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Strategies For Coping With A Mental Illness




Depressed woman holding piece of paper with a smile drawn on

Mental illness is more spoken about in today’s modern world. People are becoming more understanding and accepting of those who struggle with their mental health, and while there is, of course, a long way to go, the road to full acceptance is underway.

There are many different mental illnesses. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders and bipolar are only a few, and all mental illnesses need different treatments depending on the situation and person. Some will turn to medication while other prefer counselling. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to treating mental illness.

The following guide is going to touch on how to accept your diagnosis, and a few ways to help you cope. Remember, you are not alone. 

Accept Your Diagnosis 

Being diagnosed with a mental illness can rock anyone’s boat. It is not, however, the be all and end all. Life goes on, you may have to make some adjustments, however. 
Step one is accepting your mental illness and diagnosis before moving on to finding a way to cope. Step two is taking the time to understand the reasons behind your mental illness, as well as any triggers. Step three is reaching out to a support system and finding ways to cope. Step four is understanding that there will be good and bad days. 

Coping Strategies

Spend Time Outside

Being outdoors is very therapeutic. The fresh air and natural sunlight can improve your mood and increase your serotonin levels. Go for a walk, hike up a hill or take up gardening in your back and front yard. Having plenty of plants and flowers to care for and increase your happiness levels, and when you have something that depends on you, you feel more inclined to look after it. Take part in vertical gardening, join a walking group or walk on your own. Do whatever feels right to you.

Join A Support Group

You may feel alone, but this is not true. There are many people in the same shoes as you, some who may be more knowledgeable and others who have just been diagnosed. Joining a support group can help you better understand yourself, but it can also offer the help and support regarding treatments.

Do Not Dismiss Treatments

You do not know what will work and what will not when it comes to treatments. There are many medications and therapies for people to try when it comes to mental illnesses, and while you may not look too favourably on one, it could provide you with the comfort you have been seeking.

Speak to your doctors for advice, and accept all help that is offered. The NHS can provide free counselling, but there are long waiting lists. They can also prescribe you medication that could help you function better. If you do not react well with one type of medication, there are many others for you to try instead. 

Speak to Friends and Family

You may have to explain the situation and diagnosis with your friends and family, but if they truly care for you, they will offer you the support you need. If they do not, then replace them with people who will. Do not expect them to know everything off the bat, as this may also be a learning curve for them, but when push comes to shove, they will be there for you.

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