I'm glad that you found a med combination that works for you! I know how good that feels! I've been on the same 2 meds for 20 years, and they have worked well for me most of the ttime. Of course, I still have "those days" but the meds I'm on have been a life saver!
You are right, you are NOT a lab rat, but a human being with views, thoughts, opinions, dreams, hopes, and a to do list!!
Also, remember that you can say "No" to doctors who keep trying to fill you with medications that you may not need! I have refused various medications many times over the years because I knew they weren't necessary. I will never refuse medication if/when I absolutely NEED them, but I refuse to end up having to take a truckload of medication!
Hi, I agree re focussin on what works instead of what doesn't. I mean, why focus on what doesn't work if it doesn't work, you know? lol
So, what works for me? Well, when I was working, I loved my job and looked forward to going everyday. I'm no longer working there because the organization folded due to finances; but definitely my job was a huge part of my recovery. It's been about two years since the place folded.......so now, untill I can get myself back to work, I have what I would considere little things that either keep me grounded or keep me from totally going under into depression. I am diag bp 2, so I lean more towards the depressed side than the manic, just fyi.....but something simple like going for a walk. Sometimes certain people would suggest I go for a walk when I was depressed and I would get angry at them and think they were minimizing my depression, that is, until I actually got myself up off the floor and went for a walk! Wow, amazing what even a short walk will do! I've been pretty blessed in that for the most part, the meds I'm on keep me fairly balanced, but there have still been occassions where depression has dipped a little lower than normal for a while. Im in one of those right now, and the biggest thing keeping me afloat is that I literally force myself to get outside and walk. Not only walking, that's just one thing - also, I try to get outside myself as much as possible and look for any opportunity that I can give to someone else in need because that takes the focus off of me and how I'm feeling.
For me, really the bottom line is that I have to keep as busy as I possibly can - I have learned that I have a choice. That unless I am SO depressed that I should be hospitalized or close to it, I have the choice to get up off my behind and DO something, anything, even if it's just little baby somethings. I think sometimes we hope things will get better, but we're not willing to get up and do something to make that happen. The last I heard, no one is going to get very far if they don't get up and take steps. But it's too harrrrrrrrrddddddd! lol Of course it is, but we do it anyway, yes? If not this time, then the next!
I also do better with structure, which is harder for me to really maintain when I'm not working.
Hmmmmm, I thought there would actually be more of what works for me, and I'm sure there are that I'm not thinking of right now, but ohhhhhhhhhhh! lol How could I forget this one?! lol I suppose because it's not an "action" persay....but for me, the one "thing" that works for me the best is hope! Over the past several years, hope has been the driving force of my life - the kind that says no matter how bad it may get, it will somehow get better and I will somehow get through it because I always have hope! What is the opposite of hope but despair? When hope is lost, despair is right around the corner! My therapist has been the one who helped to get onto that path in my life - the path of hope.
Anyway, I'm not even sure I've responded in a way that you were asking, but that's what I have. If I've answered another question taht you didn't write, then clarify for me . lol
Hi reneegigliotti, when you said that you really want to know what works for people in theri lives, do you mean what works to keep one (me) grounded - what keeps me living above my illness or in spite of it?
Hi, I've always believed that I am far more than my diagnosis and from time to time, have also encouraged others of the same. I believe that when we live as though we are our diagnosis, we limit ourselves to being all the other parts of who we are, which is really so much bigger.
For anyone to say that I AM my diagnosis, tends to make one say and believe that they can't do this or that because, after all, I am (fill in the blank) and that's how (people with......) behave.
I'm sure I would have more to say on the topic at another time; right now is not a good time, I just thought I would put in my 2 cents worth.
I'm finally getting back to this. I find it really hard to answer that kind of question because to me, there's no distinction between tools I use to help in my recovery and tools for just every day life. I mean, I believe the tools that I've learned are the same tools that can help someone with or without mental illness - they are to help one become a better person, period.
I will copy and paste, "My Story" but I know that doesn't really answer your question specifically. I could say a lot of things Ive learned in theray that have helped me to become a better person and have also helped me on my road to recovery. If you'd like to chat more about it, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's the story Before taking an active role in my own mental health, my life was characterized by depression, loneliness, extreme shyness, longing for attention and affection, and self-loathing; fear personified my existence. I had been sexually abused as a child from 3-5 yrs of age and emotionally neglected throughout my childhood. This, of course, left me with a lot of wounds that needed healing in many areas of my life.
As I grew older, no one wanted to be near me because I was different. It was obvious to others that there was something wrong with me emotionally and mentally, and they would run away from me as though I were contagious. I wanted to be around people, but I knew that I couldn't because of who I was. I hated who I was and thought there was no hope for someone like me.
Things started to turn around when I was 25 and sought professional help. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and then later, bipolar II and DDnos. I started my journey of searching for the right medications, which took about five months; and then I also started working with a therapist who could help me work through all the dysfunction I had learned over the years. I was getting better.
Then six years later, some deeper issues began to surface, and I started missing a lot of work to the point where I was no longer able to work and needed to go on disability. I remained on disability for 7 years, but started working again on the 6th year.
Apart from medication, the biggest thing that has helped me in my recovery has been therapy and self-advocacy. I have had the privilege of being able to work with a very capable therapist who has helped me to grow in many areas of my life. She has given me many tools to work with and has taught me how to use them. I have the utmost respect for her. With her, I have been able to look deep into the dark places of my life and bring healing to them, learn new strategies for dealing with situations of the present, and learn to identify and change old, unhealthy ways of thinking. I'm still a work in progress, but I am now equipped with what I need to get me through the deepest valley or climb the highest mountain.
I am not the person I was at age 25 and younger. Depression no longer defines who I am; it still comes to visit on occasion, but it's not the air I breathe anymore. Today I have hope. Even when times get difficult, and I'm not sure how things are going to work out; I can always count on hope to get me through each day even when it doesn't feel like it.