People would ask me how do I manage having bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, OCPD, and dermatillomania. I give people some suggestions. Things that I would do, what other people do, or what I have read in articles. I give out plenty of options, but I can not give them a definite answer. I can not sit there and say, “If you do, A, B, C, and D, then you will be fine”
The thing is, everybody is different. Everybody has their own way to cope and manage with their own mental health. What works for me may not work for you, your best friend, you wife, your brother, or whoever. Some people have to take their own special time and see what works for them. They have to go through this long journey of trial and error to see what works. Some people write, some people workout, and some people do art. It all depends on the individual. With that being said…
Therapy is not for everybody and meds aren’t for everybody. Now before a stampede of of the therapy cavalier comes to attack me, let me explain. I know some of yall have asked some people, “Does therapy really work?” Then you hear the usual response, “Oh my god! Yyyyeeeessss! It helps me so much! It’s so good for you! I THINK EVERYBODY SHOULD BE IN THERAPY!” Sigh… Sometimes those people annoy me… lol!
Look, there is an upside to therapy. You’re going to get a non-bias perspective from someone to help you figure your own shit. I mean, it’s great to talk to a family members or friends, but let’s face it, most likely they’re going to be on your side. Also, you know which friend is going to have your back, so when you tell the story to them, you’re going to hear what you want hear. A therapist is some one outside your circle, to view your life, and grab things that you weren’t able to grab in the first place. Once it’s brought to your attention, you sit there and figure out how to resolve the issue yourself.
Now, I know therapy is expensive. So if you know someone you who can give their unbiased opinion and have the capability to view other people’s perspective in the same scenario, then talk to that person. That person will help you a lot. Not only therapy is expensive, the thing they don’t tell you about therapy is that it takes time.
First, you have to find the right therapist that works for you. Someone that you feel that will meet your NEEDS. Let me say this again. Someone that will fulfill your NEEDS, not your wants. If you need someone to be blunt with you, even though you don’t like it, but you know it will benefit you in the long run, then get a blunt therapist. Again, what you need to improve mentally and emotionally, make sure that therapist aligns up to it. That will take some time to find.
Second, when you have finally met your “match” (HA! Just like Tinder…lol!) it will take time. It will take several months to get in full conversation mode with your therapist. After all, you’re in a room talking to a complete stranger about your problems. I mean, of course day 1 doesn’t get to the gritty stuff, but still! It will take time. Some people take longer than others. But move in a pace you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to tell them everything. Just things that you want to tell. Even when he/she ask a question that makes you feel uncomfortable you can always say, “I’m not ready to get into that topic” They can’t force you. HOWEVER, realize you’re going to therapy to be a better person. So talking about things that makes you uncomfortable will be necessary. So eventually you will have to open up in order to progress. All I’m saying is, don’t let the therapist to pressure you to get there, but realize you will have to eventually do it; just in your own pace. Got it? Good.
Meds… meds aren’t for everyone too. I believe people with schizophrenia definitely needs them; especially when it’s a severe case. I also believe people with horrible mood swings needs meds. People with a milder case, I think that’s up to the individual. For some people, meds are great. They are able to focus, relax a bit more, and be more productive. That’s fantastic! For some people, it’s just horrible. It doesn’t do anything for them or they get side affects that they dislike. Others, are in between. Because for some people, the meds help with the anxiety and their moods, but it kinda make them feel… uh… “numb” for lack of better words. Numb meaning, they don’t get all the negative feelings anymore, but they don’t feel joy and happiness either. It’s like their mood is in this limbo. It’s not happy but it’s not depressed.
Some people will say, “Okay, so what! If it helps with not being depressed, who cares?” Yea, but part of being human is having feelings. For some people, they see it as the meds taking that away from them; leaving no emotions to experience. If that’s the case, what’s the point living a life if you can not experience the emotions. So some stop taking them.
If you’re not sure about taking meds, my suggestion is, to take them. Hear me out. Try it out for about 2 years. Why do I say 2 years? Well here’s the thing they don’t tell you about meds. It takes a while to get into your body system. Why? Well, let me paint you a picture. Let’s say your body is an empty plastic bottle and the meds are water. Now, on the bottom of the bottle is a very tiny hole. You put some water in it, but the water drips out of the hole. Before you know it the bottle is empty again. In order to keep the bottle from being empty, you gotta keep pouring water. Before you know it the bottle is full. Still dripping, but full. It will remain full as long you keep filling it with water.
When you first take the meds it will easily “drip” out of your system. But once it starts building up as you keep taking it, then your body is “full”. Once it reach it’s “fullness” that when it can really serve it’s purpose. Then after that, you have to see if water (the meds) is right for you. And if water doesn’t work out, doesn’t necessary means you should not take in any more liquid. It can mean you need to try juice, milk, or soda (other type of meds). Now if you tried all these beverages (the meds) and they aren’t working for you, then meds aren’t for you. The only way you would know is to try it.
But you have to be consistent on taking your meds. Most importantly, be very honest with the psychiatrist. Keep open communication on how the meds make you feel. It’s best to log everything. Log any weight gain or loss. Log if you’re moodier in the morning than the afternoon. Log if you’re still having suicidal thoughts. When you log things down, you will noticed a pattern and it will help you to explain to the psychiatrist on what is going on. So then the psychiatrist can change your dosage or prescribe you something else.
Anyway, some people just need therapy and no meds. I know people that go to therapy, but have no prescription. They just need to talk to someone to help them straighten their life out and that’s enough for them. Some people don’t need therapy, but need meds. They have a great support system and they are a fully a self aware individual. It’s just they need meds because it’s more about the chemicals in their brain. And some people, like myself, need both. Some people don’t need any of that! They go to the gym 2 hours a day, 6 days a week, and that helps them out. Some people volunteer. Some people listen to music.
Bottom line, there is no wrong or right way on managing your mental health. The best way, is YOUR way. Just as long you talk to family, friends, doctors, and you do research, then your road in becoming a person will be fine. Before you ask yourself, “do I need therapy?” or “do I need meds?” Ask these questions… “who am I surrounding myself with?”, “is my living environment stressful?”, and “am I following my passion?” Because if you’re surrounded by toxic people, then it’s not you, it’s them! If your living situation is overwhelming, it’s not you, get f*ck out! Pronto! If you’re not following your passion, then start doing it, even if it’s just a hobby. If you don’t know what’s your passion, then search for it!
I hope my long rant of managing your mental health have helped you out. If you have specific questions, then go to the contact page and send it to me there. Or you can follow me on my instagram. Thanks reading and remember to adult one day at a time, seeya!