I had been a while since I last wrote a post about my continuous journey with mental health, infant it's been over a year since I wrote the first tell all post 'Living with Bipolar, Depression & Anxiety - My Journey'.

A lot has changed since then, good and bad. So I thought it was time for an update.

The first big change is that I moved out and Tom and I bought our first home together.
But it wasn't that simple - buying a house never is.
The house we bought was gorgeous but in need of some major TLC so we got the keys and instantly began renovation.

Anxiety wise, firstly we bought a house in the area that gives me the most anxiety.
To some of you that might sound totally bizarre but, yes I do have a specific area that gives me awful anxiety. Also, some of your anxiety sufferers out there will be thinking 'What an idiot'.

I believe that you can't overcome issues unless you challenge them.
Be that being in crowded places, travelling, whatever causes your anxiousness..
Even moving to the area that once caused you to have a panic attack.

Basically my issue with the area in a nut shell, is it's where I went to school and it's kind of the local hub where people shop and drink.
It's where I used to feel bombarded and scared incase I bumped into the people I know longer talk to (for various reasons) or people who really wouldn't want to see me.
For a few years I've been unable to walk around the area alone, or even enter the local supermarket alone due to my anxious fear of the past.

However, the challenge was a good choice as crazy as it may sound because I'm slowly getting better, learning and challenging myself everyday.

Around my 21st Birthday during the house renovations I struggled.
I've always had a huge issue with my birthday. Just mine, no one else's and I've no idea why.
It's nothing to do with getting old or anything, I've always been very depressed, angry and emotional as soon as my birthday approached even as a child.
My mum seems to think it's due to expectation and disappointment but I can't confirm that, as I have no idea why it happens and wish it didn't.
Due to this I also have a really big problem with presents.
I'd wish people wouldn't bother as it's literally a fear for me, I can't stand receiving and opening presents.

My 21st was difficult for me, obviously I had just bought my own house and was decorating it exactly how I wanted, why wasn't I happy?
I think I felt that the whole 21st Birthday idea was overshadowed by the house and I didn't get my '21st Birthday' that you talk about as kids.
When actually looking back, I'd bought a house with the love of my life, got my dream dog and had nothing to be upset about.
But I spent most of my birthday sat in the car, there was tears.

Once we moved into the house, I was fine. Absolutely buzzing in fact.
Until about 2 and half month later I start getting severe anxiety again and it was coming out of nowhere and effecting me in situations it never had before, like just sitting in my house or driving my car.
It was very random and scary.

So after trying to pluck up the courage for week to talk to the doctor about it, I finally managed to book an appointment.
This was an achievement for me as having such an awful time with counselling for my Bipolar in the past, talking about it with someone I don't know if difficult for me.
However, it went fine and the doctor understood that I knew my head and I've been on medication for a long time now and I knew I need to 'take the edge off'.
I've been on the same dosage of my medication for around 2 years now, without any adjustments.
Due to my increase in anxiety I knew that my antidepressants needed amending and the doctor agreed.

I'm now on 200mg of Quetiapine (mood stabilisers) and 75mg of Setraline (antidepressants) a day now and I'm feeling much better.
They only adjusted my antidepressants by a half but it makes all the difference.
With Mental Health Medications, the smallest thing can make such a change.

Overall, 2016 has been a quick start with lots going on and I think I've coped with it all quite well considering my past. The only problem I'm suffering with at the moment is increased paranoia.
I've not had paranoia for a couple of years, and it really has come out of nowhere at the minute.
I'm dealing with daily and is really hard to cope with.

So that is my next challenge, but I feel I'm in a good head space otherwise to be able to deal with it however I do think I'm going to gain the courage to organise a therapist appointment so I can hopefully treat these paranoia demons.

What I want to end this update on is, please don't be afraid to talk it is scary, and it's not easy.
But you need to talk about, to be able to treat it.
If you, a friend or family member suffers with anything I've suffered with and wants to talk, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks for reading,

Charlie xo


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