Mental Illness Recovery: Will I Stay Well?
I try not to ask myself "Will I stay well?" too often. But it sort of lurks in the back of my psyche until, finally, I am confronted with it. That's part of living with a mental illness--whether it is chronic or in passing--and it's tough. Really tough. But what about before you were properly diagnosed?
Before Mental Illness Diagnosis, You Didn't Wonder If You Would Stay Well
Before you were diagnosed with a mental illness, I assume you did not involve asking yourself if you would stay well. Because you were not well.
- If you have bipolar disorder you may have the spent the past few years swinging painfully from high to low. You likely had very little time (or interest) in analyzing your state of mind.
- If you have struggled with severe depression, wellness is not usually part of your life. Leaving the house is a good place to start. Taking a shower. Eating. When depressed life often involves closed blinds and more time in bed; isolation and deprivation.
- Anxiety disorders leave much to be desired. A racing heart, shaking limbs and difficulty breathing? Well, there's a heck of a lot of other things I would rather be doing.
- I will leave addiction and disordered eating, the rest of them, for another post. I only have so many words.
In short: it isn't fun. Mental illness is not fun. It hurts. And it hurts those around us. Before we begin our journey to health, they watch us falter and slip, they wait for us to become well and when we do---because we do--they also wonder if we will stay well
Remember That You Will Become Well Again When You're Sick
Sorry for the long title there. I tried to play around with it, really, I did. But like recovering from mental illness, it wasn't easy. Remembering that you were once well when you are sick is not easy either.
I'm not great at this so I need to take my own advice. I was feeling pretty low a few weeks ago; it was a slow decline, it always is. A little less energy week by week, less interest in food (even my beloved chocolate!), and no interest in talking to anyone.
My psychiatrist told me to do this and to do that and I should feel better soon. As usual, I thought I would be sick forever. I forgot I was ever well.
And then, as slow as I had become unstable, stability embraced my life.
Taking my own advice here: Ask those around you to assure you you will become well again, you always do, and write it down. Yes, write it down!
We all handle our illness differently: How do you feel about the topic?
Jeanne, N. (2012, May 14). Mental Illness Recovery: Will I Stay Well?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 10 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2012/05/mental-illnesswill-i-stay-well
Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne
Yes, we will be better again! Just don't forget that taking care of ourselves is important. I found exercising is crucial to build up energy.
Thks for the posting
Definitely a great read. I've been in treatment for bipolar and panic disorders for many years and, until recently, had been off my meds for about 6 months due to finances and insurance issues. I'm back on my meds now for about 2 weeks and I do notice a slight difference, but it's going to be a slow "ramp up" to my needed medication dosages.
I spend a great deal of mental energy thinking about will I be/stay "okay"? It just seems to be what my mind likes to do to me, over and over again. I find myself worrying about the next mood swing or onset of depression and the hope of finding a balance between the two. It can be difficult.
You're reminder, to all of us, that we've been well before and will be well again, is a great reminder. It's, honestly, something that had never really crossed my mind. I know I've been in a stable place in the past and felt well, but it's almost as though I just can't remember that when I'm in a depressive state. I'm going to do something about that to remind myself that I can and will be well again.
Thank you for the post!
Thank you for the great comment! I am also tinkering with medication also. The 'waiting game' is tough! Thank you so much for the positive words and cheers to our recovery!
Even when we are felled by a severe cold, we feel like we will never again feel better... the cough that lingers, the depleted energy... we ARE going to have rough days - it's part of life... remembering that the last time you went down, you once again picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and resumed your routines. I relish the times that I struggle now because I consciously practice wellness and recognize that this glitch is but a temporary lapse in my routine... I breathe and self-talk my way through it... was able to toss my meds away a few years ago because I learned to be mindful and aware of my weaknesses and triggers. Recovery Rocks!!!
A very interesting comment. Most of who live with a chronic mental illness do need medication. Wellness and self-care is important and you cannot rule out those who recover without medication but neither would I recommend it. Having said this, I applaud your recovery!
Thank you for the comment.
Wonderful post! I feel that way, like I'm never going to get better when I am at my low point. I have to remind myself that things always get better in time. I just have to remind myself to hang on and the good will come back....sometimes it takes what seems like forever, but sure enough, my mood improves and the clouds drift away and the sun shines once again. Thanks for the uplifting post.
Great read! Thank you.
You are very welcome!