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I am writing this review as this is something which is affecting my life, sometimes I find it therapeutic to write it down. Depression is a very taboo subject and like other illnesses is one which you can't see from the outside but on the inside it is very real. Depression is more than a feeling of low mood and feeling fed up it goes much deeper than this and can be very debilitating for those who are suffering. Many people worldwide will suffer with this condition through their life and what cause it can sometimes be unclear. Many things can contribute to this condition such as genetics and life experiences such as relationship problems or bereavement. Here is my story. When I was in my late teens I suffered from eating disorders, I had both anorexia and bulimia at the same time, in a way I think my mental health problems may have stemmed back from then. I have always been a perfectionist and strived to do everything PERFECT, I now know is impossible to be perfect and am trying to now accept that I cannot be this. I did get over the anorexia and bulimia but took a long time, I think it really hit home when my doctor told my mum that if I didn't recover I could die, quite a scary prospect so in time I overcame this. After this experience I had a really long period where life was good, I met my husband and had my daughter who is now 10, life was great. In 2005 I became pregnant with my second child myself and my husband was over the moon with joy, a perfect addition to our little family. All was great with the pregnancy until we had our 20 week scan and were told the devastating news that the little boy I was carrying had died and I would have to deliver him. The prospect was awful I delivered my son who was so small I was scared to touch him, I desperately wanted the horror of it all to go away and wake up from this nightmare, life seemed so cruel. I found it very difficult after the funeral of our son and struggled to get up most days, but carried on for the sake of my family. After a month it all hit me like a ton of bricks and suffered severe anxiety and depression for months but after treatment I slowly improved and things did get better in time. Things that challenge you in life can in fact make you stronger and after the loss of our baby I did get much stronger. I still think about him every day but I had to give the best I could and still can in life for my family.t In 2007 I gave birth to a much wanted little boy who is now 5 but form the instant he was born I knew all was not well, I felt very detached and anxious. After the loss of my first son I was certain something terrible was going to happen to him and spend many weeks in an anxious state without eating or sleeping. I did seek help once again, it was a long year after my son was born with more downs than ups but I did get there with help and support. My life started to get back on track and I was able to enjoy life with my family again until four months ago when I hit rock bottom again. Like the times before I have had a reason for the depression and anxiety but this time the reasons have been unclear, I have a wonderful family and seemed happy with my life or so I thought. I have quite a busy life and am always on the go, my work is very physical and with two children life can be demanding. Four months ago I stated to feel very tired and started to feel unable to cope with all life's demands. I shrugged it off and tried to carry on until I had a complete melt down and began crying uncontrollably and I have to say that the past four months I have not gone through a single day without crying. I went to the doctors and was told to increase the dose of the antidepressants which I have been on since the birth of my son. Unfortunately this didn't work and I was getting worse. My mum who I am very close to came to stay with me as my husband works long hours and I was struggling to cope and be alone with my thoughts and anxiety. I returned to the doctors who gave me valium short term to alleviate my extreme anxiety which was crippling me, I was unable to eat, sleep and was suffering from panic attacks regularly which are very frightening. I know these are very addictive as I've had them in the past so I have used them sparingly. He also decided to change my antidepressants which I was happy with until a week later. The new medication left me with suicidal thoughts and I didn't care about life and didn't want to carry on. This was such a scary feeling, I had a wonderful family which need me and I love very much so why was I feeling like this? The doctor told me to stop this medication straight away which I did; I guess not all antidepressants work for some people. I have been seeing a counsellor weekly to try and get to the bottom of my fears and anxieties which is helping me. It is refreshing to know that certain feelings are normal with anxiety and depression and I am not alone. That one thing with this illness is it makes you feel so alone and isolated. Over the past four months I haven't socialised and have completely shut myself off, I have continued to work until last week as my doctor advised me to rest. My job is very physical and it was advised that I eliminate all stresses in my life as I still continue to struggle. I have just been referred to my NHS mental health team as the treatment I am receiving is not being successful as they would like it to be and I continue to struggle daily. Without the support of my family I am not sure what my future would be as living with the anxiety and depression is a constant struggle which at present I deal with daily. At the same time I do now feel more optimistic and positive that life will get better, if I was asked that two weeks ago the answer would have been very different. What people need to understand is that it is an illness which no one from my experience would want to go through. I always say I would rather someone chop my legs off, if you have a broken arm people can see it and it can be mended with depression you cannot see it and it takes a long g time to mend. Depression is not a quick fix and not something you can simply shrug off or pull yourself together and I am sure many reading this will know. Who knows why I have been suffering this time around, things are beginning to become clearer in time with help from my counsellor and I am trying to accept this. The only advice I can give to people who are suffering alone is to get help it won't go away by itself, you need support from professionals and loved ones. Depression is more common than you think and people are accepting it more now as an illness and more help is available. Remember you are not alone and it isn't a sign of weakness, this is one thing that I have now realised and accept. Thank you for reading
