Let’s talk about phobias …

According to Wikipedia, A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. There are various types of phobias some of which we have heard about from books, TV etc. and others, not so much. In this list I will be discussing the symptoms, causes and treatment of 10 different phobias.


The most common phobia in the world is Mysophobia – A fear of germs.

Symptoms: washing hands obsessively, avoiding crowds, nausea

Causes: genetics, as a result of anxiety

Treatment: medication, psychotherapy, exposure therapy


Fear of open spaces

Symptoms: Unable to leave the house, excessive sweating, dizziness, feeling shaky

Causes: depression, other phobias (claustrophobia), have had one or more panic attacks

Treatment: antidepressants


extreme or irrational fear of confined places

Symptoms: sweating, nausea, feel like you’re having a panic attack

Causes: dysfunction of the amygdala (part of the brain that controls how we process fear), as a result of a traumatic event such as being stuck in an elevator

Treatment: desensitisation/self-exposure therapy


-Fear of heights

Symptoms: dizziness, heart palpitations, sweating

Causes: thinking you might fall or be injured, as a result of a traumatic experience

Treatment: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)


-fear of spiders

Symptoms: overwhelming fear of spiders, intense anxiety, panic attacks

Causes: a result of evolutionary selection (we associate spiders with infections and disease)

Treatment: Counselling, CBT, medication


-Fear of clowns

Symptoms: nausea, anger, fast heartbeat

Causes: brain function, genetics,

Treatment: CBT


-fear of the dark

Symptoms: racing heart rate, chest tightness, light-headedness

Causes: fear of what the darkness masks

Treatment: desensitization, anti-anxiety medication, therapy


-Fear of dogs

Symptoms: increased heart rate, nausea, shortness of breath

Causes: may have been bitten by a dog in the past,

Treatment: Psychotherapy


-The fear of bees

Symptoms: breathlessness, sweating, detachment from reality

Causes: Have been stung by a bee in the past or have seen someone else get stung

Treatment: CBT, understanding facts about bees may help in overcoming the fear of them


-Fear of talking on the phone

Symptoms: Feeling terror, dry mouth, nausea

Causes: many factors such as negative experience, electromagnetic fields, or OCD

Treatment: Directly confront the fear/talk to a therapist

There are hundreds of more phobias all of which I can’t possibly list on this post – If you would like to learn more about other phobias check out this top 100 phobias list.

Thanks for reading x


About Mentalhealth – athon

Mentalhealth-athon is a mental health based readathon hosted by @beaut1fulchaos_ and co-hosted by @chaptercviii and @__rachael_marie. Each participant is shown a bingo board featuring 15 mental health prompts. The goal is to read and become aware of various different mental health illnesses by reading about characters with these illnesses. If you’d like to know more about mentalhealth-athon, check out Nicole’s YouTube video which explains everything you need to know.

Here is the mentalhealth – athon bingo board:

Note: I am a HSP (highly sensitive person) which means I can’t watch or read about violent or triggering events in films or books. Due to this, I have skipped 3 prompts, group book, eating disorder rep and PTSD rep.

And these are the books I plan on reading:

All book covers are from https://www.goodreads.com/

Own voices – Under rose-tainted skies by Louise Gornall
Non-fiction – Owning it by Caroline Foran
Anxiety rep – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Schizophrenia rep – Everything here is beautiful – Mira.T.Lee
OCD rep – Turtles all the way down – John Green
Intersectional rep – Darius the great is not okay by Adib Khorram
Bipolar rep – An unquiet mind – Kay Redfield Jamison
Hosts pick – Marbles by Ellen Forney
Personality disorder rep – The Mortal Instruments(Book 1) by Cassandra Clare
Phobias rep – Liar and spy by Rebecca Stead
Other – Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain
Depression rep – The silver linings playbook by Matthew Quick

Other bloggers taking part in mentalhealth-athon!

