4 things I’ve learned about treating mental illness

Treating mental illness

Mental illness can take over your life, but it’s not untreatable. Professional help and the right treatment options can be life changing! But treating mental illness isn’t as simple as the click of a button.

Through my life, I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety. Thankfully it doesn’t impact my life as much anymore, but it’s not completely gone.

I would love to say that treating my depression and anxiety was quick and easy, but it wasn’t. As powerful and important treating mental illness is, it’s not the simple road some people think it is.

So today, I’m going to talk about 4 important things I’ve learned about treating mental illness through my journey.

Please note I am not a mental health professional and this article is written only from my own experience. If you are struggling please consult a professional, or check out our crisis resources here.

1. It’s hard!

Many people who have never struggled with mental illness don’t understand why those who struggle wouldn’t want help. Who wouldn’t want to feel better right?

The thing about treating mental illness is that it’s hard. Unfortunately no one can make you all better, they can just give you some tools to help you do it yourself. It’s up to you to make the most out of treatment.

We’ve all heard the saying ‘it has to get worse before it gets better’ and that’s my experience. Healing is challenging, and takes a lot of hard work, strength and dedication.

2. Something not helping isn’t failure

This one took me a long time to learn, but treatment not working doesn’t make you a failure, or beyond help.

That’s a hard mindset to escape. Every time something wouldn’t work and didn’t ‘cure me’ I thought it was a sign that I would never improve. It’s hard to keep going when you feel like you’re getting nowhere!

However even the things that don’t work illuminate the path to finding something that does work.

3. There’s a lot of trial and error

Unfortunately treating mental illness isn’t a singular simple roadmap. While there is obviously a framework for treatments that have good results, everybody is different.

What works for one person may not work another, and the only way to know is to try. This can feel super exhausting if you keep trying treatments that don’t work, but remember that it not working doesn’t mean failure.

This goes double if you introduce medication! A medication that works for others may give you violent side effects. On the flip side, a medication with an awful reputation may give you your life back. The only way to know, is to try.

As frustrating as it is, there’s no quick fix, no certain pathway to ensure you only try things that work. Healing is a rollercoaster ride, but all you can do is keep trying until you find the thing that works for you.

4. It’s worth it

The hardest, yet most important thing to remember through all the trials of treating mental illness, is that it’s worth it.

It won’t always feel like, and it might take a while. But one day things will click, you’ll find that path that works for you and your life will change.

Your mind will tell you that it’s not worth it and there will be times it feels too hard to get up and try something else. Do it anyway, because the moment that you finally see that light you’ll realise it’s all been worth it.

Treating my mental illnesses

It took me many years to seek treatment for my depression, even more to tackle my anxiety. They’re not completely gone, but they’re under control.

The road to getting them under control has been long and hard, and it will never fully be over. But even though a lot of it was hard, that path gave me my life back.

Treating mental illness is such a large process that I couldn’t possibly cover everything in one post, and as always, you should speak to a professional. This post was just 4 things I didn’t know about treating mental illness when I first started my journey, 4 things that you’ll hopefully be prepared for!

G x

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Treating mental illness

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