You Must Be Persistent In Life

Silhouette photography of man standing on roof of building demonstrating persistence

Fighting For What You Want

Life will throw many obstacles your way. If you remain passive and don’t fight back, you will lose yourself within the tide. Many people don’t fight back for something because they want to avoid dilemmas, complications or conflicts. But by not being persistent, you risk losing something important to you. And in the end, you are the one who ends up suffering.

To be persistent is to continue firmly in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Difficult events in life are not accidental; they are presented to you as opportunities to build upon your character. As frustrating as opposition may be, you have to adopt a warrior mentality that can be used when most needed.

A warrior mentality does not mean that you are a bad person; on the contrary, it makes you a smart and efficient person. It keeps you on your toes when adversity knocks at your door. It helps you avoid defeat by maintaining a strong state of mind. A warrior mentality is needed to fight for what you want in life.

It is not always easy to remain persistent. Over time, it can become grueling, especially when you don’t immediately see the results that you want. But you have to keep pushing! No one said that it would be easy. But the more that you persist and shoot for the stars, the more strength you will gather for future battles.

Life is supposed to get easier as you age: you are gaining more experience, wealth, success and positive people in your life. That is the goal. But if you find that life is getting more difficult as you age, then you must take a step back and reanalyze yourself and your current situation.

The worst thing that you can do is to give up your persistence in life. There will be many losses, but you cannot allow them to throw you off your course. Losing is part of the recipe for success; without it, you wouldn’t know what winning feels like. But giving up is not part of the formula for success; many give up, but few make it to the top!

It’s lonely at the top for a reason. Therefore, let’s widen the margin and bring more people to the top. And that can only be done with persistence and a fighting spirit.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Taking Breaks From Exercising

Young woman in gym with headphones on tying her right shoe

Space Out Your Workouts

Life is more than just exercising all the time. Once a fitness routine is established, we sometimes become obsessive; we worry if we miss a workout. Unless you are training for the olympics or are a pro athlete, it’s fine and acceptable to space out your workouts and take some pressure off your shoulders.

Working out too consistently can actually promote fatigue and burnout. This can increase your chances of kissing your workouts goodbye for good. Once burnout occurs, it becomes quite difficult to recover; it’s key to avoid it in the first place. Imagine all of your months or years of hard work, only to lose it all because you became burned out!

The key to maintaining a proper workout regimen is to space out the days in which you exercise. Your routine need not be rigidly consistent over a long period of time. This may work at first, but over time, it greatly increases your chances of losing interest. Rather, space out your workouts and be flexible. If on one day you do not feel like exercising, find something else to do!

You do not have to feel guilty or stressed because you skipped a workout day. Rather, find another activity which will take your mind off exercising and bring you peace and relaxation. Sometimes just “chilling” is all you need to feel good and take your mind off fitness.

There are so many other activities which you can do rather than exercising all of the time. Learn to find pleasure in various activities and hobbies; a rigid life will stir up your mental health in the wrong direction and potentially increase your chances of developing a mental illness.

A repetitive life can quickly spiral out of control. It may cause you to not only lose interest in exercising but in life in general. Once a certain threshold of stress has been surpassed, your chances of developing a substance abuse disorder or major depression increase substantially.

Don’t overdo your workouts. Sometimes going with the flow is all you need to remain relaxed and happy in life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

You Cannot Always Win In Life

Grayscale photo of disappointed man holding hand on his face

Dealing With Losses

Life is full of surprises. Even when you expect a certain event to go your way, you can be slapped in the face with an opposite and unexpected result. This is how life works. But this does not mean that you should retaliate with anger or revolt. You have to learn how to deal with your losses and come to acceptance with the fact that you cannot always win in life.

Sometimes you want to win at something so bad that you cannot even think of what it would feel like to lose. And there is nothing wrong with that mentality as long as you don’t become devastated when you do lose. The worst thing that you can do is to become a sore loser and remain miserable afterwards.

Losing is part of life; it shouldn’t be dealt with negativity and anger. Losing is like an unexpected treasure: you can take away nuggets of information that will help you understand what you can do better next time. A mistake many people make is to not learn from their losses and turn a blind eye; this almost makes the entire experience pointless to being with.

It’s no secret that losses hurt. But it hurts even more when you don’t handle them properly, maturely and effectively. Another positive thing about losses is that they enhance your future wins; opposites almost always attract in life. But if you were to always win, the experiences would become saturated and you would no longer be as appreciative.

