How To Use Rest Breaks Effectively

Students with both mental and physical disabilities or illnesses are allowed extra time in exams for rest breaks, while many employers will give their staff rest breaks too. Some people without disabilities or illnesses are even given rest breaks. But how do you use these breaks wisely to make yourself more productive? This article will explain exactly that, including prior planning and on-the-stop decisions.

Exams incoming, are you prepared?

Exams incoming, are you prepared?

To Do, Before
You should know whether you are going to have a rest break during your exam or work day, so make sure you are prepared for it. These breaks should help you relax so that your mind is fresh to continue with your work. Are you going to get up and move around (which might not be allowed in some exams)? Are you going to get a drink or something to eat? Are you going to close your eyes and take a short nap? You should know what you are going to do so that you don’t worry about it, as worrying will cut into your precious time! Note how much time you have for your rest breaks too, as that will make it easier to know what you will do during the break or whether to split it into two smaller rest breaks instead of one.

Get Up, Get Active
But don’t run a marathon, which is impossible if you have a 5 minute break into your exam. I doubt you will do that in your coffee break either. One of my summer exams is a 2 hour computing test where you sit at the computer (I believe I get an extra 30 minutes as well), which is probably going to kill you if you are sitting down the whole time. Getting up and walking for a few minutes will get you away from the working environment and allow your brain to gather thoughts. Although this will be allowed in a majority of workplaces, you should check before an exam whether this is allowed.

Know someone who has panic attacks over exams? Click here to find out how to help.

Have A Mint, Or Some Water
The greatest piece of advice I ever heard about exams is to take a mint in with you and suck on it. Okay, so maybe revising was the best tip I ever heard but this one is still great. Although I can’t find the study I believe sucking a mint increases brain function. Take my word for it, it can’t do any harm. Similarly, you need to stay hydrated on those long days in the office so make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times. A dehydrated brain will work slower.

Think positively... and quietly.

Think positively… and quietly.

Think Positive
And while you are thinking positive, do not think about your work or your exam. When you are stressed the body will release adrenaline causing you to not think clearly. Thinking of something positive will reverse this effect and allow you to continue with your work normally. Your thought could be something you will do later (like celebrate passing your exam) or it could be a good memory.

Think positive? Click here for my anti-depression mystic flowing through the air.

So there you have it. Now you should be prepared for those summer exams, providing you revise, or better equipped for those rest breaks at work. Just make sure the breaks are allowed by your supervisor or exam organiser. I guess I’ll be off to think positive now… or have a mint. Do you have rest breaks? What do you usually do during them?

How Hip Hop Helps Beat Depression

Beating depression with hip hop? Surely this cannot be possible, we can cure this strange illness with a couple beats and rhymes? According to research from the Cambridge University (it’s my dream to go there) positive visual imagery and rags-to-riches stories told in hip hop and rap can create a better mental state. I’ll be honest and say just the catchy beats can sometimes make me feel better, but recently I have been listening to some more meaningful hip hop songs and they have made me feel better. Some of the songs I link below have got me through tough times, and I hope they do the same for you.

Vinnie Paz – Is Happiness Just A Word?
According to my sources, this song is about Vinnie Paz’s struggles with Depersonalisation Disorder(DPD). While I can’t confirm this, I know that many people suffering from depression will be able to connect with this song and understand they are not the only one suffering with these problems. This song could easily be about many different mental illnesses. Overall, I just really love this song from a rapper that most people have not heard of.
VinniePazYoutube1

Nas – If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)
I like Nas, and he is considered one of the greatest rapper to have walked on the face of the Earth. This is the positive visual imagery I was talking about, where Nas imagines a better life for all of the people in the world with him in charge. If I could choose one rapper to be in charge of the world, I’m sure Nas would come to mind (because I don’t think he would kill everyone).
NasYoutube1

