I wrote this post 36 hours ago, today going back and forth – should I share it? Yes, No, Yes, No, YES…
One of the things I pride myself on is not bad mouthing or trashing anything or anyone. I see far too often people trashing people, treatments, and approaches for mental illness.
Now imagine if these people focused their energy on being a positive part of the solution.
Focusing on a united voice that Mental Health Matters.
Trashing treatments, faiths, approaches and people contributes to the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Be part of the solution NOT the stigma!
Today the American Pyschological Association (APA) featured me as a guest blogger.
“Yours is the first real-life story, from a real-life person we’ve featured on the blog.” said Angel Brownawell PR for APA.
This has touched my heart to the core, as one of the negative self-beliefs I have held for far too long is that I’m not respected as a mental health advocate or professional coach because I’m not a Registered Psychologist, Social Worker, Counselor or Pyschiatrist. As I shared this news with my dear friend and Registered Clinical Psychologist - Gemma Stone. She too was delighted at this move in a positive direction.
So moving into what I originally wrote 36 hours ago….
There is no right or wrong in choosing treatment for your mental health. It is your choice, and you need to do what works for you. You also need to take responsibility for your own treatment plan by researching, asking questions, learning about the different alternatives out there. If this is overwhelming to you right now – ask a family member or friend to help you.
Often I am asked my opinion on different mental illness treatments. Respectfully, I always respond that I am not an expert, nor am I a Doctor or mental health professional. I only know what has worked and what hasn’t worked for me. And what has worked for me, may not work for someone else.
Do you take anti-depressants?
One of the most frequent questions I am asked. The answer – yes I do. I take a mild dose anti-depressant, and work closely with my doctor to monitor. We have dropped the dosage slowly over the years, and is something I am not ashamed to admit as it plays a part in my mental health regime.
Will I be on them forever? Maybe – maybe not.
What I STRONGLY advocate for is NEVER take yourself off any medication without the close supervision of your Doctor. This played a big part in the spiral downwards for me in 2004.
Do you believe in therapy?
Yes, I do. I believe in Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Psychotherapists, Counselors, Coaches. Because, I have experienced firsthand each one.
Far too often I hear someone say, “well it didn’t work for me!” and I always ask – how often did you go? The answer is often the same – “I went to one appointment, didn’t like my therapist and I got nothing out of it.”
Ask for recommendations, speak to your Doctor about referrals, check with a local mental health organization and if a therapist isn’t working for you that’s okay – you can work with another one.
There is no right or wrong choice! It is your choice.
Don’t let anyone sway you otherwise.