Are you taking part in mentalhealth-athon? Comment below x

I hope you all liked this post and thanks for reading x

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Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy Friday! Today we’ll be talking about Mental Health Awareness Month.

Where did it all begin?

Mental Health Awareness Month was started in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization which was then known as the (National Association for Mental Health).

What is the purpose of MH Awareness Month?

It’s purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about: mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder; the realities of living with these conditions and strategies for coping with these illnesses.

The green ribbon represents mental health awareness. The hashtag #breakthestigma is commonly used across social media during mental health month.

2019 Theme

2019’s theme for MHAM is explained in a statement by MHA :“we are expanding upon last year’s theme of #4Mind4Body and taking it to the next level, as we explore the topics of animal companionship (including pets and support animals), spirituality, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness”.

This will be Mental Health America’s 70th year celebrating Mental Health Month! Themes in the last few years included mental illness feels like, risky business and fitness #mind4body.

Why it’s important to spread awareness about mental health during MHAM

Mental health advocates are constantly bringing awareness to mental health all year round but during mental health awareness month , it is a chance for everyone to join together to try and break the stigma of mental health.

The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore – book review


It is the winter of 1952, and Isabel Carey is struggling to adjust to the realities of married life in Yorkshire. Isolated and lonely, she is also intensely cold. And her husband – a doctor – is rarely home.

And then one night she discovers an old RAF greatcoat in the back of the cupboard. She puts it on her bed for warmth – and is startled by a knock at her window.

Outside is a young man. A pilot. And he wants to come in…

Overall plot

Isabel is a newlywed married to a doctor who is rarely home. Since moving to Yorkshire, Isabel spends much of her time alone. The flat is very cold and her landlord upstairs keeps walking around in the middle of the night. She finds a greatcoat in the wardrobe and throws it on the bed to keep her warm. While her husband is on a night shift, Isabel is startled by a knock at her window and discovers a young pilot outside the window, mouthing her name.


Ugh this book had so much potential! I was so looking forward to reading this after reading the synopsis. It sounded like a classic ghost story to keep you on your toes. Instead, it was a great disappointment.

First of all, The Greatcoat reminds me of The Woman in Black: Angel of Death. The lonely woman, the creepy house, a ghost etc. There were various similarities between the two and I’m not surprised because the sequel to The Woman in Black was also published by Hammer.

The only way I can describe this book is this: You know when you see a video on Youtube and you click on it and then you realise it was clickbait? That’s what this book was like.

However, I was intrigued and was enjoying the storyline up until chapter 6. It was fast-paced and spooky but the book sadly turned from a ghost story into a romance novel which may I remind you is in no way mentioned in the synopsis.


I really thought this one had a lot of potential if only the plot stayed on track after chapter 6. Up until then it was quite a good novel.

Rating: ⭐⭐

The Greatcoat is the second book from my Charity Shop book haul

How to add the Goodreads grid widget to your WordPress site (Tutorial)

Log in to your WordPress account and your Goodreads account

Go to your wordpress dashboard

Click customise

Click widgets

Click where you would like to place the grid widget. (I chose Blog Sidebar)

Click add a widget

Click custom HTML

Leave this page open and go to Goodreads

Click profile then click edit profile (next to your profile picture)

Click widgets

Scroll down until you see grid widget

There’s a little box saying Copy/paste this HTML into your Web site. Copy the code.

Go back to WordPress and copy the code into the content box

Click done and publish

Educated by Tara Westover – book review


Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals.

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.

Overall Plot

Educated is broken up into three parts. Part 1 consists of Tara’s mother becoming a midwife. We are introduced to Tara’s family, her mother Faye( a herbalist), her father Gene( a devout Mormon), and her six siblings , Tony, Shawn, Tyler, Luke, Audrey and Richard.

The Westover’s didn’t use medication. When a member of the family were sick, only a mix of herbs was used to treat the illness. The women had to dress modest and most of the time everything was “God’s will” according to her father. 4/7 children ( Luke, Audrey, Richard and Tara) never attended school and had no birth certificate.

