Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Before we start, I really need to make this abundantly clear. OCD is not a condition in whi...

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder : A Mental Health Guest Post

mental health

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Before we start, I really need to make this abundantly clear. OCD is not a condition in which someone is ‘a little bit’ OCD. Nor is it a condition in which someone likes to be tidy and cannot stand to see mess. Just because you arrange your books in colour order on a shelf, it does not follow that you have OCD. You do not have OCD if you wake-up in the night and suddenly wonder if you have turned off the oven.
OCD is one of the most debilitating mental health conditions. It changes lives. It is like a parasite that impacts on families of sufferers in a most cruel way. It’s incredibly serious and life-altering. It’s time that more people were educated about what the condition is and what can be done to help people. We really need to understand it more and respect people who suffer from it.
A correct definition of OCD is when someone has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
Sufferers report that it can start with a very simple thought that someone needs to repeat a behaviour, or the consequences will be dire; such as the loss of a family member. Whilst many people may experience this at some point and be able to swiftly remove it from their train of thought, OCD sufferers are unable to do so, and this will ultimately result in more repetitive behaviour and increased fear of punishment. This may lead to complicated rituals that the sufferer must follow daily or they will be convinced that they will be punished in some horrific way. There are some sufferers who develop whole rituals because it is their way of coping with the condition and eventually the rituals become so complex that the sufferer is unable to go through their daily life, hold down a job or even go outside. It also impacts on families as families must cope with the obsessive behaviour and must make allowances for it.
Cleanliness can be a huge factor in OCD but not in a good way. Sufferers become concerned with germs and the fear of catching serious illnesses from being in contact with the germs. They will possibly resort to touching things such as handles and light switches only with kitchen towel or tissues and they will also be dealing with other intrusive thoughts making them complete these rituals several times in an hour and throughout the day. They may need to wipe a plate or glass at least fifty or a hundred times to make sure that it is clean. Eventually they may stop eating as the whole process becomes so arduous.
What can be done to help sufferers?
As with many mental health conditions, getting a sufferer to acknowledge that they have a problem is a huge step in the road to recovery. Many sufferers are too embarrassed or anxious to admit that they have a problem. It is thought that combining CBT- cognitive behavioural therapy with medication of  selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can work to redress the balance of chemicals in the brain as well as enabling the sufferer to face the fears that have led to the compulsive behaviour. Sadly, NHS mental health services are under so much pressure nowadays that it can take a long time to be referred to a service. In the meantime, it helps sufferers to be encouraged to embark on a self-care programme. Eating healthily, taking regular exercise, learning mindfulness and learning to switch off. Whilst these won’t cure OCD, they will help to alleviate some of the symptoms. It’s also a really good idea to seek out a support group or a charity that will provide further information.

I'm Elizabeth, I am a writer, a teacher and an examiner.
I write everything from non-fiction articles on educational issues, autism and gardening to social media strategies and fictional writing. I recently completed my first novel; Control. Alt. Delete. It’s an inspirational story of a woman who becomes a victim of coercion and control and how she manages to escape and survive.
I’m married and I live with my husband, two children and two cats, Barbara and Mittens in South Yorkshire.  I’m a champion of autism and I advise parents who are going through the EHC system.  I’ve been a teacher in a wide range of roles in a variety of educational settings for over twenty-five years.
You can find more from Elisabeth Straw here:

Halloween is coming up fast and I'm starting prep for my party! I've been looking at some great Halloween themed products for all...

Halloween Gift Guide

halloween gift guide
Halloween is coming up fast and I'm starting prep for my party!
I've been looking at some great Halloween themed products for all ages, so take a look and just remember if you use my codes at the bottom you can save money too ;)

First, we'll start with the alcohol, Fallen Angel Vodka, Its a great Halloween gift and drink, the bottle is shaped like the devil! how cool is that?! We got sent a 50ml signature bottle to test and the vodka is lovely, nice and smooth and doesn't smell bad either. its the perfect novelty gift to give and it looks great on the shelf after and at £8.50 what a bargain gift!

Then its all about the decor, Why not check out these great decorations for your Party from Studio24, from floating skeletons to inflatable pumpkins Studio has it all to make your party be as scary as you like!

Got kids coming to the party? make sure they're entertained too by getting a few spooky party games like this from what2buy4kids.                                        

Halloween parties, not your thing? Why not take the kids away to Legoland for 

Brick or Treat is back this Halloween Half Term!

