As you probably know mental Illness is very difficult to deal with for many reasons. First, learning there is something wrong with our brains puts a shiver down the spine. No one wants their credibility to be diminished because of a “label.”
But when it comes to getting a diagnosis that label can mean at the very least an explanation for what is wrong. Secondly, the correct diagnosis allows us to get treated properly and then we can work toward leaning how to live with and manage the symptoms of our illness.
I know in my case I resisted the diagnosis of bipolar because of the stigma of mental illness. I thought my life was over when I found out I had a serious mental illness. I did not know anything about recovery and only wished the illness would go away. But we all know when we have a problem it just does not go away. We have to deal with it no matter how unpleasant that can be.
There are so many facets that challenge the very essence of who we are when that label becomes a reality in our lives. It affects our confidence and self-esteem and rivers our ability to carry on with life in a “normal” way.
The best way I have found to deal with my own situation is to take every step and break it down into small pieces. Find out as much as you can about whatever illness you are dealing with. Think of it this way, if you had cancer would you just sit back and do whatever anyone told you what to do? Or would you take an active roll in understanding what was going on?
Research the medications you are prescribed so you know what to expect from the side effects. Know your triggers and warning signs. Put a plan into action if you get into a crisis situation so your loved ones know what to do to help you if for some reason you cannot help yourself.
I found it helpful to read about others who have learned to live well with their illness. It gave me hope that one day I too could recover. Recovery does not mean the illness went away, it just means I am able to live a full life inspite of it.
Above all, even though it sounds trite and simple never ever give up hope no matter how difficult things may be. Take one day at a time and keep believing things will get better.
I personally have been at rock bottom and I know it looks dark and dreary in that place. But I also know that things do get better and sometimes it just may surprise you at how well things can turn out.