In Part two, Tara passes her exams and despite her father’s disapproval, she attends college where she finds it very difficult to fit in as a Mormon.

Part three is the final part of the book. Tara suffers from night terrors, an intervention is organised for her brother Shawn and Tara attends Trinity College.


Educated is a wonderful memoir exploring the life of a young girl growing up in a Mormon household. This memoir covers serious topics such as physical abuse and violence.

I liked reading about the Mormon lifestyle because while I’d heard of the name, I never really knew about their religion or beliefs. It is evident from this memoir that Tara had a difficult childhood surrounded by religion, physical abuse and struggling to fit in to society due to her faith and background.


The admirable part of this memoir was that despite the author having never stepped foot in a classroom or having a birth certificate early on, the author still received an education. However, some chapters were a tad bit repetitive. The chapter describing her college roommates could have been particularly shortened. Overall, an admirable memoir.

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐

This is the first book in my charity shop book haul

How I organize my makeup

I like to be organised especially when it comes to my makeup because I have so much of it. I have often seen my mam trying to figure out if her makeup has expired or not.  At some stage I saw organisation posts online about makeup expiration where there were several mentions of writing the date on tape or directly on the product. I thought the tape was a pretty good idea and I’ve been organising my makeup this way ever since.

Without further ado – here’s how I organize my makeup:

When I buy a new product the first thing I do is write down the month I opened the product. Then I read the “date once opened icon” and count when the product will be out of date. For example, I opened this Revolution eye shadow palette in June 2018. The expiry date says 12 months so therefore the product will be out of date in June 2019.

I have these square pieces of paper that come in handy for things like this. I write “Ex Date/Exp date: June 2019 etc. “on the piece of paper and then cut it out.

I tape the piece of paper onto the back of the product. So it looks like this.

I check my makeup products each month to check if anything is out of date. When a product reaches its expiry date I just look at the date and toss it in the bin.

I hope you liked this post and as always, thanks for reading x

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald – book review


Sara has never left Sweden but at the age of 28 she decides it’s time. She cashes in her savings, packs a suitcase full of books and sets off for Broken Wheel, Iowa, a town where she knows nobody.

Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps some romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.

With a little help from the locals, Sara sets up Broken Wheel’s first bookstore. The shop might be a little quirky, but then again, so is Sara. And as Broken Wheel’s story begins to take shape, there are some surprises in store for Sara too…

Overall plot

Sara Lindquist, a young Swedish woman, arrives in Broken Wheel to meet an older woman (Amy Harris) she has been exchanging books and letters with. Unfortunately, the woman she has come to meet has passed away and Sara finds herself living in the woman’s house, visited by people she has never met and gradually learns about Amy’s life.

Sara begins to get to know the people of Broken Wheel and becomes friends with Tom, John, George, Grace, Jen, Caroline, Josh, Andy and Carl – all(apart from Josh and Carl) of whom knew Amy Harris.

All of the characters may be living in or nearby Broken Wheel but each of them live completely different lives.

Characters such as recovering alcoholics, characters of different races, Christians, housewives, gay and bisexual characters and relatives of Amy Harris are all introduced to the reader.


What an amazing book! This book had all the feels. It made me laugh at times and cry towards the end of the novel. This book is a timeless read. The author focused on real-life issues which many can relate to. We got to learn more about each of the characters as the novel progressed. The characters of Broken Wheel were incredibly portrayed by the author. The writing makes you feel as if you are a resident of Broken Wheel yourself.

The relationships and romance in the book seemed real, not cliché like. Not only romantic love was mentioned but the love between family, friends, and residents of the small town and of course, couples.

The relationships endured troubles, doubts and heartaches, just like in reality, but in the end the relationships survived because of love, romantic or otherwise.