Enjoy over 55 rides, attractions and spooktacular activities across the Resort and get your 2nd Day FREE – remember to dress up your little ghouls for our costume competition – brand new for 2018.

Don't miss out on the ultimate family Halloween experience to make memories to last a lifetime!

Plus, on 20th/21st/26th/27th & 2nd November enjoy an incredible fireworks show with 3D exploding LEGO bricks!

DATES: 18/10/18 - 02/11/18

Don't forget the What2Buy4Kids Monster Sale and to use my code below to save 10% :D

I hope you have a great Halloween whatever you decide to do and make sure you stay safe :D

Much Love

*Disclosure: Some links in this post are Affiliate links and if you click and buy from then i get a percentage of that perchase to help me create more great content*

I know some of you are going to say it's too early for Christmas but its now October and really we only have 83 days left!!  Every ...

Letters From Santa....

I know some of you are going to say it's too early for Christmas but its now October and really we only have 83 days left!! 
Every year we always write a letter to Santa with what we would like for Christmas and Lilli is always gutted she doesn't get one back (i know lazy mummy lol) So this year we found Lapland Mail Room and OMG it is amazing!! You put in all your child/ children's details and get a personalised letter from Santa to them!!!

Look how easy it is:

Letters to santa
 Just choose the letter you want to personalise out of the 4 different packages and enter your child's details, details include their age, name, gender and other little sentiments like what you left for Santa and Rudolph last year, who your friend is so santa doesnt forget them and you can even add their most hoped for toy! 

Letters to santa

After entering all the details, watch the magic come alive as you read your child's letter, all letters are written slightly differently for each child so will never be the same!

Lastly, add your address (don't worry it will come addressed to them not you) so you can sit back, relax and watch the magic happen.

So how simple is that?! Take a look now!

Much Love

Hi, I’m Nic, a twenty-something lesbian from Bournemouth. I run a lifestyle blog which covers a variety of content from Disney, LGBT l...

A Day In The Life - Guest Post - A Twenty Something Lesbian

Hi, I’m Nic, a twenty-something lesbian from Bournemouth. I run a lifestyle blog which covers a variety of content from Disney, LGBT life, Events, Wedding planning and mental health.

Mental health is a topic that is really important to me, although there is great progress being made in terms of awareness, there is unfortunately still a stigma surrounding it. We need to feel comfortable to discuss mental health openly and honestly, without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. 

Most people will experience some form of mental health at some point in their lives. For me, I struggled with depression on and off for about 6/7 years, until I was 20. It was something that suffocated me, but I got so used to feeling that way, I just became numb. I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling for years, I suffered and struggled with it alone for too long. I got so good at putting on my ‘brave face’ that not even my closest friends and family noticed, it wasn’t until I managed to pull myself out of that dark place, they saw the extreme change in me.

Sometimes I just felt low and worthless, but at times I was self-harming and suicidal. 

When I was in college I was at one of my lowest points and my mental health was taking over my life so I put myself into to see the college counsellor, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It forced me to be vulnerable and open up, by talking to my counsellor it was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders, it didn’t make the depression go away overnight, but I truly believe that it put me on the path to healing and I’m now depression free, I haven’t self-harmed in years and I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be. I opened up and spoke to my parents about how I was feeling, after a few tears it’s made our bond even stronger. I used to bottle everything up and it made me so unwell, but now I live my life as an open book and it’s changed my life, for the better.

I now do everything I can to help and support my partner, who was recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and spread awareness of the importance of talking about how we feel because it really did change my life.

Let us know if you think seeing a counsellor is/was beneficial in the comments below.
You can find Nic HERE and on social media :D

Much Love

High-Functioning Depression High-functioning depression is something that’s not talked about a lot.  Whenever I’m on social media, lo...

High-Functioning Depression – A Myth? - Guest Post

High-Functioning Depression
High-functioning depression is something that’s not talked about a lot.  Whenever I’m on social media, looking through some of the hashtags or talking to the different people on there, I find very few mentions of it.  It’s something I feel needs talking about.  So I’d like to tell you a bit about my depression and how I am a high-functioning depressed person.
When talking about depression, for those who haven’t experienced it personally, people often picture someone like Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh: someone who is gloomy, pessimistic and anhedonic.  If you think of the stereotype, it’s often someone who might look a bit like this:

