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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Three Book Reviews in one Blog

You may have read my blog back in May 2015 when I wrote a review for author and musician Richard Storry about his cracking new book Cryptic Lines

This blog is a review of his next three books ... yes THREE! He's been a very busy man!

I read them one after the other and I'm pleased to say they are all brilliant.  His stories are entertaining twisting tales that grab you from start to finish and Richard never fails to really give the reader a real feel for the characters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Prior to writing "The Cryptic Lines" Richard Storry was very busy in theatre: He composed the incidental music to Chekhov's Three Sisters, seen in London's West End, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Eric Sykes, and subsequently broadcast on BBC4 television. His music for Rumplestiltskin received over 300 performances in its first year alone. His musical adaptation of "The Brothers Lionheart" premiered at London's Pleasance Theatre, followed by a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival where it was voted 'Best Childrens' Play'. "The Cryptic Lines", Richard's first novel, has now been adapted for the stage.

I read Order of Merit first


In Order of Merit we encounter a famous classical guitarist who is loved by audiences all over the world, not only for his masterful technical skill and compelling, instinctive musicality, but also for his charismatic stage personality. However, his consummate showmanship is all just a cover for his other, more sinister occupation - away from the concert platform he is also a professional hitman, cold, ruthless and efficient. Cunning and calculating, his missions are always accomplished fully, expertly and without a hitch.

But, when his next target turns out to be related to one of his best friends, things can only get ugly.

 Order of Merit - Who would've thought the music profession could be so deadly?


Then I read The Black Talisman



1673: Deep in a deserted forest, a coven of witches is taken by surprise as they attempt to summon the Dark Lord, Anubin, from the spirit world. 

1984: At his Easter camp, young Gilbert Hawkins has an amazing divine encounter. However, as the subsequent years pass, he and his girlfriend find themselves increasingly the subject of demonic visitations. 

What is the connection between these seemingly isolated events, over 300 years apart? As the angelic forces of Good and Evil clash, the disturbing nature of the mystery gradually emerges. 

Can the dark servants of Anubin be prevented from obtaining for him the power he so desperately seeks? The power that comes from The Black Talisman.

And finally The Virtual Lives of Godfrey Plunkett


To escape his monotonous life of humdrum tedium, Godfrey Plunkett frequently escapes into the world of his fertile imagination. There, away from all criticism and the disparaging looks from his fellow human beings, he can be free to live his dreams. He can be a hero, a celebrity, a movie star – anything he wants.

And, somehow, these inner thoughts help him to maintain his optimism that something fantastic is just around the corner, and is about to happen for him, for real - at any moment. But, out there in the harsh, real world, will anything fulfilling or exciting ever happen for this poor, misunderstood individual? Or is he destined only to experience the excitement of life in the privacy of his own thoughts?

And, more importantly, what happens when the boundary between his make-believe world and reality starts to blur? Come and find out. Come and experience The Virtual Lives of Godfrey Plunkett.

Richard Storry's books are ALL page turners.  For me, he is a true story-teller.  So it will come as no surprise to learn that I have enjoyed reading every one of them very much and I am really looking forward to his next one.

Recommended by Ellen Dean

Friday, 15 July 2016

Personality Perfect App Review



I don't normally review Apps, but this one is different and this is why.

In my work I need to have a good understanding of what makes people tick, in other words, personality traits and types. This is because I create characters for my stories and, as an NLP Practitioner (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), I help clients to understand themselves and work on their strengths.

The ability to understand oneself can be very elusive, not to say totally confusing. However, the FREE Personality Perfect App really does give us an insight into our own personality and how we interact with others. I can say this with confidence because I took the Personality Test and was amazed at the result. I am a Giver. Then I received an email with the information for me to print and keep and refer back too if I wanted to. This was a very nice bonus that I had not expected.

You can share this Personality Perfect App with your Facebook friends and have a lot of fun or you can share with your colleagues and see how well matched you are. Something else, which is very important, is you can find out how you will get along with a new partner either in business or your personal life.

