Sunday, August 20, 2017


When Wellness Isn’t Enough To Get You Smiling.

February 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThySistas.com) Wellness and mental well-being seem to be top of the agenda for many of us. And, so they should be. But, it is important to acknowledge that, sometimes, well-being isn’t enough to make you feel good. Are you still struggling after doing everything possible to achieve happiness? Don’t mean to scare you, sista’s, but it might be time to take more drastic action. You’re not alone, either. Figures suggest that over 18% of American adults suffer from mental illness at some point. To put that in perspective, that’s over 42 million people! So you see, there’s nothing wrong with admitting you have a problem. It is, however, important you take steps to improve your situation. If you’re unfamiliar with mental health, you may not know what you can do to make things better. Don’t worry. There are plenty of steps you can take. Here are a few ideas of how to start back on the path to good health!

KNOW YOUR SYMPTOMS

Okay, self-diagnosis isn’t useful in many situations. Mental health is no different. But, it can be helpful to have some understanding of your symptoms. This will make you feel less alone straight away and will allow you to explain what’s going on to your doctor. Find out a little about bipolar disorder symptoms, and other such conditions. You may come across things you weren’t even aware of. Be careful not to fill your head with too much information. At this stage, all you want to know are the basics. With mental health, too much knowledge won’t be helpful. You may start listing the symptoms you’ve learned, instead of ones you’re experiencing. When you’re already losing your grip on reality, it’s important you keep an accurate picture of what’s happening.

At this stage, it can also help to write down what you’re experiencing as it happens. This will help you process your experience. It’ll also help your doctor gain a clear picture of the things you can’t put into words. And, we all know the healing power of writing, too. Getting into this habit may even help you. These notes may also be useful if you choose to start therapy. Your therapist may even advise doing something like this.

VISIT A DOCTOR

It’s important you visit a doctor as soon as possible. The further into illness you get, the harder it’s going to be to get out of it. Where mental health is concerned, you’ll grow more removed from reality as time goes on. No one wants that. Besides, becoming too trapped in your illness may stop you from seeking treatment. Making that phone call may not be easy, but it’s essential. We’re practiced in discussing physical symptoms with doctors, but grow more fearful when it comes to emotions. Even so, you’ll be very glad you took the leap.

If you’re worried you won’t be able to explain how you’re feeling, take along those notes you’ve been making. Explain to your doctor that you find the problem hard to talk about. Ask them to read what you’ve written instead. If your loved one’s know what’s happening, it might be worth taking someone along for support. Bear in mind, though, that you may feel unable to explain the issue in detail with someone else listening. And remember, doctors are professionals and have seen much worse. There’s no risk that your doctor will disregard what you’re telling them. If you have a family physician who you know well, it might help to visit them. That way, you’ll have some prior knowledge of their manner. This should give you the confidence to speak.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THERAPY

In a system that’s overrun, people are keen to opt for medication to solve all problems. In truth, the best way out of any mental illness is both therapy and medication. One on its own may not do the job. Together, they’re a dream team. The medication can take care of the physical symptoms. But, this isn’t a physical problem. Only dealing with that aspect is like covering it with a bandaid. It doesn’t solve anything. That’s where therapy comes in! Again, you may find it hard to talk about what’s happening to start with. But, you’ll soon grow into the practice. To begin, you can say as much, or little as you like. It’s also important to note that you may not get along with the first therapist you see. That’s okay. There are plenty more out there!

TALK TO THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE

Your mental health doesn’t just affect you. That’s why it’s important to speak with the people you love and explain what’s happening. Mental illness can cause all sorts of relationship troubles. Attempts to keep things hidden may leave your loved ones feeling confused. In a lot of ways, telling your friends and family can be harder than telling a doctor. But, the telling in itself can be therapeutic. If it helps, do this after you’ve visited a doctor. That way, you should be a little more accustomed to talking things through. As well as helping your loved ones feel involved, the telling will help with your recovery. Talking things through with people who care about you can take a huge weight off your shoulders.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

After you’ve dealt with the technicalities of getting the help you need, it’s important to give yourself a break. While mental illness isn’t always caused by stress, it isn’t helped by it. Your doctor may have offered you time off work. Though you may not want to accept, it might be worthwhile. The people you’re working with are going to need what’s going on. A sick note is a pain-free way of keeping them up to date. It’ll also allow you to focus on your recovery. The work you would be doing now may not be the best. You have a lot on your mind, after all. Give yourself the time off you need, then return when you’re on top form again!

Staff Writer; Susan Jackson


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