Taking that first step, away from the darkness.

Mental

Oh, I am watching you all cringe. Why do we do so with one word?

You feel accusations, it is a derogatory comment. Or when used for someone else, you quietly nod and keep distance… when you feel it your self, it is again something else, something scary.

Mental Health, does that sound better?

It should. It isn’t something that should be hidden, avoided, masked, frowned upon.

If your car isn’t right, you take it to the shop, you describe all the strange noises, you aren’t embarrassed or shy. You bring in the parts that fell off, listen to the diagnosis and get things repaired.

When you have an ache that doesn’t go away, eventually you go see the doctor and have it attended to.

*Taps your forehead* When things go a muck in here we need to attend to them as well. We need to do the same with our car, describe everything, conceal nothing, not feel embarrassed, shy, reserved, humiliated. It is just another part of our body, repairs are sometimes needed.

But we often don’t. 

social outcast, they will lock me up, I can cope on my own… all these thoughts keep you from doing anything.

Perhaps you can cope on your own. *looks at you* can you? you know deep down, be honest. 

You know, with a bit of help, maybe your life will be much richer, less stress, more sleep, less worry, more happiness… 

Depression

It strikes us now and again.

For some it is a morning, a day, maybe a week. For others, it is much more, much longer, much stronger.

We see no reason for it, everything is going well. We just can’t shake it. 

It leads us down dark paths

People tell us to cheer up, tomorrow will be a better day, how was your day today… they mean well. it doesn’t help. They are just words.

We need to take a deep breath and just like we do with our car, or a broken finger, we need to seek some help, some advice, some council.

It is scary, but it shouldn’t be. It is the first step that is hard, but once it is taken, we are on the path to restore, calmness, where we are comfortable. You can feel it, that comfort, thinking about that first step with hope.

Maybe not right away, not likely, but without that fist step, it will elude us, dance out of just out of reach. 

Take the step, seek that council, speak honestly, what you think is bothering you, may not be the real issue. Hold nothing back. 

Often antidepressants may be prescribed, maybe something else, sometimes talking things through is all that is needed. Sorting them out, putting them in perspective. but you need to take that step.

Oh you don’t like meds. *nods* but sometimes a little pill can change your life, and it is nothing to be feared, or embarrassed about. Chemicals go awry in the brain at times, out of balance. *shrugs* don’t fear that. Do you point and laugh at someone in a cast? or a bandage for a cut? surgery that removes a bad appendix? 

So why is the mind different?

When your depression is becoming a key part of your life, your work or school, disrupting sleep… you are hearing voices, crying, for no reason. you are thinking of taking that dark path, the one that has no return. 

Please call your doctor, and I don’t mean tomorrow, next week or soon… I mean right now, and if they tell you to to see a therapist, don’t delay, don’t fear it, don’t be embarrassed, you are taking your first step now. It is a hard step. But please take it.

I am not going to judge you, avoid you, frown or laugh. I will hug you just the same, perhaps a bit tighter. Ask how it is going, how are the meds, are there any side effects. Just as I would if you had the flu or if your car was just serviced.

The mind is delicate at times, but don’t fear it. It isn’t all shadows… darkness, it may be the hardest thing you do, taking that fist step, the one away from the darkness. 

but what happens if you don’t?

Now I can tell you exercise is good for you, we all know that, but get more, really get your heart pumping. It really is good for you. Even better if you can do it with others, a lot better.

You could benefit from more social encounters, joining a group that has some sort of activity you like is great, but sometimes it costs more than you can afford..

But you can volunteer for something. The world is always looking for people to help with this or that, pick something where you will be with others. It can be soooo rewarding. And the social exposure is good for you, but pick something where people are positive, uplifting. It rubs off. Volunteering for something, seeing the smiles you bring, the rewards you get are uplifting, magical. 

You can share your thoughts with a friend, someone you trust. I think you should.

But I also think you should take that first step, please don’t put it off. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

*points to the exclamation mark* I don’t use them often.

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About sensuousamberville

I am a Practitioner, teacher and student. I think we should always be students, we should keep our minds open, to continue to learn. :-) Now a mother of two little ones.

13 responses »

  1. Well said. We’re in similar professions so I share your opinions here. While the stigma associated with mental health issues has lessened, it continues to be a major problem and obstacle to those in need of help but afraid to seek it. Moreover, earlier in your post you discuss repairs… one thing that always strikes me is we go to a doctor for a health checkup, and an eye doctor for a checkup, and a dentist for a checkup, etc. Ever heard of a mental health checkup? Of course not. That’s silly, right? Why exactly is it silly though, no?

    Reply
    • you know, that is a bit scary. I was thinking that when I wrote the blog, perhaps it came through in my writing, or something triggered that thought for both of us.

      Do you see the day where checkups are normal, like a tooth cleaning? Imagine the things that could be caught in advance, before they fester and grow? The comfort people would feel and that stigma would be lifted.

      Health is health, treatment for any condition, physical or mental (there is that word again) should not be judged, it should be praised.