I would suggest that you go to the About page first and fully read and digest it as I went straight to the 'Take The Test' page and needed to back track. This was because I could not fathom out what the initials meant. For example: ISTJ and INFJ. Remember, it is important for you to be honest when you answer the questions, even though you may think they are tricky and you might want to tell a little fib don't do that or you will be given false information. By that I mean the feedback that you receive will not be about the real you, it will be for an imposter. So please remember to be honest :-)

A lot of people beat themselves up for the way they react to certain scenarios, like being uncomfortable in social situations, not knowing what to say to strangers or they aren't able to strike up a conversation and end up wishing they were miles away or the ground would swallow them up. They think others will see them as being weird, stuck up or stand offish. But this is not always the case. This App can really shine a light on their personality type. It will show them that it is perfectly normal for them to feel and react in the way that they do. As a result this means they can give themselves permission to avoid unpleasant situations without any self recrimination because it's who they are and how they tick. I know that this will come as a relief to a lot of people who suffer social anxiety and dread social occasions :-) 

You can download this FREE App on your iPhone or Android as well as your computer and iPad. So, you could be sitting with friends in a cafe comparing your personality types.

This App is based on the sixteen personality types that were developed by the American mother and daughter team Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, which they based on the work of Carl Jung the Swiss Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Who's better work to follow.

Download the App, find out who you are and be happy.

App Store iTunes 
Play store Google Play

Ellen Dean Recommends



Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Anxiety - Panic Attacks - Never Mind The What If? Enjoy The What Is!


Copyright © Ellen Dean


Have you ever wondered what may have caused your anxiety/panic attacks? I did. I couldn't understand the reasoning behind them. I am one of those people who has to have answers and then I can try to heal myself. I asked my GP for CBT because I felt as though I was doomed. But, I didn't actually receive CBT like I thought I did, and that's why it didn't work. What I actually received, I've just recently found out, was therapy from a psychological wellbeing practitioner. No disrespect to the practitioners, but the one I had call me on the telephone had no idea how to deal with a person with a vestibular disorder, the anxiety/panic attacks. She actually told me to 'put your coat on and go for a walk.' Believe me, when the room is spinning and you feel like you are going to faint, that's the last thing you want to do.

I now know that I have been suffering from Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV) without the headache. Yes, I know it sounds bizarre because when you think migraine you automatically think headache. However, I did suffer from migraines when I was younger, and the headache was horrendous, but a few years ago I thought they had gone. They hadn't. 
That is when I succumbed to vestibular migraine which, in fact, is quite a normal occurrence, if only I'd known at the time. 


Below are the symptoms taken from the Vestibular Disorders website. They are exactly the same symptoms I suffered that brought on my anxiety and panic attacks.

'The clinical presentation of vestibular symptoms that often correlate with migraine includes - but is not limited to - dizziness; motion intolerance with respect to head, eyes, and/or body; spontaneous vertigo attacks (often accompanied by nausea and vomiting); diminished eye focus with photosensitivity; sound sensitivity and tinnitus; balance loss and ataxia; cervicalgia (neck pain) with associated muscle spasms in the upper cervical spine musculature; confusion with altered cognition; spatial disorientation; and anxiety/panic.'



I researched into what could have caused the vestibular migraine in the first place. I found some interesting information regarding the symptoms caused by having a shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and was surprised to find there is a connection.
In this book I talk about my experience and how I have been able to help heal myself of debilitating panic attacks.  




This book priced as low as I can make it as I know some people who suffer these disorders are not able to work. It is available to download from all Amazon sites and Smashwords.

I do hope some of the information in this book will help you.

Ellen Dean
Patron of Anxious Minds UK

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Geo Says No - Not a Dream by I. Rosenfeld - Review




Synopsis:

Who are you, really? On the night of the earthquake, George was dreaming of a red guitar when the noise of someone creeping around in his bedroom woke him up. Following a natural disaster, sixteen-year-old Geo is left with nothing except a dream catcher which opens his parents strange world of dreamboarders. To clear his father's name from the blame of treason, he cheats the Marshals of Tide and Time and fights the deadliest of enemies. But will he and his friends survive without the training he needs to become worthy of his gifts? A modern fantasy thriller, Geo Says No: Not a Dream is both part of the forthcoming Geo Says No series and a standalone novel in its own right. Dealing with more series issues such as responsibility and power in a deteriorating world, as well as a quest for a missing father, it provides powerful food for thought alongside an exciting adventure story.

Described as a page-turner by a panel of child and teenage reviewers, Geo says No: Not a Dream will appeal to 10-15-year-olds with an interest in magical worlds, special powers and unexplored lands.

