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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Overcoming mental illness

Living With And Overcoming Mental Illness

False beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems.

Living with mental illness is not easy. It’s a consistent problem without a clear solution. While treatments like medication and psychotherapy are incredibly helpful, sometimes people experiencing mental health conditions need to do more day-in and day-out to feel good or even just okay.
Some common self-help suggestions people receive are to exercise, meditate and be more present, which are helpful and work for many people. However, other proven methods aren’t mentioned as often. Many of them are quick and simple techniques that can easily be added to daily routines.
Finding the right coping mechanism takes time and patience, but it can enormously impact how you feel. If you haven’t had success with techniques you’ve tried, or you’re looking to add a few more to your toolkit, here are seven coping mechanisms recommended by mental health professionals worth trying out.

Why Mental Health Matters

Some people think that only people with mental illnesses have to pay attention to their mental health.
But the truth is that your emotions, thoughts and attitudes affect your energy, productivity and overall health. Good mental health strengthens your ability to cope with everyday hassles and more serious crises and challenges. Good mental health is essential to creating the life you want.
Just as you brush your teeth or get a flu shot, you can take steps to promote your mental health. A great way to start is by learning to deal with stress.


How Stress Hurts 


Stress can eat away at your well-being like acid eating away at your stomach. Actually, stress can contribute to stomach pains and lots of other problems, like:
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • overeating
  • back pain
  • high blood pressure
  • irritability
  • vulnerability to infection

Stress also can lead to serious mental health problems, like depression and anxiety disorders. If you think you have such a problem, you can get help.
Of course you can't magically zap all sources of stress. But you can learn to deal with them in a way that promotes the well-being you want--and deserve.
Learn more about how stress really hurts.
Because millions of people in the U.S. live with a mental health condition, you likely encounter people with a mental illness in your family or in your daily life. However, if you are unsure of how best to approach someone who may be struggling, these tips may help.
Suggestions on how you may approach someone living with a mental health condition:
  • Talk to them in a space that is comfortable, where you won’t likely be interrupted and where there are likely minimal distractions.
  • Ease into the conversation, gradually. It may be that the person is not in a place to talk, and that is OK. Greeting them and extending a gentle kindness can go a long way. Sometimes less is more.
  • Be sure to speak in a relaxed and calm manner.
  • Communicate in a straightforward manner and stick to one topic at a time.
  • Be respectful, compassionate and empathetic to their feelings by engaging in reflective listening, such as “I hear that you are having a bad day today. Yes, some days are certainly more challenging than others. I understand.”
  • Instead of directing the conversation at them with ‘you’ statements, use ‘I’ statements instead.
  • Be a good listener, be responsive and make eye contact with a caring approach.
  • Ask them appropriate questions and avoid prying.
  • Give them the opportunity to talk and open up but don’t press.
  • Share some easy insights as a way of encouraging easy conversation, such as comments about the weather, the community or other.
  • Reduce any defensiveness by sharing your feelings and looking for common ground.
  • Speak at a level appropriate to their age and development level. Keep in mind that mental illness has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence.
  • Be aware of a person becoming upset or confused by your conversation with them.
  • Show respect and understanding for how they describe and interpret their symptoms.
  • Genuinely express your concern.
  • Offer your support and connect them to help if you feel that they need it. Ask, “How can I help?” if appropriate, or even, “Can I pray with you now?” if appropriate.
  • Give the person hope for recovery, offer encouragement and prayers.
Things to Avoid Saying:
  • “Just pray about it.”
  • “You just need to change you’re attitude.”
  • “Stop harping on the negative, you should just start living.”
  • “Everyone feels that way sometimes.”
  • “You have the same illness as my (whoever).”
  • “Yes, we all feel a little crazy now and then.”
Things to Avoid Doing:
  • Criticizing blaming or raising your voice at them.
  • Talking too much, too rapidly, too loudly. Silence and pauses are ok.
  • Showing any form of hostility towards them.
  • Assuming things about them or their situation.
  • Being sarcastic or making jokes about their condition.
  • Patronizing them or saying anything condescending. 
So please if you or anyone else is suffering from a illness there is help.

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