Monday, 29 September 2014

The curse of the sensitive person

When researching for my book 'I blame the Hormones' I've had the privilege of meeting many different people, from all walks of life who have suffered from many different types of emotional difficulties. These would include a full blown mood disorder, to post traumatic stress and bipolar, and I am delighted that I have had such positive feedback and am able to  offer assistance to those that need it.

When I was a small child I suffered from anxiety ( yes even at a very young age) and it was quite obvious that my sensitive nature was indeed a sign of what was to come. I would often be tearful and seem to take things more to heart than others ,which left me vulnerable and overwhelmed on many occasion. I was also acutely sensitive to the world around me and often struggled to make sense of humankind and in particular the dark side of our world and all of its trepidations. Unfortunately I also became oversensitive with regards to my peers and often felt victimised or had a sense of not fitting in, despite my ability to hide behind a mask of confidence.

When fellow sufferers of depression contact me, and in particular those with hormonal depression, I have noticed that not only are they sensitive to their hormonal changes, but indeed they often have food sensitivities too, and can even suffer from allergies and intolerances as part of their symptoms.
It seems that the physical and mental often coincide, and the emotional difficulties go hand in hand with some physical manifestations. Sometimes there is  even a heightened sensory awareness, with sound and light becoming intolerable and sometimes even painful  which is extremely difficult to describe.

It seems to me that people that suffer from depressive episodes are quite often the ones that care the most, feel the most, and are the most compassionate of people. This is something to bear in mind if you are a sufferer and are feeling that sense of shame and stigma attached to a depressive diagnoses. One particular sufferer explained that her own doctor had told her that depression only happens to people that 'care', and this in itself can be a great comfort to those suffering from a sensitive and sympathetic nature. If you are feeling overly sensitive try to see it as a blessing and a natural part of your own personality, rather than something to be overwhelmed by. In my opinion it really is a better way to be, despite the obvious downsides.

Please share this blog with your friends and help the sensitive understand their sensitivity.
God Bless.
Suzi x

Monday, 22 September 2014

Thank you for sharing.

Last week I asked if lots of people could help me share my blogs in order to spread the word and help others with depression. I've had lots of feedback and have been contacted by many people, both male and female, looking for extra help and support. I'm often surprised by the many different reasons for depression, and indeed the enormous amount of situations that can bring about a sudden decline in mental and emotional health. Aside from the hormonal elements to any depressive episode, there was one other component which I have found to be almost always present when dealing with emotional disturbances, and that is the effect of long term, chronic stress.

Stress is peculiar because we all need a certain amount of stress to function and complete our daily tasks, some people even  seem to thrive on it, whilst others seem to crumble with  the slightest upheaval. However when that stress becomes chronic and long-term it can have a huge and detrimental effect on our mental and physical wellbeing. Often it is this type of stress, where the person begins to suffer from burnout which can cause the most damage, and has huge repercussions, often resulting in lowered immunity. It also has the ability to alter brain chemistry where the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline flood the system. The endless reasons for stress are too many to mention in one blog, but I have compiled a mini-list of the most stressful situations which have been presented to me by fellow sufferers and have without a doubt culminated into a clinical diagnoses..

Unresolved childhood baggage.
A bereavement.
Divorce or a relationship breakdown.
Stressful employment or loss of.
Shock eg, an accident
Serious illness.
Unmet emotional needs.
Physical or sexual abuse.
Hormonal disturbances and imbalance.
When you read my book, look on Amazon for details, you will see how I had almost all of the above which massively contributed to my depressive illness and the subsequent cycle of profound ill health. For further insight and reading I would read 'The feel good factor' by Patrick Holford who will help you with the real reasons behind your emotional issues.
God Bless
Suzi x

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Who can help me?

I have decided this week to ask for help in increasing my followers, and indeed raising more awareness of depression. Whatever I'm doing seems to be working as I have been inundated with responses via Twitter and Facebook, with several people in crisis needing extra help and support.

So how can you help? Or rather, how can you help me help others that are suffering from Depression, irrespective of its cause.

When I write a blog I try to make it as timely as I possibly can in the hope that someone will see it and log onto the website. The website has been designed in the hope that it may give others a new avenue to explore, and has lots of valuable information with various telephone numbers and helpful books to read. It is my belief that knowledge is power and there is a multitude of help out there if one just knows how to find it. That is why I wrote the book in the first place, as I knew that it would reach out and help those that so desperately need it. It could even help to save a life if a person knows where to go and who to call if they are despairing.

With that in mind, if you see my blog flash up on your screen, whether its via Twitter or Facebook please help me and simply 'share' it. This will undoubtedly help the sufferer and in particular those that are being secretive ,and not wanting to share the fact that they are poorly with others. The isolation, loneliness and shame that go with depression, often prevent the sufferer from seeking help and that is why my blog can mean a great deal to the lonely and depressed. It can also tell them where to go if they need help urgently and quickly.

Please  share this blog, share ,share, share and help raise awareness of this often hidden epidemic. And if you are reaching a crisis point don't forget about the Samaritans who can be called day or night on 08457 909090.
Suzi x

Monday, 1 September 2014

Helping with research at Cardiff University

A lady came to see me today who is a clinical psychologist at Cardiff university. She and her colleagues are working tirelessly with other universities, and indeed other countries, to find out why so many women are now being diagnosed with clinical depression. She was particularly interested in the type that I had which is centred around the hormonal years in women's lives, and mostly after childbirth, which is when I feel that my illness peaked and took on a more sinister turn.

After a brief introduction she began by asking numerous questions and filling in a questionnaire which is then fed back to all the Professors who are trying to help thousands of women, who through no fault of their own have developed hormonal depression. She also took a blood sample so that my DNA can be looked at under the microscope where they will try to isolate the gene responsible for this catastrophic illness. This of course is immensely important and will help the future generations to come. Being that I have 8 nieces in my direct blood line, and a long family history of depression, this critical research is long overdue and vital in protecting anyone who may be at risk.

Once she had taken my case history, she told me that indeed there certainly is a faulty gene which is responsible and all of the sufferers she has come into contact with have that same faulty genome which is responsible for their illness. This of course is extremely helpful and can even help conquer the sense of shame that one feels when they are depressed. I blamed myself for many years and even felt guilty for something that I now know to be out of my control and  a genetic mutation. There was nothing I did, nothing that I could do that bought about my illness, it was simply there all along and had been before I was even born.

In order to understand more about this depression Cardiff University is looking for more sufferers and need more case studies and blood samples to further that research. Please contact in the first instance,
The Mood Disorders Research Team
Cardiff University
DEPT of Psychological Medicine
4th floor Main Building
CF14 4XN
OR by email at
If you think you can help, you must have had Postnatal illness, psychosis or an ongoing mood disorder. Please try to help these amazing scientists in the battle against mental illness.
Much Love Suzi x