On the way to good self-care: Addressing a mental health concern

The politics of being kind

Being former military, I know a lot of people have mental health conditions, including many creative people. And, I’d be lying if I said that I was without my own mental health concern.

Like many others out there, I’ve been in some pretty dark corners in my life. And, my how my life has changed since the days before I became medicated!

In an effort to become more stable, I began addressing “trouble” areas that began (or were exacerbated), while on my way to getting a diagnosis.

A good example of something I began working on (with some professional intervention), was my becoming more effective in my communication.

Diagnosis or no diagnosis, what kinds of things have you personally worked through that have had a favorable impact on your mental health?

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4 thoughts on “On the way to good self-care: Addressing a mental health concern

  1. I’ve had the counselling as well, but unfortunately it works better in theory than in practice, mainly because of other people! Example – I stepped outside the office, into the car park, to get a breath of air and try to clear my head. Someone followed me out there and shoved some spreadsheets in my face! They weren’t at all urgent and could easily have waited a few minutes, but people have no consideration! Screaming and yelling that I’m making a fuss over nothing and that other people have real problems is another one. Sorry for moaning, but I do feel that other people’s attitudes make it difficult for any sort of coping strategy to be effective.

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  2. Thank you first and foremost for your service! As for mental health issues, it tends to be a common denominator among our military and this breaks my heart. With the military being well aware of this statistic, they really should begin care immediately not after it is already taking a drastic toll on the ones who will be struck. The suicide rate is unbelievable and I do believe changing the mental health hospitals that once help anyone who was different as well as the mentally ill was positive it has left a gap in care. Hospitals or sections of hospitals dedicated to mental health are now pit stops for medication monitoring or changes. There is rarely a long stay to stabilize the patients. Though counseling can be useful in stability, often you need something you can get started on immediately. I found the book Mind Over Mood very useful. It’s a workbook teaching you how to change your thought patterns to relieve depression, stress, and anxiety.

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  3. Talking about my thoughts. A few years ago I was feeling overwhelmed with the memories of war, and I called an anonymous hotline to talk to someone about what I was feeling. It was a tremendous help to just speak to someone and have them listen.

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  4. Hey Cristian,

    I’ve been seeing a therapist, and I’m in a support group for a compounded condition; a primary diagnosis that gets triggered and leads to this cascading spiral down…so much that it’s become chronic. The suffering, yes…it is chronic. The medication does help.

    There is a lot of stigma projected on to others with “Diagnosis.” I reject the stigma. There is no thing a human can be that is outside of what is “Normal” to be as a human. Most “mental” conditions are considered “Adaptive responses” That get wired in as a survival response to something in the environment we need (or perceive to need) a coping response to, and it is, really, about perceived survival.

    What wouldn’t any single human being do to survive? Of the pacifist…a TRUE pacifist, then nothing. To a TRUE pacifist, there is an outright refused to fight for their lives because peace is the goal, and if no peace may be had, then better to simply let life be taken rather than contribute to the conflict. This is a moral issue…a choice that overrides innate instinct.
    Mental health is NOT a moral issue. It’s a survival issue.

    Most people are not TRUE pacifists. Most people will fight to survive. With Mental illness, it seems to me, maybe there is simply a heightened perception of threat to survival, and the adaptive “Wired in” response WILL respond…because the human innately has a will to survive, and for most…at all costs. If this wired in response is overwhelmed…then desperation sets in. What do most people (even “Normal” people) do when they are desperate?

    Stand back…a desperate person is a cornered person. Humans bodies are animal bodies, and…have a fight or flight just like any survival oriented organism. Fight? Acting out. Flight? Self imposed imprisonment within the mind. What would a cornered animal do? fight, flight or freeze. People think that if we “Know this” then it magically and easily goes away. Does survival go away?

    Concluding and realizing the above helped me, over-all, but knowing doesn’t re-wire…but it does help generally for day to day “Normal” encounters, but still…flash backs and moods are a default…and that, too…is my “Normal.”

    I want to live. And I want to survive. I’m not a pacifist. I just want to stay alive.

    You all have my empathy, and it is undivided…and it is unconditional for you.

    Peace.

    Like

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