Once you start accepting the reality that you cannot always win in life, you will become more at peace with yourself and life events. Things in life will no longer bother you as much as they once did. You will more easily be able to overcome losses and move forward in life with less holdups.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

Team holding their hands together on a tree

Learning To Work In A Team

We are all selfish to a certain degree. If we could accomplish everything ourselves and take all the credit, we’d ask each other “where do I sign up?” Accomplishments feel good and attract attention and praise; it elevates our self-esteem and even provides us with greater motivation to achieve unaccomplished goals.

But not everything can be accomplished by yourself. Sometimes you need to learn how to work in a team. Many people shoot themselves in the foot by refusing to be great team players; their stubbornness or arrogance holds them back from reaching their full potential in life.

Don’t be one of them. There is nothing wrong with working in a team; collaboration brings many minds together to help solve problems more efficiently. People can tell when you are selfish and not a team player. And guess what happens? Many doors of opportunity are never opened for you, because they are opened for others who are willing to shine together.

Selfishness reeks to high heaven. Who wants to be around a skunk? That’s how you are perceived when everything is about you. Nobody has any interest in trying to guide or help you achieve your dreams. This does not necessarily mean that people don’t like you or won’t talk to you; they just won’t share a piece of the cake with you.

Teamwork truly makes the dream work. Very few people become a success story on their own. There is always a coach, mentor, teacher, guidance counselor, family member or someone significant who helps flip a person into a success story. You have to discover who those people are and allow them to help you, while you help them too!

And even if you start seeing success while working in a team, don’t become arrogant and take all the credit. Rather, be humble and give credit where credit is due. It is better to take less credit for your achievements than to brag with your chest puffed out. People will be more appreciative of your honesty and humbleness.

No talent goes unnoticed. But talent without teamwork can fall short of its full potential.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Conduct Disorder

Adolescent boy with conduct disorder showing his hands with eight silver-colored rings

Born To Hate

Conduct disorder is a mental illness of childhood or adolescence that presents with antisocial behavior, trouble following rules and the struggle to show empathy towards others. Untreated conduct disorder usually progresses to antisocial personality disorder. But antisocial personality disorder cannot be diagnosed without having conduct disorder as a child or adolescent.

The theory is that there is an impairment in the frontal lobe of the brain, the area responsible for reasoning. Children with conduct disorder fail to learn from negative experiences, resulting in the inability to properly adjust their behaviors. These are the children and teens who society labels as juveniles or delinquents.

Adolescents with conduct disorder may have a history of sexual or physical abuse, parental substance abuse, family violence and conflict or come from a poverty-stricken environment. Some may also have comorbidities such as other psychiatric disorders. All of these factors take an excessive toll on the young and developing mind of a child, resulting in hatred and anger towards oneself or others around them.

Common signs of conduct disorder include:

  • Stealing
  • Getting involved in physical fights
  • Truancy
  • Missing curfew on more than one occasion
  • Bullying and threatening others
  • Destruction of property (i.e.: arson, burglary)
  • Substance abuse
  • Harming animals and feeling no remorse
  • Rape
  • Using weapons to cause harm to others

When children with conduct disorder perform the above actions, they have no remorse, do not care about consequences that may arise, lack empathy for others and have no concern for education. They are literally miniature versions of adult criminals; think of Tony Soprano growing up.

There is no psychopharmacological treatment for conduct disorder, unless treating a cooccurring psychiatric disorder such as depression, ADHD, bipolar or anxiety disorder. Treatment usually involves family therapy, group therapy or psychotherapy. The goal is to help the child or adolescent develop insight into their destructive behaviors and prevent future ones from arising.

Once conduct disorder is diagnosed into antisocial personality disorder at age 18, it becomes significantly harder to treat the adult. Therefore, the goal is to successfully treat the young mind while it still has the chance to be positively influenced. Do not give up on children or adolescents with conduct disorder. There is always hope.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Excessive Worrying

Man holding cigarette and worrying too much

How To Stop Worrying About Everything

The mind often gets stuck in a never-ending cycle of worries, affecting your sanity and wellbeing. Worries can become very bothersome because you always wonder what will happen in the near future. They usually arise from a past behavior or action or a future result which has not occurred yet.

Worries can become very excessive, especially if you made a mistake that no one knows about. You feel like you are stuck and holding onto a secret: you don’t want to voluntarily admit the mistake to others unless you have to. So you start to worry about others discovering your mistake.