Army of the Pharaohs – Suicide Girl
The last rap verse of this song hit me hard. This song might trigger you so don’t listen to it if you are easily triggered, as there is a lot of talk about self-harm and suicide. But that last verse… oh man, give it a listen. If I could sum up my depression in a verse, it would be that last one. I am seriously thinking about playing that verse to everyone I know. Yeah… I’m probably hyping it up a little too much…
ArmyOfThePharaohsYoutube1

Kendrick Lamar – i
I smile when I look at Kendrick Lamar in this video, this is the happiest song on my list. It is very up-beat as Kendrick talks about loving himself, and the message from this song should be that you should love yourself too! It’s been nominated for a Grammy too, so it’s a recognised hit if you want to stay “down with the kids”.
KendrickLamarYoutube1

Tupac – Thugz Mansion
There are two versions to this song, the acoustic version featuring Nas, and the remix version featuring Anthony Hamilton. The acoustic version has got me through I got of tough times, I remember once walking out of my house thinking whether or not to commit suicide (I wasn’t actually going to do it) and I had this song on repeat for two hours. I now know all the words! The remix with Anthony Hamilton has a couple lines which make me go crazy whenever I hear it, “I once contemplated suicide, and woulda tried, but when I held that nine, all I could see was my momma’s eyes”. Note that both were released after Tupac’s death.
TupacYoutube1

Eminem – Lose Yourself
In this day and age you are not allowed to compile a “great rap” list without Eminem on it. I could choose from so many songs, Beautiful, Rock Bottom, but in the end I chose Lose Yourself. Why? It’s a song about being an underdog and getting out into greatest. I don’t know why your depressed, but thinking you could be in a better place will make you feel better…
EminemYoutube1

The CAMHS Crisis: My Counsellor Killed Me

Well, it’s me again, and I’ve just got back from my CAMHS counsellor who I am now certain is trying to kill me. When you say you have a plan to kill yourself shortly after attempting an overdose, you should expect some help. Well… not if you have my counsellor. I’ve heard countless stories about this before but I thought maybe CAMHS could help me, at least they have now shown me their true colours.

You will notice that as I write this the drugs from my overdose have probably left my system since I am pumped with adrenaline, ready to complain about how CAMHS, run by the NHS who is owned by the government, doesn’t want to help me and is essentially leaving me to die.

Prior to my meeting today they had been informed by my college counsellor that I had taken an overdose on Saturday night. I’m still alive if you are wondering (seriously, you should have guessed) and I was starting to feel a little bit better until I saw CAMHS. They also know that I actively self-harm, and that I am currently receiving very little help. I get help from my GP who I see once a week but they are only their to listen to me. I get help from the college counsellor, who is someone who will actually listen to me. CAMHS also know that I am not very happy with them, since they told me that they could not help me with my depression that they haven’t diagnosed yet (the GP believes I have it though).

The meeting started off with talking about my overdose. I wasn’t exactly sure what they wanted me to tell them. They already know what I took, when I took it and what happened afterwards regarding college and the NHS. The only information I could give them was that I told my friend after the overdose happened, and that they told me to go to see a doctor. I didn’t see a doctor, CAMHS did not really care why. CAMHS were not that interested in why I overdosed but I believe they asked me once, possibly twice. They were very concerned about why I told that particular friend. Do they believe I am a bad person for not telling my other friends? Do I have a secret illegal drug deal with this friend and I must tell them I might die, which means they don’t get their regular fix? I wouldn’t be surprised if that is what CAMHS believed. Anyway, I gave them some information added onto what they already know. You can’t say I’m not communicating.

Next they gave me a questionnaire to complete, their were over 100 questions on it. For each question I had to answer with “Never”, “Sometimes”, “Often” or “Always”. Only a few questions were yes or no. Pretty simple, and it should be obvious in some cases whether the person answering will need help. I’ll show you some of my answers to the questions.

