May Is Mental Health Awareness Month, My Mental Health Update

My Journey

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about my Mental Health and since it’s Mental Health Awareness Month I can’t think of a better time.

Photo by Thiago Matos on Pexels.com

I’ve been stable for about three years and it was a long journey during that depressive period. After being stable for several years I spiraled into a dark depression, getting numb and darker by the day. I tried four different drugs before finding the drug I’m on. It has worked like a miracle.

That’s how my life has gone since I was 19 years old. Stable or depressed or hypo or manic or dark depression or unable to function. It’s been a difficult journey and one that I almost didn’t make several times. The first time I tried to kill myself was at nine years old, that should have been a sign that something was wrong with me.

I have been hospitalized several times sometimes for up to a month a time and have had 21 Electro Convulsive Treatments. The journey has been very dark at times and I’m so thankful that I had family and a husband who fought hard when I wouldn’t.

The only thing I can say to anyone who is suffering from Mental Illness or a Mental Health challenge, it can and often will pass. I’m not going to sugar coat it, there are some Mental Illnesses that reaching stable is as well as you will get, that’s a huge achievement.

I have Bipolar Disorder and for the past 25 years have been on the depressive side. For the prior 20 years, I lived in a blissful Hypo Manic state. It was blissful until I fell off that cloud and crashed so hard I almost didn’t make it up.

One key to my success is having a Psychopharmacologist as my main doctor and seeing a therapist regularly. I know Psychopharmacologists are more expensive and harder to find but they know the brain in detail and how medications work so they can connect the dots with what symptoms you’re having with the medication you need. I’ve seen my doctor for 30 years and it scares me he is about to retire and I don’t know who is going to take his practice.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

I believe strongly that for ongoing challenges with Mental Health/Mental Illness medication is required for some period of time. For me, it’s a lifetime, for others it’s until they’re stable.

I also believe strongly that seeing a Therapist on regular basis is as critical as medication. Sometimes we sabotage ourself and a Therapist can help us thru negative self-talk. The key to remember is what each doctor or Therapist does as a specialty. If you’re seeing a Psychiatrist/Psychopharmacologist you are only going to get medication, you are not going to get any therapy. There are also different types of Therapists so you need to make sure you are getting a referral for the right type. I am not skilled enough to tell you what type you need but your Psychiatrist can.

I’m almost 58 years old and at times I didn’t think I’d ever see 30 years old. It takes everything you have and more to deal with your Mental Illness or Mental Health and it’s worth the effort.

Photo by Zaksheuskaya on Pexels.com

What goes down must come up again!

If you’d like to read more about my journey with Bipolar Disorder, check out my archives.

Melinda

28 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this post Melinda, truly empowering. I have no doubt that these trials and tribulations have brought you a lease on life that many could benefit from. Please keep sharing, its doing a world of good for a lot of people!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I have no idea what to say since it’s difficult to even imagine being in your shoes. But I will say this : focus on the positive. Be full of gratitude. And if possible, check out the 10 guideposts to Wholehearted living. I think they may help you a lot. See ya. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate your sharing this with readers.

    Although progress is being made on this front, for me there is still too much platitudinous lip-service towards proactive mental illness prevention for men (and even boys), as well as treatment. When it comes to the social reality of (at least for the foreseeable future) the prevalence of untreated mental illness in men, I’m often left frustrated by the proclamations and conduct coming from one of the seven pillars of our supposedly enlightened culture β€” the media, or more specifically that of entertainment and news.

    They will state the obvious, that society must open up its collective minds and common dialogue when it comes to far more progressively addressing the real challenge of more fruitfully treating and preventing such illness in general; however, they will typically fail to address the problem of ill men refusing to open up and/or ask for help due to their fear of being perceived by peers, etcetera, as weak/non-masculine. The social ramifications exist all around us; indeed, it is endured, however silently, by males of/with whom we are aware/familiar or to whom so many of us are closely related.

    For me, the immediate aftermath of the tragic suicide of great actor/comedian Robin Williams comes to mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. His death was tragic and certainly, you would have thought avoidable. It’s tough for boys, even more, they get bullied and are so afraid to speak up. It’s a societal problem that we have yet to address with men. Some countries may do better than others. What country are you from? I think that can make a big difference. Hang tough, find someone you can confide in and share your pain with that will not judge you, just listen and be a friend as you work thru the issues.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hang in there, you know better days are ahead. Work hard to find some joy in everyy day no matter how small it will make your brian feels better. Please stay on top of your health with your doctors and they will guide you thru this crisis. πŸ™‚ Hugs.

      Like

  4. Sorry to hear of what you’ve to go through. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling and what was going on your brain. But it’s so good to hear that your family and husband always there to fight for you.
    I too sometimes feel so down, specially from past 1 year when all of suddenly all my planning and career went down the drain cause of pandemic.
    But I’m very well aware I’m not the only one here, there are millions of people singing the same song.
    For now, every day feels the same. Daily routine is become the only thing to do. It feels time is broken for me, there is nothing positive happening. But on the other hand, I’m blessed and happy that I’m with my family in these difficult times.
    Anyway, it’s just a phase. Hope for the better days.
    Wishing you the best on your journey ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, my friend. It’s been hard for the past year you are right about that. I try hard to find the smallest amount of happiness I can during my day, It may be something silly, anything, just to have something to be extra thankful for. We know times will pass but they are hard when it’s dark. πŸ™‚

      Like

Leave a Reply to themindconnectory Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s