Does that look familiar?  Your stereotypical, socially-perceived depressed person.  Well, what people don’t always realise is that there are two types of depression.
This one is known as low-functioning depression.  It’s what society commonly perceives to be “depression” and it’s where stigma creates one of the biggest problems for people who are depressed, because it’s “the way we should be”, even though that’s not the case.
The Reality of High-Functioning Depression
As you may have guessed, high-functioning depression is the complete opposite of low-functioning depression.  We don’t get stuck in the funk where we cannot do anything, we don’t spend hours upon hours trapped in our beds, we function more than that.  If anything, we appear to be normal members of society.  That does not, however, mean that we aren’t struggling.  Check out this article by amysboarderlineworld, which sums up what I’m trying to say quite nicely.
You see, we might appear to be normal, functioning members of society but that is an illusion, a myth we have created for others to see.  We struggle, perhaps just as much as someone with low-functioning depression.  We just continue along our lives as though nothing is wrong which, in turn, makes us seem like nothing is wrong.
That is the reality.  The struggle.  People see that we are “normal, functioning members of society” and assume that we are not depressed or anxious (as that’s the thing, it isn’t limited to depression).  Unfortunately, it’s the way it works, for people seem to think we are, for want of a better word, “normal”.
But we’re not.
I’m a High-Functioning Depressed Person
In reality, you won’t see me struggling.  I’m good at hiding it.  Very good at hiding it.  Look for it and you might miss it, because we get on with what we need to do.  I certainly do.  Even on the bad days, I’m frequently plodding along with whatever I need to do.  At work, back when I worked at the bank, I was often on a bad day yet no one knew.  Out of 100 employees who worked in the same office as me, only one person ever frequently picked up on my bad days.  In some cases, I’ve been on self-destructive bad days with blood leaking from self-harm wounds.  It’s not been pretty.
So high-functioning depression and anxiety is something we need more awareness of.  We need to get those discussions going!  In that vein, check out the post from The Mighty below, which will round off my point nicely.

If you want to check out more of Alex’s pieces you can find him here: http://www.pushingbacktheshadows.com/

Much Love

Young people have never had it so good… or have they? Although certain newspapers like to blame the ‘entitled’ younger generation for t...

How money worries are making students miserable...Guest Post

How money worries are making students miserable...Guest Post

Young people have never had it so good… or have they? Although certain newspapers like to blame the ‘entitled’ younger generation for the world’s ills on an almost daily basis, there’s evidence that ‘moaning’ millennials and Gen-Ys actually have a point.
Yes — recorded happiness among young people has hit its lowest level in almost a decade, research suggests. And the biggest decline was seen in relation to education and work, health and money: in fact, over half (54%) of 16- to 25-year-olds are worried about their finances, according to the Prince’s Trust.
It’s at university that money worries are really likely to kick in, with a massive 78% of students worrying about mhaking ends meet, and half saying this causes their mental health to suffer.
Is it any wonder? Between unmanageable tuition fees and inadequate maintenance loans, the average student is left £221 short each month to cover essentials like rent, bills and food shopping. As a result, England’s graduates now owe more money than anywhere else in the English-speaking world.
Student Minds is a mental health charity that aims to help. Its policy manager Rachel Piper says: “At university, it may be the first time that a student is managing their own finances, and we know that the cost of living can pose a significant challenge to a number of students — and this stressor may impact on their wellbeing.
“Equally, if you’re experiencing a mental health difficulty, you might find that you feel isolated or anxious about your ability to manage your finances. You may also feel unable to make informed financial decisions and you might be incurring treatment costs.”
Research has already confirmed the link between mental health issues among students and financial worries, so support in getting by on a tight budget is crucial to helping keep anxiety at bay. Universities offer advice and resources to students who are struggling with money and feel it is having an impact on their mental health, plus are a number of external organisations that offer help and advice, including the National Association of Student Money Advisers, Studential and The Student Room.
“Being a student is a great experience but it comes with its fair share of challenges — living within a strict budget being one of them,” says Ashley Tate, chief executive officer at online student bill-sharing tool Split the Bills.
“As it’s often the first time they’re financially responsible for food, rent and utilities, students can understandably feel daunted and stressed.
“Accessing help can take that burden away and bring a sense of shared responsibility among housemates.”

If you feel overwhelmed by money troubles or you know someone that is, talking is the best first step you can make. There is help out there and you don’t have to struggle on alone.

If you liked this guest post leave a comment below :D

Written by: Helen Bird - You can find Helen Here :D

Much Love

Money troubles are always lurking around the corner, its always something unexpected like your car breaks down and you need a repair asap ...

