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Journey to Mental Health Recovery

Leon Macfayden

Schizophrenia and PTSD survivor sharing my journey to recovery. Join over 800 subscribers learning to improve their mental health. Every week, I share personal stories and effective tips to help you and your loved ones live the life you deserve.

My Dad’s Death and the Chaotic Early Stages of Grief

I sat in my parent’s bedroom. It was deathly silent apart from clocks ticking — 6 of them, to be precise. All at different, maddening intervals. My mind was in a tormented spiral, and the out-of-synch clocks seemed to reflect the chaos. Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick. I looked after our dog Wags, and even he wanted to escape. But important work was going on outside the room. My dad lay dead on the floor, and the paramedics and police went through their procedures. Photo by DrAfter123 on iStock The...
about 2 months ago • 7 min read

Why I Had to Hit Rock Bottom to Love Myself

Self-love eluded me for most of my life. Despite my parent’s love, I faced relentless bullying at school. As a kid, you pay more attention to your peers. You reason that your parents have to love you, while your peers are more honest. The physical abuse healed with only a single scar on my left hand, but the mental torment lingered. They mocked my teeth, hair, weight, the way I walked and ran, my name, my parent’s house, my eyes, and the way that I shouted for help as they beat me. When they...
about 11 hours ago • 5 min read

My Dad Died, But We Never Told His Other Children

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash My dad died of Heart Failure in November 2019. He first became ill ten years earlier but had enjoyed a long time without symptoms. This changed in 2019 when the familiar symptoms of breathlessness, coughing, feeling sick, and general weakness started to come over him. He hated hospitals and wouldn’t go unless he was at death's door. That door nearly opened on several occasions. He had endured demeaning hospital visits where they ignored him, left him on the...
11 days ago • 2 min read

Trauma and Self-Destructive Behavior

Photo by designer491 on iStock A wet, cold night in 2003 changed my life forever. I was a police officer guarding a scene of unimaginable carnage. Two teenage girls had taken their own lives by jumping from a tower block. Many other officers were around doing different tasks, but I was alone at the cordon for hours. When you've only got the dead for company, it changes you. One of the victims was taken to hospital, clinging on to life. I was left with the other one who'd already died. I...
13 days ago • 8 min read

7 Things You Stop Doing Once You Learn to Respect Yourself

When I was younger, my self-confidence was lower than a snake's belly. Years of bullying had crushed my self-worth, leading me to behave in ways that signaled others to walk all over me. After a long and arduous battle, I managed to pull myself out of this pit, and I can now say I love and respect myself. If you find yourself in a similar position, here are some behaviors you’ll stop as you learn to respect yourself. 1. Negative Self-Talk Engaging in negative self-talk is a form of verbal...
15 days ago • 2 min read

How a Waiter's Question Unveiled My Hidden Schizophrenia Shame

Image by FG Trade on iStock By the time I got to see a psychiatrist for PTSD, I thought a famous magician was stealing my thoughts. I’d tried to barricade my front door to stop people from getting in to kill me. I had no idea who these people were, but I was sure they worked for the government and wanted me dead. But I couldn’t barricade the voices from my head. I spent every waking hour listening to them calling me scum and telling me to kill myself. I’d given up driving because they told me...
19 days ago • 4 min read

Overcoming the Darkness: A Journey Through Mental Health and Survival

A Personal Struggle: The Battle with PTSD and Depression A few years ago, I decided to stop taking my medications for PTSD and Depression. The side effects—weight gain and feeling like a zombie—had become too much to bear. For the first six days, I felt like my old self again. But then, everything came crashing down. Sitting on my back doorstep in the dark, I felt as if I had been hit by a bus. The crushing weight of despair was unbearable. In my darkest moment, I attempted suicide....
about 1 month ago • 2 min read

7 Little Things That Can Have a Big Effect on Your Mental Health

I want to share an inspiring personal journey of overcoming severe depression and schizophrenia, managing PTSD, and finding a path to mental well-being. Through trial and error, education, and common sense, I've discovered what it takes to stay healthy, and I adhere to this formula rigorously. Here are some steps that you can take to improve your mental health today. Photo by GeorgePeters on iStock 1. Discover True Friends When struggling with mental health, you quickly learn who your real...
about 1 month ago • 2 min read

It's Time to Take Control of Your Mental Health

Are you tired of relying solely on professionals to achieve the life you want? While expert help is invaluable, you can make great strides in your mental health recovery by taking an active role in your journey. This week, let’s explore how you can empower yourself to reduce suffering, build confidence, and live the life you deserve. Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash 1. Prioritize Quality Sleep Lack of sleep can significantly impact your mental health. On average, adults need about 8 hours...
about 1 month ago • 2 min read

6 Things That Can Damage Your Mental Health

Photo by Faye Cornish on Unsplash According to the World Health Organization, mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. There has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions in the last decade, and 20% of children and adolescents now have a mental health condition. It is easy to read these bleak statistics and switch them off, but behind the numbers are real people. Behind every number, there’s a name. The chances are high that you either have a mental health condition or know...
about 2 months ago • 5 min read

Schizophrenia and PTSD survivor sharing my journey to recovery. Join over 800 subscribers learning to improve their mental health. Every week, I share personal stories and effective tips to help you and your loved ones live the life you deserve.

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