About the Author:

I. Rosenfeld has lived in Corfu, Cambridge, Brighton and London. She studied English at the University of Sussex, then Teaching at The University of London. She also blogs at Creativity and Us She lives in Lambeth, South London, with her partner and occasionally two visiting children who fill the washing machine and empty the snacks cupboard.

My Review:

Let me start by saying I don't read fantasy books: I haven't even read any of the Harry Potter books! But, hey ho, a change is as good as a rest :-) and I have to admit I did enjoy it. The fact that it was written for 10-15-year-olds didn't matter, anyone over 15 can read it and enjoy it. I loved how the story unfolded the relationship between Geo and his parents, and the ends Geo would go to to save his father's reputation. This book is very well written, the creative ideas are original and the story flowed like magic.  

Ellen Dean Recommends









Thursday, 12 May 2016

The Rose Within by Sana Pirzada - Press Release and Review



Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ now exists as history’s most profitable live entertainment franchise; the story of a troubled and enigmatic man whose quest for love is pitted against his own inner demons. For hundreds of millions of people it has been a two-hour show that has enthralled them. For author Sana Pirzada, it was life-changing.
Pirzada has long wanted to reach into Lloyd Webber’s script and reverse the plight of the Phantom, leading her to write a compelling and cinematic new gothic romance novel that loosely does exactly that.
‘The Rose Within’ takes its cues from the dark narrative of ‘The Woman in White’, the poetic prowess of Coleridge and the philosophy of Edmund Burke. The end product is one worthy of its own Broadway show.

Synopsis:
A story of passion, intrigue and mystery. Set in England in the 1920s, Jonathan Malcolm is drawn into the world of Winter Grange House encountering the love of his life Selina Selwyn. But unbeknownst to him Selina is caught in a web of enigmas that only gradually unfold. Some say Winter Grange is an estate cursed with ghosts and super-natural happenings. Will Jonathan ultimately attain his love or will it end in despair and tragedy?
“The book uses an epistolary narrative structure similar to that found in ‘Dracula’, for a story that is equally as powerful and shocking,” explains the author. “I wanted to write something totally unique, while continuing to capitalize on the many hallmarks of gothic fiction created by some of history’s most gifted and surprising writers. It’s a cocktail of different styles and there’s nothing else like it currently on the market.”
Continuing, “I’ve had a lifetime obsession with the Phantom and his story, and this narrative is directly tied into it. As a seasoned musician, I’ve also recorded two songs to accompany the prose that have already been sent to L.A. for vocals and mastering. My goal, within a few years, is to develop the story as a fully-fledged musical.”
Pirzada has bold plans for her work, and those with a thirst for the gothic are urged to get their hands on a copy of the book as soon as it’s released.

About the Author:
Sana Pirzada studied Law at King’s College, London and the LSE and was Called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn. She presently works as a Legal Consultant. Alongside her occupation, Sana is actively involved in other pursuits such as composing music and writing.
My Review
I absolutely loved this book. The story is told by the character Jonathan Malcolm using a diary format. It has so many twists and turns that many times when I thought I had the plot worked out, the writer threw me an intrigueing curve ball. The description of the characters and Winter Grange House, along with the rest of the book, are so well written I can still visualise them in my mind. It will make a great musical, and I will be the first to buy tickets.
I know I'm reviewing a book here, but you really must listen to this music by Sana on Youtube. It's fantastic :-)
Ellen Dean Recommends

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Dark City by Bill Carson - Press Release and Review




Dark City: 4th Instalment of Nick Harland Detective Series Hailed “Unputdownable”. Like Raw Suspense? Read On!
Bill Carson’s ‘Dark City’ throws readers into a dark and distributing new murder case that has landed on the desk of private investigator, Nick Harland. A young girl is dead, an elderly double-murderer has just been released from prison and the potential links between the two appear too close to be mere coincidences. But are they? That would be telling...!
Synopsis:
A must read for all those who like to sit uncomfortably on the edge of their seats.

Dark City is the fourth book in the Nick Harland detective series. In this one we follow him on his most perplexing and disturbing case to date, as he tracks down a serial killer from the past.
The book begins with an elderly man being released from prison, after serving seventeen years for a double murder. A few days after his release a young woman is snatched from outside a London pub.

