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Athleisure: Tracksuits in the 21st Century

*note that everyone’s experience with anti depressants varies and some experience no side effects or varying side effects, health this is just my account*

2016 wasn’t really my year. The biggest drama was my health, dosage my body had decided to start menstruating practically every day, for sale and later on in the year my thyroid was showing signs of swelling. Throughout my numerous appointments, symptoms such as feeling down, increased anxiety, mood swings, and constant crying were put down to hormone imbalance and early symptoms of hypothyroidism, however as we entered 2017, and my health become stable, I knew I still wasn’t ‘right’.

image001
Source: https://onsizzle.com/i/this-is-where-i-come-to-cry-cool-simpsons-spam-2630522

Normally an outgoing, happy, confident person, I found myself feeling like something was just dragging me down. I lost interest in doing anything other than sleeping, hated the thought of going out, I worried constantly about stupid things, and as many people kept telling me, I just wasn’t ‘me’. I hoped a change scenery at work to a more successful, motivated team would help sort me out after a professional stressful year, however the night before my first day I couldn’t sleep because I was having panic attacks, despite knowing my new colleagues very well.

At the beginning of the month I realised I needed help, because I just couldn’t carry on like this. After a conversation with my empathetic  GP, and a few questionnaires, I walked out with a diagnosis of moderately-severe depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and a prescription of Citralopram, with the advice of taking it at night, as it may cause some ‘annoying side effects’ to begin with.

image003

Day 1 was horrible. I took my first tablet at around 8pm the night before, and felt fine. That is until midnight. My brain felt like it was racing at a hundred miles an hour, lights were too bright, and dancing around, and my legs just would not stop twitching. At 4am I found myself still wide awake in bed, and when a piece of my swept back fringe fell onto my forehead, it felt as if my whole head was vibrating. When I finally dragged myself to work after a few hours sleep, I was constantly nauseated, I had one of the worst headaches I have ever experienced, and cried every hour because I felt so bad.

Day 2 felt a bit better, but not by much. I think I only slept due to pure exhaustion, I had no appetite, and my mouth was so dry that I was constantly downing water. Luckily the nausea seemed to go by 11am, and the headache was less intense, but I still felt drained, and not with it. Despite it being early on, I was already considering stopping the medication, especially when I saw online that these side effects can worsen, and continue for a long time

The next few days were pretty consistent. I managed to sleep okay, and got my hunger back, however I was so irritable that the slightest thing would put me in a mood, and I was suddenly very fidgety. If I wasn’t bouncing my leg, I was playing with whatever was nearest to me, and I lost count of how many pens I’d managed to break. My anxiety was still sky high, and I was finding it very difficult to make the simplest of decisions, such as what to get for lunch, without overthinking it completely.

The first real test came a week into the medication. My boyfriend was performing at a club night, and this would be my first time surrounded by a large of group of people that I did not know, something I would try to avoid previously. Luckily, I felt fine, the crowds did not faze me, however I noticed how my alcohol tolerance had been affected; two double vodkas had me feeling like I had just downed a bottle of wine, and the next morning I definitely regretted it and made a mental note to watch this in the future.

Almost a week passed, and I could almost feel myself getting better each day, and starting to like the tablets. The fidgeting started to calm down, the worrying was severely reduced, and glimmers of the old Lauren were coming back, that is until Day 13.

image004

This is what my Apple Watch recorded my heart rate as being during the worst panic attack I have had for at least half a year. I had just arrived at work, feeling a bit moody but had put it down to ovulating, and was taking my coat off when I realised my breathing was speeding up, and my heart was racing. It was when my lips turned numb that I realised what was going on, and immediately text my mum and best friend to try and coax the attack to come to an end. Twenty minutes later, my heart rate and breathing returned to normal, but had left me exhausted for the rest of the day, to the point where I fell asleep fully dressed at 8pm.

So where am I now? Surprisingly, feeling very positive.  After my panic attack, my anxiety has dramatically decreased. I’m sleeping a lot better, get less agitated, and wake up excited about the day ahead. I’m still experiencing some side effects, for example my mouth is still constantly dry,  I have strange vivid dreams, and I find myself sweating more, especially at night, but it’s still considered early days for this medication. Some side effects listed in the medication leaflet include difficulty concentrating,  decreased sexual drive and memory loss, and whilst I’ve experienced these, it’s been nothing longer than a day or two at a time, therefore easily manageable. Fingers crossed it stays this way.

