We Are In This Together

Diagram of person's head with black vessels running through brain

We Are A Mental Health Family

The DSM Ready Community was started in order to attract an international body of people who have or currently suffer from a mental illness or just want to discuss mental health issues in general. Not everyone suffers from a mental illness, but everyone suffers from mental distress at some point in their lives. No one is able to say, “I’ve never felt anything before.” We all have! By opening up about your issues, we will be able to attract more people into this community and help the stigma of mental health fade away for good!

Don’t Forget About Your Family

Father walking with child near trees towards lake during sunrise

Stuck In Your Own Ways

As we continue to isolate ourselves due to evolving technology, it becomes much easier to forget about our family. With so many social media platforms, entertaining websites, Netflix and other outlets of entertainment, we sometimes end up getting stuck within our own world, forgetting about the important matters of life. One of the most important matters is maintaining a strong and meaningful connection with your loved ones.

As you grow older, it becomes easier to depart from your family as you gain more independence. Your thoughts change, the way you view the world evolves and your past relationships are not necessarily interpreted the same as in the present. As you continue to go down your path, by slowing losing touch with your family, you grow more distant from them, only making the process of reestablishing rapport and a meaningful connection more difficult.

Don’t allow technology to ruin your family relations; think of technology as a bonus and not a necessity. The beauty of technology is that it provides us with greater access to information and entertainment, but sometimes at the expense of face to face communication, and nothing is greater than in-person interactions. Don’t tip the balance on technology’s side; family and friends should always come first.

Especially during this pandemic and social distancing, it’s much easier to isolate yourself at home and get lost in your own little world, forgetting to keep in touch or simply losing interest in doing so. The more you spend time by yourself, the more you become comfortable going without the opinions, thoughts and beliefs of others in your life. In other words, you become comfortable distancing yourself and sometimes you don’t even know it; others have to tell you.

Enjoy every moment that you spend with your loved ones because tomorrow is not promised. Even though it might seem like a “been there, done that” feeling whenever you gather together, change that thought and replace it with “just being in the moment.” You want to learn how to appreciate the present moment regardless if it reminds you of a previous experience in the past. Make each moment something new and special; just enjoy every second and imagine instructing your mind to slow down your perception of time, so that you can make sure to capture every detail as vividly as possible.

Every moment spent with your loved ones is a blessing; treat them like so.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Circle Of Life

Red-headed woman sitting and smiling besides brunette woman on couch

Good Times With Family And Friends

The circle of life often involves many common events and activities which you have already experienced in the past. But not everything that is experienced multiple times gets old. One of these activities is the precious and quality time spent with family and friends. No matter how many times you have done it in the past, it never seems to get old for many good reasons.

It is so important to maintain a strong connection with your family and friends. The circle of life can bring upon you so many stressful and disabling situations, that you often become paralyzed and don’t know how to react. But when you have family and friends to meet up with, it can make a great positive impact on your mental health and well-being.

The reality of the matter is that your family and friends will not always be available for good times. Many people have family and friends who live out of state; the opportunity to spend time with them often comes down to only a couple of times per year. But even then, precious and quality moments with them can often be very healing for your state of mind.

Your family and close friends are the only people in your life who understand you the most. It helps so much to have them in your life, even if you only see them a couple of times a year. This frequency is much better for your mental health than meeting with fake friends once or twice a month.

As with almost anything in life, quality should always trump quantity. Many people experience very stressful careers; having a few quality people in your life who support you and make you smile is one of the best feelings in the world. Nothing can replace a strong family unit and quality friends.

A strong family unit and quality friends can also keep you away from alcohol and drugs when feeling stressed. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of an addiction, when you know that no one is available for you to check in with. That’s why it’s so important to amend your relationships if they are currently struggling.

One of the goals of The DSM Ready Community is to build a strong network based on family and friends. Together we can!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Best Black Friday Deals

Young brunette woman hugging Siberian Husky near bed of purple flowers outdoors

Being With The Ones You Love

Here is an example of a day which we mentally and emotionally flock to, hoping to score the best deals on materialism. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying materialism, it’s important to understand that it will not bring you potent happiness that can last you a lifetime. The potent happiness that will last you a lifetime is obtained by being around your loved ones.

When we seek materialism, we are searching for a source of happiness that comes outside of us. The difference between this outside source of happiness and others, is that the concept of materialism is similar to a drug: the more you have it, the more you want it. It all has to do with the pleasure center in our brain called the Nucleus Accumbens.

