Ideas for Mental Health Recovery

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One of the critical components of mental health recovery in my mind is finding the things that work to make you happy.  Over the years I have used different things to get me through the worst months of the year (my SAD months.) It differs from person to person because one person’s illness is not exactly alike, so find what works for your specific mental health recovery.

What I have found useful in my life is role-playing video games as they get me through some of the worst depression in my life. It is a way to escape the reality for a few hours and focus on something different. It gives me an opportunity to reach goals and feel good about myself when depression is taking over.

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Writing is my greatest weapon to deal with the ups and downs of my mental illness. The writing projects that I am currently working on and this blog are so helpful.

There are other things that I am working towards as we head into the final three months of 2018. I had many lofty goals this year, but there are still somethings that I would like to try out– like photography. I have talked to other artists and photographers about how therapeutic taking pictures is for their mental health. When I use video games or reading books to escape my mental illness for a few hours, it is the same for them with photography. It was one of my goals to start the year, but I got further away from it because of the cost.

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What started this blog post was one of the fellow bloggers asking me how people deal using different forms of media like books, video games, watching film, photography, and even writing. This blogger mentioned that people coping with trauma often get into horror movies and books because they connect with the genre. I can relate to this in so many ways. I got into reading Edgar Allan Poe because of the connection to the “dark romanticism” feel of his work, and his influence is in every aspect of my writing.

What I want people to get out of this post is this, there are so many ways out there to cope with mental illness, and these things are essential to finding what will help with your overall mental health.

Before starting The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog, I was lost. I had my writing but it was not enough.

Then I started this blog and everything changed. I have used this blog to improve myself through shared experiences in mental illness, and now I am more open to sharing my experiences. I wrote my memoir because of the amazing mental illness community here on WordPress. It has been what has helped my mental health recovery. Find what helps you get through the tough times, and it will make these times less harsh. Never dwell of the negative and always move forward.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

Photo Credit:

Julius Drost

Arturo Rey

charley pangus

James & Carol Lee

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21 Replies to “Ideas for Mental Health Recovery”

  1. As usual James, really appreciate your point of view and the fact that you’re so candid about sharing the ups and downs of your illness with us. Writing is such a great way to unburden your soul when it becomes too heavy to bear on your own. To know there are others out there feeling the same is a double-edged sword – you feel vindicated and less alone, but also sad that there are others out there going through the same pain or worse. I’ve found it always helps to talk about it though.

  2. It makes sense for someone to gravitate towards what they feel but me, I’m the opposite. I tend to fall in love with soft sounds and finding yourself positive words. everyone is very much different yet when it speak, it comes out so dark sometimes. just i guess depends on my mood.

  3. I’m in a downward spiral – I’ve been in one for a few weeks now. I feel very alone in this because I don’t want to burden family members or friends with my feelings because I don’t think they really understand. So I cry – after I’ve had a good cry I feel better for a few hours. And I listen to music. It helps to distract me from all the negative feelings.

  4. That’s an interesting thought about the horror genre. I’m a domestic violence survivor and my favorite genres to read are mystery, suspense, horror, and thrillers. I love to read and can get lost in a good book, it’s a wonderful way to escape reality. Sometimes I listen to an audiobook while playing mindless games or doing sudoku.

    1. I listen to mostly audiobooks as all these days. It is an interesting connection and I wondered as well how many people find this true in their life. That is the beauty of books, an escape from reality.

  5. Wow this was a really good post! I appreciate you letting us in on your struggles and sharing with us what helps you get through. I advocate for mental health as it’s a part of what I’m studying. I’m so happy that this blog exists – you are a good writer.

  6. I always found it interesting that my favorite genres of movies/tv shows/books often happen to be really dark stuff like horror and psychological thrillers, or super cheesy, cute stuff like Disney/cartoons. I think one reason I like horror is that it makes my life look better by comparison lol.

  7. I see you want to try out photography. I love taking pictures. You find what draws your eye and it pulls you out of yourself to truly see the beauty around you. The other day before my psychologist appointment, I decided to walk around for an hour or so near her office and take pictures. I just use my phone, because I can’t afford real cameras. (I also found a neat app that has some decent editing abilities and a community that I have been enjoying. EyeEm if you are interested)
    If you want to try it, just to see if you like it, just use a cheap point and shoot or better yet your phone.
    I got so excited thinking that you could check one more thing off your list of goals before the end of the year. =)

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