Thursday, June 14, 2012

Who you are, what you can do and become – Mental illness - Treatment

Many things can be challenging for a person who has clinical depression or other forms of mental illness, things such always having to push yourself to do even the smallest of tasks because of the lack of energy and motivation. Isolation among many other factors can be a big issue to deal with, especially when it comes from feeling misunderstood by others, sometimes this can include your own friends and family members.

It has been my experience that the individual suffering will not get better focusing on what others think, say or do as a matter of fact, it can actually deepen the depression and rather the focus needs to be on improving the way they think about themselves and their journey of recovery. Of course, I could not see this during my episodes since the symptoms often clouded my thinking and rationalization, I was only able to absorb that fact after being in therapy for sometime.

Through treatment and healing, many people can eventually come to terms with the reality that there is a lack of education, as well as a huge stigma still attached to mental illness. As a person begins to heal they might also want to begin to set positive goals for themselves, confidence will bloom and an optimistic way of thinking will transpire, as often does during treatment. It is also possible that as the individual who suffers gets better, they may consider getting involved in helping break the stigma and advocate for not only themselves but others as well.

As I was beginning to respond to my treatment, I felt a sense of relief from the fact that I did not have to feel those dreadful feelings of depression on a regular basis, I began to understand that although, I was going to experience moments or even days of depression, that at least, I had learned coping skills to help me manage the symptoms and not feel trapped by them.

One of the things that stood out for me most and still does, is the self assurance I was developing, assurance of being able to make informed decisions, developing self awareness and speaking up for myself. For a person like me whom at one time felt crippled by depression with no hope for anything, that is huge.

Being diagnosed with a mental illness does NOT define who we are, what we can do or what we can become.

We are not what we are diagnosed with, just like a person diagnosed with high blood pressure is NOT high blood pressure. We treat it, we get better!


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