Anorexia Is Impacting Upon My Health – I Feel Torn

I would prefer to not have to face up to the reality that anorexia is having an impact upon my health. I would prefer to be in denial or refuse to accept it. However, I have a stronger desire to stay out of hospital.

I had to cut short my trip to London because of weakness, dizziness and being close to passing out. Whenever I stand up I now go dizzy (orthotic hypotension). My back and shoulders ache alot of the day (muscular hypotrophy). I’m walking more slowly (muscular hypotrophy, bradycardia and muscular hypotrophy of heart muscle). I have continuosly cold legs and arms (circulatory and anaemia). Actually writing this all here has just had an impact upon my perspective. Seeing it all together is concerning.

Yesterday I had to see the psychiatric nurse for blood pressure and blood tests, and my blood pressure was low enough for her to seek additional input from the psychiatrist and it was touch and go as to her agreeing to me visiting a friend for three days.

We agreed that I would increase my calories again by the usual increment. I was ok with this until I re-read the amount of calories in peanut butter which I have every other day. I had worked this our previously as being 120calories per day less than what I actually have, and this is scary. It means that by sticking to what I currently eat, I’m still having more calories than what the increase would take me up to.

That’s why I feel torn. Medically I need to be on considerably more just to maintain organ function, and substantially more to maintain my weight and stay out of hospital.

Knowing how many calories I’m actually having, rather than I thought is terrifying. I want to decrease my calories because of this. I can’t decrease or stay the same without damaging my health further, and meaning at some point in the near future I will end up in hospital. I’m terrified of increasing my calories.

If you don’t have an eating disorder this probably makes no sense. Despite having anorexia I can see that it makes no sense, but seeing that doesn’t stop the anorexia from being an all powerful, overwhelming experience. That’s mental illness. All I can commit to today is to not decrease my calories. I can’t speak for tomorrow. But just for today I will stick to the same intake.

Featured On Happiness Between Tails By da-Al

Good morning.

da-Al asked if I would submit a guest blog, which she has just published this morning. It can be seen here. In the post I discuss how I use photography to help/improve my mental health, especially when it comes to macro and bird photography. da-Al writes her own posts, but most of her site is populated by guest posts. Thank you for the opportunity da-Al.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Just because I don’t live in the US doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t nurture myself.

Everyday provides the opportunity to do something that demonstrates kindness and compassion towards myself. How easy it is to demonstrate those qualities towards others, and how challenging to practice self care.

I brought some flowers yesterday as a prop for a photography exercise. They were good enough for the photo shoot as they were laying flat, but they were too limp for a vase.

When I meditated this morning I decided to buy myself a bunch of flowers, however why buy one bunch when you can treat yourself to two.

Neither bunch had the right colour balance on their own, and that’s the reason for getting them both.

When I write my gratitude list tonight it will include – I am grateful that I treated myself kindly today.

mde

Sick Of Bulimia

Sick Of Bulimia

Bulimia-Grid-Presentation

Bulimia is an eating disorder, a psychiatric illness. eating disorders have the highest death rate of all of the mental illness. Between ten and twenty percent of people with an eating disorder will die as a consequence of this illness. Those deaths are attributed to heart failure, organ failure and suicide.

Bulimia (or bulimia nervosa) is a serious mental illness. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, or background. People with bulimia are caught in a cycle of eating large quantities of food (called bingeing), and then trying to compensate for that overeating by vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or exercising excessively (called purging). Early intervention offers the best chance for a rapid and sustained recovery from bulimia.(Source link)

If you have an eating disorder – recovery is possible, speak to a family member, someone you trust, a doctor, or search google for an eating disorder service in your country.

United Kingdom

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC

Bulimia

Bulimia

Bulimia

Bulimia

Bulimia

Bulimia

Bulimia

Bulimia

Bulimia

Blogger Appreciation Award – Mental Well-Being With A Mental Illness

Blogger Appreciation Award

I have just received the blogger appreciation award from  Nash Christmas (link).

Nash is an author who believes in self expression, and he writes about all things human but especially relationships. He is a Serbian national who writes his blog in English.

guidelines for the Blogger Appreciation Award

1.Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their site.
2.Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.
3.Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.
4.Use the Blogger Appreciation Award image.

Something Positive About Me.

What is mental health?

Often when people think about mental health they think of mental illness rather than being mentally healthy. My slant for today is that it is possible to have a mental illness and still be in good shape mentally.

I am diagnosed with several mental illnesses, and life has certainly had its ups, downs and hospital admissions. However, I do my best to live a lifestyle that is positive for my mental well-being.

Mediation and trying to live mindfully are the mainstay of my health. I meditate for an hour each day. Living mindfully takes a while to get used to. Mindfullness – paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment, non-judgementally. This way of life is teaching me to just let circumstances be. Allow my feelings and thoughts to be there, without trying to chase them away with distractions, behaviours or addictions. Whats the worst that can happen if I’m feeling paranoid, having a panic attack, feeling depressed? The only way it can affect me is that I don’t like how I feel, or what I am thinking, and that I feel disturbed.