Do you self-harm?
Yes
I wish I were dead.
Often
I feel no one loves me.
Often
Do you have a plan to kill yourself?
Yes

Now if someone came up to me and said they regularly cut themselves, they have no one that loves them, that they wish they were dead and had a plan to do it I would be extremely concerned about them, and would try to give them all the help I could get. If I also knew about their recent attempt to overdose I would be in tears. Apparently CAMHS don’t care though, as you’ll see through the rest of the post. I also want to note that I don’t actually have another plan yet but I’m thinking, I do still have my rope from ages ago.

So after this questionnaire they decided they were going to pass me onto their supervisor. I’m guessing they didn’t know what to do with me (I think they are in training still). I small part of my mind makes me think they can’t be bothered to deal with me, but while I’m thinking straight I’ll say that probably isn’t the case. I wouldn’t be surprised though it they couldn’t be bothered. They sent me back to the waiting area with my mum while the counsellor and supervisor talked.

A short while of waiting and I’m being led into a room with both the counsellor and supervisor. The supervisor is now pretending they know everything about my life, claiming that I am embarrassed to talk about whatever I wont talk about. They were certain I was embarrassed, after only a few minutes of knowing me (or not really knowing me). They found out a few things about my personal life such as what relatives lived with me and what I study at college. They are so quick to judge, if I were to judge them I would say they haven’t had a proper education. In fact I have convinced myself that when I get my A-Level maths qualification in the summer I will be a better qualified psychologist than them. Yes, I’m convinced. The whole way they act, they believe they know my life story without talking to me, they think they know everything I am thinking. They told me what they “know” I am thinking, and it wasn’t. They don’t seem to want to discuss it very much, so I don’t really have much of a chance to tell them. I wouldn’t want to talk to someone as rude as them anyway.

So they were stuck, their detective skills were unable to figure out everything so they brought my mum in the room. They then talked to my mum as if I weren’t in the room. How was he growing up? Was he dropped on the head is what they were getting at. How is his relationship with his family? What he abused by anyone in the family is what they were getting at. What does he do with his friends? Is he a drug abuser or a prostitute is what they were getting at. How rude, I was wondering if I was invisible at this point. I was beginning to think I was Harry Potter was the invisibility cloak, and Hagrid was about to come at take me to Hogwarts, which would explain why I don’t fit in around here.

The talking went on and on. I can’t remember everything they said as they just talked, didn’t care about me being involved in the conversation, only about making me feel bad. They dropped a lot of hints to make me force them to tell them everything, but they wouldn’t ask me. They hinted at me getting kicked out of college if I don’t tell them, but I’ll talk to my college tomorrow and confirm this isn’t true. They were saying I will be stuck like this forever if I don’t tell them, but I never knew the cure for depression was talking to rude, inconsiderate people. Eventually they allowed me and my mum to leave. Yes, the guy with a plan on killing himself was allowed to walk out of the government organisation designed to keep him safe.

So in the end you can see I am very angry. I was expecting more. One of the questions on the questionnaire was talking about if I wanted help, and I said yes to it so they can’t say I didn’t ask. Even if I didn’t, you would expect them to try and help me. I’m sure a lot of the people who get put on mental wards do not ask for help. I’m not even saying they had to put me in hospital, I received no help for keeping safe or anything. They didn’t tell me to stay with other people to keep safe. They are threatening me saying I must tell them more information during the next meeting or else I won’t be able to work with them. The threat isn’t very good because I don’t really want to talk to anyone like them. I’ll be glad to get them out of my life.

Now comes the honest part. I hope they get fired. I will complain to my local MP, I will complain to CAMHS, and I will complain to the government. They need to review these people who are meant to be helping me, and if this is a CAMHS-wide problem the whole organisation should be reviewed. If they don’t want to help me, I hope they get fired. After all, their job is to help me.

So what help will I receive now? I still have my college counsellor to talk to, who is far more helpful. I am going to see my GP tomorrow as well, and I’ll tell them what disgusting people I had to put up with today. Yes, I’m angry. But at least I have my readers to comfort me, how is everyone else doing?

