Treat your mind from time to time

Tired? Sad? Mind Racing? Anxious? These uncomfortable feelings can make daily tasks feel harder, or even next to impossible. But I want you to know that you’re not alone. More than one in four Americans deal with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental conditions. A mental illness is a real medical issue. And the good news is that most of these conditions can be treated as long as you’re willing to put in the effort.

A healthy mind and positive outlook often goes hand in hand with a healthy body. While only a mental health professional can help you deal with the serious symptoms and causes of mental illness following these tips may help you feel better. Remember that most things do not happen over night, it takes work and patience to heal. You may have hear the phrase “Trust the process.”

  • Positivity is infectious, connect with others. Surround yourself with positive, caring people, and spend a lot of time with them. Remember, most times you’re a product of the company you keep. If you don’t have supportive people in your life, seek them out by joining a support group.
  • Treat yourself, save time for yourself. Make time each week to do something you enjoy; this can give life more meaning and purpose.
  • Change your perception. Train your brain. Stressful events are bound to happen in life and while you may not be able to change them, you can change how you react. Try keeping a better future in mind when dealing with a difficult moment.
  • Embrace change. Sometimes life throws changeups, curveballs, screwballs, etc… your way and what you had in mind may not be within reach anymore. Accepting when things can’t be changed can help you focus on those you may be able to control, like your attitude or your approach to dealing with them.
  • Speak to a friend or a Doctor. If you’re not feeling well, don’t assume that it’s no big deal or it’ll pass. Talk it out with someone you trust. Sometimes simply venting and expressing how you feel can alleviate some nerves. Your doctor can help you decide if your symptoms are due to a physical or mental health problem and help you develop a plan to feel better.
  • Pay attention to what you eat. A healthy, balanced diet fuels your body and keeps your blood sugar steady. This helps prevents mental highs and lows that can make depression and anxiety seem worse.
  • Manage your stress. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and don’t take on too much. It’s OK to say “No” to people or projects that place too many demands on you. Know your limits and only take on what you can handle.

Remember, you’re far from alone. As impossible as it may sound in whichever situation you find yourself in, call a friend, speak to family, a loved one, or talk to your doctor if you haven’t been feeling like yourself lately. Patience is key, trust the process.

A Fallacy of Peace #3

July was a pretty hard month for me, so apologies for a delay in this portion. July was an emotional roller coaster for me.  Aside from personal issues, my family suffered a terrible loss with the murder of my cousin.  That being said, let’s get into part 3 of this story.  

April 28th, 2022 was the last day I took my Adderall prescription.  This is huge, because I never thought I would be strong enough to rid myself of this monotonous habit. I didn’t do it alone, because I would not have been able to do so successfully. Without my mothers help, will, and guidance I would have failed.  I would also like to thank my Step-Father Javier for having the patience and being by my mothers side throughout all the chaos.  Without them, I would have continued on my downward spiral until I gave up, or the medicine killed me. Now that I have the ability to look back at my life, I can see how close to death I really was.

As I had mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this story, I had been seeing a psychiatrist for over a decade.  For the first eight years, I had a therapist I had gained a strong rapport with.  I trusted this individual as they knew everything about me.  Around august of 2020, When making my quarterly appointment, I was told that my doctor had retired.  I was given the option of staying with this office and continuing with the only other psychiatrist there. Given the pandemic, nearly all other offices were not accepting new patients.  I had no choice but to continue with the psychiatrist they had available.  This new doctor did not care about me, and was just cashing in a paycheck.  All sessions went by phone only due to shutdowns.  They had a video call option, but wanted to charge more for the visit. The only relationship I had with my “Doctor” was that he was essentially my supplier.  Hell, he kept me on Ambien for nearly a year and blindly filled my Adderall prescription every month. In February of 2022, I Informed him I would like to stop taking my Adderall within the year and he fought me on it. A little over two months later, the office was unreachable.  I could not fill my prescription, and was forced to quit cold turkey.  I didn’t know it then, but it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. 

It’s been over three months since the last time I had any Adderall. Thinking about it now, and its absolutely insane how clear headed I feel. I actually feel alive and excited about the future. I still have my days where I do get down, the difference is I’m able to better pinpoint why I feel the way I do.  From there, I’m able to change why and how I feel by working through my feelings and emotions in the way that works best for me. Adderall would allow me to only work and focus on one thing at a time, blocking out everything else. Years of doing this set up my downfall, I just wasn’t aware.  I THOUGHT I was fine, I THOUGHT I had things under control, I THOUGHT I was better than I really was.  The truth was, It was all a façade. That’s the power of addiction, I was a zombie slowly eating away at my own brain. 

I’ll do another entry soon on what withdrawal was like and my experience so far. At this point in time, I have the ability to look back and what my life was like with a truly healthier perspective. I can now look inside the box I was trapped in, and rejoice in the feeling of my newly found freedom. I no longer have to plan my days around Adderall or fear running out and breaking down. I’m still recovering, and trying my best to be better involved with friends, family, and myself. I KNOW I’m doing better, because I’m truly optimistic on what comes next for me and the people I love.  

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Why do I push people away?

To explain in its most simple form from my perspective requires only two words: Defense Mechanism. What I’ve discovered is vulnerability takes a lot of courage and resolve, and adding to the anxiety is the reaction of an outside party and if the effort was worth it.  In life, we live and learn from our experiences.  Despite this, and due to previous cases of having my trust broken or my vulnerability of being taken advantage of leads to the activation of my defense mechanism. In turn, I naturally push people away.

t’s not uncommon to prefer your own company over that of others, regardless if you’re an introvert or extrovert. While there is nothing wrong with some downtime and relaxation, it’s the extreme that becomes a difficult issue to handle. The mistake I unknowingly find myself constantly making is my self imposed isolation.  Instead of allowing my mind to relax, I end up exposing my fragile state of mind to overthinking.

Stuck.  Stuck is where I’m at. I’ve become emotionally unavailable to those who love me because I feel like I don’t deserve love.  I do not love myself, therefore how can I love fairly? I don’t handle what should be a positive experience well, and the negative I’ve grown accustomed to.  This attitude has become second nature to me, and is essentially a part of my being. I view any and all relationships from a detached perspective and refrain from building stronger bonds, and I don’t want to be stuck with this mindset.  I find myself withdrawing from social interaction thinking I’m protecting my mental health, but the truth is all I’m doing is further damaging myself. 

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There is never a single solution to problems that involve your mental health and being isolated.  While communication and openness can be one approach, the other approach is to withdraw entirely and avoid any contact with anyone who might have the potential to cause hurt or stress.  Both approaches help in reducing the stress of the situation but only one is productive while the other is nothing but avoidant coping mechanisms.  Avoidant coping or defense mechanism is by its very own definition a maladaptive coping method.  Rather than confronting the situation and finding an active solution via participation and acceptance, avoidance coping refrains from taking any active action. 

Some examples of this are:

  1. Not answering or returning calls or messages
  2. Sending few or no messages to anyone asking to meet or catch up
  3. Backing out of premade plans constantly
  4. Avoiding getting interested in other people’s lives or emotional state
  5. Replying with short, clipped, or blunt responses.

 We all need someone who understands our feelings, acknowledges our fears, and hears our thoughts without judgment.  It should come as no surprise that scientific research consistently shows that humans need one another in their lives to feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment. Retreating within yourself with some subconscious resolve of never exposing that emotional capacity is a road I’m so eagerly waiting to exit.