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On: Anxiety & depression; you're not alone

I am someone who is naturally anxious and also someone who has survived through a debilitating phase with depression. I am someone who believes in treatment and recovery.

I am also someone who has a brother who has suffered through psychosis which originated in axiety and sleeplessness. I have a cousin who took his own life. I am someone who is very much like more than a few other ‘someone(s)’ out there. I am not alone and neither are you.

I am not professional, and I AM NOT A DOCTOR…

BUT I am a communicator. I have something to say about the topic of mental health. Together we can remove the stigma!  I have educated myself and want to start a conversation not just because of my personal experiences but because I feel somewhat let down. I see a world afraid to talk about mental illness and health systems world-wide which are saturated with individuals not invigorated by helping people overcome thier issues, but interested in treating symptoms.

In my opinion, many mental health professionals act as legal drug dealers advising patients to medicatethemselves. Why isn't anyone investigating the root cause. So WE move forward feeling that medication is the only protection from our own ill-functioning brain. Yes "we".

In college, I was taught without REM  sleep, research shows, people will eventually die. First the dreams will be acted out in reality through budding psychosis and hallucinations and eventually death is the outcome. Our lives revolve around our perceptions; they are vital to our existence. In considering this idea, I wonder how drugs are even a solution to begin with. Drugs don't actually treat the problem, sleeping treats the problem. Science also shows that sleeping medication prevents the brain from going into REM sleep. How can we know these facts but still get guided towards masking symptoms with ineffective solutions?  

Furthermore, many of these pharmaceuticals have debilitating side-effects and patients experience addiction. Many people feel the pharmaceutical treatments don't provide relief. Just like a hole in a leaky boat merely stuffed with debris, it is only temporary and fix stretched over a long-term time frame -- I think it’s irresponsible -- I think if enough people talk about it, we can change it. We can demand responsible care.

On the other hand, we can not expect our healthcare providers to want our health more than we want it. If a smoker advised to quit smoking yet still sneaks cigarettes and a patient with diabetes still sneaks sugar, the most cost-effective approach to any burdened system is the easy way. We have to take charge of our heath and want the highest possible quality of life. This is when we can expect to be met in the middle.

Our brains are magnificent machines, so magnificent we still don’t understand how to fix them when faced with this growing variety of mental "disorders"... Did you know that many psychopathic killers were found to be mentally or physically abused as children; a trauma that changes the brain permanently?  

I think we deserve options and I think we deserve to live optimistically instead of in fear. I think exercise, a healthful diet and restful sleep have been better for me than any pill. I think I have an anxious mind that is hardwired to over-process, but I think despite all of that, I AM NOT BROKEN. I am not a stigma. I am a person who wants to thrive.

Take this example: If someone were to break their leg, they can never go back to having an unbroken leg; they may have pain, stiffness, and arthritis; their range of motion may be affected. Their muscles may atrophy and they may need surgery or rods; but the difference in the treatment they receive is that they are taught and educated on how to return to the highest possible quality of life after such an “injury”. They are given literature on how to tape or stretch the injury, they are advised to try acupuncture or massage; physical therapy may be an avenue or swimming. They have hope and a choice. I think this is responsible.

 I also think ‘mental injury’ and ‘physical injury’ are very different and I think the implications of giving patients a choice are widespread and not always an option especially without a proper support system. But even knowing that, I still think we deserve hope and a choice. I still think there shouldn't be just one avenue.
Sue me. Educate me. Convince me. Agree or disagree with me, but either way, let’s start a conversation. People are falling through the cracks, and they deserve the highest possible quality of life.
I am ruled by my right brain, but it's not the worst thing in the world. It's beautiful! The world needs diversity of thought and approach. The left brain protects you, so I've just learned to think with my heart but bring my brain along for a second opinion.

Accept yourself, find resouces, ask questions and mostly, you have permission to love yourself   xx


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