After having two children I have to say that the most challenging stage would definitely have to be the toddler stage, but at the same time is the most rewarding and from my experience the most funniest! My children are now five and ten so in a way I am both sad and glad they are past the toddler stage. There are without a doubt five main points that you need to remember when you are going through the toddler stage and theses are as follows. 1) Everything is NO It doesn't matter what you say or do the answer is always NO, can you come here? NO, can you stop doing that? NO, can you listen? NO. I think you can get the point, although they like to answer commands with no they don't in anyway like to be told no it never seems to register. Whatever you do or say you are fighting a losing battle so the best thing you can do is accept they like this word and hope they learn a newer word soon. 2) Mess Whether it is you or the house the mess is endless there really is no point trying to be a glamorous mum or have a show home this really is impossible. I have lost count of the times that I have gone out only to realise when I have changed for bed that the back of my trousers or skirt has what resembles a smudge of chocolate or the leftovers of a packet of wotsits highly embarrassing and why didn't someone tell me? Our house always looked like a battle field by the time my husband returned home from work with sweets stuck to floor and other leftover bits of food. I never understand why they have to empty toy boxes out everywhere either especially when they don't even bother with the contents. My son especially was the messiest toddler ever he always looked like he needed a good bath! 3) They love to tantrum Tantrums come in hand with most toddlers, there is no written manual how to handle them but from experience I know how hard they can be on mind body and soul. The countless times I was dragging one of them off the floor in the shops or hiding of embarrassment is endless. I have to say when they did it at home they would go to the naughty step but I have to say I am surprised the carpet wasn't worn away on the bottom step of the stairs. The best advice is to keep calm and carry on! 4) It's all about the toilet Potty training has to be one of the hardest things to do, all I can say is you need plenty of wipes, pants spare cloths and lots of patience. When potty training I am so glad we had laminate in the lounge my daughter would stand in front of the TV so engrossed she would forget about going to the toilet. I would ask her constantly if she need to go she would answer the dreaded NO then the next thing there would be a puddle, hard work but has to be done. You find yourself becoming obsessed with number ones and twos I can honestly say I never dreamed I'd be clapping at the sight of a poo! 5) There is never a dull moment I have to end on one of the best things about the toddler stage; it can be so much fun! Not only does it give you a chance to re live your childhood by playing in the Wendy house or making animals out of play dough the things they do and say can be so amusing. This is either the way they walk when they take there first steps or the strange vocabulary they first pick up or even the mischievous things they get up to. I do remember my son nearly flooding the bathroom and my daughter covering the kitchen with flour, not funny at the time but looking back now I smile and remember all the fun but challenging things they did all you can do is laugh!
I'm a real fan of peanut butter and have to say that it's the only thing I tend to put between my slices of bread. I usually buy Tesco's own label of peanut butter which will set you back around £1.34 for 340g not bad when you compare it to the leading brands like sunpat. Whilst browsing in my local Tesco's I went to the peanut butter shelf and came accross their value peanut butter, I instantly grabbed a jar and headed for the checkout. The first thing that drew me to this peanut butter was the price for a 340g jar it was only 62p, which is more than twice as cheap as there own brand, considering we go through atleast a jar a week in our house this was worth a try. I am always keen on trying Tesco's value brands as I feel for the price nothing ventured nothing gained, if it's not any good I know not to buy it again and I haven't wasted too much money! When you have a family and are on a budjet any money you can save on the weekly shop is a plus in my opinion. The jar is like most peanut butter jars although I have to say that I do prefer the jars that are more wider than taller as they fit better in my food cupboard and are easier to grip. The design is like most of the value products simple, but in my opinion they don't look too cheap and nasty, they actually call it everyday value now rather than value which makes it more appealing. You can see the peanut butter through the jar which I like and the colour is not too light in appearance, I often feel put off by peanut butter if it is too light in colour as it tends to remind me of something which I won't mention as I wouldn't want to put you off! It contains no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours which is always a bonus especially if you are giving it to your little ones. It is high in calories and fat but if its eaten in moderation like most things then in my opinion this is fine. I would only have a sandwich covering of it a day and don't like it too thickly spread as your sandwich would become rather hard to digest due to the consistency of the peanut butter. When you take the lid off the jar the first thing I noticed was how easily it came off and then how easy it was to reseal. there is nothing worse than wrestling with a jar to get the lid off, a waste of ones energy! Like I previously said the colour was good not too light which does put me off. when I put my knife in the consistency was nice and thick but not too thick that it breaks the bread soon as it is spread. It didn't look watery either which I have seen with other peanut butters which again I really dislike. I did notice when looking close that some of the peanuts used do look slightly dark like they are maybe seconds but this didn't bother me as it didn't in my view affect the taste in any way. I prefer crunchy peanut butter to the smooth but thats my personal preference. This peanut butter did have lots of crunchy peanut bits in but not too many. I remember trying the sunpat one which I thought for the price was very mean when it came to the amount of peanuts in it and the peieces were rather small in size, this brand the peanut pieces are of a good size. The taste was great not too sweet and it didn't taste salty which some can, I always know if a food is too salty in taste asIi have to drink pints of water after not appealing in the slightest. After eating my first Tesco everyday value peanut butter sandwich I was left feeling very satisfied and pleased i had purchased such a great value product! Overall i was really impressed with this Tesco value product and will definately continue to buy it.