You won’t believe how simple this solution is!
Are you ready? Really ready?
Here it is:
Nothing. There is no one thing that will resolve your mental illness overnight. Mental health is incredibly complex, and after decades of study in various fields, there’s still a lot we don’t fully understand about it.
But don’t despair – just because there isn’t an easy solution doesn’t mean there are no solutions. In my personal experience, I’ve improved my mental help with:
- Medication (daily, and at a time, lorazepam for ‘in the moment’ anxiety attacks)
- One-on-one therapy (including social workers, psychiatrists, and other therapists)
- Group therapy (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)
- Physical activity (ongoing routine)
- Meditation/mindfulness exercise
I don’t do all five things at once. Some of them come and go (like one-on-one therapy and group therapy), and I have trouble keeping up at some of them regularly (physical activity and meditation/mindfulness exercises). But there is something that they all require to be of help to me: effort.
Medication only works if you use it as prescribed, and follow up with your doctor or pharmacist if there are concerns. One-on-one therapy only works if you put yourself out there and take the risk of trusting a professional (and find a new one if there’s a problem). Group therapy only works if you do the homework and activities assigned. And both physical activity and mindfulness exercises require ongoing scheduling and work.
For those of us who live with a mental illness that leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms like avoidance, it’s quite simple to find reasons to not do the things that can make us feel better (more on this in another blog). I know that when we see a quick fix, or the promise that one tool, exercise, or magic idea will bring relief, we want to believe. Some people are fortunate, and one of these solutions may be effective all on its own. But, in my experience, every potential solution or tool requires that one thing you need to do to fix your anxiety or depression: hard work, and the will to get better.