Recently, people have become more and more open about their experiences with depression and anxiety, which is a good thing. Mental health issues shouldn’t be stigmatized so it’s important to constantly have conversations about problems that all of us deal with, at least once in a lifetime. Some people are genetically predisposed to suffer from mental illnesses, while others can be traumatized by certain tragic events that can be the trigger for depression or any other mental health issue. Losing a loved one, getting divorced or being fired from a job can all cause one to feel deeply hurt. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t equipped with healthy coping mechanisms, so they fall into a downward spiral very quickly and when others notice it, it’s often too late. For a lot of us, dysfunctional behaviors are part of the identity which makes the treatment very difficult, but with the right mindset and help, everything can be dealt with. Read on if you want to learn the ways to deal with mental health issues in order to live a happy and productive life.
First of all, say it
Saying it out loud can help you come to terms with your problems. Being officially diagnosed can be extremely helpful, as it serves as a confirmation and helps you start healing. But only once you personally acknowledge that you have issues, you can start working towards your betterment. You don’t have to shout it out from the rooftops but talking to someone who means to you can help you learn more and realize what’s going on. Accepting your own situation is often the first step on the way to improvement. It’s not going to be easy, but remember that we’re all different so you should always do things on your own terms.
Start therapy as soon as possible
Even if you don’t have a diagnosis, psychotherapy can be of tremendous help. It can be expensive, but it’s something definitely worth saving for. Also, before you start, you need to find a therapist that you click with, because only then your therapy can have a positive effect. If you feel like you and your therapist are not a good match, don’t hesitate to find another one. In fact, it’s important to search for someone who makes you feel comfortable so feel free to change them until you find someone you like. A good therapist will make you feel positive about opening up and admitting things you maybe didn’t even know about. Therefore, be patient and don’t settle for the first person you find. As for the cost, there are many available options, in some places, psychotherapy is covered by health insurance, while those who can’t afford it can attend group sessions in various local organizations and community centers.
Self-medication is the easiest and most available mean of coping with mental health problems, and even though it seems like an easy way out, it’s just another way of not dealing with one’s problems. Drinking and using drugs is the most common way of self-medicating, but there are also people who prefer comfort eating or any other type of excessive behavior such as being overly sexual or spending too much money. Some people tend to continue self-medicating even after being prescribed with medications, which can be dangerous as it leads to addiction. If you feel like you might be heading towards that path, in order to avoid difficult alcohol addiction, it’s recommended to visit your doctor or a local rehab center. Your mental health professional can also be of great help, but it’s important to be determined and come clean about your problems.
Start adopting healthy habits
Making your life as structured as possible is often the first move towards getting healthy. First, it’s recommended to sort out your sleeping, so start going to bed early and try waking up at approximately the same time. If you have disordered eating habits, try eating at least one full meal a day so you’ll be sure you’re getting enough calories. It’s recommended to eat breakfast as soon as you wake up. Exercising is also beneficial to one’s mental health, but if you don’t feel like working out, at least try spending time outdoors and walking. Some habits are harder to adopt but with some self-discipline and effort, it’s definitely feasible. Additionally, try to read more and consume content that makes you feel inspired and optimistic. Instead of getting involved in petty drama on social media, you should listen to podcasts and watch TED talks or similar. Listen to various types of music, and use each day to learn something valuable. Find a hobby that fulfills you and stick with it, even if you don’t succeed at first.
Surround yourself with people who want the best for you
It might sound like a cliche, but it’s true. Getting better means being with people who truly love you and want you to be healthy. Some people are dependent on those who make them miserable, so if you’re surrounded by people like that, try limiting your exposure to their toxic behaviors or practices. Exiting relationships can be hard, so it’s important to do it the right way. Abruptly cutting out others from your life may seem like the right solution, but it’s always better to talk things through, if possible. If you feel like giving up someone is too much, remember that for one destructive person, you probably have two or three of those who genuinely love you for you. Always focus on those who are helping you grow and be a better person. You should be close with those who are good for your mental health, and not with people who are constantly making you doubt yourself.
A lot of dysfunctional behavioral patterns stem from childhood traumas or are simply the way one deals with life. For some, eating a lot of snacks means comfort, which also prompts them to always keep their kitchen pantry stocked. For others, drinking in the evening makes them relaxed enough to fall asleep. Keep in mind that you can get rid of the harmful practices if you put your mind to it. Therapy will help you if you dedicate yourself to it. Keep in mind to always ask for help when you need it and that relying on others for support isn’t something to avoid. If you follow this advice, you’ll start feeling better, but don’t expect changes to come overnight.
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