The Chronicles of the Tablets: Not In Hospital Yet

This is a follow-up post based on what has happened to me, basically about the small overdose of anti-anxiety tablets which is till affecting me. It happened on Saturday evening and I am still suffering from chest pains and the occasional stomach pain, this post will update you on the situation. If you want to read more (previous) posts they are linked below in chronological order:
1) Please Kill Me – Things That Make Me Depressed
2) Thinking To Myself About Suicide
3) The Swallowing of the Tablets
4) The Chronicles of the Tablets: What’s Happening To Me…

Okay, so my lovely readers deserve to know what is going on. During the writing of my last post, my mum was on the phone to the NHS. The NHS did not bring an ambulance! I’m not actually surprised as they booked an appointment for me to see a GP within a few hours. A few hours passed and my mum got a phone call from the GP that I do not need to see them. I have no idea why, I have not been given an explanation. I do not know if my mum knows, but I am not going to answer.

Today I went back to college (the day after they sent me home) and spoke to the college counsellor. They explained why they had to send me home, because of the risk of me harming myself, and that they are still here for me whenever I need them. The one thing I remember them saying is that if the tablets were anti-depressants I would have definitely been in hospital but since they were anti-anxiety tablets I was fine (well… not as bad). My college counsellor booked me an appointment for my CAMHS counsellor tomorrow, who I don’t enjoy speaking to but can give me better help since they are connected to the NHS.

Right now I am thinking about what to say tomorrow. I know that if I tell my CAMHS counsellor I am thinking and planning suicide they will have to put me into hospital (due to them being connected to the NHS). I am deciding whether to do it. I can also predict the comments on this post now I have said that. Anyway… yes, I have to go to the counsellor tomorrow. That’s all!

That’s not all! If I don’t go to hospital tomorrow I will do another one of my helpful articles tomorrow (if you want something specific, tell me in the comments). I haven’t decided exactly what it will be on yet. Also, I need to do more poems!

The Chronicles of the Tablets: What’s Happening To Me…

This is a follow-up post based on what has happened to me, basically about the small overdose of anti-anxiety tablets which is till affecting me. It happened on Saturday evening and I am still suffering from chest pains and the occasional stomach pain, this post will update you on the situation. If you want to read more (previous) posts they are linked below in chronological order:
1) Please Kill Me – Things That Make Me Depressed
2) Thinking To Myself About Suicide
3) The Swallowing of the Tablets

I’ve received a lot of advice from my friend and from many of my readers about seeing a doctor if I still have overdose symptoms. I haven’t seen a doctor yet. I went to college today and talked to the college counsellor about the incident of Saturday. Actually, I did not talk much except for the first few minutes where I explained what happened, then she asked a lot of questions which I replied to with “no” or “don’t know”. She then broke confidentiality and rang my mum. I’ve been taken home, and I presume I am going to be locked in my own home for the rest of the day unless something else happens.

As I type this my mum is on the phone to the NHS 111 number, getting advice about me. The only thing about this that I worry about is that they will have to put me in hospital, so if you do not hear from me in the next day I am probably in hospital. I imagine they are going to make me go to hospital to check I am fine after the overdose, and then they will send me to a mental health ward (because I’m still a bit suicidal). I always say I don’t want to go to hospital, and I’m still not sure about it.

In regards to my physical health, I am still feelings chest pains. I would call them heart pains but I don’t know if that is a real thing. I was having some bad stomach pains last night too but they have stopped. I have tried to talk to my friend but they are away still, and now I am probably locked in my house so I don’t see how I can see them. The whole time I have been writing this, my mum has been on the phone to the NHS so I am unsure whether they are about to do anything. I will write another update later if I am fine and not in hospital, so goodbye for now.

P.S. She is giving my name and address so does that mean an ambulance?

How To Tell Someone You Are Suicidal

So how do you tell someone you are suicidal? Who do you tell? Oh no, you can’t choose them… Or you can’t tell them that… This post should answer some of your questions about telling someone about your suicidal thoughts, or intent to commit suicide, based on my own experiences and the experiences of other that I have heard about.

