Mental health awareness is becoming more prominent in society and that can only be a good thing. Being aware of your mental health is taught in schools now and with suicide on the rise highlighting issues can only be positive.
But if you are someone with poor mental health, perhaps a depression sufferer, what then? There are a wealth of people that can help you. There is also a lot of information about self-help. The things you can try and do to make yourself feel better. But it’s rare they will tell you about the things to avoid. Here are a few to help you manage your mental health.
The drugs don’t work
They just make you worse… Anti-depressants can have a positive effect. They do have side effects for a lot of people though, especially the older SSRI’s such as Citalopram and Sertraline. However, these are legal and a doctor should monitor you to see if they are helping. Those joints you’ve been smoking? They are not helping. Weed may “chill you out” but it’s a depressant. It slows down your reaction speed and makes you feel lethargic. Some pro-marijuana campaigners will claim it is great for anxiety. But it can cause paranoia which is the last thing you need if you suffer from anxiety.
but my bed is so comfortable
It’s easily done. If you are suffering from the flu your bed is the best place for you. When you suffer from depression It is a trap. If you suffer from moderate to severe depression just getting yourself out of bed can seem like a Herculean feat. But it is important you do. If you need to give yourself a pat on the back for it. Once you’re out of bed you can get on with doing life! Every journey starts with a first step and for depression sufferers, The first step is getting out of bed.
Maintaining high standards
This may be contentious and I draw on personal experiences for this. I was under the care of the mental health team due to a suicide attempt. I was trying to self-help by making to-do-lists and rewarding myself for completing them. The team praised me for my commitment to helping myself but when they looked at the lists one of them had an interesting observation. Brushing your teeth, having a shower, these things can be a challenge but for your long term health, you need to view them as part of a routine rather than an achievement. Set yourself a set of tasks that are none negotiable. Developing routines for things like this is vital. But well done if you are doing that.
Caffeine and smoking
Often there are correlations between your mental health and your sleep. Caffeine may be good for giving you that kick up the ass you need in the morning but it is not without its drawbacks. Interestingly an apple in the morning is more effective at waking you. Caffeine is a stimulant and terrible alongside anxiety and not great for helping you sleep. Smoking is a depressant. It’s bad for you, just give it up!
I’m sure it would be teaching you to suck eggs if I told you about the perils of alcohol. It can destroy lives if abused. Here’s an interesting fact though: A study once showed that the mortality rate for a person who has one drink a day is actually lower than those that drink none at all, but beyond that one drink it drops dramatically. The fact is that in moderation drink is okay. Especially if it gets you out of the house. But moderation is key. Self-medicating is not a solution and will actually exacerbate the issue.