Having a Mental Illness Made Me A Better Person

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Having a Mental Illness Made Me A Better Person

When I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and anxiety over 4 years ago, I thought that it was the end of the world.  Because of the stigma and negative images portrayed about people with mental health disorders, I too believed the awful narratives.  I did not of course, want to be one of them.  I know that was a terrible way of thinking but, it was from lack of knowledge and information.

For years I was in denial about my illness. 

I did not want to admit having an illness that so many viewed in such a negative way. After years of partially maintaining my illness, it did not yield the results that I desired.  I wanted to live a normal life and “be okay”.

Last year I made a vow to myself.  I vowed to take my mental health seriously.  This included going to therapy on a regular basis (once a week) and seeing my psychiatrist at least every 8 weeks.  What I did not realize when I started on this new path, what I was in for. I hoped that I would feel better but never in a million years did I think that I would feel like a brand-new person.

In additional to learning the coping skills needed maintain my illness…….

I also dealt with many of the issues that had plagued my past.  As much as I denied dealing with these issues, dealing with them really helped me.  I began seeing things more clearly, developed a greater relationship with myself, and increased my self-awareness and self-love. 

I do believe that had I not received my diagnosis, I would not have had the chance to really take the time to focus on my mental health and my past issues.  I truly believe that my mental illness has made me a better person, and I am so grateful for it. 

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5 Amazing Reasons to Attend A Support Group

Ever since being diagnosed, I have done a lot of research on things that would help me manage my mental health.  Support groups are a great way to manage your mental health in a positive way.  I have attended many support groups and I love all that support groups stand for.  Below are 5 great reasons to attend a support group.

  1. Shared Experiences – When you attend a support group, you meet up with people who share similar experiences and circumstances as you.  This allows you to feel comfortable. 
  2. Open and honest communication – You can engage in honest communication about your experiences with people who are familiar with what you are going through without the judgement you may face from those who are not in similar circumstances.
  3. Sense of community – You feel like you are a part of an exclusive club when you a part of group of peers who share a similar experience.
  4. Comparison of resources – Being in a support group is a great way to share tips, resources, and advice on your illness and treatment.
  5. Developing and understanding of your situation - When you surround yourself with people who share similar expeiences as you, you are able to look at your situation in a way that you may not have done so in the past.  This gives you a new outlook on your circumstances, and this may be for the better.  


If you are dealing with a mental health issue and are looking for a healthy way to deal with it.  Consider a support group.  It may be just what you need.  


5 Possible Solutions to Combat Overthinking


What is overthinking?  Well, simply put it means to think about something too much.  I can tell you that I have spent so much time and energy thinking and overthinking about topics that would have taken other people 5 minutes to decide on.  There was one point in my life not so long ago when I had to consult 4-5 people in my inner circle to get their opinion on a situation, discuss the problem, rehash what was going on, get their feedback and then decide.  Only to maybe rethink the problem a little more before making a final decision.  I went through that for years.  It was exhausting.  It was stressful and quite honestly, it gave me a headache. 
I exhausted myself, and I am pretty sure that I exhausted my friends and family with the fact that I could never make a solid decision on my own.  I need a consultation on everything from what style I should wear my hair to more serious decisions like should I go back to school.
Since I have been in recovery, I have had the opportunity to explore several subjects and ideas with my therapist as well as self-reflect.  The root of my overthinking was attached to the fact that I was unsure and not confident.  I also did not trust myself and my instincts.  Therefore, I kept overthinking every single decision that I was faced with.  Since I have taken the time to do some excellent work in therapy and taken the time to self-reflect, I have complied a list of 5 possible solutions to combat overthinking.

1. Redirecting – When you find yourself involved in a pattern of overthinking to the point where it is becoming stressful or too much too handle return your thoughts to the present moment.  What are you currently involved in that you can focus on? 

2. Meditation – When your mind becomes to cluttered and overwhelmed with thoughts, meditation is always a good idea.  This is a great way to clear the noise from you mind and rid yourself of all the overwhelm.

3. Pros & Cons – If you find yourself faced with a decision that you need to make, and it is the reason for all the overthinking, making a list of pros and cons may be a way to help you come to a quicker decision.

4. Talking to a Friend – Do you have a trusted friend or family member that you can go to with your dilemma? Talking to someone who can give you an objective opinion is a great way to get to the bottom of your situation and alleviate your stress. 

5. Strengthening Your Intuition – This is one that takes some work but is well worth it.  When you take the time to be still with yourself, you begin to develop your inner GPS. 

I have had the opportunity to utilize all the above solutions to combat overthinking.  They all worked well for me, but as I am becoming more in tune with myself, I gravitate more towards meditation and trusting my own intuition.  All the above methods are great as overthinking can lead to unnecessary stress and worry.  Any remedy that will rid me of stress and worry are fine with me. 

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