The police seem to be dragging their heels, so the family of the missing girl call on the services of the tough, uncompromising ex murder squad detective, turned Private Investigator, Nick Harland. During his initial investigation another girl suddenly goes missing, he then gets a tip off that Charles Thorpe had just been released from prison. Nick knows the killer, as he was the detective who put him behind bars when he was a detective in the murder squad. And so the hunt is now on for Thorpe, and Nick will not rest until Thorpe is found, and he promises that Thorpe will pay the ultimate price for his crimes this time around.

Much more can’t be revealed, as it would give too much of the exciting plot away.
This is a fast paced dark and gritty story, packed with hard hitting action, highs and lows, intrigue and tension. This story has characters that are good, and sometimes very, very bad. Dark City is crime noir in the truest sense.
  
“Nobody will deny that serial killer thrillers have captivated the market for generations,” explains Carson. “My goal has always been to give readers all of the disturbing hallmarks they crave, while also pummelling them with highly-original characters and plot twists they have never come across before. I almost throw them into a movie and force them to be a character.”
Continuing, “There’s layer upon layer of twists in this new volume so, while you’re paying for the whole book, be prepared to only be needing the edge of your seat!”

About the Author:
Author Bill Carson gained not only his experience in observing crime and sociopathic behaviour as a nightclub bouncer, fascinated with the events he saw he began making a record of the more unusual and violent incidents that occurred. He compiled this in his first book SHOW NO FEAR and enjoying that outlet he enrolled in an Open University fiction writing course which after a year of hard study he passed.

He continues to pen crime novels now and has an entertaining series he terms the Nick Harland British Detective Series, of which NECESSARY EVILS was Book 1, NEMESIS was Book 2, NEVER SAY DIE was Book 3 and DARK CITY is Book 4.
 
Since releasing the first volume of his Nick Harland detective series, British author Bill Carson has built a rapid and fierce reputation for crafting fiction that not only mimics some of the best gritty, raw suspense stories of yesteryear, but mixes them into a cocktail with wholly-unique new twists.
Volume four, ‘Dark City’, is no different. There’s another cold case on the table – and things are about to get weird.
My Review:
Loved the story. Loved Nick Harland and his ways of getting the job done. At one point I was going to read the end of the story because I couldn't wait to find out who the killer was, but I resisted temptation. For anyone who loves psychological thrillers, this is the book for you. The only gripe I have is I would have liked to have names of the group of thirteen. Could be there's a another book coming? I hadn't read the previous three in the series, but it didn't matter Dark City is a stand alone.

Ellen Dean Recommends

Monday, 22 February 2016

Anxiety - Magnesium Deficiency

In this video, and after much research, I talk about how I found that magnesium deficiency can affect our health, and how it can make us feel anxious or have panic attacks. 









Ellen Dean

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Anxiety and Panic Attacks





My experience of having Anxiety 

and Panic Attacks



There are many reasons you may suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks. It's not all black and white. I made this video in the hope it will help others who suffer this debilitating problem.



I have added the links below to some of the disorders I talk about in the video.

Sternocleidomastoid Symptoms
Sternocleidomastoid Trigger Points
Amygdala
Labyrinthitis 



Ellen Dean


Monday, 7 December 2015

Ellen Dean's Role Model Nomination - The Ultimate Planet Awards - Recognising The Passion Behind The Scene


I am delighted to be shortlisted for the
ROLE MODEL AWARD 2015
in the Positive Women Theme 

To cast your vote for me please follow this link Ultimate Planet Awards





Ultimate Planet created the Ultimate Planet Awards to recognise, thank and promote the hard work from dedicated grass roots event organisers and community businesses who are committed to improving the lesbian, bi and queer scene. They are delighted to be able to show the love to all the women who work tirelessly to create a fun, safe, special scene and community for lesbian, bi and queer women in London, Brighton and beyond.





for voting for me ❤️ x

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Creative Shyness and How to Overcome It by Guest Blogger author and writing tutor Irene Rosenfeld


I hope you enjoy reading Irene's interesting and informative piece.
It's a fascinating topic that I'm sure many of us identify with.


Irene Rosenfeld

Creative Shyness and How to Overcome it.  

