Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Therapy is Necessary

Therapy is Necessary, mandy charlton photographer, writer, blogger, mental health, autism, bipolar disorder

This is a collaborative post in association with Psymplicity

Therapy is Necessary

Therapy is important to make sure you can live your life as well as possible, whether you’re trying to overcome the stress of daily life or you’re hoping to overcome an addiction or mental illness. But despite the benefits of therapy, many people avoid it for one reason or another. Perhaps they feel embarrassed to admit they need help, or maybe they don’t want to spend the money on it. 

Why Therapy Is Necessary

Therapists aren’t just there to tell you that everything is going to be okay. Therapy can, and often does, help us through difficult periods in our lives when we need a guiding hand and a shoulder to lean on. Therapy isn’t just for those who have major issues in their lives: everyone has problems and challenges, and therapy can provide solutions where self-help books fall short. The benefits of seeing a therapist include:

Learn new coping skills -- In some cases, people turn to unhealthy habits as a way of coping with stress or traumatic events. When individuals have nowhere else to turn but themselves, these destructive behaviours may become worse without intervention from professionals with specialised training. Learning more productive ways of dealing with emotions and stressors not only promotes healthier habits but can also lead to a higher quality of life overall.

My experience with autism and bipolar disorder

I was diagnosed with both autism and bipolar disorder in my late 20s. I’ve worked hard to manage these diagnoses, but nothing beats therapy. Both conditions are chronic, so you need someone who can help you deal with the long-term. A combination of periods of therapy and good mental health medication has helped to keep the worst symptoms of bipolar at bay and helped me to learn to appreciate my technicolour neurodiverse mind.  

If you’re dealing with something similar or know somebody who is, it would be a good idea to see a counsellor. Therapy isn’t just about supporting your current mental health—it’s also about building resilience against future problems. As we age, our brains change physically and cognitively, so it makes sense that we should constantly reevaluate our self-care routines as well. Everyone needs guidance and support when they're in crisis or facing significant stressors (like losing a job). If we don't take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally we're likely going to end up mentally ill; there's no guarantee that even if you think like somebody without an illness that one won't pop up because of environmental factors such as poverty or an abusive relationship.

How to Choose a Therapist

The first step in getting therapy is choosing a therapist. It’s not as hard as you might think, but there are still some things to consider when looking into private psychiatry. How long has your prospective therapist been practising? Is he or she licensed and insured? A good rule of thumb: Don’t work with someone who isn’t qualified to do so. 

What Should I Expect From Therapy?

Your therapist isn’t there to give you advice but will encourage you to do your own deep thinking about how you can get what you want out of life. Your therapist will help you better understand yourself, other people and different types of relationships. If something in your life doesn’t feel right, therapy can be a safe place to look at why that might be so.

My life now

My life now is stable and good, I get to be creative every single day and my neurodiverse brain is content with life, I have best friends who love me for who I am and appreciate that my honesty will never let them doubt how I feel about them, the world and everything.  Not every day is plain sailing and I realise that I see the world very different from your average neurotypical person but I'm happier now than I have ever been and long may that continue!


The Big Change, Scary but Inevitable

Philomena's Christmas Boutique, Christmas gift shop, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

The big change...

Change is scary but it's not something I'm scared of, I'm not scared to ask for help, I used to feel ashamed when I had to ask for help, when I didn't understand why something was happening or when something was wrong but I couldn't fix it myself.  I have learned that shame is a very personal thing, we own it, it's ours, we actually do not need to respond to it, just acknowledge that it is there.  

Just lately at Philomena's Boutique, things have not been going so well, I actually thought I was just going to close the boutique because despite all of our efforts we didn't reach our next funding target,  we're still 10% away but we did get a lot of sales during a clearance that meant we could start planning for our future. I refuse to give up just yet and though the boutique has been valued at a decent sum of money, I wanted to get it to 2 years before I even consider selling it.  The boutique was set up in such unique circumstances that maybe it isn't a forever business, maybe it was my saviour when I couldn't work as a photographer and that's okay, everything that comes into our lives is for a reason or a season.

There are a couple of things happening, big decisions I've taken, full of love and positivity for the future -

Philomena's Christmas Boutique 

The boutique is becoming Philomena's Christmas Boutique and we'll be selling everything for the festive home plus gorgeous gifts you might just want to keep for yourself, in fact, I've already placed an order with the jewellery company we used before and we have some fantastic things on the way.  No one knows and loves Christmas like I do, Christmas has been at the very centre of my calendar for many years and it's well known that I try to out Christmas myself every single year.  I throw a grand party for all of my closest friends and because we couldn't hold one last year, this year's promises to be better and bigger than ever.

My love of colour is eternal and working on my Colour My World project actively over the next 2 years  I'll be promoting the Colour my World collection through the Colour My World page but they'll still be sold on the boutique site because I can't bear to make another website, I have way too many as it is.

When we do get our new stock at Philomena's Boutique we'll be a lot like TK Maxx or Homesense, we may only get 1, 3, 6 of each product and once they're gone we can't promise to get them back against if you see something you love, you'll need to grab it immediately as we won't be holding loads of stock. We haven't yet worked out how often we'll do a restock as it depends on a few things but we'll hopefully get new things at least once a month.

Photography is back!!!

I am working more as a photographer than I was previously, I have a real love for wedding photography and I'm really good at what I do. It's amazing to be working properly again so it's all a bit of a juggle but Looby will be running the boutique mostly and I am even getting Abigail involved where possible as a way of supporting them both through further education. I'll continue to do all of the social media and the admin but with any luck, it's all going to work well.  Looby was already doing all of the orders herself anyway as her way of paying for the stabling for Sil, her horse so she's totally capable and way better at wrapping orders than I ever am!

It's probable that we may close the boutique in January for a little snooze once the usual end of season sale is done and when we come back is the big question. To me being happy is everything and so I'll just keep working towards freedom and happiness which go hand in hand.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you. I will be giving away a £100 gift certificate to celebrate when we do reach our funding target which hopefully won't be too much longer, especially with all of the things on the way like vegan chocolate, beautiful eco-friendly jewellery, gorgeous Christmas decorations and things to make your home smell yummy and seasonal.  The future is much brighter than I imagined it would be this time last month so I hope you'll stick with us as we continue to rebuild what covid took away.

Ways to support my writing

If you have enjoyed this article or found it useful and would like to support my writing I'd love a virtual coffee

I also have a lovely Facebook group I'd love you to come and join 

You could also come and follow me on Instagram or  keep up with my adventures, I really am grateful for all

of your love and support.

Oh and of course, you could just treat yourself to something lovely from Philomena's Boutique, my gift boutique

which is diverse, sustainable and totally lush!

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