The pleasure center is responsible for rewarding us with dopamine, a feel-good chemical messenger released when we perform pleasurable activities. In this case, directing our attention and energy on scoring the best Black Friday deals, revs up our dopamine neurons which reward us with pleasure and good feelings.

The best deal that you can receive on Black Friday is the presence of your loved ones. Nothing compares to having your spouse, parents, children, family members and pets around you for a nice long weekend! It’s family that brings you love, peace and happiness. When you replace materialism with family, then that’s when you know that you have lost touch with the values of life.

We often search for more in our lives because we have a very deadly habit of taking things for granted. When we take things for granted, we no longer appreciate them as much as we once did. Our attention becomes directed to other things in life, such as drugs, alcohol, materialism and lust.

When we take things for granted, we often lose them sometime down the road, tormenting us and inflicting mental and even somatic pain for years to come. We then heavily turn to drugs, alcohol or lust to alleviate our pain, and the process repeats itself until we end up in a psychiatric hospital or rehab.

The best Black Friday deal is right before your eyes: your family, friends and pets! And you have already received the greatest blessing from God: life itself.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

We Are The Patients’ Family

Three persons looking down on their colorful sneakers

Interaction With Psychiatric Patients

Some psychiatric patients have been institutionalized for so long, that they no longer have a family on the outside. Their family has either moved on and away from their lives, have passed away, or simply feel distant and disconnected from them. After many years of hospitalization, the psychiatrists and the team have become the patients family.

Many patients have different goals and objectives. Some patients are goal-oriented and comply with the team’s instructions: they take medications, attend groups, follow instructions and are working towards discharge. But some patients are too psychotic to even take a shower or utilize the toilet; these are the ones who end up staying institutionalized for years or even life.

Some patients avoid prison time by malingering that they have a mental illness. They will literally feign symptoms, in order to convince the court to send them to a psychiatric institute to serve the rest of their time. These patients may have an underlying mental illness, but not the one they are obviously feigning.

And then there are the patients who have a mental illness, are functioning and not symptomatic at the moment, but refuse to be discharged because they have no where else to go. Some of these patients do not even have a family anymore. They are so comfortable living in the psychiatric hospital, that it has become their home and we have become their family!

No matter what situation or state of mind a psychiatric patient is in, the primary team adopts a family role in most patients eyes. We are the ones providing medication, comfort, treatment plans, diets, mental and physical support, encouragement, time and care!

The moment that you see their eyes harboring a release of tears, is the moment that you come to the realization that we are in fact their family!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Why Religion Is Still Important

Silhouette of cross under dark clouds

One Blood Under God

For millennials and Generation Z, the interest in patriotism, religion and family have fallen by 9%, 12% and 16%, respectively. Values are changing from the past and this may be good and bad. Just because society is viewed as “progressive” does not mean that it serves us any better than it once did.

A religion is a particular system of faith and worship. For many people who have had the blessing of being taught about God from an early age, religion has helped guide their life through adversity and through good times. However, it is important to note that religion and spirituality are not always the same.

Many people can be religious and attend church “for the hell of it.” For these people, God does not look down upon them with good favor; going through the motions is not loveworthy. And then there are spiritual people who may not attend church but believe the bible and that Christ was the son of god who was sacrificed in order to save humanity; they show god their love in privacy. For these people, god shines his light on them.

So if you utilize religion or spirituality for purposes other than the love for Christ and God our creator, then you are not helping yourself much. Religion is still important because it helps guide our life; it gives us a purpose besides our selfish human desires which often lead us into temptations, lust and sin. Religion is the foundation which helps connect us to each other and to our creator.

Raising a family is also still very important! In the bible it says, “man shall leave his parents and unite with woman and become one.” It pleases God to see man and woman unite. In the bible it goes on to say, “For man was created first, but God saw that man was lonely, so he created woman out of man.” God gave us the power to create and it should feel good to bring a new being into this world.

The loss of interest in raising a family can be risky because it may promote promiscuity. Family and religion are the bedrocks to living an honest and loyal life; this does not mean that it always happen! But at least they help. But being single or with a significant other for too long, especially in this day and age, can lead to shifting interests which may result in breakups, unhappiness and even mental illness.

