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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Jellies with mental illness: How do you stay stable?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30606points) October 5th, 2010

If you have a mental illness, you know that there are many ways to stay stable. What works for you?

individual therapy?
group therapy?
family support?
support of friends?
support from case workers or other professionals?
something else?

I use medication and meditation mostly. I used to exercise a great deal, but I moved from one side of town to another and away from my favorite park. I stopped walking, and I miss it.

I also get a lot of support from family and a few friends. I have an excellent case worker and therapist. I tell them everything that’s going on. I also write a blog about my life and find that a good outlet.

How do you make use of the support available for you?

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19 Answers

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JilltheTooth's avatar

@hawaii_jake : I’m a bit horrified that your honest and reasonable question has gotten this kind of reaction, but I admire your courage. Sorry this is not helpful.

wundayatta's avatar

Wife, medication, friends, psychiatrist, therapist (about to stop), support group, exercise, sleep, fluther.

I see all those modded answers, but I didn’t see what they said. I’m glad, but I suppose it’s representative of how people feel about the mentally ill.

It’s hard to know what has the most impact. I know I have had degrees of wellness. Each one seemed great, and I had no idea it would get better. I have no idea how long it will last. I feel like I felt before I got sick. Let’s just say that I am grateful for each day that I feel good.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@wundayatta and @JilltheTooth : Thank you. I asked the question about 2 hours ago and came back to it just now to find the modded answers. I didn’t see them either, which I’m sure is a good thing. Well, it is the Internet, after all. I appreciate hearing how others are dealing with their difficulties and persevering.

JilltheTooth's avatar

To actually answer your question, I’ve not had any ongoing issues, but a couple of serious bouts with depression were dealt with through counseling, improving my physical self (diet, exercise, etc) and in the first case, I was on meds that allowed me to sleep, and smooth out the rough edges. I was amazed at how anxious I was brushing my teeth, when I wasn’t anymore. That kind of thing.
I never take feeling right for granted.

Jabe73's avatar

I must have missed those first several responses myself. I’ve suffered from panic and social anxiety disorder for most of my life. People that don’t go through certain things themselves usually can’t relate so they run steam. I’ve done everything I could to eliminate this disorder but I never could. Meditation never worked, positive/happy thoughts do not work, therapists were nothing but a waste of my money (telling me things I already knew about myself), putting myself out there with other people in various social situations never worked (forcing it).

The only things that helped me was Paxil, keeping my exposure to negative people at a minimal, less stressful job, walks/some exercise and accepting the fact I’m just not a people person. Is introversion considered a mental illness itself? I’ve had depression too but I think that came from the severe anxiety itself not vice versa. I was suprised to learn of many other people who suffer from this as well (people you would have never thought of).

tranquilsea's avatar

I got through it with some serious therapy with a single psychiatrist, the support of my husband and children and the support of my friends.

I wouldn’t be alive without these people in my life.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Your question contains many of the possible answers and there are many valid combinations of these that apply to different individuals with different conditions and varying types and qualities of human support systems.

lovestolearn's avatar

I work with persons with mental illness and also have a daughter with a mood disorder. I’ve found that besides your great list, what’s really helpful is LOTS of quiet time for sleep, solitary reflection and just learning to be and make friends with the self. Quiet time can be incredibly healing. Of course if the time alone becomes too overwhelming with a sense of feeling isolated,
then the other ideas can and should be used for support.

augustlan's avatar

Lots of therapy for a time, and medication. I have chronic depression, and GAD w/ panic attacks, along with a form of OCD (obsessive thoughts, but no compulsions). I finally found the right meds for me, and suspect I will never be off them again. I’m totally fine with that, too… life is immeasurably better now. I get SAD in the winter, too, and have normally just dealt with it, but I intend to get more light this winter. Also, I apparently had a non-existent vitamin D level, so I’ve just started taking prescription D (50,000 units/week!). Theoretically, that should help with the SAD and the general depression, too.

And of course, my support network: Family and friends who love me anyway. :)

talljasperman's avatar

beef and broccoli… digital t.v…. living at home with a mother who is both cool and loving….fluther… in fact I’m going a little nuts right now so I’m fluthering for relief

Brian1946's avatar

I had GAD and went to therapy for about 19 years.
All that therapy gave me the resources to deal with it mostly on my own.

I was having anxieties about my health that were mostly unfounded.
As a result, I started seeing a naturopathic doctor. I’ve alleviated about 99% of that anxiety through acupuncture and by talking to her.

dubsrayboo's avatar

Mine is medication, seeing a psychiatrist, spirituality, music, writing, loving family and exercise. I still don’t like the fact that I have to take meds, but they do help greatly and it feels good to be stable.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Thank you, @dubsrayboo . Welcome to Fluther.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I used to see a therapist for anxiety and depression. We were just moving to address the anxiety issues when, due to financial issues, I couldn’t see him anymore. My depression scores have been super low (which is good) but my anxiety is still high and since I can no longer see a therapist, I’ve had to figure out techniques for coping by myself. I’ve discovered during a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital that coloring was super calming for me, so I have a crazy amount of coloring books. I started looking into different kinds of art and I was introduced to a drawing style called “Zentangle” Zentangle is an art where you draw patterns and designs with a pencil without an eraser for shading and a pen. The whole point of the art is that you are going to make mistakes, and since you are writing in pen you cannot fix them, you have to work around them and incorporate them into your design. (This was hard for me to get used to because I obsessed over mistakes) but this has actually helped me when I made mistakes in real life. I love listening to music and writing, and I watch a ton of tv. I also enjoy jogging. These “coping skills” I have discovered on my own. :)

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@SergeantQueen Thank you so much for answering, and welcome to Fluther. I have anxiety, too. It’s controlled by medication, but I occasionally have an anxiety attack. When that happens, I ask myself some questions:

Where are my feet?
What can I feel?
What can I see?
What can I smell?
What can I taste?

I find answers for each question. It helps. By the time I’ve answered the questions, I usually calmer.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake That’s a very good exercise. Making yourself aware of your surroundings is perfect when you have panic attacks. Thanks for the welcome :)

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