If you had asked me a few months ago if I would consider antidepressants, I probably would have said no due to the fact I didn’t like the idea of altering my brain chemicals. Even now that I’m starting to feel the benefits of medication, I still think you should be cautious of jumping straight to antidepressants instead of other treatments, such as CBT. There is no obvious cause of my depression, and GAD, hence why it was decided that this is the best course for me, however the past few weeks have definitely left me feeling drained.  If you are feeling similar to  how I did before starting Citralopram I urge you to go see your GP, or contact one of the helplines below, and also confide in someone you trust, such as family or friends. Having a fantastic support system has really helped me realise I was in too deep, as well as keeping me on the medication when I wanted to give it up. You always hear the cliché of ‘you’re not alone’ when discussing mental health, and the reality is, it’s true.  With the people I’ve opened up to about it, for every “what?! You’re the last person I’d think of to have depression” I’ve heard, I’ve also been equally reassured through people telling me they’re there for me and opening up about their own mental health issues. Mental health is nothing to be ashamed about, we just need to be more open about it to spread awareness, and if you’re suffering, it will get better, it might take a while, but we can do it, even if we suffer sweaty make up in the winter, and the urge to Post-it note your office to remind you of everything you need to do today.

https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/

https://switchboard.lgbt/

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

http://www.mind.org.uk/

Written by Lauren Priest

twitter: lauren_priest
*note that everyone’s experience with anti depressants varies and some experience no side effects or varying side effects, website this is just my account*

2016 wasn’t really my year. The biggest drama was my health, cialis 40mg my body had decided to start menstruating practically every day, case and later on in the year my thyroid was showing signs of swelling. Throughout my numerous appointments, symptoms such as feeling down, increased anxiety, mood swings, and constant crying were put down to hormone imbalance and early symptoms of hypothyroidism, however as we entered 2017, and my health become stable, I knew I still wasn’t ‘right’.

image001
Source: https://onsizzle.com/i/this-is-where-i-come-to-cry-cool-simpsons-spam-2630522

Normally an outgoing, happy, confident person, I found myself feeling like something was just dragging me down. I lost interest in doing anything other than sleeping, hated the thought of going out, I worried constantly about stupid things, and as many people kept telling me, I just wasn’t ‘me’. I hoped a change scenery at work to a more successful, motivated team would help sort me out after a professional stressful year, however the night before my first day I couldn’t sleep because I was having panic attacks, despite knowing my new colleagues very well.

At the beginning of the month I realised I needed help, because I just couldn’t carry on like this. After a conversation with my empathetic  GP, and a few questionnaires, I walked out with a diagnosis of moderately-severe depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and a prescription of Citralopram, with the advice of taking it at night, as it may cause some ‘annoying side effects’ to begin with.

image003

Day 1 was horrible. I took my first tablet at around 8pm the night before, and felt fine. That is until midnight. My brain felt like it was racing at a hundred miles an hour, lights were too bright, and dancing around, and my legs just would not stop twitching. At 4am I found myself still wide awake in bed, and when a piece of my swept back fringe fell onto my forehead, it felt as if my whole head was vibrating. When I finally dragged myself to work after a few hours sleep, I was constantly nauseated, I had one of the worst headaches I have ever experienced, and cried every hour because I felt so bad.

Day 2 felt a bit better, but not by much. I think I only slept due to pure exhaustion, I had no appetite, and my mouth was so dry that I was constantly downing water. Luckily the nausea seemed to go by 11am, and the headache was less intense, but I still felt drained, and not with it. Despite it being early on, I was already considering stopping the medication, especially when I saw online that these side effects can worsen, and continue for a long time

The next few days were pretty consistent. I managed to sleep okay, and got my hunger back, however I was so irritable that the slightest thing would put me in a mood, and I was suddenly very fidgety. If I wasn’t bouncing my leg, I was playing with whatever was nearest to me, and I lost count of how many pens I’d managed to break. My anxiety was still sky high, and I was finding it very difficult to make the simplest of decisions, such as what to get for lunch, without overthinking it completely.

The first real test came a week into the medication. My boyfriend was performing at a club night, and this would be my first time surrounded by a large of group of people that I did not know, something I would try to avoid previously. Luckily, I felt fine, the crowds did not faze me, however I noticed how my alcohol tolerance had been affected; two double vodkas had me feeling like I had just downed a bottle of wine, and the next morning I definitely regretted it and made a mental note to watch this in the future.

Almost a week passed, and I could almost feel myself getting better each day, and starting to like the tablets. The fidgeting started to calm down, the worrying was severely reduced, and glimmers of the old Lauren were coming back, that is until Day 13.

image004

This is what my Apple Watch recorded my heart rate as being during the worst panic attack I have had for at least half a year. I had just arrived at work, feeling a bit moody but had put it down to ovulating, and was taking my coat off when I realised my breathing was speeding up, and my heart was racing. It was when my lips turned numb that I realised what was going on, and immediately text my mum and best friend to try and coax the attack to come to an end. Twenty minutes later, my heart rate and breathing returned to normal, but had left me exhausted for the rest of the day, to the point where I fell asleep fully dressed at 8pm.

So where am I now? Surprisingly, feeling very positive.  After my panic attack, my anxiety has dramatically decreased. I’m sleeping a lot better, get less agitated, and wake up excited about the day ahead. I’m still experiencing some side effects, for example my mouth is still constantly dry,  I have strange vivid dreams, and I find myself sweating more, especially at night, but it’s still considered early days for this medication. Some side effects listed in the medication leaflet include difficulty concentrating,  decreased sexual drive and memory loss, and whilst I’ve experienced these, it’s been nothing longer than a day or two at a time, therefore easily manageable. Fingers crossed it stays this way.