Firstly, should I tell someone?
The short answer is yes. All health professionals would agree that sharing your feelings and thoughts will help you. When you get your feelings out it will be easier to receive help but it will also feel less of a burden. When I first told my friend I did not get the reaction I was expecting, but it still made me feel better and realise suicide is not my only option.

Who should I talk to?
The important thing is that you feel comfortable to explain as much as you need. The person you tell should be someone you trust, someone who you know will do what you tell them to (such as not tell anyone). If you tell someone in your close friendship or work group it has the possibility of making things uncomfortable. I chose someone who I don’t see everyday (we do text often though) as I didn’t want to be around them all the time, if I miss them for a day I don’t want them worried. On the other hand, if you tell someone you are close to they will be there for you more often, meaning they can help more. If you are at school and tell a teacher or adult, they will have to get other people involved.

What or how much should I tell them?
As much as you are comfortable with saying. The truth is the best. If you have a plan and need help, make sure you tell them. You are unlikely to get help if you do not ask for it. They may ask how they can help, and if you don’t know then say that. Tell them that them listening is help. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know certain things such as why you feel the way you do.

What will they ask me
This depends on the person, they may not ask some of the things I list below but they may ask some of them.
– Why do you feel like this?
– How can I help?
– Have you attempted anything before?
– Do you have any plans?
– Who else knows about your thoughts?

How will they react?
That depends on who you tell. Firstly know that telling a non-professional means you are unlikely to get the response you expect, although it will still help. Imagine if your friend told you that they were thinking of suicide. Imagine how you would react. Whoever you tell will be shocked, they wont know what to say. There will probably be long moments of silence, but that is because they will have to process what you are saying, it is not easy finding out that someone you love wants to kill themselves. Don’t expect tears (people don’t cry when I tell them, strange?) but don’t be surprised if they come. If you tell them that you have a plan (or they are worried) they will possibly tell someone else such as a friend or professional, but if this happens do not worry as you may need the help. Only say as much as you want to.

Can I talk to a helpline instead?
Yes, of course! I talked to a helpline before I talked to my friend, and many people will talk to helplines without talking to someone they know. Helplines can be a great way to relieve any worries without dealing with as much emotion as telling someone you love. Personally, I recommend you do choose to talk to someone you know at some point as helplines as useful but cannot provide the emotional support of someone you know (I suffer from depression, and I find emotional support is very important for me). You can find some helplines for your country by clicking here.

I’ve told them, now what?
Give them some time to think it over. You will know that having suicidal thoughts is hard to deal with, but knowing someone else has suicidal thoughts is also hard. If they do not approach you for the rest of the day, that is fine. Talk to them the next day and ask if they have any questions for you, and assure them that you are alright. I can’t give great advice on this as every situation will be unique. But well done for telling someone!

The Swallowing of the Tablets

After my previous talk of suicide I decided I had to do something. Today has been a rollercoaster of a day for me, it started off well but turned disastrous quite quickly. After receiving my tablets from the GP yesterday I knew I was going to do something bad, and today was the day for it.

Click here to read the post where I explained what I hoped to do today.

Shortly before midnight I called the Samaritans helpline. I don’t usually call the helplines as I don’t find them as useful as the email chat from Samaritans and the 1-2-1 chat from Childline. I gave it a chance though. It didn’t help much, the advice I got in the end was to speak to my GP who I can’t actually see until Thursday (or I could see another GP on Monday – still days away). Still hopeless, the next thing on my list was to call my friend… they didn’t answer. I sent them a text asking them to call me as soon as they can.

It was now roughly 30 minutes past midnight and I’m sitting up in bed, this is the beginning of a sleepless night, I can sense it. Then my phone vibrates, I dash to pick it up knowing it would be my friend (nobody really calls me after midnight). With the phone in my hand I quietly walked downstairs so that my family would not hear the conversation if they were awake. Despite them not knowing much about depression, my friend promised they would try to help me. We agreed that I needed to get rid of the tablets but they were away so they couldn’t take them from me. I would throw them away in the morning.

