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All posts in Mental Health

Here’s the wonderful Paula and her wonderful escapades! While other children were dreaming of becoming an astronaut, fireman or race car driver, Paula was suffering severe anxiety. By her own admission, she missed out on a childhood. It was only when a chance photo on her 30th birthday made her realise she was living life in hiding that something changed in her soul. With the support of her husband, Paula overcame her anxieties and started making up for lost time.

All those childhood dreams other kids had? Paula’s tried them all now. She’s a testament to what you can achieve when you refuse to let anything hold you back and she’s also an absolute dream to work with and write about.

If you’ve had some wild adventures, get in touch today, we love adventures here at Phoenix…

Paula is out in this week’s Best. An aptly named title for her new life!

williskimmindfulmebest-largeIt’s me! Here I am in Best magazine having a go at mindfulness. Results varied, depending how well I was remembering that I was supposed to be mindful… but I can report that I have actually become a much more mindful person on the whole in the weeks since I wrote this feature. I now eat slowly and think about each mouthful – begone days of wolfing down my meal! I take the time to enjoy my day because really, what’s the rush?

I really enjoyed 100 Mindfulness Meditations by Neil Seligman, who served as my guide through this journey. It’s a great introduction to mindfulness and allows you to have a little fun with the concept. Available on Amazon here!  

willcockwendybest-largeThis gorgeous open letter comes from mum Wendy to her beautiful daughter Abbie, who has autism and sees the world in a unique way. Worried that she is ‘different’ and longing to be ‘normal’, Abbie often confides in her mum that she wishes she didn’t have autism. But Wendy sees her daughter’s super-power. She sees Abbie’s view of the world as a beautiful rarity that the rest of us are missing out on and in this letter, you can really see the protective and adorable bond between mother and daughter.

Out in this week’s Best.

If you’d like to share a story about autism, please do get in touch. Thank you!

Blogger, vlogger, podcast host, public speaker, student and London Fashion Week reporter – Emily is many things. Many incredible things. She’s also registered blind, as a condition left her blind in her right eye and with just 10% vision in her left. With guide dog Unity by her side, Emily is on a mission to show the world that her visual impairment doesn’t stop her living her life or loving her fashions. The way she describes what fashion means to her is so beautiful – it’s not just about colours. For Emily, fashion is about the smell of a vintage shop or a swoosh of a maxi skirt.

She’s a lovely young lady and I was thrilled to write about her for Reveal magazine. Out this week!

If you have an inspiring story like Emily’s that you’d like to share with the world, please get in touch today.

So proud of this family – a raw and honest account of what happens when a father struggles with depression after the birth of his children. Paternal postnatal depression is rarely talked about. Men are supposed to be big tough guys aren’t they? Therein lies the problem – men feel like they can’t talk about their feelings, further exacerbating the loneliness and isolation. Matt and Lesley have opened up about their experiences in the hopes of encouraging other men to talk. Because talking is half the solution…

If you’re in need of help and support with any of the issues raised in this feature, please do visit nct.org.uk for more information.

To share your own experiences with us, please get in touch today. Lesley’s story is in this week’s Woman’s Own.

In this week’s Reveal, to coincide with International Woman’s Day, I had the honour of writing about five beautiful women who are determined not to hide from the world. Acid attacks are prolific in India, where they are used as a means of revenge for reasons that would bewilder different cultures. Turning down a marriage proposal, disputes over land, not providing a son. It’s a tragedy, but one that shows little sign of being resolved. The Indian government claims to offer £3500 to acid attack survivors – only five are known to have received this. In reality, medical assistance, surgery and treatment costs nearly £50,000.

Many women are so horrified by their scars they spend years refusing to leave the house. But times are changing. Stop Acid Attacks is a charity determined to give survivors their lives back, and give those lives meaning. We covered the story of five survivors launching a cafe, Sheroes Hangout, their smiles beaming from happy faces. The world is full of bad people doing terrible things, but stories like this remind us that the world is full of beauty and wonder too.

To support the cafe, please visit stopacidattacks.org

WELLStiffanyPrima1A story to celebrate the powerful connection between mother and daughter, here’s Tiffany in Prima’s Baby and Pregnancy Magazine out this month. Tiffany had been overweight before taking diet and exercise to the extreme, seeing her weight drop to a dangerous new low. It was the birth of Tiffany’s adorable daughter Amber, that taught her she couldn’t mess with her health anymore. Wanting to set a good example for her daughter, as well as be as fit and healthy as she could be so she can keep up with Amber’s toddler-energy, Tiffany is now a healthy weight and happier than ever.

Obesity and anorexia are tricky subject matters to cover, but Prima have done a superb job. If you’re keen to share your weight-related story, we’d love to hear from you. Thank you!

In Fabulous last Sunday, the incredible story of mum and daughter Louise and Hannah, who together went through hell at the hands of a bully. Hannah, now a stunning and confident 19 year old, was bullied from the age of nine. The bullying was relentless and cruel, and left Hannah so vulnerable and afraid that she refused to leave her bedroom for three years.

Three pivotal years – Hannah missed her GCSEs, her A levels, the shopping trips and sleepovers with friends that are more crucial to our confidence and character formation than any of us might realise. Eventually, a doctor earned Hannah’s trust and she opened her bedroom door.  Slowly, with the never ending support of Louise and the family, Hannah built up her confidence and left the house.

Now, Hannah is flourishing. She’s in full time work, she’s modelling and winning beauty competitions. She’s passed her driving test and she’s in love – a happy ending to a traumatic time.

Hannah and I have some other exciting features lined up so you’ll be seeing more of her as I proudly show off how far she’s come!

Orgasm2 (Small) (1)This week we placed this incredibly interesting story in Grazia magazine. Speaking honestly and openly, Bea tells us about her sexual history and how a desire to orgasm led her to fake orgasms so much that she feels she can’t backtrack. Grazia treated the story with sensitivity and grace and highlighted some of the ways Bea could try to help herself, with advice from sex and behaviour therapist Jo Hemmings.

Please do check it out in this week’s Grazia.

If you have a story to sell about your sex life, we’d love to hear it. All stories are discussed in the strictest confidence and like Bea, your story can be anonymous if you so wish. Thank you!

LawrenceKristinaNew (Small)It seems eerily strange that the terrorist attacks that shook London to its core happened ten years ago today. It feels like a long time ago, and yet only yesterday. Suicide bombers killed commuters on buses and tubes in a choreographed attack.

Kristina was one of the survivors and went on to suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Survivor’s Guilt, consumed with confusion over why it had happened, why she’d survived when others had died, and what she could have done differently. It’s taken her the best part of a decade to accept the devastating consequences of the day. It was only last year, conquering a trek in Papua New Guinea, that Kristina felt at peace with the past. She is now raising money for Australian charity R U OK? Which strives to help suicidal people communicate before it’s too late. A concept very close to Kristina’s heart.

Kristina’s story accompanies other survivors in this week’s New Magazine.