5 Ways To Get Out Of Money Trouble

5 Ways To Get Out Of Money Trouble
Money troubles are always lurking around the corner, its always something unexpected like your car breaks down and you need a repair asap or you run out of nappies when you thought you had enough. Well, I've come up with 3 ways to get out of money trouble to help you in the future!

1) Small Loans:
Small loans are great for getting you out of that tight spot, it's also great for building your credit score too! Starting from £80-£500 you can get a little cash to help a long way, why not check out Small Loans At Cash Lady they're great and helpful and will help you get back on your feet in no time, you can even apply online!

2) Debt Advice:
We all have a debt or two but when you have too many to handle speak to step change, Step Change is a debt charity that helps people in money trouble, they go through your whole income and expenditure and see whats affordable for you to pay back and speaks to the companies on your behalf, Its not necessarily the easiest way but they can really help!

3)Create A Plan:
Creating a money plan is a brilliant idea, I have one, I write down when I get paid and how much I will get over a whole month, I then plan out which bill needs to be paid first and what amount I need to save for shopping etc then the rest is money to play with ts simple!

4) Savings:
I don't necessarily have a lot of savings but I do have my PayPal account, I use to spare cash even if its £2/3 and transfer it to my PayPal account, it soon adds up and can be used for a treat :D

5) Cut out the extras:
When money is tight you need to cut the treats out! Only if it's for a week or a few days it sometimes can be really helpful, use the £2 for the bus to work and walk instead or your morning grab and go coffee and cake and take a coffee from home, cutting out the extras can really save some money and give you a reality check on what your spending.

Getting out of money trouble can be easy if you make it. If you enjoyed reading this then check out more posts with the tabs at the top ^

Much Love


*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, anything written is my own personal views of how to get out of money trouble, if you are in need of help do contact StepChange Debt charity or another charity of likeness.* 

Do you have trouble brushing your daughter's hair? I do! Brushing Lilli's hair is an absolute nightmare! And not just sometimes,...

JoJo Siwa Detangle Hair Brush Review

Jojo siwa hairbrush review

Do you have trouble brushing your daughter's hair?
I do! Brushing Lilli's hair is an absolute nightmare! And not just sometimes, it's like it all the time.
Its always so knotty and it really hurts her head to brush it no matter how gentle I'm being, so we got sent through this brush by JoJo Siwa and it's bloody fantastic! I've never brushed Lilli's hair so much since we've had it its crazy!

The brush comes in 5 different patterns and colours and has been designed by Jojo Siwa herself and Hair Secretz, the brush detaches from the casing and has a space for hair clips, bands and bows and can flip between a detangle bush with 3 different size prongs to glide through tangled hair to a fully pronged hairbrush with ease.

Lilli really loves her new brush and is happy to even brush her own hair too (which is a first!) she's so thrilled that it has Jojo's face on it as well as a cute pattern and would like to thank Hair Secretz for sending it to us to review!

Jojo brushes will be available at B&M stores nationwide and at Amazon.co.uk for £7.99! WHAT A BARGAIN! And plus they look pretty too! To buy this brush click the Amazon link below :D

Let me know if you love this just as much as we do and what colour brush you like best :D

Much Love

*Disclaimer: I was sent this brush from Hair Secretz to review all opinions are my own, this post does include an affiliate link which i may make money from*

Having sex after having a baby or even with older children in the house is a mission in itself, we all get the urge to have a 5min quicki...

Having Sex After Kids! ft. LoveHoney

Having Sex After Kids! ft. LoveHoney

Having sex after having a baby or even with older children in the house is a mission in itself, we all get the urge to have a 5min quickie while the kids are watching Paw Patrol and the nuggets are cooking, but we all know that you need more than that for a relationship to keep alive! So we've collaborated with Lovehoney to show you how to spice up your sex life after having kids!

Clothing: Simple sexy lingerie or even a new bra and pants set can get you some good action, he may still love you in your breastfeeding bra and sweatpants but making an effort will definitely make it more fun and exciting, pick a simple lacy bra or even a baby doll to cover you mum-tum if you want to.

Sex Toys: Some of you may be shocked or even a virgin to toys in the bedroom but toys are a brilliant way to spice up your sex life, a smile vibrator can make the world of difference for both of you check out these vibrator gift sets from Lovehoney.

Light Bondage: A blindfold or some handcuffs can really spice up the moment, maybe even try using a feather tickler for some added sensual moments. If you like more than this Lovehoney sells a wide range of bondage toys and accessories.

