You Don't Believe in Doctors!
I've heard this a gazillion times. And, it's a completely false opinion of what I practice. I, of course, believe in medicine and allopathic doctors. If you have a disease, you need to treat it, get back to baseline. But, see that's where most people stop and I do not.
I think holistic practices, functional medicine and allopathic medicine can all be roommates in the house of cognitive, physical and emotional dysfunction.
Our American society has a misguided belief system in medicine. We have forgotten that WE are responsible for our health and instead put our health in the hands of a highly trained individual. We have forgotten the importance of nutrition, exercise, sleep and self care. We rely on a pill to "fix" our problems instead of saying "I have a problem, how do I fix it?". Because a pill doesn't fix anything, it simply addresses the symptoms. Think about it. If you have high blood pressure, the doctor may prescribe a high blood pressure pill. Did that pill address the cause of your high blood pressure? No! It brought your blood pressure down but didn't "fix" anything. And that is where I have an issue.
When I was in education, I had parents who were vehemently opposed to giving their children medication to support their mental health. That's a very personal decision, one that parents almost felt guilty about. Some felt that by giving their child a pharmaceutical drug, they somehow failed. I look at it like this, if you or your child had diabetes, would you withhold insulin? Of course not. The best route would be to follow the doctor's orders and simultaneously work on a healthier lifestyle to, hopefully, be able to eliminate that medicine, right? Makes sense. I think mental health is the exact same thing. And I think good physicians also feel this way. That's why, often, pharmaceutical drugs are paired with therapy.
Some people are going to need meds to help them along the mental health journey and should never be shamed for that. But meds don't have to be the final answer and solution. There are many things a person can do to improve their mental health while utilizing the support of medication. If we stop at the meds solution, we may never know the power of the other tools we have.
Go into the search for additional methods with an open mind. If you are saying, "journaling will never help me", well, you're probably right. Remember, your brain is listening to what you are thinking. Instead, try saying, "this is another tool to help me be healthy and I will be successful".
Give it some time. You can't be walking in the darkness of depression and expect one yoga session to change everything. Dedicate a month or so. See how you feel. Encouraged? Try another month. Maybe add in a walk a couple of times a week. Remember, small changes lead to more small changes and eventually, all those small changes make big change.
Watch for those small positive changes. Are you more awake and energetic in the morning? Do you look forward to your next session? Did you talk to a friend you haven't seen in a while? Were you able to successfully talk yourself through a panic attack and continue on with your day? Whatever it is for you, pay close attention to those positive changes. For me, when I started journaling, my husband noticed that a certain vein on my forehead wasn't bulging as much. I...kid...you...not. I wouldn't have noticed that myself, which brings me to my next tip.
Have someone you love and trust to confide in. Friend, spouse, family member, therapist, coworker, whoever it is for you. Choose someone that will be supportive yet honest. Someone who will be encouraging and understanding. Someone who pays attention and will be able to point out subtle changes. Someone to walk your journey with you.
Take a step today to find ways to improve your health.
We are a society that wears diagnoses like a badge.
In peace ~C
I am not a therapist or physician. Mental health challenges are real. There is no shame in seeking help. Reach out to experts if you need them because you are loved and valued.