Commitment to myself: Why do I suffer over... - Above & Beyond

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Commitment to myself

InspireHope
InspireHope
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Why do I suffer over and over again? It seems that there has been more suffering, more struggling, than there has been joy in my life. I believe that the mental health system has failed, western medicine has failed. It’s a chemical imbalance they say; let’s put you on medication and that will help. Maybe there is a chemical imbalance, but that is not the cause, or at least not the sole cause of my suffering because I have been on various medications since I was 17 and yet the problem resurfaces. Maybe it is unresolved pain and trauma from your past. Let’s give you talk therapy so you can process your experience and move past it. Dozens of therapists, dozens of approaches and while there is some relief, it is only temporary. Why do the same stories, the same pain, that I have processed resurface over and over again? Even Eastern approaches, meditation, mindfulness...they have been immensely helpful. But still the same problem persists. It leaves me to believe that the mental health system is broken. They don’t really know or understand what the problem is; and if they don’t know what the problem is, they don’t know the solution. I am determined to find out.

The one thing I haven’t consistently applied that has been helpful in the past and has been largely ignored by mental health practitioners is lifestyle factors. We are human beings, an organism that has life sustaining requirements. We need nutritious food, clean water, exercise, relaxation, sleep, interaction with nature and with people. Do we check all of those boxes? Not in this sedentary, competitive, money hungry, technology obsessed, over-performing society. No wonder mental illness diagnoses are increasing. We are not taking care of ourselves.

It’s probably the hardest thing to do because it’s not easy to change and it requires you to make a choice over and over again with little accountability. Would I put forth all of that effort to overcome all of the mental resistance for myself, to feel better? No. So, I need a reason, one that is bigger than me. My dad suffers every day with paranoia, in fear that his daughters are in danger. I want to be well for my father. So that I can tell him that I am okay, that I am safe, that I am living a good life. And more than that, I want to give other people with mental health challenges hope that they too can get better and live a life that has more joy than suffering. That it is possible. I want to inspire others to take action to care for their human bodies the way they are supposed to be cared for. But I need to be right; that improving lifestyle factors dramatically improves one’s well being and dramatically reduces ones unnecessary suffering. The only way I will know is if I commit to this course of action. So, today I am going to make a commitment that I will choose what is best for my future self than what is comfortable for my present self because my dad, other people who suffer and the future of mental health care depends on that choice.

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LiveandLetLive42

Change is important. If something isn’t right in your life, it might be something to do with people, places or things. I totally understand the whole “just take medication and you’ll be okay” bullshit. But it does help. You have to do other things too though. Life is short. It might seem long sometimes but it’s short! And we have to make the best out of it. It’s important to have a routine everyday, get out of the house, see a therapist, open up to people, spend time with family and friends, volunteer, help others, go after your dreams. It sounds like you’re having a tough time, but this too shall pass. And fighting is key! You have to fight! This illness is like a demon and you have to fight it. And you can very well inspire others and your dad by fighting! It’s hard work but you need to keep busy. You can always contact the mental health association in your area. Having a case worker could help!! You’ll have someone who cares! I’m sorry I didn’t touch upon everything you said. I have an awful memory when I read posts. But I hope my advice helped somewhat. All my best 💜

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InspireHope

Hi LiveandLetLive, I appreciate your support and encouragement. You're right, medication does help and that it still requires dutiful action to bolster its effects. I guess the motivation for this post is because I am extremely frustrated that I DO so much to prevent and manage my anxiety and depression and yet I still get depressed. Its disheartening and I'm angry that our society doesnt do more to provide support for people who struggle with mental health. But maybe I am just looking for someone to blame because I dont know what else to do to help myself. I did, however, gain some insight from my therapist about why I get depressed and what I can do about it.

It seems to be seasonal starting in November and lasting through January or February. But it's not likely that its seasonal affective disorder because I live in sunny California where there is plenty of light. I'm working with my therapist right now to try and understand why I get depressed around this time. She thinks its psychological, relating to the holidays with my dysfunctional family. She has suggested doing something meaningful during the holidays like volunteering to be of service to others. I think this might be an effective strategy since we are hard wired to connect and I think our ultimate purpose is to help each other get through the challenges of life. We cant do it alone.

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LiveandLetLive42

I think we get frustrated because we have to put in more work than so called “normal” people. We want immediate results and we WANT to be happy! That’s all we want and in reality no one is happy all the time and we mistake those moments for a set back.

It’s okay to not be okay all the time. We are human. Sometimes we get down for no reason. We have to learn to accept that. The more we try to figure out “why” the more anxiety we feel about it. It’s a frustrating cycle if we don’t just accept that things are not always going to be perfect.

Your therapist is right. Volunteering especially around the holidays helps so much. You’ll see people so much worse off than you. Helping them will certainly help yourself. And the holidays are hard for us. That’s just how it goes. But we have to learn to be grateful for what we have. I’m happy you responded. All the best and happy holidays 🎄🎁❤️

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ChavivLeon

...impressive post, InspireHope . Maybe it's my part time teaching job at a college that's associated with my positive comment about your post...just finished grading the last of a group of research papers....so maybe I'm just in the mood😀. But thinking of that, I actually held off on grading the last one because I just didn't want to grade a poor paper that would just bring more "yukkiness" into my life. But your post is very insightful with a pledge of commitment combined....just wanted to find a way to let you know that your thoughts and interventions into your and your family's life is admirable to this reader.

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InspireHope

Thank you so much Chavivleon! That means a lot coming from a teacher who grades student writing. I have always wanted to write a book or a blog. So thank you for the feedback that my writing can be inspiring.

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hippolove1

I think there is a reason some of us suffer n it may not be all bad.I myself believe there is a reason for everything/fate perhaps. Maybe we tend to think we can't handle this stuff BUT we live to talk about it,share with others n help others.Maybe it's OUR destined purpose.

DEFINATELY the mental health system us broken n it's def outdated..so r most of the doctors.Too many r close minded n can't think out of the box,n where does that leave all of us suffering daily 24/7..

For me..it left me with new med issues with no cures n fork in the road.Keep listening n paying these morons or be my own advocate for my body.I saved my own life when docs were killing me with there endless guessing.

Btw..read on HU mental health support community,recent post..by Tikirob..think u will find it interesting to ur post.

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InspireHope

That's right. I feel like it's a guessing game for doctors and psychiatrists. You're right that you absolutely HAVE TO be your own advocate for what is right for you. I am willing to do whatever it takes to find a method or treatment or lifestyle that actually works!

You mentioned a post by Tikirob. I cant find it. Can y tell me the title so I can search it?

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hippolove1

The post was 8 days ago n titled about mental health docs being complacent?

Hope that helps ya.

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