Media and Mental Health

Mental Health has been in the focus of the Media a lot recently, especially discussions around suicide (which my next blog post will address in more detail). How do you feel mental health is portrayed in the Media? How do you feel Media impacts on your mental health?

Many people have mixed feelings about social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (and probably a dozen more I can’t name). Some people take joy from seeing others posts about happiness, kittens and trees, while others feel they cant live up to their friends happy lives. Often it depends on personality types and existing mental health feelings to how people react to social media. How do you react? Are you aware of the impact social media has on you? Do you need to challenge your thinking to make it healthier?

But Media doesn’t stop there, it is not just about social media, it can be about the news, video or written sources. How is mental health portrayed here? At the bias of the organisation or journalist authoring the piece? Is it intended to manipulate, educate, indoctrinate? Some media articles can be empowering, honest and supportive of mental health, while others can paint it in a negative light, suggest it shows weakness, offer ridicule or blame. Would you know which to believe or why? Could you make your own decision or would you be swayed by the media’s interpretation?

Illustration of social media concept Free Vector

Below I have added some articles about media and mental health to get you started, remember media doesn’t always present things in a clear way, look around before you form a belief based on one piece of information.

If you’d like video, telephone or face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at or on 07598810304

Personality types

As a therapist I am often asked about personality types and how this might impact on peoples understanding of themselves and their therapy journey. Finding out your personality type can be really helpful to some people, while to others they find they want to try to fight who they are.

The most widely used personality test is the Myers Briggs, I have included a link here to their website where you can find out more about it.

Isabel Briggs Myers believed “Good type development can be achieved at any age by anyone who cares to understand his or her own gifts and the appropriate use of those gifts.”1. Why not take the test yourself and see how well you now yourself? Here is a link to a website that allows you take the test. Do you agree with the answers? Have your learnt something about yourself?

If you’d like video, telephone or face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at or on 07598810304

Thoughts Journal

If you have had any exposure to self-help or counselling I am sure you will have heard the word Journal be thrown around. I use it too as a therapist, and decided it was a good idea to share with you all the idea of a thoughts journal.

To start with wipe away the idea of a traditional journal, no dates or times or years, no hours or tasks. No long pieces of prose detailing your movements that day, no bullet list of activities and times.

Thoughts journals are about putting your mind onto paper so you don’t have to carry it all around in your head. They can be a book, or a folder, or a box full of bits of paper, or even a computer document.

The idea is to take what is in your head and put it on paper. This is a creative free for all. Words, images, squiggles, colours, pictures, sentences, anger, sadness, express it however you want. Write your emotional process, draw your thought process, cross things out, stick things in, anything you need to. Draw, paint, write, scribble, get glitter everywhere.

Have a go and see if it helps.

If you would like counselling or to explore more in therapy about journals please do contact Wright Minds: or on 07598810304

Multitasking Myth! Try Monotasking instead.

Multi tasking is a myth, no matter how much you want to believe you can, no matter how much your boss insists it is real, your brain (and science) know it is a myth. What we are becoming increasingly and incredibly skilled at is really called micro-tasking, but this may not be the best habit it get into. It can reduce our cognitive function in certain areas such as focus and concentration, it can also impact on our ability to feel responses to certain tasks and heighten the production of our stress and anxiety chemicals.

Our world is full of fast information, while watching the news you are reading the headlines scrolling under the presenters head, are you listening or reading? You can’t do both. In reality you are taking in tiny amounts of information broken down into short bursts or factoids. The same is true of scrolling on Twitter or Facebook, just quick sentences, no focus, no depth, information without context or knowledge. Even TV shows are broken up into 12 minute bursts with adverts, which in themselves are short burst of multiple information.

At work you jump between phone calls, emails, back to a conversation, back to the email, back to the ringing phone, back to the database. You haven’t focused on one task or completed it, just bounced around and possibly lost track. This is why we feel frustrated, it is why we feel we never achieve anything, its why we can’t remember if we have done something or not.

For example if I were to stop typing now and answer the phone, then come back to typing this, then see a client, I would probably take 3 times longer and make more mistakes than if I just concentrate for a short period of time and complete the task. Each time I return to the work I will need to read what I was writing before to remember where I left off and remember what I wanted to say. I would lose flow and continuity. I would make my life more difficult.