Lastly, patriotism is still important as well! No group of people should isolate themselves and believe that they are better than others; God does not favor arrogance. He created all colors and ethnicities; we are all one blood under God. But what we should do is be patriotic by loving and supporting our country. By coming together, this helps us remain united and advance society in the right direction.

Overall, religion, family and patriotism are values which are not as important among millennials and Generation Z. But just because a trend arises, does not mean that you have to agree with it, or even worse, participate in it. Stand up for what you believe in!

The DSM Ready Movement believes in religion, family and patriotism!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Living By Yourself

Single purple flower growing on lawn at night

From Flowers To Trees

Spending a lot of time by yourself can be good and bad. Alone time allows you to fully experience your true self without putting up any barriers. This helps you feel free and live life on your terms. You don’t have to worry about someone telling you to wash the dishes, get the groceries or clean the house.

Living by yourself allows you to establish patterns and rituals which help you feel happy and comfortable; all the power lies in your hands! You become accustomed to doing things your way. This feels very rewarding because you become more in tune with yourself; you learn more about what you like and dislike.

But too much time by yourself can also backfire! When someone comes into your life, you may feel like your space is violated and start to dislike their presence. For instance, your kitchen may be picture perfect, but after somebody visits you, things may be arranged differently which suddenly annoys you.

Why does this happen? You’re usually not annoyed by people! But this is the problem with being by yourself for too long of a time; you become enclosed within a bubble. And anyone who is coming into your bubble is contaminating it; you become defensive and territorial!

This can lead to ruined relationships, not because you dislike others, but because you have become rigid and inflexible. Unconsciously, you take out your discomfort onto others for violating your space. But in reality, they are not violating anything; it’s your mind which needs to revert back to accepting the presence of others who enter your space.

After all, friends and family are there to provide support and love. Remind yourself that nothing is more precious than shared love. The love for yourself will always be there, but without others’ love, it can only grow so much. Rather than keeping your bubble solo and immaculate, allow others into it and risk some discomfort.

You grow best in the presence of others: a single flower can wither away while a family tree can last many years to come.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Family Is Everything

Parents and children walking on campground

Unconditional Love

Life works in unpredictable ways; one moment you are spending time laughing with your friends and the other you are staring out of a psychiatric unit window wondering what you did wrong in life. Having a supportive family by your side can help bring you back to a comfortable place mentally.

Your family knows you best; they were there for you during your childhood, and for some, even provided you with a roof above your head during your adulthood. Bonding with your family helps remind you of all the good memories from the past; this results in an overall feeling of well-being.

Behavioral problems can decrease when you receive family support. For instance, a very agitated patient who is involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric unit improves dramatically in her behavior after her parents visit her for 30 minutes. This is because parents provide a comforting touch that no psychiatrist or clinician can provide; they know which buttons to push and which emotions to trigger for the better.

A family provides you with self-confidence. They teach you the ways of the world and how to deal with good and bad situations. It is wise to learn from your family because some of them have been around longer than you have; time provides experience and wisdom!

Interactions with your family provides an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Your family knows a lot about how you think and through their responses in conversations, you can come to the realization of any negative thought process you hold. A family provides you the opportunity to take an inward look at yourself and fix any issues or faults which you previously had not observed.

They can help you become a better person by teaching morals and values which you did not previously pick up as a child. A strong family core can help keep you grounded in life and prevent you from drifting in the wrong directions. One of your greatest gifts is your family, so love them with all your might and be thankful for their presence!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Cherish Your Family

Five person family walking on seashore during golden hour

Your Family Is The Blessing

No matter how difficult the world may be, do not lose your bond with your family. A family is a source of emotional support, protection, love and security. Even if arguments arise from time to time, brush them aside and look at the bigger picture: “I have a family I can be with.”

Some individuals lose their family from a young age; they may become lost in life and turn to drugs, prostitution, criminal activity or even sex trafficking. Their nest crumbled at a young age and they were never ready to tackle the hardships of society. Remember to remind yourself how your family is still around; count your blessings!

Utilize your family to learn and grow from. Do not repeat the same mistakes they make; be the role model and teach them right from wrong. A family is a unit that learn’s from each other; put aside your ego and humble yourself.

Be thankful for every day that you get to spend with your family; friends cannot replicate the same consistent natural love that you obtain from your family. Because friends come and go, but a strong family can be there for a lifetime. Everyday that you have the opportunity to hear, speak to or be around your family is a blessing.

Let’s make The DSM Ready Movement an international family focused on peace, love, prosperity and success!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)