There are times that I sit watching a movie with my hand resting on my heart, this releases oxytocin, which has two effects, it’s a happy hormone, and it lowers the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenalin. I write five things down in my gratitude diary, things that have happened or that I have achieved during the day. It may be as simple as having hoovered my flat, spoken to a friend, or completed a bit if study. Making sure that I have breaks, and rest are important to me, as is being involved in my community. My community is my friends, my fellow students, and fellow bloggers. Giving back is also a vital component of my life. Giving back doesn’t have to be a big demonstration, holding a door open for someone, speaking to a homeless person, commenting upon someones blog, these create a sense of value and belonging.

Having a mental illness and being mentally well is not an either/or situation.

The bloggers who I am nominating are.

Jade from Crescent Raven

M A R I A

misschauhan from Shoot Me With A Camera

Cinnamon Buns and Roses

Old Boy from Movies From the Silent Era

 

Current Photographic Learning – Health – Expressing My Vision – Lighting and Portraits

I’m struggling at the moment. My confidence in my photography is low. Partly this is relating to my health. I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s not a major condition bit it’s knocked the wind out of me. I have no energy and feel ill after eating, and because of my mental health I rarely get out until after lunch.

So I haven’t been out with my camera much. This doesn’t help with confidence. To improve my photography I need to be taking photos, exploring light, and seeking opportunities to create the photography that I want to.

My first assignment has been an eye opener for me. I followed the brief and from reviewing the work of Chloe Dewe Matthews, Walker Evans and Dan Holdsworth, I wanted to create a series that fit together and had a narrative. My aim was also to create a narrative in some individual photos that also included some symbolism. There were four that my tutor liked, which I also did, and one more that I felt worked. Five photos that achieved my aim. There was one other that I didn’t include because the traffic, which was endless, ruined the photo. I am not good at travelling without support so I can’t go back and re take it at the moment.

I know the photography that I want to make and it involves people, and a sociological narrative. History has come up for me as something to explore that had also come from the Square Mile assignment.

In writing this I feel better about the first assignment. I did achieve my goals in several photos, and even the ones that I didn’t get good feedback about in relation to my vision as a photographer, there technicality and how they would work well in the tourist industry and promotional photography was noted upon and promising.

That’s not the kind of photography that I want to make though.

My plan now is to bring sociology and history into my coursework wherever I can. If I make the kind of photos that I want then tI can make the most out of the rest of my coursework.

I have been asking people if I can take their portraits, which I will upload at a later date. I’m a stickler for doing things in order.

I have completed my photo essay on autism, but can’t contact who I publish with at the moment, I will give it a few more days and then either self publish or look elsewhere, although I would prefer to stick with the magazine I use. I will add my analyses and learning once the article is published.

Image the Portrait.

I’ve been reading others blogs and I look forward to Creating the Exotic. I’m going to compare it with photos of Matahari.

Painting with light.

I have some ideas that I want to explore, including using two people sitting side by side, and using light to highlight half of each person’s face, the half’s that are next to each other.  I can then create a face from two different half’s that are the wrong side.

Colour, skin, texture and drama.

Wow. What a difference colour can make. The drama of different lighting is apparent to me from my photography of the Chinese State Circus. But I’ve also been looking out for lighting effects on TV and film. Green is not a good colour as it makes skin look Ill. Red can have many effects depending how close, soft, or hard the lighting is. Blue brings out texture of skin and building very well when it is close to the subject.

Lighting, make up and tanning.

Why are we seeing so many orange people on TV nowadays? Sunbeds and tanning booths make for poor skin on TV. Make up artists and lighting technician’s need to be more aware of how lighting and make up interact. With the wrong lighting and make up people look burned or bruised.

The question this has raised for me is how does lighting affect people of different race and skin tone?

I’m feeling much better at the end of this post. I may not be photographing at the moment, but I’m still exploring photography.

Being a New OCA Student – Time and Health Management – Thank You OCA

I am really enjoying studying. I haven’t studied for a while so a couple of things have helped me a lot.

 

Reading other students blogs. By reading the blogs of other students my concepts and creativity are becoming more flexible, open and dynamic. I follow blogs of non – photography students such as fine artists and writers and these have a positive impact upon how I think about photography.

The group email for Foundations in Photography is good for me, as I struggle with social contact. The group email means I can connect with fellow students. OCA have developed a positive student forum so that we can get the most out of our studies. ocastudent and the group email are excellent platforms for engagement. At this moment in my life attending a university in person wouldn’t be possible so I appreciate how OCA have developed the student platforms, it means I can get so much more from studying than what I expected from open learning.

I have my own photographic projects outside of my studies. The most important of these are my sociology projects. However I have been to a few events recently so sociology has been on the back burner. I have developed my events photos so I can refocus on sociology, and I am now reading the light and Shaddow project in Workflow.

My health comes first – sleep, eat, meditate, connect with friends. Then I do what I can. Recently it has been evaluating and developing photos, alongside getting out with my camera. Now I can re read my sociology project notes and FiP study material. When I have 15 minutes spare I listen to youtube – several photographers and lightroom/photoshop experts that I follow.

Since starting FiP I have had more creative ideas, started writing again and brought a violin. I’ve never played before and am enjoying learning. Creativity = bliss. Thankyou OCA.