Interview with Bunny (today’s guest tweeter)!

Forward from #BlackDogRunner: Hello and welcome to the final day of this exciting week of guest tweeting!

The last guest, Bunny, is a truly unique individual. Intimidatingly bright, effortlessly funny, and irritatingly elegant in equal measures, Bunny is definitive proof that mental health problems do not discriminate. Despite a hard life and a very tough time with her illness, Bunny somehow still believes in – and regularly demonstrates – genuine human kindness. I hope you enjoy her tweets, I’ll be back on Sunday for one last week of frantic fundraising before the run!

Break the silence, break the stigma: Bunny’s interview for #PoundForTheHound

Nickname: Bunny

Twitter name@rabbitsoup_zola

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Bunny!

Diagnosis: Bipolar affective disorder.

Favourite comfort food: Sea salted dark chocolate, or, failing that, dark chocolate digestives.

Most irritating, but harmless, symptom/side effect: Washing machine brain.

Most irritating response to ‘seeking help’: From CMHT consultant psychiatrist, ‘It’s not the job of the community mental health team to instill a sense of hope in you

Most stigmatising comment received: ‘You’re just lazy

…from a health professional: ‘You have a bad attitude, that’s why you keep being re-admitted to hospital. It’s your own fault you haven’t received the help you need

Offer some useful advice: Do what you can, when you can, while you can. And when you can’t, you can’t.

Offer some useless advice: Eating kale might help.

#PoundForTheHound tribute: Never give up.

Interview with Bumble Bee (today’s guest tweeter)!

Forward from #BlackDogRunner: Good morning, and welcome to day four of this exciting week of guest tweeting,

Bumble Bee holds a special fondness for being the first genuine friend I made through Twitter. She started tweeting around the same time as me, but immediately stood out for her insightful and erudite tweeting. She’s a quiet genius, who sadly lacks confidence in her supreme talent, or her importance to others. Her blog, Mixed Mania, is one of my very favourite mental health blogs and is always both moving and insightful.

Break the silence, break the stigma: Bumble Bee’s interview for #PoundForTheHound

Nickname: Bumble Bee

Twitter name@lababup

Blog: Mixed Mania

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Bumble Bee!

Diagnoses: Bipolar disorder type 1, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder 

Favourite comfort food(s): Baguette with butter, croissant with butter, pizza dipped in butter sauce, basically all carbs with butter!

Most irritating, but harmless, symptom/side effect: The feeling of being zombified. You feel unreal, sedated and generally out of it. That’s olanzapine for you.  

Most irritating response to ‘seeking help’: If you aren’t suicidal or intending to violently assault someone, you are not considered to be in a serious situation. Never mind all the feelings of mental anguish and crushing despair that you are suffering with. 

Most stigmatising comment received: ‘I used to think that your mental health problems meant you were just a really weak person’. (They changed their mind as they started to experience depression). Another one: ‘You just need to help yourself by exercising more’. No one wants to be ill. If that was the solution I am sure that everyone with a mental illness would exercise all day everyday! 

…from a health professional: ‘I don’t believe in medication. You are not really ill when you have a mental health problem’.  

Offer some useful advice:  You have an illness every bit as real as a physical illness. Don’t listen to people who tell you that your illness is your fault or that there is a miracle solution. There are no easy solutions but with treatments, such as medication and therapy, there is hope. When things are at their worse, try and remember the best times in your life and realise that you will probably have more of those times in the future. 

Offer some useless advice: You just need to try harder. It’s all in the mind.  

#PoundForTheHound tribute:  For those who are still surviving in invisible pain every day.

Interview with Max (today’s guest tweeter)!

Forward from #BlackDogRunner: Hello, here we are on day three of this exciting week of guest tweeting,

Today’s host, Max, holds the dubious accolade of being a genuine real life friend (we met as wide-eyed undergraduate students over ten years ago). Infinitely fascinating on a range of topics, she’d probably be annoying were it not for her razor-sharp wit. She’s a kind and caring soul with a keen interest in equality. I strongly recommend her blog for anyone interested in gender politics or neurodiversity.

Break the silence, break the stigma: Max’s interview for #PoundForTheHound

Nickname(s): Max (as in Maxine – my name) or Dotty (as in Dorothy Parker) 

Twitter name@shakeandcrawl

Blog: The 2am Letters

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Max!

Diagnoses: Dyspraxia, Secondary Anxiety/Depression.

Favourite comfort food: Pasta.

Most irritating, but harmless, symptom/side effect: Tweeting absolutely all the time because it helps me relax. (which may not be entirely “harmless” given the amount of time it saps…)

Most irritating response to ‘seeking help’: Dyspraxia-unfriendly suggestions, e.g ‘Join a tennis club‘ when low, or ‘Get a waitressing job‘ when short of money. More recently, after a long conversation with the local NHS team in which I politely, clearly explained that short-term CBT hadn’t worked and I needed long-term, structured counselling, being referred back for… short-term CBT

Most stigmatising comment received: During a breakdown post A-Levels, the same person told me I should a) tone down my politics and have some fun so I’d make friends more easily, and b) get some perspective and think about all the starving rape victims in Africa…   

…from a health professional: (again, just after finishing my A Levels, after she’d asked me ‘Where do you see yourself in ten years?‘ and I’d answered ‘As a writer.” :

That’s strange. You haven’t mentioned marriage or children…?

Nice bit of heteronormative sexism there. An 18-year-old with a clearer vision of her future career than her future husband? Gasp, whatever next!

Offer some useful advice: Keep a blog or diary. Treasure your friends. Be kind to yourself.  

Offer some useless advice: Coordination disorder? Why not try competitive team sports to feel better!

Life-affirming moments: A group-hug with Black Dog Runner and his girlfriend. Summer days in London. Autumn walks in Devon during a writing holiday. An unexpected heart-to-heart with an unexpectedly extraordinary person, who’s everything I oppose on the outside but a kindred spirit on the inside. 

#PoundForTheHound tribute:  For all my brilliant friends who get the rough end of the stick.