Making Mental Health Changes

Change in Mental Health is paramount

You have to change in this life. If I have learned anything living this Bipolar mental illness life, it is this–nothing ever stays the same.

There are symptoms of your illness. Then you have to work through your issues with the hope that in the end, you can manage your symptoms. Mental illness is for life, but it does not mean you should stop living your life. I think that when many of us are first diagnosed with a mental illness it seems as if our life is ending. That is how I felt, and to be honest I denied there was anything wrong with me. That got me nowhere.

One change over the last year of my mental illness life is antidepressants. I used to change them at least once a year, and a couple of times it was twice in one year. I have been at this game with mental illness medication for over eleven years and you have to make adjustments. I had to learn first to deal with my depression with antidepressants, and over the years my depression cycles went from months or years to just days or weeks.

Then, with the help and observation from my psychiatrist, I was able to get off antidepressants completely. It changed my life. My depression is more even and I can deal when a cycle hit like the five weeks in 2019. This became possible because I was willing to risk a change instead of struggling with antidepressants. Change is good.

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There was a time in my life when I was doing nothing and going nowhere. Almost losing my life in my last suicide attempt changed everything and now I am working on my Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and English. I got my Bachelor’s of Arts in Creative Writing and English in 2018. It was a major goal that I achieved despite my issues with depression, social anxiety, and insomnia. I needed to get my life back–another change.

* TRIGGER WARNING*

I had to change my destructive behavior. The last time I self-harmed that I can remember was 2012. Since then I have only the scars on my arms and legs of the past. Some scars fade but the deepest cuts are still on arm–reminders of the pain. I had to learn that things in my life had to change for me to get better.

Until 2014, I never believed that therapy, and yet therapy saved my life. I never thought that people would give a damn about my story, and yet the success of this blog, and my upcoming memoir only became possible because I changed my attitude.

My point is this, you have to change to get better. Things will never be perfect. God knows I wish it was that life was perfect. Changing little things slowly and often can mean all the world. Be willing to better tomorrow, even if it sucks today. I am living proof that people can change and live with a mental illness. Stay strong.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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24 Replies to “Making Mental Health Changes”

  1. It’s really unfortunate that so many doctors seem to prescribe antidepressants quite freely despite there being very little evidence to show they’re effective in bipolar disorder. It ends up doing such a disservice to people living with the illness.

  2. I’ve made big changes that have made my life better, and those of my loved ones. But when I’m going through an extended time of depression or hypomania, I feel like there are still changes to be made. Feels like it never ends…

    1. In many ways it will never change. Symptoms change for the better and at times they get worse. Medication starts to be less effective. We are in this for life. At the same time we can continue to change inspite of our illness. Just making changes for the better means your stronger than you were before.

  3. Excellent read! I’ve only recently started writing blogs and I’m really enjoying it! I do blogs about Mental health and surrounding topics as well! I’ll see more of your stuff in the future!

  4. I’m glad to hear how well you are doing, James. Your academic endeavours are inspiring – and your outlook will be of comfort to many in the depths of a crisis. Well done that man! Thank you for sharing. Keep up the good fight!

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