Tag: Antidepressants

But I’m Not Weak (Reblog)

I have to go back on my anxiety medication, I can’t go without it. I’m suffering too much, the depression and cravings are crippling. I was so happy when the doctor said I could come off of it, but it was just a trial and it didn’t go well so I have to go back on […]

via But I’m Not Weak — crazysobergirl

Love and Mental Illness

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Dude, I think I have the love bug… Like for real. Not lust, not puppy love…. Like love, love dude. It’s frickin amazing… Like I can be myself around boyfriend, any more  than he can be himself around me. Let’s call him, “Marc”. We can be in each others presence, even if we don’t say anything in that moment, it’s wonderful! He knows that I can be independent and not be clingy and that I care for him whether I am with him or not. Marc likes the fact I can be dorky like him and still be driven to succeed. He trusts me anymore than I trust him! He knows he can trust me, not to cheat on him. Pssssh….Like I do that! I’d rather be single than cheat!

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I can be vulnerable and transparent with him and in doing so it helps me to grow and love myself. I usually don’t reveal my weaknesses and fears with people. I don’t feel self-conscience or finding myself think, “Can I trust him? Does he still like me? Is he trying to play me? Am I rebound?” It feels good not to be overthinking and just focus on the moments I have with him. Think about it as a sort of form “mindfulness”activity. My anxiety reduces and so does my depression when I am with him. Sometimes I feel even when I take my anti-depressants, I can still feel hints of my depression. But with him… nothing…nada…zilch!

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And most importantly, we’re on the same page! Let me tell you being on the same page is IMPORTANT ! Whether it means having the same values,religious identity, being married/or having children, lifestyle goals, having sex or not having sex, make sure it’s something you can BOTH agree on. The last guy I dated was a total bum! Let’s call him “Jake”. He didn’t bother looking for a job,  he kept losing his cell phones, and he lost his social security card. But during that time, I was very into him. I mean Jake was cute! When we “met”on an online dating website, he was you know…”charming”. He had the same interests as I did, he seemed to be motivated…Jake wanted to be electrician or…was it an EMS? Either way  he was “thinking” about his career. He looked like he was “getting” his life together, while he was still living in his mom’s house. Jake would call me or text and see how I was doing and “seemed” interested in my goals and dreams.In the meantime, he “enjoyed” being with me and our make out sessions. Until just the one day we met in person, he told me “I can’t have a relationship with you.”

“It’s not you, it’s just that I am still trying to get over my long term relationship that I had 3 years ago.”

Then Jake droned on how he loved her, but he did something that completely screwed up the relationship. He’d tried contacting her, but she didn’t respond back to him. He then said that’s the reason why he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me. Jake’s still “in love” with her and can’t imagine being with anyone else. He felt that his heart  was blocked off to emotions and/or having a relationship with any other woman.

Really??? Now he tells me me this, especially when I clearly put on my online dating profile, I am not driven by sex and I wanted be in the relationship. What the f**k man?!?! Stupidly, I thought me and Jake could be friends even, but we’d end up making out. One day I finally said, we should just be friends. But he said to be friends….with benefits. Oi. Eventually, I ended the relationship. Though I always did wonder….was Jake wanting to get back with his ex because he was truly sorry or  is he doing it to repair his ego? I mean the guy is playboy and he has been with many women. If I was his ex and I found out about his “activities”, that would have then really have a reason to stay away from him. Just sayin’…

So listen, you can’t have even have one thing…I mean ONE thing off! By being on the same page with your boyfriend/girlfriend, it makes the relationship work a lot more smoothly. Also, really, really pay attention to what your date is saying about themselves on a dating website and or in person. Otherwise, the relationship is over before it has even begun! The funny thing is that it feels as if Marc and I have been together for a long time, even though we’ve only been together 2 months. Then again we have known each other before, but it never started out the way we are now.

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We use to work in the same restaurant about 8 or 9 years ago and let me tell you… I would have never thought we’d be together and very intimate with one another. Marc was another person, not to mention he was very young (he is  2 years younger than me). And as for myself, I was dealing with a lot family obligations. When I think about it now, there would have been no way of me getting into a relationship! The funny thing was at that time he claimed he was my friend, when he really kinda abandoned me most of the time. I mean, Marc would complain about his problems and then tell me, that nobody care about him, especially when his, I guess, real friends weren’t around. Though when his “real” friends were around he’d be all super happy and he’d spend a lot of time with them. Then, I was to myself, “I cared about him, but it doesn’t seem he cares about me. Then what the hell am I to this guy??? Screw this!” I stopped talking to him for like what… 6 years? It was a long time. I did have a still small voice starting three ago telling me that I should talk to my ex-co-worker. I was like to my small still voice, “Are you fricken’ kidding?!?! After him putting me at the backburner, you want me to go back to him?!?! Heck no! To get hurt and abandoned me again?! Awww, helllll naaaw!” But that little voice said, “He’s in a better place with himself now. Trust me, all will be good between you two.” I still resisted and the debate between my inner voice and me went on…until May of this year.

