NakedGJ - Transformation & Empowerment
"It is better to know us and not need us, than need us and not know us"
Anna's Story: A personal experience of Bipolar mood changes »
Nicola's story: Depression - ‘Putting on a brave face’ »
Karen's story (mum): Depression – a personal account »
Alan's story (dad): Caring for all – “Who supports the carer?” »
Dealing with Bipolar and depression - A family Story
Anna's Story: A personal experience of Bipolar mood changes
“I first went to see a GP about mood swings when I was 15…After that, I found that the depression worsened…and at 17, [I]developed an eating disorder and was given the label of ‘Anorexia’…
I slid into a chronic depression for two years afterwards, and then, diagnosed with ‘Clinical Depression’ was prescribed anti-depressants… Over the 8 years that followed, I was referred to various psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, psychotherapists as well as counsellors... I found the lack of unity across the many ‘professionals’ to be incredibly frustrating and so it became more of a ‘quest’ for me to resolve it myself.
I felt caught up in an agonizing battle. Constant negative thoughts resounded through my head... And then there were days when I felt so elated with lots of positive ideas going through my head…There were times when I was crying and laughing simultaneously and then confusion would set in.
At 25, I went privately to a consultant psychiatrist, who made a diagnosis of ‘Bipolar II Affective Disorder’... He suggested a treatment of low dosage mood stabilizers…I could resume a more functional life without burnout and breakdowns. However, I felt very detached and I sensed that the medication was masking issues that were lurking inside… And then, a series of stressful life events; including a turbulent marriage and subsequent divorce, as well as workplace discrimination, left me once again experiencing mood swings and crippling panic attacks.
22 years on from my first experiences of mood swings, I met Lily and Russell at The Naked Gene Juggler. I was curious about their work as they had a more integrative approach in dealing with various issues and illnesses. They were very focused on the individual and were not interested in the labels. I found that they had a much deeper understanding of the subtleties and variations that different people experienced. And most importantly, they were interested in resolving the root cause of an issue or illness.
…As soon as Lily and Russell started applying their techniques, I knew that this was a turning point and the start of a new and totally different path to understanding. They used a combination of methods taken from old as well as modern science-based techniques. In so doing, they were able to tap into my subconscious mind, and help me identify the root causes of the depressed and elevated moods, the eating disorder as well as the anxiety and panic attacks…I realised that I had suppressed memories and emotions from specific life experiences that had overwhelmed me at the time they had happened. Once Lily and Russell helped me clear out these negative memories, they applied techniques that assisted in replacing them with positive emotions and visions for the future. They also used methods that seem to have “rewired” my whole mind and body systems.
It was Christmas day 2008 that marked the first day I stopped taking medications. I am proud to say that is still the case. Not only that, but, my life has changed dramatically. I find that I am re-discovering myself. Now, I know what it means to really feel and express emotions - even more importantly, what it means to be me, without mood swings. I have the confidence to do the things I only dreamed of doing before. I have since launched my own business, doing something that I truly feel passionate about. I feel re-connected to ‘me’ as well as the people around me. Now, I can give voice to what I think and experience how I feel, without doubt. I feel the love that I have for my partner. The best part is - he can now see it. Also, others around me are noticing changes in me. I hear them say, “you’ve become a different person”, “I can see the real ‘you’ now” or “you seem so much happier and assertive…what happened?” or “Can I have some of what you’re on?” It makes me smile, because, I am no longer “on” anything and I have “peeled off” those labels.
I am free from ‘bipolar’ and the legacy it carries. I no longer expect the mood swings, look for discrimination, notice the stigma or feel the shame. I have stopped looking over my shoulder; waiting to be persecuted. I am free from the sense of injustice, where others have judged. I am free from the confines of the ‘bipolar label’. I have no need to confess to ‘bipolar’ - because it is not a part of me. Nor do I feel the torment. Finally, I have found peace of mind. Now, I can embrace myself for ‘who’ I am and release myself from ‘what’ I’ve gone through. I am free from the bipolar ‘identity’. I am ‘Anna’. I am ‘me’.
I realise that I have been searching for external solutions for well over half of my life. Lily and Russell have shown me how the answers lie within myself. I now understand what true freedom is… Thank you both so much.”
Read Anna’s full story
Nicola (Anna's sister): Depression - ‘Putting on a brave face’
“I was 15 when mum started suffering from depression. At the time, I wasn’t really aware of what depression was. I first noticed changes in her state of mind when she became very intense about my schoolwork and overly concerned about my performance…
I got frustrated and upset, believing that there was something wrong with me. In fact, it was my concentration that was the issue. My brain would just switch off. I felt the family was falling apart with mum’s illness. I found myself going on a mission to help people and sort things out. Mum seemed spaced out and ‘not there’ anymore. I’m not sure how I really felt about what was going on. I just got on with things and didn’t allow myself to have feelings...My hair was falling out with the stress.
