• Gynaecology and Maternity

    Smear today gone tomorrow!

    As I read yet another article about the ever-declining amount of women attending their smear tests I feel shocked, confused, and sad all at once. Evidently rates have hit a 20-year low, and the reasons are both complex and numerous. I recently had my fourth smear test, and this got me thinking about why women are not making this vital aspect of their health a priority. Reasons women miss smear tests Some of the reasons I’ve come across include: Being put off by the actual word ‘smear’ – I get this. In my mind to smear something means to ruin or mark it in some way, but I know that…

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing

    The effect of having a depressed parent on children

    Being a parent is one of the hardest things in the world, we all know that. Being a depressed parent is even harder. Of course I can only speak from my own experience in which I see my depression affecting my parenting in horrible ways every day. I snap at my children and my husband, and anger easily (I’m ashamed to admit that I have sworn at my children more than once). Sometimes I don’t want to play or even interact with them at all, and then the guilt mounts to top it all off. Catastrophizing is also common, especially when my son has had febrile seizures and I think…

  • Ageing

    Grey, glorious (premature ) grey!

    When I was young (and by young I mean young) I guess I thought that grey hair was reserved for the realms of old-lady-hood whereby one could own one’s silver hair with smugness at having survived thus far. I definitely did not think that I would stare in disbelief at the silvery strands of hair coiled around the bristles of my hairbrush which interrupted the innocence of my late teens. And so began sixteen years so far of slathering foul-smelling gooey stuff on my hair every eight weeks or so, punctuated by intermediate root touch-ups which have always felt slightly luxurious in their quickness compared to the full monty. I…

  • Food and Body Image

    Obesity and health warnings: why aren’t they enough?

    I think on some level none of us really believe that we are going to die. This certainly isn’t my uppermost thought when I shovel another heavily-laden spoonful of Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream into my big gob; the connection between this unnecessary heap of calories and a possibly early expiry date due to obesity is somehow lost or denied to the point of non-existence, despite the many warnings we all receive via the papers or social media. I can read an article about how being obese shaves years off your life, or how a significant proportion of deaths are a direct consequence of a poor diet, but…

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing

    The real face of depression

    I am depressed, I think. At some point a long time ago, perhaps in my morose mid-teens, I saw a doctor and discovered I was depressed. I don’t think at that point I was offered any medication, perhaps just some brief counselling which I have no recollection of attending. I’ve worn the badge of depression ever since (only visible to those close to me), almost defensively lest anyone dare challenge its authenticity. Having sampled several different antidepressants and types of counselling over the last twenty years or so I am still wearing the badge, albeit quite wearily now. The reality of being depressed I wanted to write this post and…

  • Food and Body Image

    Emotional eating alert!

    I’m Sarah and I am an emotional eater/compulsive eater/binge eater/ food addict/general greedy guts or whatever you want to call it. Morbidly obese at 5ft 2ins and a size 26 (which might actually make me super morbidly obese which is quite something), I can’t even see myself anymore. But I think that is the aim actually, to be invisible, which seems ironic given how much space I now take up. I like to write about my seemingly never-ending struggles to overcome my issues with food, specifically emotional eating, but it generally doesn’t lead to any actual action on my part to return this hefty body of mine to a healthy…