Therapy is one of the best ways to actively make progress toward recovery from mental illness, but, unfortunately, therapy can be difficult to access when you can't afford it. Even with insurance, sessions can cost upwards of $100. Even if you only go to therapy every other week, that's still $200 per month, which is roughly the same cost as a car payment. Many of us need that money for our actual car payment, and so we end up missing out on therapy we really need.
Recovering from Mental Illness
Many forms of self-care are absolutely essential for any healthy, functioning person, but, oftentimes, we see the same recommendations online over and over, like getting a manicure or snuggling with a weighted blanket. But what if these self-care activities aren't right for you? There are different forms of self-care that you might enjoy.
Usually, anything that helps with my depression feels like a pure blessing from above, but I have some fears about how much having a baby has helped my depression. I've found that my baby can incentivize me to get out of bed even on horrible days where, without a baby, I would have been stuck in bed all day long.
Distraction and avoidance are very closely related, but distraction is a much healthier coping mechanism than avoidance. When I'm feeling something particularly distressing, distraction is a healthy way to help get me through that tense, panicked moment. Avoidance, on the other hand, is a less healthy way to survive distress, and it often creates even more emotional turmoil. What's the difference though, and how can distraction help get you through those intense feelings of distress?
Are you using old coping mechanisms that no longer serve you? Coping mechanisms are habits and behaviors that we use in order to cope with problems we can't necessarily solve. For instance, if you have to take a big test and it gives you tremendous anxiety, you can't just not take the test or simply stop being anxious. Instead, you need to cope with your anxiety to get through the experience. But what happens when the old coping mechanisms we use actually start causing problems instead of solving them?
The Internet both helped and hurt my mental health. I truly believe the internet has done wonderful things for those with mental illness in our day and age. Before the internet, if you had a relatively rare mental illness, you might have felt completely alone or at fault for your situation. Those feelings persist today, but I think the internet has played a huge role in decreasing those feelings.
In addition to recovering from mental illness, it's also important for us to learn how to prevent mental health relapse in times of stress. Lately, my mental health has been doing really well. I've put in a lot of work, and it's finally paying off, but recently, some family stress has put all of my progress to the test. I've noticed a lot of my typical mental illness symptoms struggling to reemerge, to rear their ugly heads and completely derail my life. Luckily, I've managed to keep them to a minimum and prevent a full-on mental health relapse. I thought it would be helpful to share how I'm managing to prevent relapse.
How might you balance social responsibility and mental health recovery? In my mental health recovery, I have had to consider what responsibilities I have to myself vs. social responsibility.
Impulsivity is not the only impulse control issue that can coincide with mental illness. The opposite can also be a problem: excessive self-control. I can remember being overly concerned about controlling my impulses from a very young age, even though I was never a very impulsive child. For some reason, I thought I had really bad self-control and needed to be more in control. To this day, I still struggle to simply act on my impulses without a lot of anxiety; excessive self-control causes problems for me.
We need executive dysfunction coping skills because this type of dysfunction is a common symptom of all kinds of mental illnesses, from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to depression to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Executive dysfunction makes a person struggle to perform tasks that they are otherwise completely capable of performing. Although this is often mistaken for laziness, it is a completely different experience.