December 7, 2012

Jigwam, a Time to Change video blogger"You're talking about your mental health problems? Are you crazy?"

Some people might use that word, I would prefer to say that I am honest.

I’d been having a particularly bad day mental health wise. Sometimes I really don’t have any control over what I’m thinking and I really have to fight to take a hold of it. It’s an exhausting and frightening process as I’m sure many of you will know. Ordinarily, this post brain-zombie-apocalypse would result in exhausted tears of frustration and embarrassment. But this particular day, after I’d wrestled with the brain zombies and regained control of my thoughts, I decided to create a positive out of a negative.

I would dry my eyes and polish my zombies for everyone to see. I would record a message promoting openness and acceptance in my own way and maybe it would help somebody else feel less embarrassed about their own brain-army-of-the-undead. Because the human brain is a marvellous thing and yours, even if it works differently to the person standing next to you, is blooming brilliant.

So I posted this vlog on facebook via Time to Change with a little nervousness running through my veins. Do you know what? I’m so glad I did!

So many of my friends and facebook followers have told me how great it was to hear and have passed it on through their other friends. One lovely lady said that it was so refreshing because she’d been through the same thing and it felt great to think she wasn't alone. Others said they knew somebody who was suffering and could relate to it. So many people passed it on! I had the first conversation about my mental health that I’d ever had with my Father, because he'd seen this video online and a weight was lifted from me because of it. Now you may think "What difference will me blabbering on about my problems on a video make? No one will care."

Oh, they will care. They will listen. They will pass it on. It will help someone just like you that you may have never met before. But best of all, on your dark days you will know in your heart that you did one thing that turned your situation in to something positive for somebody else. And if you can hold on to that thought, that one thing may be enough to haul yourself free. It’s time to get talking about who we really are, it's Time to Change.

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Just wanted to say this was brilliant - I love not just what you're saying here (yes! totally agree with it) but also can I say your presentation style is engaging & funny, & frankly I think you could sell snow to eskimos or do stand-up comedy. Bottom line: loved it, and you're absolutely right. I think the current way mental health issues are treated in the UK not only makes sufferers stigmatised & seem scary, but getting help also seems pretty bloody scary too, & I wonder how many people are put off getting counselling or therapy because of (for instance) the police cells-like decor of your average mental health clinic?

jigwam's blog

Thank you for cheering up what was becoming a very dark day! I totally agree that society should embrace All folks who suffer from mental health issues. There are moments in all of our lives when we wish our 'zombies' were allowed out in public. But we all put on the 'mask' of shame and put our heads down as we try to go about our day and why should we? I want to be more open about how I REALLY feel and today is as good a day as any to start! Thanks again!


Thank you so much for this...I love your humour and you are so right! What is it about the 'in public' bit that we are so afraid of?

Thank you!

I also suffer from Anxiety and Panic attacks, and yet nothing brings them on so to speak, they're rather impulsive. I'm really glad to know that I'm not alone. I went to the doctors about it, but they put me on anti-depressants. I stopped taking them after 2-weeks because they really made me even more depressed and suicidal. I don't think the doctors can help, I pretty much have to hold a panic attack in when I'm at work.. it's so hard to do I normally break down into tears sometimes.

Anti depressants

Hi James R, Sorry to hear you suffer from anxiety and PAs too. Did you know that anti ds can take a few weeks to kick in? It's not good having to hold it in at work, sounds like torture :( Please don't dismiss meds totally and talk to your GP. They can make you feel worse until they get into your system. You deserve to feel better, I hope you can go back and ask for the help that's out there? It's like a life sentence otherwise, believe me I know.


Very nice and such sweet sentiments too, warmly and enthusiastically expressed. Made me want to give you a hug. Liked yer skully cardigan too. Very nifty!

Sharing and talking

Great video, I loved your presentation. You have so much positive energy in what you say.Know about those zombies too. Glad to say that I decided to 'come out' about my MH problems a few years back and talk quite openly about being 'poorly' and am glad i do. People were a bit edgy and embarrassed about it at first but my circle of friends all seem comfortable with it now. I work with kids with so called 'behavioural' problems like ADHD , OCD, ASD and PDA and it helps them to accept their behaviours when they know what I've been through! Yes, we all have that odd bit in all of us, thank goodness, otherwise there would be no geniuses or no real characters. I was truly inspired by your video. Thanks so much. I might show it as school. :)

I wish I could be as

I wish I could be as articulate and humourous as you when describing my 'zombies'. I usually just get drunk and start blathering!

