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What It Means (And Doesn’t Mean) To Live With A Mental Illness

Mental health and mental illness are becoming more well understood, but continue to face harmful shame and stigma.

Living With A Mental Illness Means You’re A Human Being

Humans develop mental illnesses. You have a mental illness. Chances are, you’re a human being. Living with a mental illness simply means you’re a human with a certain set of circumstances to live with. Mental illness does not make you sub-human or any kind of different breed of person. You still have the same heart, same brain, and same chemical makeup as everyone else. A few special variations have given you some particular challenges to work with. These don’t make you abnormal, they make you unique.

Living With A Mental Illness Does Not Mean You’re Crazy, Dangerous, Or A Monster

There are severe psychiatric mental health disorders which can completely cut someone off from their own humanity. Extreme cases of mental illness without any kind of treatment or intervention can cause someone to head down a troubled path. Such pathology is often sensationalized in the movies and books by villains, “psychos” and other harmful people. Mental illness is treatable more often than not. Without treatment and the use of tools to regulate your emotions, balance your moods, and help yourself stay centered, you can start to act “abnormal”. However, the damaging stigma and characterizations of mental illness do not apply to you. You’re not crazy, you’re not dangerous, and you’re not a monster. You are not a bad person who needs to be transformed into a good person. You live with an illness which needs to be healed so you can live well again.

Living With A Mental Illness Means You Have To Work Extra Hard

You feel things, experience things, and process things differently than your peers. When you have ADHD, you have to put in extra effort to create an environment in which you can focus, organize yourself, and manage your attention. Living with depression means being sensitive to your sensitivities and practicing self-care. Those who live with addiction and alcoholism work hard to create lifestyle changes which keep them away from using drugs and alcohol.

Living With A Mental Illness Does Not Mean You’re Weak

Quite the opposite. Going to greater lengths to take care of yourself, create a healthy environment, participate in good communication, and continue to work on yourself is courageous. It takes bravery and courage to look yourself in the mirror and confront your mental illness. Coming to a place of loving-kindness, compassion, and healing with yourself is something many people will spend their lifetimes avoiding. You are not weak, deficient, or a victim because of your mental illness. You are a recovery warrior! Be proud of the work you do for yourself.

Recovery is something to celebrate, not to be ashamed of. Making the decision to seek treatment and work towards a better you is a tremendous moment in your life. If you are in need of treatment for addiction, alcoholism, and/or a co-occurring mental health disorder, call Enlightened Solutions today for more information on our integrative, holistic healing programs of treatment. 833-801-5483.

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