Mental health problems affect ever-increasing numbers of people across the country, causing distress, misery, and lost productivity on a massive scale. Sadly many people don’t seek help for their mental health problems until they become severe, which means that recovery takes longer and is more problematic. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, it’s difficult to cope with on many levels, but there are ways you can help yourself to recover from your illness and return to leading a happy, fulfilling life.
The complications of mental illness
Having a mental health condition has added complications compared to a physical illness. Firstly, there are no outward signs of mental illness, at least not until you become very severely afflicted. That means people you meet and friends and family might not realize how sick you are, and to add to the problem, a lot of people still find it hard to be honest about mental health issues, so they don’t tell people they’re unwell.
You might find that because people don’t know there’s anything wrong, they won’t understand if you seem out of sorts, don’t want to talk, or you become irritable or angry. They may just assume you’re having a bad day, or they may even take offense and think you don’t like them anymore. The only way to avoid this problem is to be open about your illness. You don’t have to give any more details than you feel comfortable with, but unless people know you’re unwell, they won’t be able to understand your behavior.
The nature of mental illness
Another problem with mental health disorders is that because your brain is the organ that’s ailing, in many respects your thought processes aren’t working in the way they usually would. For example, if you have depression, you’re likely to view yourself and your abilities in a very poor light, being unduly self-critical and often convinced that not only do people not like you but that you are essentially unworthy of their regard. Managing these thoughts when you’re ill is a real challenge, which is why it’s so important to make sure you have a good support network in place, with both professional help, plus support from those close to you, to aid your recovery.
Another common problem for people with mental health problems is substance abuse. When you’re unhappy or your thinking is disordered, you may think the answer lays in a bottle of vodka, or a narcotic high. Although these substances might provide a form of temporary relief from the misery of mental health problems, in the long run, they make the situation worse. Therefore, if you’ve started taking these substances when you have a mental health disorder, you should find out about rehabilitation centers that specialize in helping people with both mental health problems and substance abuse issues, such as benzo withdrawal treatment.
It’s never easy to live with poor mental health, and it can feel almost impossible to help yourself get better at times. Just remember that’s the illness making you think that way, and you genuinely can get better.