…It started hitting me a few years later…I started suffering from depression myself. It was a painfully long and lonely experience. I wondered when it would end and whether I would be able to cope with life again …Looking back, I see my experience as a learning curve. I think I’ve become a stronger and broader person because of it. I don’t wish it had never happened. I have a much deeper understanding of feelings and an awareness of other people’s situations…
I went to see Lily and Russell at The Naked Gene Juggler to help me release my feelings. I found that just after a few sessions, I started to feel brighter and clearer in my head. They enabled me to identify the core issues that were really causing me the torment and pain, which has released my depression.
Now, I can function, so that I can ‘get on’ and live my life. Getting up in the morning has become easier and I look forward to each day. I am free from what has been holding me back and can move forward with my life. I am so happy. It has brought the real ‘me’ back. I am becoming more of the person I am meant to be. I consider myself more - what I need. Not only that, but I realise I am capable of so much more. I will not settle for anything less than is best for me.
I am so lucky to have experienced what Lily and Russell do. The techniques they use put everything into perspective. As a result, they’ve enabled me to believe in myself again and to do the things I’ve always wanted to do.
Since then, I’ve really been able to move forward. I have moved away from my old life. Now, I’m embarking on a new life with my boyfriend and pursuing an exciting career that really suits me. I feel I can cope with whatever comes my way. I realise, I’ve come through the other side and can see a better future for myself.
I feel so enlightened - so much happier and ... FREE!
I’m so grateful to you both. Thank you.
Read Nicola’s full story
Karen (Anna & Nicola's mother): Depression – a personal account
“…after the birth of my first child [Anna], I experienced post natal depression as I had become very unsure of myself. 8 years later, I had my third child [Nicola] and it was then that I experienced an acute depression. I felt I couldn’t cope with life and was desperate and lonely - crying most of the time…I started thinking of the different ways of killing myself… I believed that my family would be better off without me, as I was becoming such a burden to them.
I was registered as an inpatient at a psychiatric clinic. I’ve forgotten a lot of what happened from then onwards…I was put on lithium and then had several courses of ECT… I worry that I have some form of memory loss…My condition has been described as ‘stabilised’ by medical professionals and years later is still being managed with 4 different types of tablets. I have been told by my psychiatrist that it is likely I will be taking medication for the rest of my life…
My elder daughter has suffered for a long time with mood swings and very few doctors seemed to understand what it was about. Over many years, she had visited various medical professionals and tried many different medications and therapies. She was later diagnosed with ‘Bipolar II Disorder’ and prescribed mood stabilizers.
After sessions with Lily & Russell at The Naked Gene Juggler, it is amazing to see the changes in her. She is much happier and more philosophical about life. I notice a healthy glow has returned to her skin. Her eyes are brighter and she is laughing again. My mother comments frequently about it too. She says, ‘When I speak to Anna, she is always laughing.’ She is much more alert and aware of everyone around her. Now, she is free from the torment of mood swings and no longer needs medication.
I see her confidently engaging in conversation and able to talk about what has happened to her. Before she was so withdrawn. Now, she is much more outspoken and wants to be with people. In fact, she outwardly seeks social contact. It seems easier for her to make decisions. As a result, she has been bold enough to take the plunge with a freelance business.
I feel that this is the best she has been in over 20 years. Now, does not look back….she looks forward to her future.”
After seeing these changes in her sister, my younger daughter decided to go along to see Lily and Russell to help with her depression. It is clear that she has also benefited. Before, she seemed stuck; finding it difficult to move forward with her life. Now, she is able to make decisions and strike out on her own. She has not been afraid to move away from her roots and make new friends. In fact, she is living with her boyfriend, and meeting new people. Not only that, but she is able to be more selective with whom she makes friends. People do not seem to ‘push her buttons’ so much as she does not go through the ‘emotional turmoil’ that she went through before. She is much more strong-minded and sticks to her own opinion. It seems that Lily and Russell have got deep into her subconscious and helped her to clear her mind; allowing positive thoughts to come through. As a consequence, she is much happier within herself. It is great to see her getting on with her life.
Read Karen’s Full Story
Alan (Anna & Nicola's Father): Caring for all – “Who supports the carer?
“Depression is a word that you cannot truly understand until you, or someone close to you, suffers from it. When it strikes the person who is the closest to you, it is devastating. I first noticed that my wife, Karen was suffering from depression when she started to experience very low self-esteem. She found it difficult to resolve what she saw as ‘problems’ around her and focused a great deal on her lack of achievement in life.
...I wanted to remain ‘strong’ throughout the years that Karen was suffering... my feelings did not really hit me until after Karen had recovered. The subconscious mind soon comes into play when things are back to some degree of normality... It was then that I began to experience severe anxiety. I went to see my GP who prescribed a low dose of medication and referred me to a counsellor... It helped me move on... Even now, I’m not sure that it has all been totally addressed. Counselling does deal with the surface, but does not reach the depths of the subconscious mind. I’m aware that I’ve still got issues there that haven’t been cleared out.