The readers of broken wheel recommend was a really enjoyable read. Every character had a story to tell and each were unique, just like all of the books in Sara’s bookstore.

A novel filled with love, friendship and how a small town come together and support one another while also following the journey of a young woman from Sweden, the readers of broken wheel recommend is a must read.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The readers of broken wheel recommend is one of the books from my charity shop mini book haul.

Thinking of dyeing your hair red? Read this first

Note: Note: I am not a hairdresser. These tips are based on my own red hair. My mother dyes my hair because she has been dyeing her own hair for years. If you are considering dying your hair red seek the help of a professional first.

Here’s everything you need to know before becoming a redhead

You may need to dye your hair a few times to get it to the shade you want

  • Depending on the red hair dye you buy(Schwarzkopf, Garnier, Loreal paris etc) there will be many shades of red in store. Your hair may not turn out like the model on the hair dye box.

If your hair is a dark colour, the first time you dye your hair it won’t be red right away

  • My natural hair colour is a kind of dark brown so when I first dyed my hair it looked different but not really red. The more times I dyed it it gradually became redder.

Every time you wash your hair, it’ll “bleed”

  • Bleed refers to the red colour stripping out of your hair

You’ll need to dye your hair every 4-6 weeks to keep the shade bright

  • Red hair colour is the hardest of all hair colours to maintain. Every time you wash your hair the colour will fade so in order to keep the colour you’ll need to dye your hair every month or so.

Use shampoos and conditioners specifically for coloured hair

For example check out some of shampoos and conditioners in Boots: https://www.boots.ie/search/shampoo+coloured

Wash your hair maximum of twice a week

  • If you can bare washing your hair in cold water it’ll help with the “bleeding”.

Research red hair dye and your skintone

  • Bright reds may not suit light skin tones so be careful which red hair dye you use
  • You can always search Google or Pinterest to get some red hair inspiration

Here you can find some red hair dyes available in Sam McCauleys: https://www.sammccauley.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?p=2&q=red+hair+dye

Charity Shop book haul

I recently visited my local charity shop and discovered they had some great books up for sale at great prices! The deal was 3 books for €5. I bought 3 books in my last charity shop haul post which you can view here:

  1. Educated
  2. The Greatcoat
  3. Rebecca
  4. To all the boys I’ve loved before
  5. P.S I still love you

This time around I bought 5 books. ( I know its only two more books than my last charity shop book haul but still, that’s 5 more books added to the never ending to-read pile)

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals.

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.

I remember seeing Educated listed as one of last years to-read books. It’s fairly recent and I don’t usually go for these kind of books. And yes it’s pretty cool me and the author have the same first name.

The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore

It is the winter of 1952, and Isabel Carey is struggling to adjust to the realities of married life in Yorkshire. Isolated and lonely, she is also intensely cold. And her husband – a doctor – is rarely home.

And then one night she discovers an old RAF greatcoat in the back of the cupboard. She puts it on her bed for warmth- and is startled by a knock at her window.

Outside is a young man. A pilot. And he wants to come in …

When I read the synopsis for The Greatcoat, I knew I had to buy it. Plus it’s by Hammer and being a horror fanatic, how could I resist?

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Working as a lady’s companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers …

I haven’t seen the film Rebecca but I have often heard my mam saying how it’s easily one of the best horror movies she’s seen. I read the synopsis and loved how creepy the plot sounded and was anxious to know how the book turned out. Who knows? It may become one of my favourite horror books.

The all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean Song keeps love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her – one for every boy she’s ever loved. She can say anything she wants, because the letters are for her eyes only. Until the day they’re sent out.

I really wanted to read To all the boys I’ve loved before after seeing the Netflix adaptation. I was delighted to get 2 books from the trilogy and look forward to reading them.

P.S I still love you by Jenny Han

I’m not going to write the synopsis for this one incase I spoil the first book for those who haven’t read it. P.S I still love you is the sequel to the first book, to all the boys I’ve loved before.

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