You either let time back you up and allow the memory of your mistake to be left behind in your past, or you continue to worry. Oftentimes, many people continue to naturally worry, fearing any future consequences. But the effective way of controlling worries is to stop thinking about them and move on.

You have to learn how to adopt a confident state of mind where you are willing to accept any consequences that may result from your mistakes. But this does not mean that you must keep worrying, because worries lead to rumination, stress and anxiety. As long as you admit to your mistakes, you can let go of your worries more easily.

Some people also worry about everything: paying the bills, taking the dog for a walk, making more money, getting a nice haircut, getting new clothes, etc. Excessive worrying may even progress to generalized anxiety disorder. To curb excessive worrying, you must find your inner strength to not care so much; just let things be.

After many years of living on Earth, our brain often gets stuck in unproductive patterns and never-ending cycles of unnecessary thoughts; think of a computer hard drive that can use a defragmentation to help smooth out the process. If you don’t break this vicious cycle of unproductive thoughts, it will only get worse.

To break the cycle is to take a risk; everything in life is a risk. Therefore, take the risk of not worrying anymore. See what happens! You might discover freedom and a sense of relaxation, as if a heavy burden has been lifted off your shoulders. Life is not meant for us to always worry about something.

Our goal should be to live a peaceful life and focus on improving ourselves and our relationships with one another.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

2019 World Suicide Prevention Day

Woman with mental illness laying on floor with blood on face

Working Together To Prevent Suicide

One person dies every 40 seconds from suicide. That means that every 40 seconds, one person out there is ready to depart life in search of freedom; freedom from pain, misery, emptiness and the black hole which they have been living in. But little do they know that ending their life is not the solution and will not bring them freedom.

Not everyone commits suicide from depression, but untreated mental illness is definitely the top contributor. Some people suffer from chronic pain or very debilitating physical disorders which they no longer can withstand; they find an escape by ceasing to experience life further on.

For others, intolerable PTSD, OCD, depression, substance abuse or anorexia nervosa causes them to pull the trigger. Mental illness is just as common as physical disorders but society has yet to accept this. Many people all over the world still maintain an outdated mentality that mental illness is not something serious; a weakness of some sort.

With such a prevalent and outdated view on mental health, the victims remain in hiding, out of fear of ridicule, embarrassment or abandonment. Their existence in hiding slowly repels more light from their life, turning their surroundings in a living black hole. Once in the black hole, the little strength they still have is slowly sucked out of them.

Once a person with mental illness becomes closer to drowning in the black hole, they start to feel that they have no options left besides pulling the plug. They begin to contemplate suicide and plan their methods and timing. They may attempt a few times and fail; this fuels them even more. They continue to attempt suicide, resulting in one of two outcomes: they are saved by those around them or they succeed in ending their life.

We need to do better. We can do better. Suicide and mental illness can no longer be treated as back-burner health issues. More people are committing suicide than ever before; you know it’s serious when the recent spike has mostly been in adolescents. Allowing this to go on is unacceptable.

We need to work together to prevent suicide. We are souls that need to come together to save other souls. And some souls become lost in the process. It is our duty as loving human beings to prevent their early demise. Imagine the bright future that people who commit suicide could have had if they only would have received help in time!

Today, you can be that person who provides help; that shoulder to cry on!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Stuck Within A Psychiatric Institution

Psychiatric patient standing on gray mesh surface

Imprisoned By Your Mind

To be institutionalized means that a patient has been in a psychiatric institution for such a long period of time that they have become used to it. They no longer have any interest in leaving the hospital because they have become too comfortable; their family has become the staff working on the unit.

Even if a psychiatric patient is qualified for discharge, they still may not want to leave; it just doesn’t matter anymore. Too much time has passed; they have lost the sense of what it feels like to live in society. The thought of leaving their comfort zone sounds terrifying; they prefer to remain locked up.

Imagine the government banging on your door and saying, “we are knocking down this house, you need to pack your bags and go. You have one week!” This is how some psychiatric patients feel when discharge becomes an option. Even though they may be asymptomatic and functional, they view the idea of discharge as “packing up my bags and starting from scratch.”

Most if not all psychiatric patients enter an institution with displeasure and discomfort. Their daily goal is to get one step closer to discharge; every day brings new hope. But there is a threshold upon which a patient has either lost hope or has become too comfortable with their new environment; this is the point of no return.