Not only are we making more work for ourselves, we are damaging our ability to focus, we lose the skill of concentration, our minds reprogram themselves and we wonder why we can’t settle down to a 2 hour movie or to read a book without fidgeting or pressing pause or getting distracted by checking our phones. In fact some people will have got bored after the headline and picture and not made it this far!

I am not saying that microtasking is not a fantastic skill, I think it is one that has many good points, especially in certain environments (driving, certain sports or military roles are good examples) what I am trying to encourage is that we balance our skill sets, we train our brains to do both, don’t neglect your monotasking, long focus skills.

If you would like help with your micro or mono tasking or counselling for any other reason please do contact Wright Minds at or on 07598810304

For links to articles on the myth or multitasking please try these links: A can people really multitask? B think you’re multitasking thing again. C why you can’t multitask. D the myth of multitasking

Pandemic Fatigue and Types of Rest

This is not about my own work, this is an inspiration from TED Talks and a Pandemic.

Almost everyone of us across the world has been affected or impacted to some degree by the Pandemic that is COVID 19. Some are exhausted from working long hours or in difficult conditions, some are exhausted from lack of anything to do, while others are exhausted from isolation. There are many reason we are tired. The term Pandemic Fatigue is one that is now in widespread use, we have probably all felt it to some extent. Reports of poor sleep and sleep issues to therapists and doctors have dramatically increased since March 2020. Is is OK to feel exhausted from doing nothing in order to protect others, it is OK to be tired and fed up with all your hobbies. It is OK to be exhausted by the number of deaths reported. It is OK to grieve for those you never knew but know have died. You are living through an exceptional time in human history.

I could ramble about energy and rest and relaxation or I could ask you to click the link and read what TED have already beautifully described. This may help you understand why you feel tired and offer very real ideas to help you recoup your energy.

If however, it is more information on Pandemic Fatigue you are looking for here are two interesting links you might like to try one from Hopkins Medical and the other a business organisation Mckinsey.

But if it is more than information you want, if you need to talk to a therapist about any issues the Pandemic has raised for you please do contact us on 07598810304 or

Energy Points

Phone battery charge status flat symbols set Free Vector

How to use energy points

Imagine you only have a certain amount of points to spend on daily activities, a bit like a video game where you only get so many actions, or if you have to shop within a budget.

You need to choose carefully how you spend these points to have a fulfilled day.

As you start to improve you will start to feel you will have more points available (a bit like levelling up or getting a pay rise).

Here is an example:

You need to spend your points on things like: Work, Exercise, Cooking & Eating, Relaxing, Washing (eg shower/bath), Household Chores, Family/Friends.

You need to decide what comes into these categories and then how to spend your points

EG a week day 12 points:  EG a week day 20 points (leveled up):    
Work (4 points) Work (8 points)
Exercise (1 point) Exercise (2 point)
Eating (3 points -1 per meal) Eating (3 points – 1 per meal)
Washing (1 point) Washing (1 point)
Relaxing (1 point) Relaxing (2 point)
Chores (1 point) Chores (2 point)
Family (1 point) Family (2 point)
EG weekend day 12 points: EG weekend day 20 points (leveled up):
Relaxing (5 points) Relaxing (10 points)
Eating (3 points -1 per meal) Eating (3 points -1 per meal)
Washing (1 point) Washing (1 point)
Exercise 1 point Exercise 1 point
Family (2 point) Family (3 point)
  Chores (2 point)

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at or on 07598810304

Personal Boundaries

Here are three interesting articles on setting personal boundaries that you may find useful.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at or on 07598810304

LSD and the Brain

LSD/Acid is a hallucinogenic or psychedelic drug known fully as lysergic acid diethylamide. LSD has chemical structure mimicking serotonin, the happy chemical naturally produced in our brains and bodies so when Acid molecules merge with the serotonin receptors instead of the serotonin they expect, they bind more strongly and produce extra amino acids that almost lock or trap the LSD molecule into the receptors where they can lodge until they finally work loose. LSD or Acid is primarily is taken because it adapts perceptions, imaginations, thoughts, moods, and feelings producing enjoyable effects such as distorted colours, sounds, objects, shapes, you can also feel euphoric, empathetic, excited, giggly, in awe, energised, and hallucinate. The effects can last between 6 to 15 hours. However, you can also experience bad hallucinations and leave you feeling suspicious, panicked, confused, anxious, overwhelmed and frightened, users can become quieter or have trouble speaking, they can act unpredictably, become fixated on things, be emotional, paranoid or aggressive suffering from confusion and trouble concentrating, physically symptoms or effects of LSD are headaches, nausea, the dilation of pupils, fast or irregular heart beat plus rapid breathing combined with increased body temperature along with facial flushes, sweating, chills and shaking. Experiences while coming down in the days after use can include insomnia, fatigue, body and muscle aches and feeling depressed. In the long term LSD does not appear to be addictive or have any withdrawal symptoms, but in a few cases a disorder known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) can occur, additionally some people have been known to self-harm or attempt risky/dangerous behaviours while under the influence of the drug, it is also believed to increase risk of or worsen mental health issues especially if you have any unknown or underlying mental health issues, occasionally some people experience unpleasant flashbacks to their ‘trips’ on LSD.

