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Health & Fit Why Mental Health Recovery Isn't a Journey, It's a War

12:47  15 june  2021
12:47  15 june  2021 Source:   themighty.com

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All the mental health professionals say that recovery is a journey , but I hate that image. I feel like it is more like a war . Each challenge is a battle, and some are lost with significant casualties and others are won with great celebration. Following my latest discharge from hospital I avoided all battles, I sacrificed winning to protect myself from losing. Just over a week after I returned home, family obligation forced the first battle. It was an extended family lunch with the in-laws, celebrating the birthday of the matriarch. Read more on themighty.com. Facebook Telegram WhatsApp Viber Twitter Reddit Copy link.

It ’ s Mental Health Awareness Week, so I wanted to talk about an aspect of mental health that we don’ t discuss as much — the ongoing, lifelong journey of recovery . I read so many narratives — and I’ve… It was as if a curtain had been pulled aside, and suddenly everything that I’d been focused on and working for was revealed to be utterly, utterly pointless. If I could drop dead at any moment, why should I have any motivation to do anything? This depression came with a deep apathy, but it was also wrapped in unbearable guilt.

illustration of a person with a weapon against a firey background © The Mighty illustration of a person with a weapon against a firey background

All the mental health professionals say that recovery is a journey, but I hate that image. I feel like it is more like a war. Each challenge is a battle, and some are lost with significant casualties and others are won with great celebration.

Following my latest discharge from hospital I avoided all battles, I sacrificed winning to protect myself from losing. Just over a week after I returned home, family obligation forced the first battle. It was an extended family lunch with the in-laws, celebrating the birthday of the matriarch. Going into this battle we were being realistic, preparing the best we could and planning for all situations; leaving early if I couldn’t manage, what we would say to family members when they asked questions, and who were safe people to sit with.

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The Mental Health Recovery Arc trope as used in popular culture. Many people suffer from mental illness. Recovering from it is, more often than not, a long ( … You're afraid your condition, whatever it may be, is controlling your life by forcing you to come here But as long as you are acting on fear, you aren't going to make progress. If all you're doing is trying not to get worse, you're not going to get better. Of course this school isn ' t perfect — none of us are.

Mental health and suicide-prevention experts talk about Netflix's efforts to create a safe and responsible discussion around 13 Reasons Why , back May 18. However, it seems the graphic nature of this scene was intentional. As the Netflix representative pointed out to SELF, in the novel, Hannah dies by suicide by taking pills. But, as the spokesperson explained, the writers and producers wanted to show that suicide isn ’ t easy; it ’ s painful and it ’ s scary and terrifying to go through with.

Surprisingly, the drive to lunch didn’t bring the anticipation and anxiety usually experienced as the battle approaches. As the autumn colors increased in density, the trees provided a protective shield overhead as we drove further from the city and closer to our destination. The tree’s tranquillity radiated into me, bringing me in harmony with nature and keeping the enemy’s army at bay. That is, until we arrived at lunch. Lunch was at a restaurant which was both a blessing and a curse. It allowed for convenience and a firm finish time; however, it lacked the comfort of safe spaces tucked away in someone’s garden or spare room when things get hard. Once we got out of the car, I was eager to get inside. The anticipation felt like a greater discomfort than the lunch itself, or maybe it was a matter of the sooner in, the sooner out.

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Mental health recovery is possible and should be expected. Why is this expanded definition of personal recovery important? Because serious mental illness can do harm far beyond the mental health symptoms. It often starts with, but isn ’ t limited to the relief of clinical symptoms. Persistent effort. Personal recovery is a journey of growth and change that is seldom an overnight excursion.

Mental health matters and it is time we treat those suffering a mental illness or mental health crisis with empathy, understanding and sensitivity. We should talk about mental health obviously because it will not only break the bubble of stigma which people have regarding mental health and will act as a step towards normalising it . Also there is nothing to be ashamed of mental health it is as normal as high blood pressure and conoray illness which requires treatment and care adding stigma to it and not talking about it may lead to withdrawal from medical support which may worsen the situation.

The biggest battle — what was causing the most anxiety — was the interactions with the in-laws. I had been more open on social media about my recent struggles and hospitalization than I have previously, with the hope to combat the shame that comes in the weeks following. I didn’t consider the in-person conversations that may follow, let alone the apprehension of them occurring.

Unexpectedly this battle was won. Family members did ask how I was going, but I wasn’t made to feel fragile or different. Their questions were simple, and they looked relieved and joyous that I was home and doing well. Their celebration of my recovery didn’t make me feel like they didn’t understand, or they were trying to make themselves feel better by believing that I was doing well. They truly understood how unwell I had been, but that didn’t change their view of me or how much they cared. This is what a family should be like. Unfortunately, they aren’t always, and that’s why they feel like one of the many battles in the war of recovery.

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Mental health affects us: It enables us to interact appropriately with the people around us, to establish healthy emotional bonds, to have an adequate work performance, to be able to carry out daily activities or actions as simple as winking one eye. People with mental problems have to face various social barriers generated by misinformation and lack of empathy from other people. A stigma is formed which negatively impacts their recovery because it increases misunderstandings and shame.

Today's video is an update on my personal journey - it ' s a reflection on the fact that many people praise me for my honesty about my own mental health , but

What I didn’t realize on this day was that the battle wasn’t a battle at all. I thought the battle was against the people I was seeing; I had to brave their questions and defend my heart from their comments or nonverbal cues. But they were all on my side. They all loved me and wanted to see me get better — they weren’t against me. This is what mental illness can do; it can make you think that everyone is against you or thinks badly of you, that what they say isn’t genuine and that you are all alone in this world. But that isn’t true. The battle is never against the people in your circle, it is against the false beliefs that your mental illness has you believe.

As I left that day, I was filled with the peace and joy from an unexpected victory. Even as we left the calming protection of the trees and entered the chaos of traffic and main roads, I still felt that peace over me, the lasting peace of connection and community.

A version of this article was previously published on the author’s blog.

Why the New World Health Organization Guidelines for Mental Health Care Are Important .
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This is interesting!