Both my daughters have visited ‘The Naked Gene Juggler’ to resolve their own personal issues surrounding depression and bipolar.
My elder daughter spent some time with Lily and Russell to help with her ‘bipolar’ mood swings. Since then, there have been some noticeable changes in her. Firstly, I noticed that she was more relaxed in herself; much calmer and more collected. Now, there is no sign of any mood swings at all. Previously, she would ‘climb up the escalator’. These days, ‘things’ don’t seem to bother her as much.
She has moved beyond the core aspects of the ‘mood changes’ that she has experienced. What’s more, she is no longer disturbed by people’s judgements of ‘bipolar’. She has much more self-belief and has total conviction in what she is doing with her life.
Some side-issues have inevitably popped up, as a result of releasing deep-rooted experiences. However, I have every confidence that they will continue to be processed and resolved. Now, she seems to be in control of her life. Certainly, she is coming out of herself and talks about these experiences more.
She is much happier. I hear her burst out into hearty fits of laughter, which I have not heard for a long time. She is much more positive and enthusiastic about her future.
My younger daughter was very poorly with depression; finding it difficult to concentrate or work. It seems that she had reacted to a multitude of events that happened to her in her life. In addition, she went through a long period of trying different medications to help her. While she did become more stable, she still had a journey to ‘get there’. This is when she went for sessions with Lily and Russell.
After 3-4 main sessions, she was no longer depressed and her confidence began to grow. Today, she is a positive, happy person with her life in front of her. She has since moved out of the family home and in with her boyfriend. Her outlook on life has changed significantly. Now, she is much more assertive and is able to tackle the challenges of moving home and changing jobs. Although she has a little way to go, she is well on her way. No doubt she has turned a corner and has a more encouraging future ahead of her.
Read Alan's full story
Tom's story: Male rape
“I was abused when I was thirteen. It happened when I was playing on some fields near my home by a teenager about five years older than me. He told me afterwards why he did it. Of course I knew what sex was and I knew what gay men did together, but I remember thinking that I wasn’t gay and he didn’t ‘look Gay’ to me. I remember cycling home and I remember how I felt. I went home and had a shower. I told no one, what could I say? How would I explain it to anyone?
After time you forget things. When you are young you put things to the back of your mind and you just get on…I got on with life. When I look back now, I realise that I was a complete emotional mess. So much had happened and I was so angry with everyone and anything. I hated my parents, I hated myself and I felt disgusted by my body and sex caused many emotional conflicts, especially guilt. I felt that I had to punish people and I had a deep need to hurt people emotionally. In my twenties on more than one occasion my moods swings and depressions took me to the edge of suicide. I don’t know what stopped me, but somehow, each time I was at the edge of madness, I somehow managed to take a step back – act normal and carry on.
…Then one day my life changed. Literally one minute I was fine and the next my world fell apart. All my fears, anger, self loathing, hatred and emotions just spilled out. I had been carrying around this stuff for twenty five years, not telling a soul and then everything just fell out of me. I was in pieces for months. I got some help, but talk therapy only went so far and I was determined that I was not going to take any tablets for ‘depression’. I found Naked GJ by chance. I was looking for answers to help me put my life back together, mainly after my breakdown to help me with my self confidence at work…
[Now] I understand myself more. Things are clearer and my sense of perspective has changed. I have been able to put the pieces together, to work out why I used to behave the way I did. I am calmer and more positive and able to deal with my emotions without feeling like I am about to fall apart. My relationship is much stronger. My insecurities and fears that used to get in the way are not there anymore and I have learned to trust myself and others more, something that was never there when I was growing up.”
Read Tom’s full story
Claudette's Story: Cancer
“I went to Lily and Russell for help with making a decision about surgery for cancer. My emotional and physical state was fragile and I could not see myself surviving or thriving after the operation.
A few days after doing some intense and profound work with them, I had my operation. It went smoothly and my emotional state had been transformed.
I was very touched and impressed by the support, warmth and skill that Lily and Russell gave. The “Genie Pad” felt like a haven and a point on my journey where hope began. As soon as I entered it, I was affected by the bold colours and sense of creativity, and I began to ask myself, “dare I hope that things can be different?” I could hear the traffic outside, and the outside world had felt so harsh, my treatment so debilitating – that to walk into a golden room with weird, colourful artwork was not so much a shock to my system, but a reminder to my system that there was a life away from rigidity, fear and illness, and one of happiness, flow and creativity. I had a sense that we were part of a team in working towards my recovery.
During my cancer treatment I had been terrified of the facts and the clinical jargon. However, in the “Genie Pad”, for the very first time, I was able to listen and learn how the particular cancer I had behaved, and how my immune system worked. It was empowering and informative, as well as being an invaluable aid to visual imagery.
I am grateful to have found Lily and Russell at just the time I needed them (in fact I wished I’d met them earlier during chemo!).”
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