So back to my bedroom I go and I can’t sleep. I attempt to get to sleep but it fails so I load up my laptop and look at some college work. I can’t get the college work done so I download some music and just listen, I need to relax. The time was 4:30am when I finally got to sleep but I woke up at 8am so I had less than 4 hours of sleep. I guess that could effect my thinking for the day ahead.

First part? Think about the tablets. It was the only thing on my mind on Friday, and would be the only thing on my mind today. To distract myself I try to focus on less depressing things, but my mind drifts back to harming myself. This time I think about my knife. Where is it? I can’t find it, how am I meant to cut myself? I search all over my room, desperately hoping it will appear. But it is nowhere to be found. This makes me both angry and disappointed, not a good combination. I spent the rest of the morning feels depressed and wanting to harm myself.

Click here to read “Please Kill Me – Things That Make Me Depressed”, the post that started this off.

In the afternoon I grabbed my jacket and filled my pockets with specific items. Some money, headphones, my phone, a notepad… and of course my tablets and some rope. If you have read some of my previous posts you will know I always seem to go to the park when I think about suicide, which is exactly what I did today. Although of the way I spent some of the money on two drinks, both for myself. When I arrived at the park I looked for a suitable spot the do the deed.

I placed the drinks down beside a tree, away from where the people were walking. I then took the tablets out of my pocket and took one from the foil. With the help of the drink I bought the tablet went down. One done. I quickly moved onto the second tablet, and it went down with ease. Two tablets done so far. I moved on to the third tablet, and within a couple of minutes I had already taken three of my fourteen tablets, this was going to be easy I thought. I took a short break. During this break my chest began to hurt. It was not a horrible pain, but it was noticeable and clearly related to the tablets I took.

Back onto taking the tablets. I managed to get the fourth one down before I realised exactly what I was doing. After taking the fourth tablet I questioned myself. Why am I doing this? Well… there isn’t any point in living. I knew I could not persuade myself to get out of the situation so I remembered some of the comments from you readers. In particular the comments by amandaquirky. Then I tried to call my friend but they would not answer (checking back later, I realised I rang them four times in this period of time). Nope, I was going to continue. Four tablets down, ten to go.

Getting darker the skies are!

Getting darker the skies are!

I decided to move location, to the bushes in the park where less people would see me since it was beginning to get dark. I left one of the drinks behind which I had almost finished, but took everything else. When I got to the bushes I moved quickly onto the fifth tablet. Down! After the walking, and then taking the tablet I was starting to feel a little dizzy. I could still walk fine but I was a bit dizzy, and the chest pains were getting slightly worse. It was all still bearable so I took the sixth tablet. After the sixth tablet I just stood there, possibly for 15 minutes. Doing absolutely nothing. Not because of any pains (I still feeling alright) but because I was fighting with myself to stop.

Taking everything with me, I walked away from the park. I had to get away, I didn’t want to take any more tablets. Or part of me didn’t, the other part was still expecting more. That’s when I took the seventh tablet. As soon as I swallowed the tablet I poured the drink on the ground so that I could not swallow any more tablets. That was the end of that. A success you might call it… except as I walked home the suicidal thoughts were still in my mind. I still had the rope I began with, I could still attempt something. On the sides of the path were benches so I sat down to think. It was dark now, which I always believe is a better time to hang myself (if I ever do it). I spent another 15 minutes thinking about it.

Fortunately the evening was not eventful after that, I made it home. The dizziness had completely gone, but the chest pains were still there and they had been joined by stomach pains. I got home over two hours ago, the chest pains have gone but the stomach pains are still there. I guess that is what happens when you take more tablets than you should. I could say I have learned my lesson, but I will be fighting depression tomorrow and the day after, and it’s always the same fight on a different battlefield.