Musings from Japan: student exchange

For those who don’t know I’ve been living and studying in Japan since March, and I’ll be here until December. I’ve made some great friends, and had some incredible experiences. My anxiety and depression levels have decreased significantly since being here, and as a result I have been able to successfully halve my antidepressant intake. I have passed all of my Japanese classes and completed an online course that gave me a TESOL qualification. I finally have some idea of who I am and what I want to do in life.

At Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto with Anais

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What happens when you stop taking prescribed medication?

When battling mental illness it is just as important to take your prescribed medication as it is with any physical illness.

Every couple of months I have a period when I stop taking my medication – I either think I am well enough to function without it or I decide I want to be like a “normal”, healthy person. Sometimes I just forget, even though taking my medication is the first thing I do when I get up in the morning.

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I climbed a volcano (and then got rained on!)

Author’s note: this post was originally written in March 2015 and has been sitting in my drafts since then. Apologies to those who enjoy timeliness to their stories.

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It’s not everyday that you experience a perfect metaphor for your life, but when I was in Bali last month that very thing happened to me.

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Update and rebranding

I started Out of the Dark as a journalistic blog for one of my university projects in May 2014. When I was actively posting, the blog received 440 hits in June alone, which was more interest than I could possibly hope for. Since completion of the project I have been unmotivated to keep up with this blog, despite people expressing interest.

In 2015 I plan to revive this blog, and try to post frequently. There will be a shift away from the journalism side of things, and more towards personal experiences of myself and the people around me. Please bear with me while I try to work out what works best for me and the content of Out of the Dark. 

Anxiety and social isolation: an interview with Kristina Pierce

Kristina Pierce* is the next brave woman to come forward and share her story of generalised anxiety disorder and major depression. Kristina was a silent sufferer for years before she was diagnosed, making her withdraw from society. After being diagnosed at age 16, she found an emotional support network made up of her friends, boyfriend and psychiatrist.

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How Exercise Can Help Depression

I will be the first to admit that the word “exercise” makes me cringe. However, research has shown that regular exercise can help ease depression and in some cases work better than anti-depressants.

Better Living Advice And Support

achievia-exercise-helps-depressionMost people at some point in their lives will suffer from depression at varying levels of severity. Although depression can be crippling at times, there are things you can do to help prevent it before the offset, and things to help during the period.

It has been proven that exercise helps hugely with depression, however that doesn’t mean you have to go out and run a marathon every day!  It can be hard to even get out of bed sometimes when you have depression so it’s okay to just do leisurely exercise a few times a week.

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#Suicide #Survival

This post by The Bipolar Bum looks at why people decide to take their own life as a side effect of depression.
Self-harm or suicide can be such an unfathomable concept to people who do not live with mental illness. Sometimes you can no longer control your thoughts and nothing seems to make sense.
I would strongly recommend reading this no matter how much, or little you know about depression and suicide. Awareness can save lives.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please seek help. A list of international suicide hotlines are provided at the end of this post.

My encounter with depression and anxiety

After interviewing Susie Jones last week and listening to her story, I thought it would be appropriate to share mine. I have been living with depression and anxiety for about four years now, although I wasn’t diagnosed until after I finished high school. I didn’t seek medical help on my own; my mum helped me to reach out and get the support I needed.

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Dealing with depression: an interview with Suzie Jones

Suzie Jones* was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2009 when she was 15. Since she was young Suzie has been attending counseling sessions and taking anti-depressants. Suzie tried to take her own life twice before telling her family about her depression. Many issues contributed to her depression, but with support from her friends and family she has battled her illness and has not taken anti-depressants for two years.

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