An aunt of mine wrote the most beautiful email to me after reading some of my blog posts. She talks of her own experience with depression and hospitalization, as well as her partner’s story with medication, hospitalization, and recuperation.
What surprises me is the number of people who have been through this kind of experience with mental health. I had no idea before I started to reach out.
I’d like to share three of her points which can be useful for anyone ready to take care of their mental health, not only for those who have a diagnosed mental illness.
One is not to feel guilty to take the rest that you need. If you sense some nervous system excitation take the time out to rest, prioritize sleep, even do a ten minute savasana in the middle of the day! This was key for me. During my paranoia I didn’t sleep for days. After being hospitalized I had to take sleeping pills and I really struggled with that. I came from a place of not taking any medication unless I was in dire need for it. Rest and recuperation is of utmost importance.
Take your Time
Then, allow time for recuperation. Things won’t get better overnight. It’s takes consistent work in the right direction, it might take time to find the diagnosis, to have the correct balance of medication if it is needed, and then consistent follow up and fine tuning of all of the above. It took me months to get out of the paranoia, to accept that I had a mental illness, that the medication was helpful, and now I have gradually reduced the follow up with my doctor and therapist to once every 2 months.
Connect with a good therapist. The skilled, neutral, outside eye is invaluable. It was important for me to be able to feel that I could talk to someone who wouldn’t judge me. I judged myself enough that it took months before I could express much honestly, even to the therapist. And back to the second point, it can take a long time to change old patterns of thinking and belief.
Thanks again for reading, commenting, sharing personal stories, giving suggestions, or asking questions. I appreciate it greatly. I see this blog as part of my healing process. Connecting with friends and family is a big part of that at this stage in my process.