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I messaged him on Facebook and he was already messaging me! He asked if we could meet up and I was like, “sure.”  When I saw Marc again after a long, long time, I gotta say… he gained a lot of weight, but despite that he kinda seemed different somehow. Before the end of our outing, he did ask me why I stopped talking to him. He thought I hated him, but told him I didn’t like him. I didn’t like how he didn’t find me valuable as a friend and in feeling so, I felt like I was a garbage disposer for his problems. And then once he was done venting to me, he would go back to his “real” friends. Marc then admitted to me that he was in a bad place with himself and he was very angry at time. And as life moved on, he experienced more hardships and tragedy in his family. Due to these circumstances, he got depressed and gained a lot of weight from overeating.

I was surprised when Marc revealed that to me and I admired his courage and bravery for telling me so! No guy that I have met and/or dated has ever revealed his mistakes and importantly, he walks that talk! Hell…even my dad never revealed his mistakes.This could have been the reason why I felt he was different… his presence, how he talked about and how he carried himself. I admired that quality in him…the desire and ambition to want to be his best self (mistake or no mistake). Oh, yeah…honesty and that he was pursing his master’s and doing an internship in like criminal justice … cannot forget about those. So it’s three main qualities I admired. And since that time, we have been talking to each other!

So in conclusion, it’s funny how life turns out and how love can help combat mental illness. I feel better, happier, and grounded. We’re on the same page, dang it!!! In addition, it finally feels to give love and get it returned to you! I don’t know how to express how much that means to me!

 

Treatments and Services

Now more than ever, there is more treatment and services that cater to mental services. However, not many indviduals with mental illness use it. According to the NAMI website,  only 41% of Americans with a mental health condition utilize mental health services. In the past year, African Americans and Hispanic Americans use mental health services one-half the rate of whites. In the case of Asian Americans, it is one-third the rate. In terms of age, NAMI also states that about one-half of 8-15 year olds receive no treatment, compared to the adults which is about 60%. Though sometimes, the reason why people do not receive services is because the symptoms don’t show up till much later in time. About ¾ of individuals don’t see symptoms till 24 years old, one-half of individuals do not see it till 14 years of age. So what services and treatments are out there?

TREATMENTS and SERVICES

Not too long ago, I mentioned the various place where you can receive services (look for my Preventative article on my blog). Let me reintroduce to where you can get them:

  • Hospitals
  • Community Health Centers
  • Specialty Community Behavioral Health Centers
  • Community-Based Organizations
  • Schools

Medication

Prescription medications are useful for treating mental illness. Trust me, I know. They have helped me managed the biological symptoms of anxiety and depression. Especially depression! Gosh! Though when taking medication, don’t think you are going to become addicted to it. You are not a druggie or anything like that. You are doing for you to function…whether it is to help you get out of bed every morning, decrease anxiety, pain, fatigue… You are taking them to get your life back! Taking your medication does not make you weak.

I was fortunate to have receive medication that worked for me one time. For you, you might be lucky or maybe it may take awhile to find it. This is true, especially if you are experiencing side effects. If you are, make sure to tell your doctor or psychiatrist about it right away! 

But do you know what also pairs well with medication? Counseling.

Counseling

I believe while medication takes care of the biological problems of mental illness, counseling takes care of the cognitive part. In my experience, before I received counseling, I felt a lot of relief from the symptoms of depression. I no longer felt chained by anxieties and depression as I felt have since I was a child. The cloudiness and my mind dissipated. However…I felt like I didn’t know what to do with all this “freedom”! All I’ve known was anxiety my whole life. Though, since attending counseling I have been doing better.

Counseling can be provided by trained clinicians such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors. And depending which clinician you see, they may provide different ideas on how to assist you. Examples of such thoughts include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET). In MET, it is used to help you develop internal motivational change. The clinician will help you, as according to SAMHSA, “mobilize  [the person’s] own resources and build [their] own motivation to address a goal. In CBT, it will you, as according to SAMHSA, “seek [their] own solutions to problems by addressing behaviors, thoughts, and feelings with systematic goal-oriented strategies.” And let me tell you…CBT has been great for me! It has really challenged a lot of the black and white thinking, doubts and fears I have had for years. My therapist is very tough and provides me homework that helps me apply what I have learned in therapy in real life situations or ones I have faced in the past.

Supportive Services

Supportive Services are very helpful as you transition into recovery. These services can include housing, employment, and education and can include case or care management to help assist you. For the adolescent population, they will go through a wraparound process. Wraparound processes include services such as counseling, mental health rehabilitation, work experience, education plans and tutoring and vocational/trade school information.

So really, there is a whole bunch of treatment and services out there to  help you live your best life!😄