It is far easier to love someone else than to love yourself, in my opinion. But it is crucially important that we give the same love to ourselves that we give to others. This article may come off as a bit conceited, but I promise that is not the intent. The whole point is to put aside our self-destructive, non-useful (unuseful?) thoughts of ourselves, and remind us to give ourselves the love we deserve.
Disclaimer: This article is not written by a certified health professional. I am not qualified in any way to give advice on whether or not to take any type of medication for symptoms of mental illness. The reason I am writing about my own experience with medications is to further emphasize that my mental conditions are of equal importance to my health as my other medical concerns. I have struggled over the last twenty years with decisions on what medications, if any, to take. I hope to shed more light on this challenge and to let others know they are not alone. Similarly, Challenge the Storm and its representatives are not certified mental health professionals. For any questions regarding medication, please seek the counsel of your health care provider. See our Disclaimer page for more information.
What you will get from this piece
I would like to accomplish at least these three things with this article: share some of my own history with prescription medication, give you some pros and cons from my own experience, and talk about what all of us can do to further break down barriers between the people who need help and the professionals who give their help. The goal is to work past the stigma and to challenge ourselves to believe we are worthy of help and helping others by spreading our message. When discussing this piece with my therapist, I explained that my number one goal in writing about my struggles with mental health issues is for normalization of mental illness to any other illness.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a text conversation with your depression? Well, wonder no more! Here are some fun little examples. But remember, no matter how insurmountable your depression may seem, there is always a way to beat it. By developing healthy habits, and sticking to a healthy routine, you can up your odds.
“Relationships can be wonderful but challenging under the best of circumstances. When one partner has a serious mental illness, the situation can become even more complex. Many times, the partner without a diagnosed disorder will assume more responsibilities, at least for the short term. For a person who is already worried about what is happening with his or her partner, having to spend more time maintaining the household or taking care of the children can be especially hard.
It is important for the couple to keep in mind that most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness improve over time, and that a partner’s attitude and behavior can make an important contribution to recovery. It helps to maintain an accepting and positive attitude, while holding realistic expectations for the partner with serious mental illness.” Source: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/serious-mental-illness.aspx
“Because of the stigma and misunderstandings surrounding mental illness, many people are reluctant to tell their partners. You may think that ‘what they don’t know won’t hurt them.’ If you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s better to disclose your health condition when you are well than conceal it until an acute episode…To talk to your partner, choose a time when you aren’t actively experiencing mania, anxiety, depression or psychosis.” Source: NAMI
Creative outlets can be extremely powerful to help cope with hardships. In 2015, I turned to writing, specifically poetry to help me through some of my more difficult times. Along that journey, I started writing not just when I was distressed, but all the time. Whether happy or sad, there was something extremely cathartic about putting my feelings on paper. And I’m not alone, it turns out.