(This blog speaks from anecdotal evidence as well as discussions with vet).

Having been raw fed as a puppy, my then 4 year-old Labrador ‘Action’ began scratching his face and head a lot in May 2020; at this point in time we had been feeding a fairly high quality kibble for 18 months, owing to financial and storage constraints. Upon cleaning out his ears, I noticed they smelled terrible, and the right one was producing a brownish-black gunk in large amounts.

A trip to the vet unsurprisingly ended with a diagnosis of infection, and we were dispatched with a week…


When the good times don’t last

Having had three severely hypomanic episodes and one full blown manic episode (discounting mixed episodes), most people I imagine, would be hard pressed to see its appeal. After all, the last bout landed me in A&E, hearing and seeing things, head-butting the walls, and feeling trapped.

So why then do I still miss it at times.

To break it down…

Bipolar used to be called manic depression. For the euphoria of the mania, you have to bear the darkness of the depression. Depression is a slowing of the mind, heart and soul. You see in grey and you move through…


Trigger warning: mention of suicide

In 2016 my life fell apart. Literally

It had been brewing for some time anyway. I had been suffering with depression on and off for 7 years by then, and in 2015 I reached a tipping point when, in the space of a single week, I was involved in 3 highly traumatic experiences. I had managed to soldier on for a year after that, and even gained a promotion. But when you are starting from the point of an already full cup and more liquid is added it is only so long before you overflow. …


You cannot be 'a little OCD'

Whether it’s referring to somebody as being ‘triggered’ because they get annoyed during an argument, or declaring yourself ‘depressed’ because you are having a bad day, we as a society need to stop appropriating and misusing mental health terms. Being tidy does not mean you have ‘OCD’, and bein moody does not make somebody ‘bipolar’. We are doing mental health awareness and acceptance a disservice every time we misuse a mental health diagnosis i that denotes an minor hindrance and turn it into a trifling, everyday irritant.


Finding humour in sleep deprivation

I read a lot about co-sleeping when my kids were younger. For those unfamiliar with the concept it is about sharing your sleep space with your baby or child; either in bed in your arms, on the bed, or in other co-sleeping devices such as a nest, pod, or crib with 3 sides that attaches to the side of your bed. At the time it was a parenting decision I chose not to make with either of my girls, so they would only be in bed with me if they were poorly or having a rough night through nightmares or…


I pose a question to anybody who attends therapy/counselling/psychology – however you chose to phrase it. Do you know how to decide you have found a good psychologist or therapist?

For my American friends I assume you can shop around – a freedom less open to us Brits, who are given a very limited pool of options if we choose to stay within the framework of NHS psychological services. Of course, we can always go private. So, if you do, how do you know how to know you have found the right person? I don’t claim to know the exact…


A young girl is sitting lacing up ballet shoes next to a caption reading ‘Fatima’s next job could be in cyber. She just doesn’t know it yet’ and the slogan ‘Rethink. Reskill. Reboot’.
A young girl is sitting lacing up ballet shoes next to a caption reading ‘Fatima’s next job could be in cyber. She just doesn’t know it yet’ and the slogan ‘Rethink. Reskill. Reboot’.

Last year, during the first wave of the coronavirus, a series of advertisements were released by the National Cyber Security Centre backed through the Government, for a programme called ‘Cyber First’.
They were to encourage more young people into technology related careers; the campaign was titled ‘Rethink, Reskill, Reboot’. One of these adverts featured a young ballet dancer called, for the purpose of the advertisement, Fatima, suggesting that Fatima’s next job ‘could be in ‘cyber’ but she just doesn’t know it yet’.

There was an almost immediate backlash in the media and the creative world, as the advert was widely…


Students sat at their desks looking at a teacher standing in front of a blackbord
Students sat at their desks looking at a teacher standing in front of a blackbord

My oldest daughter was in Year Six when the pandemic hit in 2020. Consequently, all her Year Six SATS exams were cancelled, and I ended up schooling her at home during the lockdown. Her school was very proactive in setting up a learning environment online for both my children, but the first time around they were quite blind sided and had not yet set up Zoom lessons, so all work was set and submitted through this learning portal. …


I’ve been under the care of a lot of doctors in my time — primary care, emergency care, dermatology, neurology, rheumatology, psychiatry and more. And there is always one thread, one theme that runs through all the appointments and care episodes.
The attitude to education about the benefits of losing weight.

See, I get it. I’m a big girl. I am in dire need of losing weight.
But I’m not blind to it. I buy my own clothes and I have seen the numbers on the labels get bigger, or the amount of X’s before the L’s multiply like rabbits on…

Annalisa Jackson. (TBB Freelancing)

I'm an ex nurse trying to start over in my 40's as a freelance writer and photographer. I also write children's books and occasionally I'm guilty of poetry

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