Creative Shyness: What is it? 
Shyness with a small s: you love being creative but put it off; you don’t make time for yourself; you’re always too busy; dissatisfied, you draft and redraft endlessly; or don’t finish work; when you do, you avoid showing it to others; feedback is painful and once you’ve received it you hate implementing it; if you submit work and it’s rejected, you give up: a story of avoidance, procrastination, perfectionism, and resignation.

Shyness with a capital S: you won’t admit that you are creative. You might be a high-powered academic, a business woman/man, or an enabler (teacher, literary agent, fiction editor, supportive spouse of someone creative).  Your creativity may be more powerful than that of those you support. But you pretend to everyone, yourself included, that you are uncreative.

Mine is the small ‘s’ shyness. I’ve known that I’m creative, from age five. But I’ve spent years hiding it. I still do! Thankfully, just by writing my blog ‘Creativity and Us’ (https://creativityandus.wordpress.com) I started to ‘come out’ creatively, becoming less interested in hiding and more willing to share my expertise and fiction. 

Why do we do this to ourselves? Psychotherapeutic writings (‘Transformative Learning ’ by Celia Hunt 2013, ‘The Mind’ Tershakovec 2007 and further back, ‘Art and Artist’ by Otto Rank, 1932) will explain that we need to challenge our guiding beliefs and step out of the box.  Difficulties stem from parental expectations that go back to childhood; perfectionism; and what therapists call ‘loss of contact with the core self’.  But if we love being creative though never finish or share our work, we need to challenge our self-defeating conditioning.

The French have a compliment for someone is inherently attractive: ‘Elle est bien dans sa peau’.  My French is dodgy, but I’ve always loved that: ‘peau’= ‘skin’ so this literally means ‘she’s well in her skin, comfortable with who she is, confident, at ease with herself; no angst, discomfort or dissatisfaction; a person in contact with the core self: body, mind, spirit all in one place. How good is that!

I think that creative shyness is the psychic equivalent of being the opposite:  insecure, uncomfortable with who we are and what we have to give to the world. So we shy away from our creativity. If we are writers, we get blocked. If we are not, we can’t see a starting point. We over- edit. When we finish something and finally send it off, a rejection feels like a bereavement.

How do you fight back? For starters, you can commit to doing a minimum of ten minutes automatic writing.

Starting with just ten minutes per week, the advice is to set this slot aside as ‘me’ time. You use it to respond to a specific question in writing. Find a spot or go to a cafĂ©. Listen to music if it helps you focus. For ten minutes, tell yourself that you are not writing for anyone else and give yourself permission to say anything you want to. 

If you feel like writing ‘this is just a load of old rubbish and I wish I could eat a hamburger instead’ then put that down. But keep writing, examining why you wrote something and what you meant by it.  Slowly, you get into the deeper self, that magic area where you re-acquaint yourself with yourself.  This is both challenging and artistically therapeutic.

The purpose of such writing is to create space for the psyche to integrate with the mind and body.  Poor psyche! Our world is so fast, so full of sound and fury! When does the psyche have a chance to peep out of its little shell and really be You? When can this integration between body, mind and psyche happen, so you, too, can feel creatively ‘bien dans sa peau’?

It takes willingness, devotion, a regular practice and faith that you can find that authentic voice, deep within, and be happy with your work. 

My blog gives you a chance to overcome Creative Shyness in small steps. If you would like to try it, visit at least once a week. Read the static pages. Start with post 1 and work through it.  Use it like a once-a-week workbook.  If possible, establish a support group.  It’s more fun that way.

If you prefer to buy a book with a therapeutic approach to writing aiming to help you overcome creative blockages, I reccommend ‘Writing the Mind Alive’ by Linda Metcalf (an English prof. who discovered a great automatic writing technique).

For some, writing in order to integrate mind body and psyche might be frustrating and difficult. For others it can make them feel like impostors – that’s ok, just fake it and keep going anyway. Sometimes it may be downright scary; it can, and does tend to upset one’s psychic applecart. You may cry or laugh. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re fighting both Medusa and the Minotaur with a wooden spoon.  But be brave and persist. Good things will happen.

And remember: how many agony aunts does it take to change a light bulb? Only one; but the lightbulb must want to change.

