on topics that are not generally discussed...

Friday, 30 June 2017

My list of Self Care

Since I first created this Blog I've shared a lot about what my experiences of mental health have been like. I have talked about the negative effects, stigma, medication and so on. However I have left out something important. How I try to stay happy and the ways in which I cope, well the healthy ways anyway. Today I'm going to talk about some of the things I do to feel a little better. Hopefully, some of you could make use of this and maybe come up with some ideas for yourself.

1: Music

I love music, and I challenge anyone to say they don't like at least one genre. Personally I don't really have a favorite. I can go from Country to Metal to Electric Swing (Look up that last one it is awesome!) all in one sitting. Whether it is deafening me through my headphones or just coming out of my little Bluetooth speaker it always helps. Granted I can't dance like I used too given the muscular twitches, though I try. Singing is something I prefer to do alone due to my tendency to add random words. I don't encourage blocking the world out for long periods, but if I need a pick me up, music is the best thing for it.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Enjoying the Little Things

It is very easy to get stuck on the bad things that happen. At some point or another everyone can struggle to see clearly through the bad times. However, it is at these times that we need to step back and look at what we have. Welcome back to A Jackals Voice.

I set up this Blog to try to make a space for people to talk about mental health freely, along with a space for myself to talk about my experiences. A lot of what I write about is relatively negative and so I wanted to address that. Having a mental condition doesn't make life stop. It doesn't mean that you can't enjoy anything ever again. On the contrary, I think a lot of good things have come to light because of my illness that I wouldn't give up for the world. Today, I would like to share some of the things I am grateful for, and I hope this may help some of you view things a little differently.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

For the Love of Medicine

Welcome back to A Jackals Voice. Today I would like to talk about medicine, specifically about my own treatments and experiences. For the most part, I have been in relatively good health my entire life. I've never broken a bone or become sick enough to require hospital treatment. For this, I am blessed. I have been incredibly lucky in comparison to many of my friends, and I am truly thankful. However, as my current situation has progressed I find myself at a loss. How can it be that modern medicine has progressed so far, and yet the brain and mind are so often overlooked?

Friday, 16 June 2017

Lost in Welfare

It has now been over eight months since my condition worsened. Prior to my current condition, I worked full time as a Barman doing up to 50 hours a week, more on some occasions. I took pride in my work, and despite my anxiety, at that bar I was home. Nothing and no-one could intimidate me there. I felt like a valued member of a very close team. In all honesty, I probably loved my job too much and should have made more time for other things. I justified it by saving to go abroad on my first holiday in many years, and certainly my first holiday that I would be paying for myself. I was happy and overly proud of myself. When I got ill, I lost that security and sureness of self, and was left with nothing to show for it.

Currently, I am unemployed. Given the state of my condition, working in a regular capacity is pretty much out of the question. Aside from running this Blog I have very little to keep me occupied. I am now living of ESA payments and am applying for PIP. Whilst the logical part of me is saying that this is only temporary, and that I am entitled to receive help, the old me is ashamed.
I've never been one to accept hand-outs. I am a terribly proud person, and up until now I have prided myself on being self-sufficient. I refused help before because I would rather struggle than accept defeat. In my own mind, accepting help was a weakness, and I didn't need anyone else. If I had been asked a year ago if I would be living on benefits, I'd have laughed. Yet here I am.

Friday, 2 June 2017

The NHS and Mental Health

'Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the burden of disease worldwide.1 In the UK, they are responsible for the largest burden of disease– 28% of the total burden, compared to 16% each for cancer and heart disease.' - :Page 7.

Hello everyone. Today I am going to try and shed some light on how Mental Health is combated by the NHS of the UK. I've done a little research and most of what will be discussed within this post I will leave citations to. I have found a number of very interesting documents and articles that I believe many of you may find interesting. Obviously I couldn't possibly cover everything in one post so I will be creating a new label for these posts.

Mental Health has been slowly gaining recognition in recent years. Current statistics in the UK say that one in four people will develop a mental condition within their lifetime. My own situation is still under investigation, and in all honesty I am not convinced I am going to be back to 'normal' any time soon. It has been over six months since my condition surfaced and I still have not met with a neurologist.
Whilst my own situation may not be resolved so quickly, I am pleased to find out that there has been some increased spending on Mental Health in recent years, although it is focused on particular groups. The Initiative I am referring to is IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies). The program was supposed to dramatically increase funding for Mental care in order to increase access for patients and potentially enable a greater number of people to re-enter the workplace. From 2008 to 2011 the spending was supposed to reach £173 million, and 3,600 new IAPT therapists were to be trained. Whilst most of this is directed towards helping those with anxiety, depression and OCD, I do feel this is a step in the right direction. However, whether or not the goal was achieved is somewhat hard to determine, the website itself noted that, according to the Guardian, only 400 therapists had been trained in the first year, but notes that official statistics showed the contrary.
More details of the objectives of IAPT can be found on their webpage at :