Once a patient crosses this invisible line, it becomes very difficult to get them to accept the idea of discharge. Some patients will actually regress and become symptomatic again in order to avoid being released. Some even start to improve and then will say things such as, “I don’t want this treatment anymore because I want to remain psychotic.”

Some patients have been mentally ill for so long, that if they start seeing their symptoms go away, they become uncomfortable. Their mind has become so used to their illness that they view sanity as a threat; an unfamiliar territory. So they start to become noncompliant with medications, forcing psychiatrists to obtain court orders.

The reality is that for many chronic psychiatric patients, they want to remain psychotic and institutionalized. This is their reality; their way of viewing the world. They have established their routines and their way of living. And if you step inside their world and start making plans for them, they start to see you as an intruder who is interfering with their life.

The dim reality as viewed by one person is paradise as viewed by another.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Is ADHD Considered A Mental Illness?

Boy with ADHD opening his mouth and screaming

Driven By A Motor

ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental illness that is diagnosed in childhood, but in some cases, in adulthood as well. It’s an impulsive and chronic disorder characterized by inattention and hyperactivity. It’s considered a mental illness for two reasons: it’s classified in the DSM-V and the nature of its behavior revolves around mental symptoms.

Children with ADHD cannot sit still or maintain focus for an extended period of time. At school, the teachers complain that the child does not follow rules, does not take turns, shouts out answers when not called upon and distracts other children. Think of the class clown who is always causing a commotion and giving the teacher a hard time.

At home, the parents complain that the child will not do his homework, is always running around the house, cannot sit still and is always up to something, as if driven by a motor. For ADHD to be diagnosed, the symptoms must be witnessed in two settings, such as at school and at home.

Others behavioral symptoms of ADHD include: irritability, excitability, aggression, fidgeting, impulsivity, lack of restraint or persistent repetition of words or actions. As children mature into adults, the inattention tends to persist while the hyperactivity diminshes.

Cognitive symptoms of ADHD include: difficulty focusing, absent-mindedness, a short attention span and forgetfulness. Children with ADHD do not necessarily have a learning disorder or any problems with memory consolidation. But their mental illness prevents them from sitting still long enough to properly learn the school material.

Some mood symptoms experienced by children with ADHD include: anxiety, depression, anger, boredom or excitement. Having undiagnosed and untreated ADHD comes with a lot of consequences. Children may be punished for their disruptive behavior or suspended from school, causing them to feel angry or even depressed.

Many children who are raised in families who do not believe in mental illness may never receive a diagnosis or the treatment needed for their ADHD. That’s why it is important to end mental health stigma and normalize mental illness so we can all receive the care which we need and deserve.

Living with mental illness is not an easy task. But living with an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness makes that task tremendously more difficult!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

To Win Is To Suffer

Young man reaching his arms up high after winning

Keep Pushing The Limits

Perseverance, persistence, confidence, repetition, hard work, motivation, etc. All of these traits are necessary to push to the next level and elevate your status. But to achieve higher levels of success requires experiencing more hurdles of pain. Without pain, there is no easy ride.

Many obstacles can present themselves on your path to success. But obstacles are not meant to be viewed in a negative manner; they are there to help you develop more resilience and strength. Some obstacles are more difficult than others; but the more difficult ones bring the most memorable rewards.

To develop an attitude of winning is to remain humble, hungry and respectful to yourself and to others around you; those who are not, only win to a certain extent. What comes around goes around: to consistently win and climb the ladder of success requires a persona that can be appreciated by many.

The consequence of winning is recognition: people notice when achievements are earned. To win is to achieve a successful result in a contest, conflict or endeavor; every human being wants to win! It’s a natural feeling that brings joy, bliss and a sense of well-being.

Many people don’t achieve their full potential because they become comfortable with their current level of success. If you have achieved success, why stop now? As long as your mind, body and soul are willing, that means that there is more gas in the tank for you to keep pushing the limits!

Most importantly, the process of winning is meant to be fun. That means that the process of suffering is meant to be fun, since to win is to suffer. Fun means enjoyment, amusement or lighthearted pleasure. Why is suffering fun? Because it brings you one step closer to achieving your goals!

But the actual process of suffering feels miserable. It’s accompanied by pain, tears, stress, anger, sadness and uncertainty. But remind yourself that without experiencing these emotions, it becomes very difficult to win and achieve success. Therefore, retrain your mind to view suffering as a fun process, that will one day deliver you the goods which you have longed for!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)