Many see mental disorders as a death sentence. They think that once you have been diagnosed it is the end for your social life, your work like, your personal life and your health. Some see mental disorders as intense handicaps that stop you from living your true potential. And I will not lie, mental disorders will disrupt your life and they will hinder you at times, but it is not the end.
Getting diagnosed is only the tip of the iceberg. Placing a name to the game helps you learn the rules and penalties of it. The goal of the game? To recover and get control of your life. The rules? Get treatment, therapy, medication, and self-care. The penalties? Losing control over your life, feeling lesser than what you are and hurting yourself through maladaptive behaviors and self-deprecating thoughts.
The first step, usually, is therapy. Therapy can be a scary thing because you come into a space where you are asked to take off your mask and talk genuinely and openly about your problems. It can be scary for a number of things: You’ve never had anyone to talk to before and you don’t know if you can trust them, it hurts too much to talk about your trauma, you don’t trust the person that is in front of you, you don’t trust yourself to follow through, and many other things. That first step is always the hardest yet it can make a world of difference. Even if you only go once to therapy, you made the effort and have started your journey to recovery.
Recovery takes time, work and patience. You need to create time to work on yourself. This means going to therapy and/ or self-care. You need to put in hard work in order to see results. It is not enough to simply go to therapy, you have to be able to open up, process and follow through. You will only reap what you sow. Finally, you need to be patient with yourself and with the recovery process. Working through emotional and psychological trauma, and mental disorders takes times. It’s a continuous process that has no finish line. Mental disorders and emotional-psychological trauma can resurface in different shapes and forms, and even though you will gain tools to work through them, there will be moments of relapse. Staying strong and staying positive are always important when delving into the realms of the mind.
In time, you will accrue an arsenal of coping skills, self-care habits, a therapist that you trust, a psychiatrist that understands your needs, and medication that helps you level the playing filed. Relapsing can be discouraging but it is normal, and expected. No one is perfect and no story is linear. Bumps and mistakes are bound to happen but what you do with them is what really matters.
If you are in the contemplation stage of treatment and do not know if you may need therapy, I say go for it. What do you have to lose? Go out and find the help that you need because you deserve to be happy and in control of your life.
Please enjoy some recovery stories as told by people with mental disorders:
- 3 Years After Mental Health Hospital
- Mental Health recovery Stories
- Mental Health Issues: My journey to recovery and my recovery approach
- Recovery: A Journey Not A Destination
- Journey of Recovery