If you had asked me a few months ago if I would consider antidepressants, I probably would have said no due to the fact I didn’t like the idea of altering my brain chemicals. Even now that I’m starting to feel the benefits of medication, I still think you should be cautious of jumping straight to antidepressants instead of other treatments, such as CBT. There is no obvious cause of my depression, and GAD, hence why it was decided that this is the best course for me, however the past few weeks have definitely left me feeling drained.  If you are feeling similar to  how I did before starting Citralopram I urge you to go see your GP, or contact one of the helplines below, and also confide in someone you trust, such as family or friends. Having a fantastic support system has really helped me realise I was in too deep, as well as keeping me on the medication when I wanted to give it up. You always hear the cliché of ‘you’re not alone’ when discussing mental health, and the reality is, it’s true.  With the people I’ve opened up to about it, for every “what?! You’re the last person I’d think of to have depression” I’ve heard, I’ve also been equally reassured through people telling me they’re there for me and opening up about their own mental health issues. Mental health is nothing to be ashamed about, we just need to be more open about it to spread awareness, and if you’re suffering, it will get better, it might take a while, but we can do it, even if we suffer sweaty make up in the winter, and the urge to Post-it note your office to remind you of everything you need to do today.

https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/

https://switchboard.lgbt/

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

http://www.mind.org.uk/

Written by Lauren Priest

twitter: lauren_priest
Has street wear gained the short attention span of wealthy shoppers?

Street wear, try athleisure, and urban clothing are the new phrases to describe (for example) a simple a tracksuit. Athleisure is a trend that has made a big impact on catwalks during September fashion weeks, changing the demographic of a typical tracksuit wearer. The connotations with street wear were previously predominantly males that were threatening or hooligans but with Versace selling black hoodies for £750; the average youngster won’t be walking out of Harrods with that.

In the 1980s Hip Hop music was hugely popular, with fans wanting to emulate their idols but fashion endorsements weren’t as popular as they are now. Adidas was one of the few brands to endorse a group, which allowed Run DMC and their fans to make Adidas great again. Their 1986 hit ‘My Adidas’ was an iconic moment in both Adidas and Run DMC’s career as on many occasions that the trio were performing in concert, thousands of fans would hold up their Adidas trainers.

Source: http://www.yoraps.com/news/run-dmc-to-be-first-rap-act-given-grammys-lifetime-achievement-award/
Hip Hop Group Run DMC

Over the years Adidas has seen huge collaborations with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliot and Kanye West all releasing collections with the giant sports manufacturer. But the price points of celebrity sports wear have gone up drastically, as a simple Yeezy sweater can set you back £1,230.

38FE153600000578-0-image-a-108_1475336757323

During SS17 catwalks all over the world, various designers unveiled casual pieces. If you want to start off with one piece of athletic wear, Chanel’s caps are a swift start. Some say Coco Chanel was turning in her grave as Karl Lagerfeld styled the models in multi-coloured, patterned caps turned to the side.  Parisian brand Vetements features hoodies and sweatshirts that have been seen on the likes of Rihanna and Kim Kardashian-West. Although they have a very minimalist look, a simple tracksuit can cost £1,160.

FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. Vetements Paris Ready to Wear. Spring/Summer 2016. ALTERNATIVE IMAGES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.
Vetements Paris Ready to Wear. Spring/Summer 2016.

Beyonce’s Ivy Park range with Topshop is slightly more approachable with a whole collection dedicated to different aspects of fitness. With price points ranging from £4-£160, the average shopper is likely to find a piece to purchase.

Selfridges personal shopper, Kristian Bayliss let us know the types of clients he caters to. “There are two types of shoppers that I cater to, the domestic cooperate finance worker that plays it safe and sportsmen”. He went on to say, “Footballers are into luxury street wear and it’s also big with younger wealthy guys. Brands such as Off White, Balmain, Balenciaga, Lanvin have had a huge growth in sales”.

Claire Kelly, stylist for Harvey Nichols has also seen a increase in high end athletic wear. “Athletic/Street wear is a new direction I would suggest to clients as it is accessible to everyone, and is high on the comfort scale. pieces. For example, some designers are bringing in a lot of jogging style specifically to be paired with stilettos.”

Those looking for celebrity inspiration, Victoria Beckham shocked yet impressed many during AW16 NYFW when she appeared at the finale of her show in a pair of white Adidas trainers.

Sarah Harris is another example of a style icon, not afraid to wear sportswear brands. The fashion features director from Vogue dared to go casual for fashion week this year, pairing Adidas joggers with Celine sandals.

Sarah Harris during Fashion Week
Sarah Harris during Fashion Week

Priya Elan, Guardian fashion editor agrees that the street wear trend is just beginning. “I think that the we are all athleisure customers now. From the high street to the high end and I think designers and brands are adapting their lines. Not necessary in obvious ways but in subtle ways too. At first I thought it was a passing phase but it looks as if it’s actually here to stay”.

So is street wear just a passing phase? Will respected fashion writers and designers shudder at the thought of wearing an Adidas hoodie in public again?

Written by Taeja Austin

Instagram: @taejalauren

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