What Is Acid? - New Study Explains How LSD Makes Brains Trip

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at or on 07598810304

Cannabis and the Brain

Marijuana buds with marijuana joints and cannabis oil Free Photo

Cannabis or Marijuana is a psychoactive drug made from the cannabis plant. It produces the chemical THC and is usually smoked or eaten, this chemical interacts with the brain which is looking for chemicals like THC that naturally occur in the body, these are predominantly linked to development and brain function, the ingestion of THC causes the brain to function faster because of its high levels, but also changes how brain makes chemical connections. This chemical enters the lungs or stomach, then it enters the bloodstream where it moves to the brain and organs causing people to feel chilled out, happy, outgoing, relaxed, laid back, hungry, giggly and chatty, even enjoy good hallucinations. It can increase senses such as seeing vivid colours, alter the feel of time passing, provoke mood changes and make people lethargic. Cannabis has both long and short term physical and psychological effects on the body and cognition including reduced motivation, impair your memory, thinking and learning skills as well as brain development in teenagers, cause mood swings, insomnia, depression, delusions, psychosis, make you anxious, panicky, or even aggressive, cause anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations, cause relapse or worsen psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia, increase your chances of developing illnesses like schizophrenia, make you wheeze and cough, make your asthma worse, increase your heart rate, your risk of heart disease/heart attack and lung cancer, cause fertility issues, nausea, and  risk to foetus if you are pregnant. It is believed that about 10%-30% of people who use cannabis become addicted, this percentage is likely increased the younger the user. Withdrawal includes grouchiness, sleeplessness, mood swings, restlessness, decreased appetite, anxiety and cravings. It is often associated with lifestyle and friends so withdrawal from social groups and peers making mental health such as depression, anxiety, self-belief all worsen.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at or on 07598810304

Cocaine and the Brain

Cocaine is a very addictive stimulant drug made from the coca plant, it is believed to be more psychologically than physically addictive because of the chemical impact it has on the brain and the pleasure symptoms it produces. The cocaine produces very high levels of dopamine in the body, this impacts on the chemicals effect on the brain, too much dopamine builds up and stops the normal chemical communications in the body, the dopamine, doesn’t get correctly used or recycled producing the much desire symptoms, but also causing the brain to need more and more cocaine or dopamine to have the same impact, thus creating an addiction. The effects of cocaine use are alertness, feeing intensely happy and excited, increased confidence, extremely awake, increased attention and energy levels, increased sensitivity to sound, sight, and touch. It makes you chattier, at the top of your game, more animated, arrogant, agitated, restless, less hungry and sometimes an increased sex drive. It also makes you feel hot (increasing your body temperature), increase anger or irritability, anxious, paranoid, panicked, feel sick and makes your heart beat faster, it can slow down thinking and reaction times, plus making it harder to sleep. These effects last about 10 to 30 minutes depending on the ingestion method.

What Happens If You Do Cocaine Once: Side Effects & Risks

However, side effects can include heart attacks, stokes, headaches, convulsions, seizures, and mood issues. Physical issues due to the ingestion method can be loss of nose cartridge and loss of smell if snorted, lung disease and swallowing issue if smoked, hepatitis, HIV, ulcers, abscess if injected. The withdrawal or comedown effects include: Paranoid, Run Down, Depression, Anxiety, Fatigue, Trouble concentrating, Increased hunger, Cravings for the drug, Nightmares, Chills, Nerve pain, Muscle aches. Most effective treatment is detox or rehabilitation and counselling, there are currently no medical alternative replacement drugs to help with withdrawal as there are for heroin addiction.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at or on 07598810304