I. Rosenfeld is an author and writing tutor living in London. Her Creativity and Us blog can be found at https://creativityandus.wordpress.com.  Her new adventure novel for children is Geo Says No and more information can be found at www.geosaysno.com


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Bertie does Strictly with the Orange Bucket



Our Labrador Bertie has been watching too much Strictly Come Dancing. Now he's invented his own dance with a very original partner.




Friday, 26 June 2015

Glastonbury Festival June 2015

It's that time of year again and Glastonbury Festival 2015 is already under way.


For nearly twenty five years Glastonbury Festival has supported Green Peace, Oxfam and WaterAid.



The line-up this year includes Florence + The Machine, The Who and Lionel Richie. And, for the first time actor and director Faye Morrison is managing the Banjo Stage right at the heart of the Green Futures Field.

Faye Morrison left with Aniela Zaba
He's behind you...

Wind Power performing Banjo Stage

Antipoet taking the Banjo Stage by storm

Looks like it's going to be a fabulous festival. I for one am looking forward to watching it on BBC tv.

Ellen Dean Recommends


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Book Review - Eating From The Cherry Tree - Vivien Ella Walden



PRESS RELEASE

Synopsis:

EATING FROM THE CHERRY TREE is a dynamic, unique and totally revealing memoir of one of the most notorious and successful 'madams' the UK has seen in recent years. The book is inspired by Vivien Ella Walden's unique life experiences. Within a short time she becomes famous for her skills and able to afford whatever she desires within a world of scandal and naughtiness, corruption and suffering, sadness and exhilarating happiness. Images of a complex girl emerge from this incredibly frank account. 

An account of a girl raised in a loving working class Jewish family who ran from her heritage, bared her perfectly formed derriere and partied with the elite and famous.  She takes on many guises and titles, while mixing with gangsters, politicians, film stars, musicians and artists. They all knew of her industry, it was not unlike theirs. Being a stripper, call girl, hooker, or madam, you have to know how to dance to the music, be a good actress, stand up to the toughest, deal with the law and paint your own picture for all to see. 
The names of the rich and famous sprinkle this book, while telling a story of prostitution that has never been told in such explicit detail before. It will reach inside the heart of all those who admire absolute honesty on a subject many consider taboo.

'Eating From The Cherry Tree' is available from Amazon

About the Author:
Vivien Ella Walden’s main intention when writing her memoir was to help the cause towards legalising prostitution in the UK within the confines of established correctly run brothels.
Retiring from ‘show business’ in the sex industry to a quiet solitude. Vivien narrates her book in a dry-witted somewhat eloquent style. Observing the world that has been around her, mildly dismissive of her past, but not disdainful of it.  She recounts in colourful style the heady days of celebrity and the sordid behind the scenes cruelties, including bouts of unexpected violence as she muses on the nature of selling your body and the many pitfalls which entrap the worshipper as much as the worshipped.
Vivien will take the reader on a roller-coaster journey from her childhood as the only child of a mother whose burning ambition was for her to become a star to reflections at 65 on the choices made in an unconventional incredible life that she has literally laid bare in her compelling new memoir.

BOOK REVIEW

I have to admire Vivien Ella Walden for writing this amazingly honest book about her life as a 'Madam'. I very much enjoyed the read and would advise anyone who has any misconceptions about prostitution, being a working girl, call girl, whatever you would like to call it, to read this book. Of course there is sex between the pages, but there is also humour and sadness.  However, this is not just a story about sex, although there are many ups and downs, it is a memoir that delivers what it promises and is a unique and dynamic read.

Eating From The Cherry Tree

Ellen Dean Recommends


Thursday, 11 June 2015

MdDS, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome/Visual Stress and Me

In the past few months I have been diagnosed with MdDS and Visual Stress. Now, where do I start?

Okay, here we go...when I was seven years old I fell off my bicycle and split my head open on a cement slab. I remember being rushed to the doctors and it was fixed. What wasn't known then is that the bump on my head had knocked out my centre of gravity, this was picked up April 2015 by an Ophthalmologist called Ruth Perrott BSc FBCO, of VisionCare Optometry, York. You could say that things became more clear (pardon the pun) to me after my tests and I received the diagnosis. Ruth also tested for Visual Stress/Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome. And, yes, it was clear I had this too.