Massage: Who doesn't love a massage right?! Well, i do! and  Lovehoney sells a lickable massage oil, it's absolutely amazing and tastes good too! It's always nice to get a massage and 99% of the time turns into sex, just don't fall asleep!

Sex Cheques: Some of you may be asking 'Whats a sex cheque?' or some may have used them before but they are essentially a cheque you write on, you put what sexual deed you are offering and give them to your partner to 'cash in' whenever they want, you can be so adventurous with this and have lots of fun.

Romance: Romance is in the air! at least it will be soon! You love your partner and they've probably been at work all day and crave some TLC, well nothing screams I love you like a bath full of bubbles and a glass of wine to share together, set the mood and maybe light some candles, play some music and just relax in each others company...maybe it will lead to something more ;)

Lovehoney Wild Weekend Mega Couples Sex Toy Kit Review:
Having Sex After Kids! ft. LoveHoney
So as part of my collaboration with Lovehoney they sent us a couples sex toy kit to review, it is a brilliant kit, with 11 specially selected toys for sexy fun in endless erotic combinations, including an all-time favourite rabbit vibrator and dinky butt plug for first-time anal fun, we had lots of fun with this kit already and it has really spiced up our sex life, my favourite toy has to be the vibrating cock ring as its pleasure for both of us and nice and small so it doesn't get in the way. The set really is worth the money and we will definitely be buying more from Lovehoney, the packaging was so discreet and I had no idea what it was until I opened it, Overall I would give this set a 10/10 and recommend it to anyone! (and that's honesty they don't tell me to say this!) 

Oh, plus the kit comes with jiggle balls ladies! Tone up that pelvic floor ;)

Let me know in the comments if you have some tips on having sex after having kids?!

Much Love

*This is a collaborative post with Lovehoney, These are my own opinions and reviews*

I’m Beth, 34 years old and a mother to one little boy, Charlie, who has autism.  I have suffered from an eating disorder on and off since...

Guest Post: A Letter to my Eating Disorder

I’m Beth, 34 years old and a mother to one little boy, Charlie, who has autism.  I have suffered from an eating disorder on and off since my early 20s but this particular cycle has been occurring for the past 3 years.  I am currently approaching my discharge from ED services after almost 2 years in outpatient treatment and a short stint as a day patient.

I'm just writing to tell you that it needs to be over.  I can't do this anymore.
You've taken so much of my precious time, time that I can never get back.  
You convinced me, made me believe that you cared about who I am, about what I want and need.  
But you don't care.  You have NEVER cared.

For the last three years, I have tried so hard to meet your unrealistic expectations of what you believe a woman should be.  I have focused on nothing but wanting to please you. You have let me torture myself, let me think that all of this is me, because of me.  If I were just that little bit thinner, or more glamorous?  Or if I looked better in a bikini?  Then perhaps you'd be happy? Perhaps you'd say “Yes Beth... You are finally perfect!”
But you never will. I will never be “perfect” enough for you.  It doesn't exist.

And despite the fact that I am so angry at you for destroying my life.  I know that I will miss you. That's how truly messed up this situation is.  For the longest time, you've been the closest thing I have had to a best friend.  Some of my favourite moments and memories are those when it's been just you and I.  Not needing anyone or anything. Our dirty little secret. Us against the world.

But missing you can't be enough to keep me here.  The longer I stay the less chance I have of making it.  I know this. I've known it for a while but I think before I was just too tired to care.  I've made the mistake of making my life all about you. So much so that I'm not even sure who I am now.  It's like I can't think or breathe without you inside of me. You've possessed me and I let you. But you can't have any more of me. And even though my newly found fighting spirit may only be a tiny flickering in the distance; I will not blow it out. I will not let you convince me to blow it out.  

I know there will be days when walking away from you will be the hardest thing I have ever done.  I know that you'll remind me that I need you. I know that there will be days when the idea of running back to the comfort and familiarity of you will be excruciating to ignore. But already, just imagining the possibility of being free from your grasp gives me butterflies in my stomach.  

Perhaps I will always wish I could have done more.  Perhaps I will always wish that what I have done to myself, to this body, was enough for you.  Why couldn't you love me the way I was? The way I am? Why was it never enough?

But you don't answer.  You never answer.

So I'm just writing to tell you that it needs to be over.  I can't do this anymore.

Yours No Longer Yours

Beth Anne

If you want to connect with Beth you can find her here: http://www.mynameisbethanne.com/