Accepting Your Mental Illness
My background with Mental Illness.
Mental illnesses are something I personally knew very little about up until about 4 years ago. Since the age of 10, I knew something wasn't quite right. More doctors trips than I can even remember later and I am still not sure what is wrong with me.
In the last 4 years I've been diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, treated for depression but never fully diagnosed and mostly recently extreme fluctuations in mood, unfortunately, I can't remember the medical term that the doctor used.
Getting a full diagnosis from a professional has been my main goal from the start but one that seems unlikely. It seems to be something new with every trip to the doctor's surgery.
Wednesday's going forward is the day where I will be writing about something which could help you and me against Mental illnesses. The reason I used 'could' in the previous sentence is that there is no definite in what will help you. That's not to dishearten anyone, everyone is different and mental health has such a broad spectrum. What may help me, may not help you. It's about finding what helps you and sticking with it.
I have tried and tested a lot of different techniques/lifestyle choices etc and I want to share them with everyone else. I will give an insight into why they worked for me and if they didn't work, why that was the case.
My first help tip is;
Acceptance of your mental health illness or that something isn't right.
Acceptance is the single most important step to getting the help you need and from there managing or even overcoming a mental health problem/disorder.
I myself spent far too long in denial that I was actually suffering. Buried my head in the sand thinking it would all go away. Quite literally slept at any chance I could, trying not to notice how bad things really were. I thought one day I would wake up and everything would be back to how it was or at least back to when I could cope. That didn't happen though.
A mental illness is not just going to go away and even if it does there is a very high possibility before you know it, it will be back again.
To put it in perspective of a physical problem. If you were to break your leg and didn't accept that there was a problem. That you couldn't walk on your leg and if you did, you would be in immense physical pain. You would never go and seek medical help which more than likely you'd be put in a cast and given crutches to stop you putting pressure on your leg, which would allow it the time it needs to correct itself.
Mental illnesses are a lot harder to come to terms with and accept, I'm not denying that. I myself felt like I was admitting defeat, that if I accepted that there was a problem it would all become real. I didn't know what help was available to me, I didn't know of anyone who was going through something similar to me and more importantly I didn't know how everyone around me would react.
It quite honestly scared me.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that isn't fully aware of mental illnesses.
People feel like they can't openly talk about what is really going on inside their heads. Myself included for a long time. At times I thought I was going literally insane.
I'm here to tell you there is help available.
If you aren't ready to accept just yet, please go and see your doctor or talk to someone close to you. People will listen. I will listen. Reach out to me here if you need anything.
Opening up can go a long way but I will go into more detail another time.
Acceptance set me onto the path I'm on now. It made me finally go and get the help I needed. I was finally able to start the journey of managing my mental health. I took back control of my life.
It is a difficult journey, a journey I'm still on but one that is so worth it. Life is too precious to suffer from a mental illness.
As I said earlier some things may not help you but acceptance is one of those things that will. The earlier you accept, the quicker the journey can begin.
It took me until I was having my very worst panic attack lay on the bathroom floor of my uni accommodation. It was the first time I wanted to give up and end it all and I didn't know how I was going to get through the next hour let alone the night. I woke up in the morning and rang my mum and said I needed help. At that point I had accepted for the first time.
I have accepted several more times since for the other mental health difficulties I have faced. I only wish I had accepted them sooner.