      Reply
      • I cant say I see that day anytime soon… at least here, insurance companies have in fact restricted approved health care, and preventive mental health care is nonexistent except to some limited (and rarely well-researched) programs in schools. We always do tertiary prevention, sometimes do secondary prevention, and completely neglect primary prevention except for self-help books and admonitions to “deal with your stress.”

        Sorry if I sound pessimistic, but I see systemic problems not resolving themselves anytime soon…

      • *nods* when money is not the prime motivator perhaps, or health care truly means care.

  2. Another timely blog post. Yours. CG’s …*sghs* …I admit, yesterday morning I was feeling great. Yesterday day …yesterday night …this morning. I can feel the pull of darkness again. Anniversaries. …bad ones. I hate them. I …

    *decides to try to concentrate on your blog* …

    You are correct Amber about mental health and the stigma … and many of the things that help. Jen has also confirmed it. You both know.

    For the longest time, I hated the thought of having to take anti-depressants. I feared people would find out I was seeking therapy. I won’t go into the feelings I had … we all know them yes?

    Suffice to say, I now no longer am ashamed that I have to seek help, both though counseling and though medication. I have been able to lower my dosage … but I still need to take a lexapro each day.

    Sometimes meds alone will help. Sometimes therapy will do the trick. Many times they go hand-in-hand. I would suspect, if you need meds…you need therapy as well, at least for an interim time period.

    Than many feel embarrassed …. ashamed….that is the disease of our society. It changes yes …. but it changes too slow.

    Reply
    • *hugs you tight* and smiles. I am going to be honest katie, I wrote this blog for someone, I am hoping she reads it today, she said she would. I also hope she realizes what you do, that there is nothing wrong with seeking help. you have everything to gain.

      there is noting wrong with taking meds. some have side effects, need to be monitored, adjusted, sometimes changed.

      Therapy too, nods more, to help sort things out.

      anniversaries are tough.

      Reply
      • I agree. I hope she reads it too.

        She should know that is is okay to need help. To ask for help. There is no shame.

        Meds – sometimes it takes a while to get the dosage correct. Some playing with the various meds might be in order. But give it a chance … it helps.

        And …my feelings on medication (sorry for hijaking your blog again … but more info for your friend.)

        Medications are not the panacea to your woes. They help yes. But not like how some think. They are not a “happy” pill. They do NOT make you less depressed. They do not “cure” you.

        But they help.

        It helps to take the ..what I call the “fogginess” away. It doesn’t stop depression, but it helps you get to a place where you can start to deal with it. The fog lifts. You are still sad … but that feeling of never being able to break out of it lifts. I compare it to falling. Falling down a hole and never reading the bottom. The medicine for me … it stopped teh falling. There was finally a bottom to the hole. I was still sad yes … but it helped me to see that there CAN be a time when I am not so sad anymore.

        Anti-depressants are not magic. It is not a cure. But it helps you along the path to becoming yourself again.

        (Amber ~ if you think this comment would hurt more than help, please delete. I wish to not detract from what you are trying to help with. I wish that this friend starts the process to get to a better place.)

      • no katie, *hugs* it is good.

  3. Here is only my opinion to the matter.. for I am no where near a doctor or certified in any way..

    We see a dentist get a diagnosis, and they correct it.. we, see a family doctor, and they do the same (sometimes with great fear of it being more than a prescription).. but with mental issues, if the diagnosis is bad enough, their can be the fear of being ‘locked up’ (mental hospital, etc).. only assuming in the last part.. for no one actually knows what goes on in the mind of others, even if they were to tell you.. how would you know they telling all.

    I for one hate doctors of any kind, family physician, dentist, etc. For I never been to one yet, that had any good news to give.. so for me, ignorant is bliss (yes, I know that is wrong… but once again.. ‘to each their own’.)

    Reply
    • that is it, people don’t like to see doctors. *pouts* some are very nice.

      we don’t like auto mechanics either, they never say, “oh your car is fine, I just washed it, no charge”…, but isn’t it grand when it is fixed, when you turn the key knowing it will start and run well.

      all it took was that first step.

      Reply
  4. Excellent blog amber! I have to go to the funeral home tomorrow afternoon to talk to the director and settle up the bill and such. I plan on asking them a few questions about grief and my daughter works on the Psych Unit at the Hospital and she has contacts with Canadian Mental Health that she can give me or recommend some steps to take.

    It was also a year ago (September 9, 2011) that we came across that accident scene and a man laying in the middle of the road (unresponsive) after he hit wildlife on his motorcycle and that was very traumatic to me and I really don’t believe I dealt with that properly. BTW he made it and is doing okay for the most part 🙂

    Amazing what things trigger the mind – and is more amazing that I work in health care and yet think I can “handle” it.. lol .. I am so full of BS eh?? Thanks ladies for all your kind comments in my blog. I love yah and love your advice and kind words and I do read every word and listen.

    *HUGS all around*
    Country Gal

    Reply
    • its true CG, things hide and lurk in your mind. One day out of the blue, they are triggered. Mental health is a beautiful thing. 🙂

      working in health care you are seeing things all the time CG, they also work at you, cumulate.

      if you google grief counselling in your area (I did, there is a lot) you may find some other ideas too.

      *hugs tight*

      Reply
    • Sends another hug you way … just because I want to.

      Reply

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