The weird thing is I went through school many years ago with these symptoms and it was never picked up. At the time Visual Stress hadn't been researched. Today, my GP, who is very good and knows all about Visual Stress - and MdDS - said I'd be surprised how many people in the military have it. Sometimes both conditions.

All of my life I've wondered why I had problems with reading a book, or writing in a book that had white pages. The white glares, the print distorts and it affects my eyes, causing eye strain and making my eyes sore and red. Same with a computer screen. It affects my concentration, and I become fatigued very easily. Although, I can read in bed using a lamp because it's a different light. I started studying with the Open University in January of this year and this was all picked up by their assessor who thought I might be Dyslexic. I was tested for Dyslexia and I'm not Dyslexic. However, sometimes the two are confused because the symptoms can be very similar. So, if you have children who have been diagnosed with Dyslexia maybe have them tested for Visual Stress. It seems that lots of people don't know they have this condition until they start higher education. I certainly didn't know. The reason being, I had studied before and passed many exams including qualifying to become a nurse.

If you follow the links above, and here, read the information it will explain all the symptoms of both Visual Stress and MdDS.

Having Visual Stress means you can't follow routes properly, and you get mixed up with appointments. My family laugh when I turn up to birthday parties a week early, or take the wrong turning when going to visit and end up miles away. I find it hard shopping in supermarkets because the lights affect my eyes. Dull weather makes my eyes blurry. Snow is an absolute pain, but for some reason I can wear shades when out in the snow, where when it's sunny shades don't help. I wear a hat to avoid the sun. When I look at some things i.e. gutters on houses, certain patterns, or a book shelf, they move and become distorted. 

You become fidgety because your eyes aren't giving your brain the correct information to process. Having these symptoms along with MdDS symptoms means you are in double trouble. I always wondered why I felt as though I was off balance when I stepped of an escalator or stepped out of a lift. I was fine when I travelled on rough seas, or in an aeroplane, it was when I disembarked I felt as though I was still moving. I have the same symptoms when I get out of a car, or when I walk too quickly. I'm fine until the motion stops. The MdDS (Mal de Debarquement Syndrome) started when I went on a school cruise at the age of fourteen to Iceland and Noway. Most of the other children were seasick, not me. I was fine. Then the ship docked, we disembarked, and I felt nauseous. It didn't stop, and to this day the same thing happens. 

It's been really awkward having to decline invitations due to having these symptoms and you begin to think you are going mad. You do get some respite, but then it comes back with a vengeance. In the past my GPs thought I was having panic attacks, and I was, because I didn't know what was happening to me. If you are in the middle of nowhere and you have the feeling you are walking on a trampoline, you start to panic. Now I know what the problem is, I try not to panic but it's not that easy. I knew I had a balance problem a few years ago and bought some Fit Flop (not to be confused with Flip Flops) boots and sandals because I thought they would help, and they did. But now, when I wear ordinary shoes, I'm off balance again.

I went on another cruise in the 1990s to the Mediterranean. We sailed across the bay of Biscay in a force seven gale. Yes, I was fine, but many of the passengers and crew had major problems and were so seasick they had to have injections. Our first port of call was Gibraltar; we had been at sea for three days. The moment I stepped ashore, I started to feel seasick. The captain told me it happens to sailers a lot when they have been at sea for a while. He said 'that's why they walk with their legs apart, to keep their balance.'

I thought writing this blog might make people aware of these debilitating conditions. I intend to write a book about both Visual Stress and MdDS in the hope it will help other people. If you, or anyone you know has these symptoms please get in touch with me via email because I'd love to hear your story, and perhaps add it to my book. If you would like to remain anonymous, that's fine.

I believe that a lot of children may have been diagnosed as having Dyslexia, but they may have Visual Stress along with it. Also, a lot of children may have been diagnosed with ADHD something psychologists are now saying doesn't exist, and can be down to vision/ear problems. Plus, the psychologist Leon Eisenberg, admitted before he died that ADHD is a fictitious disease and was intended to generate more profits for the pharmaceutical industry.

Apparently all I need for the Visual Stress is tinted lenses, my colour is turquoise/green. The good thing out of all this is I finally know what is causing my symptoms after all these years. If I hadn't started with OU I might never have known.

Another thing...I wish they would bring back blackboards in colleges because the white board gives me hell. When I look at it I have to cover my eyes, a bit like a vampire lol!

Ellen Dean