Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Let's talk about mental health.

I've been considering writing a post on this topic for a while now, but in light of recent events, it seemed more relevant than ever. Robin Williams sadly passed away on 11th August from suspected suicide, after a long battle with depression.

His death has shocked people the world over, who simply cannot comprehend how a man who on the surface appeared so happy and so full of life, could behind closed doors be suffering to such an extent that he felt death was the only way out.

It's awful that it has taken the death of such a talented, inspirational man in order to raise this issue, but if anything positive at all can be taken from this tragic event, it is that hopefully it will help to remove the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. 

If you haven't ever suffered with a mental illness yourself, then it's extremely difficult to understand them. Because there are no obvious, physical symptoms, it's easy to pass mental health issues off as less severe, or less "real". However, this couldn't be further from the truth and as Williams' death highlights, mental illness can and does kill.

One of the problems in our society is that terms like depression and anxiety are thrown around far too easily, which almost belittles the illnesses to mere emotions. Being sad, or worried, is a perfectly normal human occurrence. It is when these feelings become so overwhelming that they have a debilitating impact on your day to day life that it becomes an issue. 

Over the past couple of years I have suffered with anxiety and for a long time I avoided going to see a doctor, purely because I knew that I wouldn't be able to explain 'why' I was feeling the way I was. It's easy to try and pinpoint a cause that may have resulted in the illness, but the truth of the matter is that sometimes there really is no trigger, it just happens.

You wouldn't ask someone with cancer "why" they have cancer. It's all too easy to ask "what have they got to be depressed about?", "what have they got to be anxious about?", but for many, half of the problem is that they don't know why they are feeling the way that they do. Robin Williams was an extremely well-loved, successful actor-comedian and yet he was still burdened with this terrible disease. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of fame, wealth, gender or age.

From experience, I have found that when it comes to my anxiety there is no overnight cure, or a single pill that will take everything away. But seeing a doctor and getting help is a vital step in the right direction and there are counsellors and therapists that they can refer you to, who specialise in helping people to overcome these problems. According to mental health charity Mind, every year one in four of us will experience some form of mental illness including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, extreme OCD or schizophrenia, to name but a few. I assure you, you'd be surprised how many people that you know who will have suffered from, or are still suffering with, similar problems.

In the words of Stephen Fry, who has openly spoken of his own battle with bipolar disorder-

"It will be sunny one day.
It isn't under one's control as to when the sun comes out, but come out it will.
One day."

If you, or anyone you know, is suffering, I would recommend checking out mind.org.uk and samaritans.org.

Help is out there.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask Review

Hey lovelies, 
I've never been a major skincare junkie, but just over a month ago I noticed that my skin wasn't looking as clear as usual, so I decided to take action. I'm not sure whether it was just a hormonal thing, the fact that I'd been working full-time in the city, or my diet, but for some reason my skin just felt quite clogged up. I've been using this Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, £23 for the past few weeks and have been thoroughly impressed with it, so I thought I'd share my thoughts! 
The active charcoal in this mask is designed to draw out any dirt which may be clogging your pores, whilst white china clay helps to absorb any environmental pollutants and lecithin helps to dissolve any impurities. 

Origins recommend first using a hot, damp towel to open your pores before applying the mask. After this I apply quite a thick layer all over my face and then wait for it to dry, which usually takes around 10-15 minutes (perfect opportunity to shave your legs!). As the mask hardens, it does become quite tight, which I personally like as it feels like it is really getting into your pores and giving you a really thorough cleanse. When it comes to removing the mask, I use either a damp flannel or a muslin cloth and despite the mask being almost black, it's really easy to rinse it out under the tap so don't worry too much about ruining them. After I've rinsed it off I like to pat my skin dry with a towel and then apply a really rich moisturiser, lately I've been using the Elemis Hydra-Nourish Night Cream, £42.

Every time I use this mask my skin is left feeling really soft, brighter and most importantly really intensely cleansed, so if your skin has been looking a bit dull lately I would definitely recommend giving this a try. 

Have you tried any Origins products?