I'm so glad i watched this

I'm so glad i watched this video. It was fantastic and i understood exactly what she was getting at. Hopefully there will come a time when everyone understand


<p>Really great piece! Although I don't have regular panic attacks, this is just so open and engaging and what a sense of humour! Zombies are definitely a great analogy :) &nbsp;I've often considered a video blog, but I have written one for TTC and it helped massively to deal with things and to get other peoples' input too. You're right about so many things in the video, hope that people take comfort in it and that it helped you too!&nbsp;</p>

I've got it all going on

I have suffered with panic attacks for 14 years. I have been on several anti d's but for years now I have just on with my life and avoided things like holidays or weekends away, I do whatever I can do to make me comfortable and if that's avoiding a few things then so be it. I've recently split up with my boyfriend, well he dumped me as he couldn't handle my attacks and that's when the depression hit. I was given anti d and it locked me in a panic for days which was hideous and made me feel like I was going to be sectioned. I vomit and have dirroeah when I panic, agitated, heart racing, nervous, hot/cold, shaking the whole lot and most people say their attack is like an adrenalin rush for about 10-30 mins. Mine is for about 8 hours until it decides to stop and I finish being sick. As I said I only get them in certain situations but ever since the break up and trying one tablet of anti dep's it's now given me generalised anxiety every day, insomnia and social phobia. It's been 3 months since I saw my ex and he wants to meet for a drink, how? I've got social phobia now and I really want to see him. The worse thing is when I get anxious and nervous I can't eat so I have lost alot of weight and it just makes you worse you have to eat.


Ive got same anxiety problem, doc prescribed sertraline 100g, have''nt had an episode for 3months now, Im bipolar due to being abused at 9yrs old and having a domaneiring father and brother, the anxiety sets off violence

i know how you feel but i

i know how you feel but i have a phobia of vomit and dirroeah so i find it hard to go out for meals ect my partner gets really fustrated with me i think there are a few time where he has wanted to leave me but u know sometimes i think he feels sorry for me i think i would rather he left as u dont want to be with someone that feels sorry for you i i suppose i just want one day that i feel good so i can move forward with my life . I think you should try and meet him for a drink just take to slow and remember you can leave at any point stay strong and remember ur powerfull i know its easy to say but im trying so hopefully u will too . i was told i should go on tablets but i dont want to supress to problem i want it gone xxx good luck


Good video. I've been suffering from depression for the last 2 and a half years on and off.There are days when I don't want to speak to anyone and don't even want to get out of bed. I feel like I could leave he curtains drawn forever and ever. On a positive note as therapy I've found praying going to the gym and reading very helpful tool to help me combat my depressive moods. My advise to anyone suffering from depression is to keep your mind active. You'll overcome the obstacles.


Hi, I have just read your comment and there are many days where I dont want to open the curtains, and let another day in, but some how, I find the strength to get through another day in the dark x

Yes you!

You are an inspiring ray of sunshine! thank you so much for your honesty. If everyone had a similar openness and understanding of mental health then we could support one another better, you are completely spot on. Keep up the good work!

Absolutely fantastic!! Congratulations!

Great video and very very funny. I love a good laugh - so thank you. Really impressed that you would publicly put this on facebook etc but you summed up your ideas so well i'm very tempted to do the same. And even if it takes me quite a while of going through a script and trying to get some funny in mine too one day it's going to happen. Anxiety and depression are far too common to feel so isolating. I find it so hard to admit to myself how I am feeling let alone anyone else. This really was inspiring! Best of luck with things x

Panic driving

I only got panic attacks when I went thru menopause and only when driving on motorways. Before this I never had a nervous bone in my body. I need a solution now ! What would cognitive behaviour suggest I wonder ? Anybody know please ?


Let's talk about it!


I have questions about menopause, but it is not really looked at. The problem is the same. You are anxious, panic etc., the age is irrelevant you have to deal with it. Xanax .5 is good. Valium is good, the former if you take them often I find depressing, the latter seemed fine. There is nots of advice about CB but as your stress gets higher and higher and you become hysterical or put yourself into a home I can assure you no amount of that training has helped me. If you have a good doctor speak to them or get them on line. They are not the ones who are trying to live with panic and anxiety, during which we don't have a life.

panic attacks

When I read this story I was reminded of my long struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. The first time it happened, I was a young teacher having a friendly meeting with the principal when all of a sudden I felt a strange flutter of nervous energy that went all through my body and became so intense that I could hardly breathe. I thought I was having a heart attack. a co-worker rushed me to the doctor, who gave me a prescription and told me to go get some rest. For many years after that, I suffered through more and more panic attacks. It got to the point where I never felt secure or at ease anymore. In fact, I felt that any day I would end up in a mental hospital. When I sought help from doctors, they gave me the same knee-jerk reaction many of you with anxiety or panic attacks may be familiar with: a hasty prescription for a botle of pills. Unfortunately, those drugs did nothing about the root cause of my anxiety and actually made my condition worse much of the time. I knew that there had to be another way. I searched long and hard and finally came across some simple natural remedies that finally made my horrifying panic attacks disappear for the amazement of my doctor. In fact, you might want to check out this article, it really helped me a lot: Hope it helps anyone reading this!

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