Living With Mental Illness Like There’s No Tomorrow
Who cares what people think of your mental illness. If they have that much time to ponder on why you’re suffering from X, Y and Z symptoms, then they probably do not have anything better to do with their life. On the other hand, you’re living it up like there’s no tomorrow, because you can care less what others think about you. You’re mentally ill, so what?
Mental illness is not something to be ashamed of. The brain goes haywire sometimes, just as our organs can unpredictably malfunction. But life goes on and the beautiful thing about mental illness is that it’s not life threatening, as long as you are medicated or seeking some form of behavioral or talk therapy.
You can maintain a normal and even exciting life with a mental illness; depending on the severity that is, and whether it’s controlled. But even when it’s not fully controlled, people are still able to maintain normal lives. For instance, someone who suffers from panic attacks can still lead a normal life, even if some panic attacks occasionally sneak into the picture.
No one can have a perfect life. One person might suffer from occasional panic attacks while somebody else suffers from inconsistent glucose levels, requiring insulin adjustments. And people with no mental health diagnosis or physical disorders may be unhappy or suffering from fluctuating emotions. Everyone is dealing with something.
Living with mental illness like there’s no tomorrow does not mean that you shouldn’t take the consequences of your actions into consideration. Mental illness or not, your actions should always be accountable; you should always keep in mind the consequences that follow your behavior.
But never allow your mental illness to prevent you from living a productive life full of happiness, positive energy and the belief of achieving your dreams. We can all lead awesome lives, whether suffering from a mental illness or not.
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)
Psychiatric patients are very unique individuals from many different walks of life. There is no such thing as a typical patient. Patients cannot be standardized and identified based on appearance or behavior. Even if it were so, the unpredictability of psychiatric patients would make them outliers in as little as a few hours.
A psychiatric patient is not always someone who “was crazy ever since I can remember.” Many patients previously held impressive jobs and were functioning members of society. They were able to attend work, pay the bills, raise a family and even treat patients themselves!
Each patient has a unique story somewhere within them; you just have to access it beneath the many layers of psychopathology. What makes it difficult in talking with psychiatric patients is their unpredictability in behavior and speech. Sometimes they shower you down with words, while other times, you feel like you are talking to a brick wall.
Just because it might be difficult to talk to them, does not mean that you should get discouraged and lose hope. Many family members also struggle to talk with patients who are their relatives. Imagine how difficult it is for a mother to see her son institutionalized and refusing to eat or drink water?
Family members suffer the most; wouldn’t you if that were your son, daughter, father or mother? But we cannot give up on them. We are all in this together in helping psychiatric patients reach a functional level that is appropriate for living a safe and healthy life in society.
Always keep in mind that psychiatric patients may be difficult to talk to; expect it. And don’t get angry with them. It’s so easy to become frustrated after they consistently pull your hair out, but remind yourself that they are mentally ill human beings who are not in their right state of mind!
Don’t make their life harder than it has to be. Treat them with respect and care.
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)
Sanity is often taken for granted and not given enough recognition. We live our lives on autopilot, coasting through our days with little worry and concern about our mental health; until a disturbance in our consciousness becomes evident. Then we slow down, press the pause button and wonder, “what was that?”
Now imagine having no pause button because you never had a signal to slow down. Your final destination becomes questionable because you are now confronted with suspicions, beliefs or worries which you never previously thought about. And the scary part is that you start to believe these delusions without knowing them to be delusions.
Imagine believing that your mind is controlled by a government, that there are electrodes placed inside of you, that shoes give you electric shocks or that someone famous is in love with you. 10% of the time you question these beliefs, leaving you 90% of the time in a twilight state.
Imagine no longer being able to tell the difference between what is real and what is not; slowly, more ideas and situations become incorporated into your delusional world. You don’t know what to believe anymore! You are slowly being robbed of your reality, piece by piece, minute by minute; a fictional world now stands as your best bet of becoming your final destination.
And what is a final destination which does not exist?